Salary has been traditionally a taboo subject for most Americans to discuss. Most people would rather describe the most embarrassing moment of their lives than tell a coworker how much they make. But that is changing.
New regulations across the country, like New York City’s pay transparency law, are forcing employers to publish salary information for jobs publicly. While the information might not reveal an exact paycheck, it lets workers know where they stand relative to each other.
The average U.S. tech worker earned a record high of $104,566 in 2021. While that sum doesn’t take into account other forms of compensation, like stock options and equity, it does paint a picture of how lucrative working in the industry can be—by comparison, at the end of 2021, the average U.S. salary was just $1,010 a week or approximately $52,520 a year.
Meta’s Pay Scale
Meta (née Facebook) is one of the world's most well-known tech companies, with a user base of 3.6 billion across its lineup of social media apps. The company’s global operations under CEO Mark Zuckerberg are a far cry from its humble beginnings in a college dorm room, and its internal hierarchy reflects that.
The company’s software engineering staff are placed on levels starting at E3 for entry-level engineers, climbing to E8 for the company’s most senior tech talent. These levels are primarily used to calculate pay and provide a framework of progression within the company and don’t typically denote a job title as the levels share broad titles. However, while an employee’s specific status is largely unknown to the non-senior members of their team, other employees can usually infer each other’s level through their responsibilities and tenure. Metamates on the non-technical track are assigned IC levels starting at IC3 and generally follow a similar level ladder.
Software engineers are the lifeblood of Meta’s technical operations and build and maintain its social media and advertising platforms. A software engineer with minimal experience typically enters the company as an E3 and can expect to bring an average base salary of $128,000 along with $44,000 in stock options and a $19,000 bonus, according to data crowd-sourced by Levels.fyi. A typical software engineer’s compensation jumps from $192,000 as an E3 to $277,000 as an E4 and $890,000 as an E8. As a software engineer’s level grows higher, stock grants become a more significant source of compensation. For instance, 65% of an average E8’s total compensation comes from stocks compared to just 23% as an E3.
Meta’s hardware engineers are among the nearly 20% of its workforce devoted to its augmented reality and virtual reality (AR and VR) products. In addition to new AR and VR goggles, Meta’s engineers also design its Portal video calling equipment lineup.
On average, the company’s hardware engineering employees earn $237,000 in total compensation as an IC4; this number climbs to 316,000 as an IC5 and 423,000 as an IC6.
Product designers at the social media come metaverse company can expect to bring home $151,000 per year in total compensation when they join the company as an IC3, according to Levels.fyi. Product professionals’ compensation jumps to $222,000 at IC4, $270,000 at IC5, $499,000 at IC6 and $601,000 at IC7. Glassdoor places the average product design salary at Meta in the ballpark of $164,000 plus an $18,000 cash bonus and $62,000 stock bonus.
Meta’s recruiting staff ensures its ranks are filled with some of the market’s top technical minds. Unfortunately, their job has gotten harder than ever, and towards the end of 2021, leaked documents revealed that the company was facing a hiring crisis. The team at Meta tasked with overcoming this talent squeeze starts at IC3 and can earn, on average, $115,000 per year in total compensation. As recruiters climb through the ranks at Meta, they can expect to bring in $154,000 per year at IC4, $199,000 at IC5 and $269,000 at IC6.
The marketing team at Meta is in charge of making sure the company’s lineup of digital platforms and physical products is top of mind for existing and potential users and clients worldwide. The company’s marketing organization pays its IC4 workers an average of $177,000 per year, including stocks and cash bonuses. IC5 employees, on the other hand, can expect $240,000 per year and IC6 marketing team members typically earn around $305,000 per year.