Michael Bloomberg is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the U.S. Presidential race, thanks to his vast fortune earned as co-founder and CEO of Bloomberg LP, the privately held financial-data firm. His company’s success is directly attributable to the software running on its eponymous terminals, which feed information to traders and financial analysts worldwide.
In other words, this is a campaign made possible (at least in part) by decades’ worth of hard-working technologists within the company’s offices. But what do Bloomberg’s software developers actually earn, particularly in relation to “traditional” tech companies such as Apple or Microsoft? And since immigration will inevitably come up as a topic during the Presidential race, it’s also worth examining how much Bloomberg pays its H-1B-based software developers.
Let’s turn to levels.fyi, which crowdsources salary data. In terms of total compensation, Bloomberg LP is very heavy on salary, and somewhat light on stock and bonuses (at least when compared to traditional tech firms):
Those numbers roughly align with Glassdoor’s anonymous crowdsourcing, wherein the average Bloomberg software engineer salary is $134,649, with additional pay of $15,224 (only a handful of respondents reported stock bonuses, which is the one point of difference with levels.fyi data).
Let’s compare Bloomberg’s compensation data with the levels.fyi data for various tech companies:
As you can see, other tech firms treat stock as a much bigger factor in software engineers’ overall compensation packages, which makes sense—after all, Bloomberg LP is privately held, whereas these “traditional” tech giants are publicly traded firms with a long history of using big blocks of equity to attract and retain technologists.
In fact, at many firms, technologists just aren’t after equity anymore; according to the latest Dice Salary Report, they’re very interested in benefits such as flexible work hours and tuition reimbursement. Bloomberg is no slouch in the benefits arena, having recently expanded its gender-neutral family leave policy from 18 weeks to 26 weeks (fully paid). (The cafeteria in the firm’s New York City headquarters is pretty good, too.)
To look at how much Bloomberg pays its H-1B software developers, we’re going to turn to the H1B Salary Database, which indexes the Labor Condition Application (LCA) disclosure data from the United States Department of Labor (DOL). Here’s how Bloomberg matches up:
Again, Bloomberg pays its H-1B software developers a comparable salary to those at Microsoft, Apple, Salesforce, and other tech firms. However, these numbers come with a variety of caveats. For instance, a lot of firms outsource their H-1B workers from business-services and consulting firms; those workers may be paid significantly less than those H-1B workers obtained directly by the primary companies. Second, these salaries don’t mention any perks or benefits associated with the position, which means we’re not seeing the whole compensation picture.
If your mind is boggled at the vast amounts that Michael Bloomberg is willing to spend on his quest for the White House (according to FiveThirtyEight, he currently has an 8 percent chance of winning the Democratic nomination, but there are still several state contests to fight), it’s worth considering how he amassed that estimated $60 billion fortune—and the software developers who helped him get there.