Why the top network engineer salary is rising but networking salaries are not
A few years ago, a senior network engineer would earn a salary of $250,000 per year in Silicon Valley.
But today, that figure is just $100,000.
That’s according to a new report from tech staffing firm Groupon.
The report analyzed data from 10 different employers to determine how many engineers the company has hired since 2011, which was the year the recession ended.
It found that over the past four years, the number of network engineers hired has gone from roughly 8,000 to 13,000, and that the median salary is $170,000 — just above what the average salary was for a senior engineer in 2011.
In a recent article in Recode, Groupon CEO John Doerr explained why the company is investing in hiring engineers more aggressively.
“We have been investing in recruiting and retaining engineers over the last four years,” he said.
“And we are doing so in a way that is very aggressive.”
He added that in addition to hiring more engineers, Groupons recent investments in its software and services are focused on adding new features and improving the company’s infrastructure.
“For the most part, the engineers we are adding to our teams are focused in their roles in the service areas,” Doerr said.
He noted that the company also has hired more engineers in recent years to help with its mobile, web and enterprise operations.
But he noted that even those engineers are paid less than those in other tech companies.
“If you are an engineer, you can’t just take a salary that is the average for an engineer,” he told Recode.
“You need to be able to compete for an equally good engineer in a comparable role.”
And, he said, that’s not easy to do.
“The median pay for an engineering engineer in Silicon valley is less than the median pay in other parts of the industry,” he noted.
For example, at Groupon, the median hourly wage is $11.50, compared to $19.50 for a comparable tech engineer in New York City.
That said, Doerr noted that many of the other companies he surveyed are not necessarily in the same boat.
“At some companies, they have hired engineers for a couple of years, and have gotten really good at hiring them,” he explained.
“But the majority of them haven’t.”
The average salary for a networking engineer is more than twice as high as that of an engineering employee at Groupons tech firm.
And while Groupons salaries are relatively high, Doerds report shows that the salaries of its network engineers have been increasing as well.
The average monthly salary of a network engineer is about $4,800, according to the data.
But that figure drops to about $2,400 for a software engineer, and to just $2.50 per month for a web engineer.
This isn’t the first time that the number and salary of engineers employed in tech has gone up.
Between 2011 and 2016, the average annual pay of a computer science or engineering grad jumped from $37,400 to $50,800.
That number increased every year after that, but never reached the $60,000 mark for the highest paid network engineers, according the data analyzed by Groupon’s research.
“When you add in the people that are actually working in the field, that number of people has actually gone up,” Doerd said.
While the pay for engineers in the tech industry is up, it is not as fast as it was a few years back.
In 2015, the total compensation of a networking senior engineer was $116,000 compared to just over $70,000 for a similarly-skilled engineering employee.
And the number for the average engineering engineer rose by about 20% each year, from $130,000 in 2015 to $144,000 last year.
And as we mentioned earlier, the salaries for networking engineers are up, too.
They are now making $75,000 less per year than the average network engineer, but are still making more than $80,000 as well, according a recent report from The Wall Street Journal.
“It’s clear that there is a need for more networking engineering talent, but the number is still not high enough to sustain the growth of the company,” Doering said.
But as Groupon also points out, the trend toward more engineering salaries is not necessarily a good thing.
“Engineers tend to be highly motivated and driven people who are motivated by getting paid more,” he added.
“This is good, but it’s not necessarily good for the company as a whole.”
Doerders point to a few reasons for why networking salaries may be going down.
For one, there are fewer people applying for networking positions in the industry.
“There is less demand from companies to hire engineers,” he pointed out.
“In the past, the demand for engineers has been much higher because companies were building more advanced systems and they wanted to get a high-quality engineer on the team