Are These Developer and IT Salary Figures Accurate?

A list of tech salaries, from Mac genius bar to Google software developer. But are the figures for real?


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The salary site Glassdoor recently passed its one-year anniversary, which gives fresh meaning to the question: are the tech salaries the site publishes accurate?

Glassdoor generated a tempest of controversy the moment it launched. Many sites list IT salary levels – here’s 2009 IT salaries and 2004-09 IT salaries – describing pay by job title and national average. But Glassdoor goes one very risqué step further: it purports to post the actual salary levels of staffers at specific companies.

It invites tech employees (and staff from other industries) to anonymously post their salary. In return they get access to a trove of anonymously posted salaries. The site averages the data together and applies a statistical filter that, in theory, tosses out the outliers.

Last year, Glassdoor chief executive Robert Hohman, told me the site takes great care to check its user-generated pay figures.

“We’ve got a bunch of technical and procedural mechanisms to vet the data,” he said, though when pressed on details, he deferred. “We’re not really talking about the specifics we’re using.”

Critic pounced on Glassdoor. Forbes dubbed it “workplace porn.” Prominent tech headhunter Nick Corcodilos dismissed it as “salary gossip” and called it a negative for tech professionals. Building an information source using data gathered anonymously over the Internet is like trying to build a solid wall from Swiss cheese.

Still, curious wage slaves flocked to gawk at the naked data. In fact they did more than gawk – they contributed their own pay numbers, sans ID, of course. Glassdoor now claims to have salary figures, reviews and interview questions from a whopping 26,000 companies.

What’s your view? All that user-generated data makes Glassdoor a Wikipedia of salary information. But is the information worth the pixels it’s printed on?

Peruse the following IT salaries – all data is courtesy of Glassdoor – and comment below. Given your industry experience, do the pay levels seem accurate? (When you comment, it’d be helpful if you list your industry background. Thanks.)

Software Developers

Software developers see some good pay levels, yet this survey of developer salaries between 2004 and 2009 indicates that raises aren’t automatic. Mood changes in the tech market can be tough on paychecks.

Microsoft Software Development Engineer

Average: $90,608

Range: $56k to $145k

IBM Staff Software Engineer

Average: $83,361

Range: $62k to $125k

Google Software Engineer

Average: $95,566

Range: $61k to $150k

Oracle Software Engineer

Average: $87,879

Range: $60 to $123k

Yahoo Software Engineer

Average: $97,010

Range: $70 to $128k

Intel Software Engineer

Average: $81,456

Range: $50k to $145k

Hewlett-Packard Software Engineer

Average: $88,959

Range: $61k to $140k

eBay Software Engineer

Average: $91,938

Range: $76k to $140k

Symantec Software Engineer

Average: $80,785

Range: $56k to $110k

Next Page: Tech retail workers' pay levels

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Tags: IT Jobs/Salary, developer salary, IT salary

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