The biggest tech companies pay their H-1B workers quite a bit—but how much? As you might expect, the amount varies wildly from company to company, with Google, Facebook, and Apple leading the pack.
For this particular collection of H-1B data, we’re relying on the H-1B Salary Database, which indexes the Labor Condition Application (LCA) disclosure data from the United States Department of Labor (DOL). As you can see, the top-earning H-1B worker at some of these companies makes over a million dollars per year in base salary—and at Facebook and Twitter, it’s closer to two million:
Of course, these salaries are outliers, and hint that the H-1B workers in question possess some very highly specialized skill. The H-1B Salary Database can also give us a breakdown of median H-1B salaries at tech’s biggest companies; as you can see, they’re still quite high (i.e., in the six-figure range) but still reasonable:
(Yes, that Netflix salary is insane, but all Netflix salaries are insane; the streaming giant believes in paying a premium price for talent.)
However, that doesn’t give us much insight into how much subcontracted H-1B workers make at those companies. As we’ve pointed out before, many of these large tech firms subcontract a substantial number of H-1B workers from contractors and business-services firms. The latter, in turn, pay their H-1B workers a substantially lower median salary; at Tata, for example, the median salary is $67,766; at Accenture, it’s $94,400.
Several policy moves during the Trump administration forced a spike in the H-1B application denial rate for subcontractors, and a proposed change that prioritizes visas based on higher wages could fundamentally undermine those companies’ business model. Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 features language (in the respective Senate and House bills) that could enact a version of that higher-wage proposal; however, it remains to be seen whether it survives the legislative process.
According to the latest Dice Salary Report, the average technologist made $97,859 in 2020 (an increase of 3.6 percent from 2019). The right skills and experience will boost that number considerably—especially at the biggest tech companies, where a generous base salary is often supplemented by stock options, bonuses, and other benefits.