These Tech Firms Offer the Highest Average H-1B Salaries

What’s the average H-1B salary at some of the biggest tech companies? In this instance, we don’t want to just focus on pay for software developers and engineers, which we’ve covered in past articles; we want to dig into how much these firms pay all their H-1B staff, from executives to technologists and other roles.

As with previous H-1B salary analyses, 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). We selected the top 15 tech companies, by H-1B salary; the average pay for those with the visa at these firms is far higher than the average U.S. technologist salary of $94,000:

Some interesting data here: It seems logical that Netflix would pay its H-1B workers the most out of all these companies, as the streaming giant has a reputation for paying immense salaries to its employees and contractors (in exchange for brilliant performance—if you can’t hack it, you’re out). Also, frothier startups such as Airbnb, Lyft, Spotify, Doordash, and GM Cruise (the automaker’s self-driving startup/spinoff) tend to pay more on average than older, larger firms such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft. 

Facebook and Twitter also tend to pay their H-1B workers well, although Facebook has filed for far more visas than its birdy rival. Both companies are currently operating at something of an inflection point, allowing the majority of their employees to work remotely rather than come into an office. How that impacts those companies’ talent sourcing and compensation remains to be seen, but things could look very different in a few years. 

A couple of other things to note: Although these tech companies pay their H-1B workers a hefty salary, technology doesn’t dominate the category of absolute highest individual H-1B salaries overall. Healthcare and medical companies tend to pay the most, but they’re also more likely to source a limited number of H-1B workers, who are no doubt highly specialized in their particular subfield of medicine. Contrast that with some of the largest tech companies, such as Microsoft, which file for tens of thousands of H-1B visas (and that’s before you consider the role of subcontractors who technically work for other firms).

Also, as we’ve pointed out repeatedly in the past, these kinds of analyses only highlight what tech companies pay the H-1B workers they source directly. Business-services and contracting firms may pay their H-1B subcontractors much less than what they’d make at a big tech firm such as Google or Microsoft (for example, at Accenture, the median H-1B salary is $96,366, while at Tata, it’s $68,000). So any breakdown of H-1B salaries at a tech company isn’t likely a full accounting of what every H-1B worker on every team is actually getting paid. 

By this time next year, all of this salary data could undergo radical change. In addition to an executive order temporarily banning H-1Bs, the U.S. government has taken steps to curtail the use of the H-1B, including a substantial adjustment to fees, as well as a rising rate of application and renewal denials. That may persuade at least some of these companies to source more talent domestically, which could have a ripple effect on compensation.  

15 Responses to “These Tech Firms Offer the Highest Average H-1B Salaries”

  1. The average is misleading. You need to look at the MEDIAN income. I have seen on numerous occasions were a single outlier salary distorts the reality. Brett Rudy gives us a some good examples:

    Median and average salaries are both measures of central tendency or the “middle of the market” regarding compensation.
    Many organizations target employee pay at either the average or median rate to ensure employees receive competitive compensation while the business is still managing overall costs. However, knowing why average and median salaries differ is also important, as it may drive different compensation decisions in your organization.
    How is Average Salary calculated?
    You can calculate the average base, mean salary, or average salary by adding all the salaries for a select group of employees and then dividing the sum by the number of employees in the group.
    Average Salary Example:
    Employee 1 earns $40,000, Employee 2 earns $50,000, Employee 3 earns $100,000. The total of $190,000 is divided by 3, providing an average salary of $63,333.
    The average salary represents what the “typical employee” earns and can be pulled higher or lower by high salaries or low salaries at the extreme ends of the distribution.
    How is Median Salary calculated?
    You can calculate the median base salary by arranging the salaries for a group of employees in descending order and then locating the salary that represents the midpoint of the distribution. Fifty percent of the salaries are less than the median and fifty percent of the salaries are greater than the median.
    Median Salary Example:
    Employee 1 earns $40,000, Employee 2 earns $50,000, Employee 3 earns $100,000. The salary in the middle, or the median salary is $50,000.
    As the median salary represents a specific point in the distribution, it cannot be pulled higher or lower by salaries at the extreme ends of the distribution. It is therefore considered a more neutral measure of central tendency, especially in a small group of salaries where one extreme value can disproportionately affect the calculation of an average.
    Winning the Wage War: Average Salary vs. Median Salary
    Average and median salary are both helpful calculations, but which is more important?
    Compensation practitioners generally prefer to benchmark against the median salary, as it is considered more neutral than the average.
    However, knowing if the average is above or below the median, and by how much, can help HR pros understand the overall shape of the salary distribution. For instance, an average salary that is much higher than the median salary indicates that there are probably a few employees earning significantly more than the overall group.
    In the end, it is the relationship between the two numbers that is most instructive.

  2. Stephen Pushor

    The average is not a good measure, for a very few higher salaries will skew the mean in the average total.

    The median number is the number to look at, The average can be of some importance if the statistician throws out the skewed data both the really low and the really high to produce an average that is average.

  3. 2 things:

    1) Average is just such a bad statistical measure to be making any conclusions with. You have to look at the MEDIAN salaries.

    2) Assuming H-1Bs are being paid the fair market wages (they aren’t), you fail to mention that H-1Bs are BOUNDED to their employer due to their visa. They are basically indentured workers. So while these companies may pay their H-1Bs “well”, the reason they love H-1B workers is because they can’t leave or run away to another company. Plenty of Americans out there who are better hackers than H-1Bs.

  4. If H1’s are paid so much then why not declare a minimum salary of say $120k? This would prevent companies like Tata from exploiting the system.

    Obviously there’s a reason why there’s no minimum, it’s because the system is rigged to drive down IT salaries and provide cheap labor for large corporations.

  5. Healthcare domain, Property &Casualty H1B holder’s in Hartford,Connecticut make 4 times more than US citizens. They come to the US and live like Kings renting or buying their homes in The most expensive towns. And they are not “savvy/experts” as they claim, they use US citizens as “assistance support “ to do the work!

  6. Great salaries. where did they posted ads for these jobs and how many resumes they received?Hopefully they did not displace US Citizens or did not find any US Citizens for these jobs as they supposed to give that statement to USCIS for filing visas I believe.

    • How would William Poole approach this? Well, our country has a long tradition of labor exploit. Face it, its true. Money always uses the political machine. We start with Indentured Servitude along side Slavery. As we “abolish” Slavery our plantation corporations look to poor immigrants. We can always thank IBM lobbying to create the STEM program which of course plugged the H1B program on steroids. Remember, Congress has the right to regulate commerce. Use that. But don’t forget what folks like William Poole did and many of our grandparents who were part of the formations of Labor and Farm Unions. America is a place of Self Determination. Let your HR Teams, Boards of Directors and including the majority shareholders that without you and your say, there isn’t going to be a profit anytime soon. Remember, you the “Employee” are the True Stakeholder and start acting like one.

  7. “No special treatment”? Ha! Americans can’t get the interviews, much less the job or keep the job with this infestation of H1Bs hiring only fellow East Indians in the tech workplace. HIBs, instead of yawning (btw, Nick, you’re awesome), piss off and go home whatever your real name is, where it’s so “great” that you willingly ho yourself out to these pimp mega recruiting firms who have sold out Americans…in America – let’s keep calling this out.

    • Kolakowski isn’t publishing these articles to “call out” the reprehensible H1B invasion, you played jackass.

      HE’s ON THE SIDE OF THE H1Bs.

      How obtuse do you have to be to not see this?!

      To be more clear, he’s on the side of himself. He gets paid by DICE, and other publications, to research, write, and publish whatever they want him to publish. In this case, he is DICE’s go to H1B reporter.

      He sees NO problem with helping sell out fellow Americans with hadji H1B propaganda.

      Worse, DICE is all about money.
      DICE makes money from job postings.
      Job postings come from companies who WANT to screw over US STEM and hire hadjis.
      DICE needs Kolakowski to keep writing articles CHEERLEADING about the hadji invasion so companies will keep buying posting space and listing jobs on DICE.

      Money, money, money. Follow the money.

      Kolakowski and DICE are all about themselves and money. US STEM be damned.

      Both Kolakowski and DICE are American sellouts.

      You cannot take a shower long enough or hot enough to wash that off.

      I highly encourange Kolakowski, himself, to weigh in, right here, personally, and refute this, not that I would believe him.

      Do it anyways.

      I’ve been in IT over ~36+ years. I’ve seen the H1B program FROM THE BEGINNING.
      We didn’t need it then.
      We don’t need it now.
      It is a political tool … and ONLY a political tool.
      That’s all it has ever been.
      It’s got NOTHING to do with augmenting US STEM with overseas “best and brightest”.
      Every H1B hadji f*ck now wants, nay, DEMANDS, citizenship.
      That was NEVER, TO THIS DAY, the purpose of the program.
      Augmentation for three years and GO HOME was, and still is, the original Charter.
      Indians are some of the most criminally corrupt walking this planet.
      Many H1Bs are illegal.
      They game the system six ways from Sunday.
      I have spent a career watching all of this firsthand.

      Kolakowski doesn’t have anywheres near the years I have in.
      He wasn’t there at the beginning of the H1B and he cannot really understand the criminality it has morphed in to.

      I want to know why Kolakowski, an American, loves to write articles about the criminally corrupt H1B hadji-job-stealing system that has devastated so many US STEM.

      Why has he never written about how this criminally corrupt H1B program and system and hadji invasion has DEVASTASTED so many US STEM. And we’re not just talking IT. Medicine (I know a SHITLOAD of Doctors and Nurses, my own Sister is a ~25 year Nurse), accounting (my ex business partner was a numbers guy), even construction (project management, these hadjis do NOT like to do REAL work like heavy lifting, etc, which is why they target “project manager” jobs in construction)(my Brother is closing in on ~40+ years in construction and Superintendent-ing), et al, etc.

      Kolakowski is NOT “awsome” … not by a long shot.

      Kolakowski is a sellout to his own wallet.

      DICE and Kolakowski are, basically, treasonous traitors to the US, US STEM, and The American People.

      Kolakowski: stop hiding behind your greed laughing at American STEM after you use these types of articles and information to stick the knife in and twist it profusely, watching US STEM victims financially bleed to death.

      Kolakowski, I wanna hear from you … I wanna know WHY you’re such a sellout.

      I’m daring you to print your retort right here, right now.

  8. Average or median? Definitely not Americans writing this nonsense. Or if American, don’t worry, your turn will eventually come up for H1B replacement since you didn’t speak up for yourself or your American colleagues when you had the chance. Also, as we can see, H1Bs are no bargain and are not “paid less” compared to Americans – at one place where I worked, inept or similarly skilled (rare) HIBs would simply declare 80 hours a week across the board or other such tactics. Let’s end instead of repeating this old urban myth that HIBs are “paid less”. HIBs and their East Indian or American-named recruiting firm are making bank! At your expense.