What H-1B Software Engineers Make at IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, More

Enterprise software companies generally employ thousands of software developers and engineers to tackle massive projects. Many of them are also known for employing lots of H-1B workers. With that in mind, how much do H-1B software engineers and developers make at the largest of these firms?

In order to break down what H-1B software engineers and developers make at a selection of enterprise-centric software companies, we turned to the H-1B Salary Database, which indexes the Labor Condition Application (LCA) disclosure data from the United States Department of Labor (DOL). In the case of Oracle and IBM, we focused on ‘software developer’ as a search term; for Salesforce and Microsoft, the database didn’t seem to contain any jobs for ‘software developer,’ although they offered up many hits for ‘software engineer’; in those cases, we used ‘engineer’ in place of ‘developer,’ assuming the jobs are largely synonymous in this context. Here are the results: 

What can we conclude? At first glance, it seems that the country’s largest enterprise-software firms pay their H-1B engineers and developers quite a bit (it’s higher than the “average” technologist salary of $94,000, as reported by Dice’s 2020 Tech Salary Report). But as with so many things related to tech, compensation, and immigration, there are a lot of layers here. 

As anyone who follows the H-1B saga knows, many tech firms subcontract H-1B workers of all specializations. Those business-services and subcontracting firms, in turn, pay their H-1B workers a lower median salary than you find at the big tech firms. For example, at Accenture, the median H-1B salary of $96,366; at Tata, it’s $68,000; at Capgemini, it’s $89,918.

In light of that, many H-1B workers at enterprise software companies could take an annual salary far below the averages generated by the H-1B Salary Database, depending on whether they’re subcontractors. But some recent moves by the Trump administration may fundamentally impact how those subcontractors do business, which may affect how and when big tech firms choose to source H-1B workers.

The biggest impact comes from Trump’s June order temporarily banning H-1Bs. If and when that’s lifted, though, there are other policy moves that will have a huge impact on subcontractors. For instance, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced in July that it would adjust fees for visas, including the H-1B. With fees for H-1B renewals hitting $4,000, things could get expensive for subcontracting and business-services firms that source lots and lots of H-1B workers. 

Combine that with a skyrocketing rate of application and renewal denials over the past few years (again, with subcontractors and business-services firms taking the brunt of it), and it’s clear that the next few years could see a pretty significant shift in H-1B usage. The degree of those changes will hinge on the results of the Presidential election, of course, as well as the outcome of a few lawsuits currently working their way through the court system

46 Responses to “What H-1B Software Engineers Make at IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, More”

  1. Jake Leone

    And your article begs the question, why are we giving H-1b visas to companies that do nothing but under-cut the market? Companies such as Tata, Accenture, Capgemini, InfoSys… We don’t need to give away H-1b visas to companies like this that under-cut the market. They can instead start using the U.S. Free Labor market, you know Capitalism, not the government.

    If we did just that, then companies like Microsoft, Oracle and other direct hiring companies, would have more than enough H-1b visas each year. Yet, we hear all of them (Outsourcing companies and direct hiring companies) asking the government for an “unlimited” supply of H-1b visas.

    Small changes, such as the provision in Trump’s executive order to switch from an idiotic lottery system for choosing which companies **Win** an H-1b visa, to one where a salary ranking is used to determine which companies EARN an H-1b visa. Should remove the companies that are just trying to under-cut the labor market, from the H-1b system altogether. Since most of those companies (that under-cut the labor market) are doing nothing but duplicating positions or are in fact duplicating whole departments and moving them overseas, there will be no technological loss in getting them out of the H-1b Federal Government program.

    The jig is up, Big Tech has been asking for unlimited numbers of H-1b visas, because Big Tech wants the Outsourcing companies to under cut the market. If we can turn down the whining of the Tech Lobby, and instead concentrate on what is really happening in the H-1b program. We can prevent another record slow recovery under the next President. Obama gave us the slowest recovery in U.S. History, because he listened to the whining of Big Tech. Obama was easy going on the Offshore Outsourcing companies, and the result was the loss of million of jobs, indeed entire departments. At a time when Americans were losing their homes and jobs, under the Obama administration, India built a 100 billion dollar per year service export sector, and the United States was the #1 export destination for those services.

      • Jake Leone

        Big Tech has used its media power to convince people that H-1b workers create jobs which was a big lie. Because the reality is that most (more than half) of the H-1b visas go to Offshore Outsourcing companies that do nothing but remove entire departments to India.

        Big Tech contracts with these same Offshore Outsourcing companies. But so do many ordinary businesses (for example the TVA apparently). The result is that the H-1b visas winds up destroying millions of jobs.

        During the Great Recession, Obama didn’t challenge the Offshore Outsourcing companies on their usage of the H-1b visa. The result were millions of cases where Americans were forced to train their H-1b replacement. The recovery under the Obama administration was the slowest in U.S. History (slower than even the Great Depression).

        I think the lesson from history is clear, don’t waste/give H-1b visas to Offshore Outsourcing companies. Don’t give H-1b visas to companies that will use them to remove jobs from the United States. How do we police this?

        We can’t really police it.

        But we can make it economically unlikely by:

        – Limiting the numbers of H-1b visas (so there is always at least a slight shortage)
        – Award H-1b visas based upon a salary ranking.

        (Trump’s executive orders effectively do this, but Biden has said he will tear up those executive orders on Day-1 of his administration)

        The presumption here is that companies don’t hire trainees from abroad to learn business processes and then move them overseas, for high salaries. And companies do hire (high salary) people from abroad because of their actual high skill level. It isn’t always true, but it is, by far, more true than the current system which just uses random chance (which is gamed and mostly won by the Offshore Outsourcing companies).

        Now we have to be aware that companies can hire trainers locally, and then have those same trainers spend time in say India, to train people. That’s just plain old Capitalism, and I wouldn’t want to strictly restrict that. But countries free trade based upon trade agreements, so we can use this as bargaining chips in free trade negotiations. India heavily tariffs American goods by the way and they have huge restrictions on foreign workers (a foreign worker has to be paid 12x more than the average Indian, for example).

        A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for either the slowest (Obama) or second slowest recovery in U.S. history.

      • Jake Leone

        Other than a baseless insult, you are adding nothing to this conversation. You need to do some research on this issue. I suggest you start with Email exchange between Eric Schmidt and Steve Jobs in the infamous “No poaching” scandal. Where companies colluded, illegally, to prevent free market forces from allowing engineers to leave for better and/or higher paying positions.

    • Michael

      The E suite people are making 200 times the rest of the people in these companies, they can afford to pay their neighbors and fellow citizens more. In the next war, who’s children will be expected to fight.

  2. Perspective, I am a software developer for one of Oracle’s ERP products and I make 139,000 annual. So Oracle is paying less for their people writing the software than my company pays me to support it.

    • I make 155k base, 80k in RSU, and some annual bonus (recently joined so haven’t completed a year yet, but got 15k in joining bonus). I am 30 year old, have less than 4 years of experience.

      Mine and your comparison is meaningless as we are just one out of the thousands.

  3. There is corruption involved. What company pays contracting company does not really take into account overhead and it has been known for sometime that Middle Managers are compensated. Also in big companies hiring managers also get paid by individuals they hire through clever methods without a trace of any wrong doing.

  4. The rich embrace capitalism and it is the American way so why isn’t the free market determining salaries for IT professionals? It should be a simple matter of supply and demand but H1B breaks that. H1B helps companies of all sizes, not just the ones that employ H1B because the salaries are held artificially lower. The tax revenue is also lower because the salaries are lower. Federal and state government has every interest to remove H1B yet it persists.

    • Jake Leone

      Big Tech controls the media and the career politicians (Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama), that’s why.

      It takes some research and some thinking to realize the truth about the H-1b program and how it is actually used. If you don’t do the research yourself you will never know about it, because they big bucks are going to the industry sponsored lie that H-1b creates jobs.

      People like us, who read these boards or who have experienced the H-1b program. Or who have actually viewed the Youtube videos, done by an H-1b engineer, exposing this awful truth about the H-1b program, we know. It is up to us to tell our friends, families, and other voters about it. And the difference between Joe Biden and Donald Trump on this issue.

      This issue is about how slow we want the recovery to be. Joe Biden has said he will tear up all of Trump’s executive orders on the H-1b program, the same orders that are making it difficult for the Offshore Outsourcing companies to obtain H-1b visas. Those same Offshore Outsourcing companies removed millions of jobs during the Obama administration, and helped give us the slowest recovery in U.S. history, under the Obama administration.

      As you can see, it takes a few paragraphs to enlighten people. Politicians use that darkness afforded by the complexity of this issue, to trade increases in the H-1b visas to industry, for campain support in the form of PAC money, fund raisers, and money and favors from the business lobby.

      • Dan Hatchett

        Agree 100% the problem is there is such a small % of us that actually see what’s happening makes it difficult for us to get others to understand, I have had multiple conversations with my wife, mom, etc and it still has not completely sunk in until I became unemployed while multiple H1-B much less qualified are still there. It is an uphill battle but one I am willing to fight. If not where are our grandchildren going to be, one of mine is determined to be in robotics or NASA Obama gutted NASA this is fact and a small example not really H1-B related but a good one for an example of the progressive agenda to have the US making shirts and shoes for the 3rd world rather than solidifying the US as the world power. Don’t think it can happen better wake up because if not it will be at your children, grandchildren and so on detriment, if you don’t care about yourself at least think about them.

  5. Dan Hatchett

    Not much for me to say, except I agree with all of these, these Companies need to prove they need H1-B by requiring them at least 150% more than the workers already here, whether it is Green Card or US citizen. These companies know what they are doing and we know 30 to 40 million people unemployed many of which are qualified for these high tech positions, while many US citizens are unemployed the H1-B continue to be employed, how do I know if they were not employed they would have to leave, you don’t hear any grip about H1-B recipients being sent home do to unemployment, all you hear is gripping about Trumps plan and companies insisting they need more H1-B. Corporate America needs to be exposed for this abuse and 4000 dollars or a 400 dollar application fee is not going to do it, its pocket change and means nothing when you consider the amount of pay cut they can implement not mention the indentured servent they are getting, H1-B can’t just move around as they want to they require sponsorship so guess what even though it is pretty good pay it is the same as having an indentured servent…. Let that sink in people.

  6. Trump for the nation, a bold, fearless, responsible leader seen in recent times. He is only one can save Citizens from : stopping to lift country limit to flood h1/green cards (which Biden and team was desperate which makes Citizens to out of jobs forever) approval, defund Police which makes criminal gangs to take over everything (not sure how leaders or officials get an idea to defund police as this is not ISIS area). Corona virus spread is nothing to do with Trump as people are unable to stay indoors, not wearing mask or following basic rules. It can be same when anybody ruling the country and also we see it took over the world, not just US.
    Igniting planned racism or blaming for Corona virus are the last resources to disrupt and defame Trump and his administration.

    • Gianni Bravo

      Get rid of the H1b. Period. The market will adjust much better naturally. There are plenty of other supply channels to fill the demand for “skilled” labor. Most of the H1b workers in the software (ERP) I had experience working with were learning on the job.

      • Johnny Quest

        “Learning on the job” – I second this. Seen it so many times. They appear to know nothing in meetings. Then run off to call someone every 5 minutes to understand what is going on.

        And, a lot of these guys are young. When I would apply for the same position the company would ask for 5 – 10 years experience. These guys were probably in middle school 10 years ago.

    • Joeblow

      Your statement has a lot of B.S. in it. It’s evident that trump has done nothing for U.S. citizens, or it’s economy. Not only he had put our lives in danger he has put our livelihood at risk as well. You are blind or a narcissist of you can’t see it.

  7. Mike Jay

    IBM is the cheapest company in the world. Salaries in the 60s were lots better than they are now. $130k/yr is good money but very few at BIG BLUE will make that. Management will belittle employees and their rating hardly ever represents their actual worth.

  8. my opinion

    We Are in a Battle for the Soul of This Nation · Joe Biden
    Joe Biden vows to lift Trump’s H-1B visa ban if elected

    Confused ‘This Nation’ means which nation was referred hereto?

    The bill HR1044 — introduced by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Lee, and known as the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act — is an attempt to address those backlogs, raising the cap for any country to 15 percent for family-based green cards and doing away with it entirely for employment-based green cards

    “S. 386 would not alter the growth of future backlogs compared to current law.”
    “Removing the 7% per-country ceiling would initially reduce wait times considerably for Indian and Chinese nationals in the years following enactment of S. 386, but it would do so at the expense of nationals from all other countries, as well as of the enterprises in which the latter are employed.”

    Another S.386 unanimous consent (UC) agreement was attempted by Sen. Durbin (D-IL), with his amendment to the bill. Sen. Lee (R-UT) objected and asked for UC consideration with his amendments. Sen. Durbin did not object. Sen. Scott (R-FL) asked Sen. Lee to modify his UC by adopting Sen. Scott’s own amendment. Sen. Lee objected to this request. Sen. Scott then objected to Sen. Lee’s original UC, blocking the bill.

    The biggest lie at present times by leaders or media is calling Trump is lying.
    The bills or statements shows who is lying and who is working for the interests of US CITIZENS.

  9. Another week, another article on Dice from Nick Kolakowski making a sad case for the anti US tech worker H-1B disaster. We can see whose pays the bills for Nick and Dice……………….

  10. Cameron

    Trump pays lip service to the H1B issue, but there hasn’t been any real change. Nor will there be if Biden is elected. The bottom line politically is both are motivated to keep it, as it is.

    Most people know the system has been abused. At first as a means of cheap labor and now as a source of serfdom. Often times the pay difference in my local is where the H1B makes more, works hard, but produces lower quality work.

  11. Alex Louie

    The numbers have been “altered” to protect the companies. That is what they are paying _for_ the H1-B, not what the H1-B is receiving. That number includes payroll taxes etc.

    I’ve heard employers say that they prefer H1-B’s “because they’re so much cheaper”.

  12. As anyone who follows the H-1B saga knows, many tech firms subcontract H-1B workers of all specializations. Those business-services and subcontracting firms, in turn, pay their H-1B workers a lower median salary than you find at the big tech firms.

    The companies are willing and able to pay six figure salaries. So, hire U.S. Tech workers. Then there is no need for H1-B workers or the handler companies that really don’t add value, but do depress actual salaries.

    • Joeblow

      The reality is that managers in tech companies they have ties to India are more likely to subcontract (H1B visas) to their countrymen than any other nationality. Reason being is that these young Indians are willing to work for less. Infrastructure is already there for them. It the reality. My intention is to inform not degrade.

  13. BigTechManager

    I am a hiring manager at a big tech firm. When we hire, first we open position only for US Perm. resident and Citizens. For some positions, months go by and we don’t get any qualified applicants. Then only we open it for H-1B. Our HR makes sure that pay for H-1B is similar to other hires. All companies I know have salary bands for engineers at each level and H-1B gets paid the same as others. Of course, there is some market variation in salaries. That is true even for all US citizens hired in a company. This is not an organized work force where salaries are strictly based on number of years you are with a company.

    If you stop H-1B program, nothing is stopping companies to go overseas. Look at former eastern block countries and you will find tons of qualified programmers who will work for lot less than Salaries in US. Competition is global not H-1Bs.

    Multi national corps. look at their bottom line first. They care less where the work force is. So wake up and up skill and be ready to compete. H-1Bs consist of less than 5% of overall workforce, so stop the whining and wake up to the world.

    • I’m a qualified US citizen and never even get a call back from Amazon, Microsoft etc. It’s probably because I’m 40 applying for lower level jobs because I switched industries which is plainly evident by my graduation dates and military service. Big tech companies want young men they can churn and burn through.

    • jake leone

      You know the problem is that more than half of the H-1b visas go to Offshore Outsourcing firms. The Outsourcing firms will have a U.S. workforce that is more than 50% from one country. The Outsourcing firms merely duplicate jobs and send the entire department overseas. They can find plenty of people in the local U.S. market to help them document and train people overseas, why should we be wasting H-1b visas on them?

      Well the answer is because many of our politicians are career politicians, and they need campaign support from business pacs. that’s why. Joe Biden does and says what ever the business lobby tells him to on the H-1b visa. That has been true for decades.

      If the Outsourcing firms were kicked out of the H-1b program. We would not run out of H-1b visas most years.

      Many programming jobs do not require a Master’s degree in Computer science. Look I didn’t even graduate high school and yet here I am, a software developer for the last 30 years.

      There is strong data that shows we only have about 125,000 new stem positions each year. And we graduate a 100,000 U.S. citizens with STEM degrees. Yet, half of those graduates never find a job. And I can only say, it is likely because we flood the market with people here on an H-1b visa. But also, by flooding the market, we remove another career path (that used to be common) that of taking computer programming classes and starting a computer software development career.

      That’s the path that unemployed people need to have open to them. It was open to me, I changed from machining to computer software development.

      Many companies do have very specialized needs. And you have to realize that you must attract the candidates, because such candidates are often already in good jobs. Hey, you probably will have to start paying the really specialized and experienced people something above 200k. I tell you right now, my company is at the top of quadrant in our area. And we have some brilliant people. But I sincerely believe you could attract most of them away, if your company is stable, for 200k/year.

      We have to face the fact that no one would trade a stable position at a company for a small incremental increase in salary. You need to make a big jump, 20-30%, especially if your company has a bad reputation (either past layoffs or an undesirable workplace).

      Many tech companies are earning massive profits, Google 135k/employee, Apple 400k/employee, and Facebook 635k/employee. The reality is they can afford to pay more. But many resist it every way they can. For example Google tried to enlist Facebook in the no-poaching collusion, but Facebook (Sheryl Sandberg) refused.

      But really, if we want to solve the problem of being a direct hiring company, and unable to get an H-1b visa, on-tap. Let’s get the Offshore Outsourcing companies, the contract jobs, the staffers/head hunters out of the H-1b program first.

      Trump’s executive order, on the H-1b visa, contains a provision that will give out H-1b visas based upon salary ranking. That’s far better than the current system, which is an idiotic lottery (that is gamed and mostly won by the Offshore Outsourcing companies). That would solve your problem. The Offshore Outsourcing firms need to undercut the market, and that would be more difficult if they have to pay more for workers.

      Lobby for that every change you get. Hey get Joe Biden to keep that part of Trump’s executive order (Biden has said he will throw the whole thing out and go back the old system).

      That old system, of randomly choosing who gets and H-1b visa, is insane. It has allowed India to build a 100 billion dollar per year service export industry, that serves only the United States. That all at a time of America’s worst recession. Obama was a friend of the Offshore Outsourcing companies. Joe Biden is also a great friend of India and the Offshore Outsourcing companies.

      In India, they call the H-1b visa, the Offshore Outsourcing visa.

    • I agree with you 100%. I feel like majority of the people who commented here only heard about H1-Bs and issues related to that topic but did not actually have to deal with finding skilled applicants. As a hiring IT manager, I do not know whether my applicant is an H1-B holder or not. I hire based on skills and if the person best skilled for the job is an H1-B applicant, so be it. They are not taking jobs from anyone. They are filling in the skill gap that otherwise will not be filled. Haters will be haters, unfortunately.

      • Jake Leone

        Julia,

        Tell me, what do you think about the Email exchange between Eric Schmidt and Steve Jobs in the infamous “No Poaching” scandal. In that exchange (made public by a judge in the Federal lawsuit), Eric Schmidt coldly fires a female recruiter for successfully recruiting an Apple engineer, at the request of Steve Jobs.

        This Email exchange and the secret no-poaching agreement tells us that the real motivation, indeed the number one requirement, is that a worker somehow/someway be unable to leave their job. Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt were willing to risk jail time for violating the Sherman Antitrust act. The companies involved all settled out of court, as quickly as they could.

        Companies are afraid of the fact that if they hire people who can leave the job, then they will be forced to raise salaries. H-1b workers fix this for Tech employers, because it isn’t easy to move around and it is impossible to move if you are waiting for a Green Card.

        It isn’t about hate or not wanting actually skilled workers, from where-ever. Actually, I want all the H-1b visas, to go to the highest paid position in consideration for receiving the most highly skilled worker you can get. And we don’t have that in the current H-1b system. Currently, more than half of the H-1b visas are given to freshers, working for companies that simply duplicate existing processes (zero innovation), and pay the lowest wages of all the H-1b using employers. That has to change, it is changing at least under Trump. It stagnated under Obama.

        For me this is about enabling the free market to resolve any shortage. And the fact that companies actually colluded to prevent free market forces from achieving that equilibrium.

        And the Free Market, ends at the border, because border crossings are all controlled by Tariff and Treaty, that’s just a fact. So you can’t include an “Open Border” ideology in this situation. It is simply is a fantasy and there no actual frame of reference when you use such an argument. It is sucker talk to unilaterally go open border. It is exactly how people sell others junk and hide behind fantasy to create a monopoly. We need to be smarter than that, for the sake of U.S. economy.

        We know that most of the H-1b visas, because the Federal data is published, are taken up by Offshore Outsourcing companies. You can’t say H-1b workers don’t take away jobs, because LITERALLY most of the H-1b visas are taken up by companies that do nothing but relocate entire departments to India. You can’t say that H-1b workers don’t directly replace American workers. Because we have ten of thousands of documented cases (and many more that are not documented because of severance agreements) where an American was forced to train their H-1b replacement, and then the American worker was fired.

        So the reality is, you should be for the part of Trump’s executive order that changes from an idiotic lottery for the H-1b visas, to awarding H-1b visas based upon a salary ranking. That lottery is gamed and mostly won by Offshore Outsourcing companies. If Offshore Outsourcing companies were simply forced into the Free Labor market in the United States, there would be no loss of innovation. Because Offshore Outsourcing companies just duplicate jobs and send them to India.

        This isn’t about hate. This is actually about companies hating Americans because we have the 13th amendment right to leave a job at any time. That 13th Amendment made modern Capitalism, by putting a value to every hour that a worker spends on the job. When the government gives industry (as the government did under slavery) a worker who cannot leave their job, the government obviates the 13th amendment necessity to make the most of every hour a person is on the job.

        And that kind of human trafficking is nothing but a 19th century feudalistic model that actually held back progress.

        No, we are not the haters here. We are the makers. And we understand the actual dynamic at play here.

      • jake leone

        Julia,

        The next Dice article proves that the H-1b visa is used to under cut wages by 30%.

        The article clearly states that TCS pays its H-1b workers 68k/yr. Those same jobs pay an average of 94k/yr on the U.S. Free market. That’s a 30% discount for using the H-1b visa.

        TCS saves 26k/yr by using the H-1b visa and that’s a huge motivation to shut Americans out of the job market.

        Again, these 2 statistics come from the very next Dice article on the H-1b visa. Google “H-1b dice” and sort by date.

      • A manager I worked with recently announced in a meeting that he (from India) is only hiring H1b visa holders. I wasn’t in the meeting but subsequent events show he’s keeping his word. I have a feeling you as a hiring manager can tell just by looking at the resume.

  14. Larry Tessari

    I think H1-B visas should be restricted whenever the unemployment rate for IT professionals in EACH PARTICULAR FIELD, not the whole group, exceeds 3%. Grouping all IT professionals together is like saying there should be more doctors if there is a shortage of cardiologists. Also, too many “technicians” (non-degreed) are doing work that should be done by degreed engineers.

  15. Kevin Canfield

    I don’t see how this change to the H1-B system is going to do any good in the long run, other than make a hopeful political gain. Even if it were permanent.

    Labor can be, what, about 60 to 70 percent of business cost? When faced with either the high employment costs of US based IT workers or just offshoring the whole lot of em, a publicly traded company, who’s only only real legal obligation is to the share holders, will likely choose the later. As well, despite the adjustments made at the Treasury under the Obama administration in order to disincentivize Inversions (which seemingly worked) and despite the lowering of the corporate tax rates and attempts at public shaming of companies that hire outside the country by the Trump administration (not so much), I suspect that if it comes down to it, we will end up seeing Inversion rates and simple offshoring coming up again.

  16. Jake Leone

    In the next Dice article on the H-1b visa. TCS is listed as paying an average of 68k/yr when the industry average for these same positions if 94k$/yr. Again, both figures come from the next Dice article on the H-1b visa.

    It appear, that TCS uses the H-1b visa to get a 30% discount on salary. TCS saves 26k year.

    So any rise in fees, or even overpriced lawyer costs, are more than made up for in that first year on the job.

    Employers do use the H-1b visa to under cut the United States free labor market. And the Dice article proves that.