Highest-Paying H-1B Jobs at Facebook, Google, and Other Big Tech

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.

11 Responses to “Highest-Paying H-1B Jobs at Facebook, Google, and Other Big Tech”

  1. Jake Leone

    Biden rescinded 2 key Trump Executive Orders. One to change to a statistically higher base level of pay. The other to switch from an idiotic lottery to an H-1b allocation based upon salary.

    From the numbers that you show, Big Tech should actually be helped by these 2 changes. Big Tech will win more direct hires. So why the opposition?

    The only possible reason could be that many Big Tech companies have big contracts with Offshore Outsourcing companies, for their ordinary work in accounting, support, and HR.

    And that Big Tech companies actually are not desparate for STEM/IT workers. By Facebook’s own admission, in the DOJ indictment, Facebook is finding 30x more STEM/IT workers than it can actually hire.

    These two changes by Trump actually would have helped lower level (more the modern equivalent of blue collar) workers in this country. Offshore Outsourcing companies, as you have stated Nick, pay 30-50% less than the median wages in the tech industry. The Offshore Outsourcing companies remove jobs that are heavily scripted, such as accounting, support, HR.

    And the Offshore Outsourcing companies don’t sponsor anyone for a Green Card or citizenship.

    It is purely out of emotional spite that these 2 executive orders were rescinded by Biden. And it is going to take a whole lot of money for Biden to be relieved of the pain & jealousy of that spite, and actually do some thinking. It isn’t always wrong, just because Trump did it. In the case of these 2 executive orders, keeping them would actually help the Democrats immensely. But go ahead, blow it, like Hillary did, and while your are at it go attend an Offshore Outsourcing convention in India, get video taped praising the Offshore Outsourcing companies, and rake in the campaign money.

    Big Tech isn’t being frank about the reasons why they oppose these 2 rule changes. Currently Offshore Outsourcing companies get about half the H-1b visas. And as a result of this, a Silicon Valley company has only a 1-in-4 chance of **Winning** an H-1b visa.

  2. Jake_Leone

    The killer application of the H-1b visa is Offshore Outsourcing.

    And by killer, you can add job-killing.

    Half the H-1b visa go to Offshore Outsourcing companies. Silicon Valley barely uses 1/3 of the generally available H-1b visas.

    There is only a 1 in 4 chance that an H-1b visa will be approved, because the old rules allow low paying (see this article above) Offshore Outsourcing companies to game the H-1b program (because we use an idiotic random chance lottery).

    Lawyers working for Big-Tech are using Big-Tech’s money to foster lawsuits, that actually hurt the Big-Tech companies ability to acquire H-1b visas. Lawyers like the random chance lottery, because it brings in more customers and applications, if instead we used salary as factor, many customers would simply drop-out because they know they can’t compete on salary.

    But that would hurt the business of the immigration lawyers. These immigration lawyers are not working is a fiduciary manor and are in fact serving only their firms best interests by taking money from Big Tech and using it to fund lawsuits that actually hurt big tech and run counter to their clients interests.

    • Apparently, you are the one who cares about this issue because Nick writes the same nonsense every week and you comment the same nonsense every week yet nothing changes. On a bright note, based on those charts, Netflix sure looks like the place to work.

      • Jake_Leone

        I have worked in this industry for 30+ years now and I have seen instances where hiring and promotion are not a meritocracy. The DOJ indictment of Facebook exposes, to the light of day, that ulterior motives rule the employment based immigration programs.

        I think we need to just be honest and clear. Offshore Outsourcing companies take more than half of the H-1b visas. Those Offshore Outsourcing companies can copy and remove well scripted jobs, like those in accounting, HR, support… But they have a much harder time removing development jobs which require custom design. Those kinds of jobs are not as plentiful as accounting, support, HR…

        I work a custom design job. And so when I raise the issue that we need to distribute H-1b visas based upon salary (not an idiotic lottery). When I say raising the salary bar to something reasonable (not the 17th percentile). And we should extend the OPT tax break to all students. If these were actually implemented, it would hurt my employment opportunities. Those changes will not help me out, economically.

        I wish Joe Biden would not use the H-1b as a campaign contribution issue. The big money donors have a huge amount of self-interest in this issue.

        Immigration lawyers like the lottery, because a salary based allocation will allow potential customers to realize it isn’t worth, because they will know their salaries are too low.

        Big Tech has huge contracts with Offshore Outsourcing companies for support, HR, accounting… They don’t want any price pressure coming from their foreign vendors, because they have to suddenly start hiring Americans.

        Big Tech likes a captive workforce, that can’t leave the job, forever until Green Card day. Realize, that’s exactly what gave racist land owners huge plantations in the pre civil war American South. And the over abundance of labor meant that actual human productivity was much lower than it. Farming output was hampered by that, and what we needed was valued labor that motivated farmers to mechanize (and the resulting offshoot, like the car, have been the actual boon to the U.S. economy).

        Well I see the same in tech. There is a lot of redundant activity caused by an over-supply of labor. Facebook admits that it finds 30x more fully qualified STEM/IT people than it can hire (meaning Facebook admitted to Federal investigators, they would have hired those local STEM/IT workers, if Facebook had the jobs). We need tech to concentrate on increasing productivity, not just expanding on the same formulas. Tech is like any other industry run by business people, who don’t see the exponential potential of better tooling, they only see the flat increase y=mx+b.

  3. I think I have read this information here before, this is becoming repetitive.

    Big companies hire a lot of H1Bs and pay a lot of money and big bonuses.

    At the same time, productivity of these companies is skyrocketing.

    And their prestige is extremely high.

    So, anything new?

    • The^oone

      These H1. L1 etc jobs really should go. Jesus, Netflix pays average of $425K to the average H1 holder..really!! Jeez..no wonder these IT cos have literally been ‘milking’ and fattening their bottom-lines for decades now. Not just local American tech firms, but these Indian firms like Cogniznt, Wipro, TCS, Infy, T-Mahindra, EXL, HGS are equally sad. These H1, L1 etc visa system has been ripping off legal American jobs. American jobs need to be legal, authorized Americans only first. What country pays such high salaries to outsiders to come and make a stake on their internal jobs.

  4. It’s nice to see that top tech is paying a premium, but how many jobs are represented by this information? If these figures represent a handful of H1-b visas, then the statistic do no good. Over the last 10 years there have ben 65,000 H1-b visas issued (650,000 visas). If only 10,000 are represented by these jobs what are the rest paying? I’ve seen statistics that indicate H1-b visa holders make less and thus depress wages in the entire sector. I’d like to be proven wrong, but I’ve never seen anything that indicates H1-b are paid better than American counterparts. In fact, I generally see that it’s less.

  5. The real question is why is this corporate generated visa program still here, it is the product of a manufactured need that does’t exist. Companies attempting to use it need to be made to sign an affidavit that no US candidates were available. We have plenty of people that US citizens trained to perform at every level of the tech industry.

    • Jake_Leone

      Currently any one can be replaced by a person on an H-1b visa, even if the American is qualified and wants the job.

      H-1b dependent companies (companies with more than 15% of the workforce here on an H-1b visa) can replace any American, if they pay the H-1b worker at least 60$k/yr.

      Companies layoff huge numbers of workers, and replace them with workers on an H-1b visa (from a contracting company). The contracting company is not required to consider hiring the better qualified, more experienced Americans, even if the American is willing to take a pay-cut.

      Elaine Chao (immigration lawyer) (Bush II administration) was head of DOL when the PERM process rules were written. As a result, the whole Green Card certification process has become in effect, the American exclusion act. Companies have used these loop holes Elaine Chao wrote into the Green Card PERM process, to hide jobs in obscure print ads and to force only paper mailed resumes for jobs. The result is that while a typical non-perm job ad, put on the internet, accepting E-mail, will receive hundreds of resumes. A hidden away (in print only) PERM job ad will receive zero resumes.

      Companies then use that falsely obtained application data to justify putting a foreign worker into the Green Card wait cue.

      Facebook did this Fake Perm job ad process 2600+ times, over just a 1.5 year period. Facebook admits, in a DOJ indictment, that Facebook finds 30x more STEM/IT people than it can hire, for every job it posts on its website. But the Fake/PERM job ads, hidden in just 2 print only editions of SF Chronicle receive zero resume. Facebook never forwards the resumes of the 30+ better qualified (by Facebooks own admission to the DOJ) Americans it would have hired (if it had the jobs, haha) to the hiring managers in the PERM process. In effect, Facebook protects foreign workers from having the actually compete with better qualified local STEM/IT workers.

      Because a foreign worker, stuck in the Green Card wait cue, cannot leave the company, forever until they actually get their Green Card.

      Just search for Fake/PERM job ads on YouTube, in which immigration lawyers were secretly taped discussing how to do a Fake PERM job ad process.

      The idea that hiring in Silicon Valley is a meritocracy is a complete myth. Companies don’t hire people. Hiring managers, hire people. CEO’s don’t hire most engineers, hiring managers hire people and claim they are engineers. And the motivations of hiring managers are unique to the managers themselves. Friendship, ethnic affiliation, family relation, monetary compensation (kick backs), tax considerations, future job consideration, self-indenturement are hidden factors in the hiring process. H-1b, OPT, and the Green Card process just add another layer of ulterior motives in the hiring process.

      And this is because the H-1b, Green Card, OPT… and all the other U.S. Federal Government (immigration-related) programs are written by immigration lawyers. And if you ask any immigration lawyer, should we switch from an idiotic lottery for the H-1b visa, to one based upon salary. That immigration lawyer, thinking of only his own economic self interest will say, “No, we should keep the (idiotic) lottery, switching to a salary based allocation is a bad idea”. Because immigration lawyers would lose business if employers, knowing they are paying well below average, would simply avoid going to an immigration lawyer in the first place to avoid wasting money on an H-1b process that is no longer a random chance lottery.

      And that idiotic lottery, gamed by the Offshore Outsourcing companies, have actually resulted in Silicon Valley companies only having a 1 in 4 chance of *** Winning *** (CEO’s are people who gamble with other people’s money) an H-1b visa. Immigration Lawyers know this, gambling mentality, brings in the business. So they all lie, they lie when in the government, they lie for the sake of their self-interests, and they are permitted by dumb politicians to help write immigration legislation that benefits only they profession, quite selfishly.