What the Gig Economy Pays H-1B Technologists: Uber, Airbnb, and More

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, gig-economy firms such as Uber have struggled at moments to find their footing. With customers trapped inside and curtailing their spending, tech firms specializing in everything from food delivery to ridesharing have figured out how to adjust—and to stop bleeding revenue, in many cases.

In other words, it’s a key time for innovative technologists at these companies to step up and help figure out the route forward. Back in March, we examined how much a select group of gig-economy companies paid their technologists (answer: quite a bit, in many cases). Now let’s break out what Uber, Lyft, and other firms pay their workers on the H-1B visa.

To figure this out, 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). Here’s what it gave back as the median H-1B salary at the following prominent gig-economy firms; as you can see, the pay is comfortably above the average U.S. technologist salary of $94,000:

As usual for our H-1B breakdowns, there are some big caveats here. First, many tech firms rely on business-services and contracting firms to supply H-1B subcontractors, who can be paid at a lower rate than a full-time employee. For instance, at Accenture, the median H-1B salary is $96,366, while at Tata, it’s $68,000; at Capgemini, it’s $89,918. That’s far less than the numbers you’re seeing for the directly-sourced H-1B workers in the visualization above.

All that being said, H-1B workers at gig-economy firms don’t make appreciably less than those at some of tech’s biggest firms. Here’s another breakdown from the H-1B Salary Database, this one of Google and similar firms (it’s also specific to software developers):

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the U.S. government is radically adjusting the H-1B program (along with other immigration policies). In June, President Trump issued an order temporarily banning H-1Bs. The following month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would adjust fees for the H-1B and other visas. When viewed against a backdrop of skyrocketing application and renewal denials, it’s clear that the H-1B could change radically over the next few years (depending on who wins the election, of course). 

16 Responses to “What the Gig Economy Pays H-1B Technologists: Uber, Airbnb, and More”

  1. Any salary will look huge when compared to unemployed for long time or those not going to get job forever as some great leaders vows to lift bans and remove country limit to flood US with lot’s of visas and new green cards.

  2. Every week the same lame article about h1b.
    Why do you still care about H1B ??… You will have an INDIAN VP next year, do you think it will be shutdown??… just get used to it.

    • Because H1B Visas have been a huge problem since Bush screwed us and 99% of the jobs went to India. These Visas need to end, and those salaries are much higher than normal. So, they can hire US workers for that amount and skip the H1Bs.

      And one more thing. We will not have an (1/2) Indian VP. But, interesting dilemma if it did happen.

  3. Robenson Theodore

    The Ride sharing company must comply with the new law order for their workers, by treating their workers as employees not self contractors, they should pay them benefits, sick pay and vacation pay. I am 100% support the workers not the ridesharing companies, they are taking advantage of people. This thing must stop now. Can’t comply shut down.

  4. Why do we care what the top Tech companies pay their H1’s? I want to know what the bottom feeders pay their H1’s and how many do they have employed. Let’s be clear, Tech companies are using this system to drive down wages for Americans and in many cases they won’t even consider an American for a position.

    If this article is so true then why aren’t those top Tech companies lobbying for a minimum wage of say 120,000 for H1’s? If they did that only the cream of the crop would come over and they’d have their pick of talent. Something smells with this article.

      • Jake smith

        Lol, I’m an immigrant myself, that’s why I get angry when my stupid coworker signed in the same company as myself charging half of what I charge and has to live in a shitty studio in a crappy side of town when I can comfortably afford a two bedroom luxury appartment in the same city, I’m not blaming the immigrants (completely), I’m blaming the shitty companies who take advantage of them. I’m actually considering just opening my own shop and do the same thing

  5. Screw big tech! Also, like the company I worked for (HCL and Quantum) they’re Indian companies that hire American workers in the US for ITSD and other tech Jobs and pay shit wages… $12 an hour for ITSD, where you have to deal with someone 20 years younger riding your a$$ every time the clock hits 15 minutes, “you need to hurry up” they set a goal of 30 calls in an 8 hour shift, bwajahaha!!!

  6. I love the salaries – most if not all in the most expensive area of the entire country. Those salaries are peanuts in those locations. Most American pros working in those locales get way more (when they are actually employed and their job hasn’t gone to some outsider who they can get for far less).