Filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by major companies showed that Google employees were the highest paid of all large technology companies last year , with an average annual salary of $295,884, followed by Facebook and Twitter .
Because large tech companies rely more on equity-based compensation for their employees, they may be frustrated by the volatility of the company’s stock price. Even so, these people still earn more than most other industry workers.
Pay for tech workers has risen in the past year as competition among Facebook, Google and other big tech companies and startups intensified amid a shortage of tech talent.
The average salary for Google employees in 2021 is $295,884, according to SEC filings by companies. Facebook’s parent company Meta has the second-highest average salary of $292,785, not far behind the average salary of Google employees. Meta is even more generous with top talent, granting more equity than Google.
Other tech companies, including Amazon and Twitter, also adjusted employee compensation and equity incentives last year. Among them, the average salary of Twitter employees is $232,626, the average salary of chip maker Nvidia is $217,542, the average salary of streaming platform Netflix employees is $201,743, and the average salary of Microsoft employees is $176,858.
By comparison, teachers in the U.S. earned an average of $65,000 last year, and nurses earned an average of $77,000 . As can be seen, most employees at any large tech company earn far more than in other industries. But rank-and-file salaries at Apple and Amazon are closer to the market as a whole. While Apple and Amazon are among the five most valuable companies in the world by market capitalization, average employee compensation last year was lower than that of other tech companies because most of their employees work in retail and logistics . Among them, the average salary of Apple employees is $68,254, and the average salary of Amazon employees is $32,855.
Compared to the average employee, the salaries of these tech CEOs are astronomical. Their total compensation, including salary, bonuses and equity incentives, is often several times the average salary of all CEOs, and much higher than the average employee at the company. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was paid the equivalent of 92 Facebook employees last year. And about 1,500 Apple employees make about as much as CEO Tim Cook.
Specifically, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy’s total compensation last year was $212.7 million, a ratio of 6,474 to 1 for Amazon’s average employees; Apple CEO Cook’s total compensation last year was $98.73 million , and the income ratio of the average Apple employee is 1447:1. Apple went out of its way to stress that because most of Apple’s employees work in retail stores, the CEO-to-employee earnings ratio “may not be on par with other companies.”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s total compensation last year was $49.85 million, a 282-to-1 ratio to the average Microsoft employee; Twitter’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal Last year’s total compensation was $30.29 million, a 130:1 ratio to the average Twitter employee’s earnings; Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Frazer Harrison’s total compensation last year was $38.23 million, which was roughly the same as Netflix’s average.
The employee’s income ratio is 190:1; Nvidia CEO Huang Renxun’s total compensation last year was $23.74 million, which is 109:1 compared to that of Nvidia’s ordinary employees; Facebook parent company Meta CEO Zuckerberg’s total compensation last year was 2682 Google CEO Sundar Pichai earned a total salary of $6.32 million last year, which is a 21:1 ratio to that of ordinary Google employees.