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Despite High Pay, Most Apple Employees Can’t Afford a House

Silicon Valley Home Credit: Andrew V Marcus / Shutterstock
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To be employed by a Silicon Valley tech-giant like Apple, Google, Facebook or Intel is likely towards the top of any tech-lover’s bucket list. After all, with some of the highest paying salaries in the private sector, it’s easy to think that working for your favorite tech company will pay off royally in more ways than one, right?

While it’s been well documented that Apple pays out some of the highest starting salaries in the industry — and particularly to those fortunate members of its product development and supervisory teams — the results of a new survey revealed this week that even some of Cupertino’s most well-paid employees don’t earn enough to afford a house in the pricey San Francisco Bay Area.

That’s according to the results of a simple survey conducted via the Blind anonymous workplace messaging app, the results of which were published over the weekend by SiliconValley.com — a technology news website operated by the San Jose, California-based Mercury News.

The Data

Some 2,300 users (primarily employees and project managers working for Silicon Valley tech firms) voluntarily responded to the simple ‘yes-or-no’ question: “I can afford to buy a house in the Bay Area.” Of those responses, approximately 63 percent of Apple employees indicated that home prices in the area are “too spendy” — even despite their annual salaries which stretch well into the ballpark of six-figures. 

Home prices in the counties that make up and surround Silicon Valley — including San Francisco, Marin, and Alameda — average just under $1 million, according to the latest data made available by Zillow.

Alameda County, in particular, is the most affordable at an average of $947,000, while San Francisco is the most expensive at $1.36 million.

Unsurprisingly, Apple employees were not alone in the survey, which also included responses from workers for Bay Area tech firms like Cisco, eBay, and Intuit. Of those responses, 7 in 10 workers reported being priced out of the local real estate market, as with 51 percent of employees working for Google and Facebook.

Apple Salaries

Apple is known for paying some of the highest compensation of any company in its sector. According to the latest data compiled by Indeed, of the 30 highest paying job titles at Apple, salaries start out at $186,049 for a software engineering manager, $164,046 for a senior software engineer, $163,613 for an industrial engineering manager, $149,109 for a hardware engineer, and $130,395 for a quality assurance engineer.

Meanwhile, a senior technical advisor at Apple can expect a salary in the area of $46,490, going up to $183,940 per year for a member of Apple’s lead Counsel.

Hourly Apple employees make between $14.07 per hour for customer service representatives, ranging up to $90 per hour for a corporate recruiter, according to Indeed.com’s analysis.

And while 70 percent of employees surveyed report satisfaction with their compensation packages at Apple, as also reported in the analysis, unfortunately the monetary value of them doesn’t quite cut it for the prospect of home ownership in one of California’s most overpriced markets.

According to a report put out recently by The Mercury News, residents in the Bay Area have weathered some of the highest inflation rates in the state — having spiked over 3 percent within the last few years, alone, with no signs of slowing down. 

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