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Machine Learning Engineers Win Silicon Valley’s Salary Race, But Top Salaries Drop Since Last Year

A review of Silicon Valley’s tech jobs for 2019 shows it isn’t just companies headquartered here competing for engineers

3 min read
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Illustration: Shutterstock

In a year-end review of Silicon Valley’s tech job activity for 2019, job-search firm Indeed found that machine learning engineers are commanding the highest salaries (averaging $172,792, up from $159,230 in 2018 and $149,519 in 2017), software engineers in general are in highest demand, and Amazon has been on the biggest hiring spree.

That’s a bit of a change from last year, when product development engineers claimed the highest salaries in Indeed’s database, at $173,570. It’s also different from 2017, when the big earners were directors of product management, with average salaries of $186,766.

The decline in top salary may reflect a slight softening in demand for tech professionals overall—Indeed’s researchers noted a 3.8 percent decrease in technology jobs listed on the site between October 2018 and October 2019.

Amazon, Walmart, and Apple posted the most Silicon Valley job openings on Indeed from January through October of this year. These three companies also claimed the top three positions in 2018, when Walmart stepped up its Silicon Valley hiring (though they shuffled positions slightly). Walmart ranked 13th in hiring in the region in 2017. Cisco, which was number three in 2017, slipped to fourth this year.

Indeed’s 2019 top 20 lists, below.

Highest-paying jobs in Silicon Valley

(ranked by average annual salary)

Rank201920182017
1Machine learning engineer ($172,792)Director of product management ($186,766)Product development engineer ($173,570)
2Principal software engineer ($169,268)Senior reliability engineer ($181,100)Director of product management ($173,556)
3Platform engineer ($154,801)Application security engineer ($173,903)Data warehouse architect ($169,836)
4Senior software engineer ($142,794)Principal software engineer ($165,487)DevOps manager ($166,448)
5Software architect ($142,372)Senior solution architect ($164,584)Senior architect ($161,124)
6Senior system engineer ($141,013)Software engineering manager ($162,115)Principal software engineer ($160,326)
7Senior product manager ($134,547)Software architect ($159,642)Senior solutions architect ($158,329)
8Cloud engineer ($132,852)Machine learning engineer ($159,230)Principal Java developer ($156,402)
9iOS developer ($131,979)User experience architect ($155,394)Senior software architect ($154,944)
10Development operations engineer ($128,495)Platform engineer ($155,075)Platform engineer ($154,739)
11Back end developer ($127,088)Data warehouse architect ($154,950)Senior SQL developer ($154,161)
12Firmware engineer ($124,190)Director of information technology ($152,331)Senior C developer ($152,903)
13Android developer ($124,024)Senior back end developer ($151,313)Machine learning engineer ($149,519)
14Software test engineer ($123,531)Senior software architect ($150,970)Software engineering manager ($148,937)
15Data engineer ($120,281)Salesforce developer ($150,923)Software architect ($148,171)
16Full-stack developer ($119,954)Ruby developer ($149,944)Cloud engineer ($146,900)
17Data scientist ($118,887)Server engineer ($149,435)Senior product manager ($146,277)
18Front end developer ($118,768)Python developer ($149,331)DevOps engineer ($146,222)
19Mobile developer ($114,560)Senior software engineer ($148,098)Senior back end developer $144,306)
20Software engineer ($112,969)NAJavaScript developer ($142,185)

Source: Indeed

Most In-Demand Tech Jobs in Silicon Valley (ranked by share of job openings)

Rank201920182017
1Software engineerSoftware test engineerSoftware engineer
2Senior software engineerSenior product managerFront end developer
3Product managerQuality assurance engineerFull stack developer
4Software architectTechnical program managerProduct manager
5Full stack developerMachine learning engineerDevelopment operations engineer
6Front end developerCloud engineerSoftware architect
7Senior product managerPrincipal software engineerJava developer
8Data scientistFirmware engineerSoftware test engineer
9Development operations engineerSoftware engineering managerSenior product manager
10Software test engineerOperations analystEngineering program manager
11DeveloperIT security specialistApplication developer
12Data engineerProduct owneriOS developer
13System engineerSenior data analystAndroid developer
14Back end developerPrincipal product managerBack end developer
15Quality assurance engineerTechnical product managerQuality assurance engineer
16Technical program managerSenior design engineerData warehouse engineer
17Data analystInformation technology managerAutomation engineer
18Machine learning engineerSenior application engineerMachine learning engineer
19Java developerBusiness intelligence analystSenior Java developer
20Cloud engineerHadoop developerCloud engineer

Source: Indeed

*Exact shares not available

The Conversation (0)

Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Vertical
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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