International Salaries at Stack Overflow

We got a great response to the initial publication of our salary calculator in July – over 100,000 people tried it out just in the first few days.

Today we shipped an update to the calculator, which includes:

  • International salaries
  • Two new positions: Creative Director and Data Scientist
  • 2016 market adjustment
  • Skills now have a resolution of 0.5 (previously whole integer)

Try the salary updated calculator

Setting the US market salaries

Our base salaries are updated once a year based on the best available information “market” rates. Sources we look at:

  • Industry reports. We purchase salary data from a third-party, aggregated by job title. This gives us rough data for e.g. Software Engineers or Graphic Designers (though it isn’t specific to startups).
  • VC surveys. All of our main VCs do yearly compensation surveys (which we participate in) and then share the aggregated data with us. This is our best survey data because it’s more specific to startups, though the sample size is smaller.
  • Competing offers. For anyone hired in the previous year, we take into consideration any competing offers they received that they’re willing to share.

Setting the international salaries (new!)

As of 2016, we also benchmark international salaries.

Our People Team (which I lead) researches and establishes a base salary in the local currency for each country in which we have a presence. This salary is determined the same way we do it currently in the US – by researching the appropriate market rate for the country. We anchor it at skill level 1 and 4 years of professional experience.

We recognize that some countries have market salaries that are lower than the US – therefore when determining the local salary, we not only look at the local market, but also the “remote developer market” rate, i.e. the salary you would get if you were paid by a US company in USD.

The international salaries are updated yearly. If we hire someone in a new country mid-year, we’ll research and establish the base salary then.

Try the updated Stack Overflow salary calculator…

Looking to work internationally? Stack Overflow Jobs has postings for developers in London, Amsterdam, Singapore, and more.

Author

Joe Humphries
Director, People Team

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  1. JonH here, I’ve used Jobs and reported bugs and quality control in the past. The quality of this is strange. A couple of things that jumped out at me…On the stackoverflow salary calculator move the text “on Stackoverflow Jobs” inside the button, why on earth is it separated from that button giving an odd appearance as well as looking like yet another link? Second issue, if you are more than a 1.0 in the skill level say for some odd reason you are a 5.0, and you’ve got say 15 years experience. The calculator is returning close to 170k annual salary…yet when you click the job listings that include that salary (170k) the filter that is being passed to it is only 100k. So you end up seeing jobs that don’t target that salary. Confusing. How do I down vote this silly calculator?

    Also shouldn’t the position be passed into the jobs search so that I found jobs where I may be a “data-scientist” ? Right now it only cares about salary. The checkbox for “I live in NY or San Francisco” should be eliminated because living in Atlanta, Ga, or Chicago, IL is just the same when it comes to living expenses. Have you seen rent in Chicago?

    1. The checkbox for NY and SF account for specific rent line-items for living in those two places. IIRC, they mentioned something about that the first time they posted about the calculator. Also, from what I can tell the salary calculator filter is only filtering them between 10s or 100s. So 80k would still be 10s filter, and 105,000 and 170,000 would both be in the 100s filter.

  2. Manoj Kumar says:

    I don’t see my country.

    1. If you don’t see your country they state “If you’re interested in one of our open positions, you should still apply and we’ll figure out the rate as part of the process.”

      1. Manoj Kumar says:

        Any idea how much that would be in INR?

        1. 1 INR is currently 0.015 USD, for what it’s worth

          1. That doesn’t mean much, considering india has a far lower cost of living than the US.

  3. Martin Schröder says:

    Your data for Germany is *way* off: Your *minimum* salary for a developer (0 experience, 0 skill) is 70k€. This is more than double someone with these skills will get even in Munich and probaly triple in cheaper areas like Bremen.

    1. Markus Heiler says:

      Yep agreed, in particular for fresh-off-the-university people without any real reputation in building software.

    2. John Pietrar says:

      How much would a +3 years experience in development would one get in Bremen/Munich?

    3. In my area if you’re fresh out of uni you usually get in at minimum wage or slightly above that, as dev.

    4. This figure is roughly double the *average* entry-level salary in the industry (easily confirmed by statistics sites).

      I wonder if SE gives their expense instead of gross income of the employee. In Germany, non-wage labour costs are about 28% of employee gross income, so that 70k figure would result in about 55k gross income. That is still a lot for entry level (it would be above average for more experienced people, even) but no longer absolutely absurd.

      On the other hand, if that 70k figure for zero-skill zero-experience devs is accurate, where do I sign?

  4. Hi. Data from Mexico is also very unreal. Specifies a salary of at least MXN$1Million (USD$50k) with 0 years and score. This is way, way too ridiculous. Some people in small cities are making USD$11k PER YEAR!

    1. With 2 or 3 YoE BTW

    2. Jonathan Cardoso says:

      $11K per year is above the average salary in Mexico. I know developers that receive only $400 per month.

  5. Jonathan Cardoso says:

    You guys have R$ 261,700 per year (R$ 21,808 per month, the minimum wage here is ~R$ 900) in Brazil for someone with 0 experience and 0 skill. That is way off the charts, and I really want to work with you guys! lol

    1. 0/0 experience/skill won’t get you hired at all at SO. Note that this is about salaries at SO, not salaries in a specific country. You have to ask yourself “can I get a job at SO” to look at these numbers.

  6. 80k€ in France for a dev with 6y of xp! 45/50k€ is the highest you could get! Way off the chart! The same for Canada!

    1. Maybe it includes all the charges that the company have to pay. Don’t you think?

      1. Maybe, but then it’s not “salary”, it’s “cost per employee” which still makes the chart highly innacurate…

        1. Lorenzo Dematté says:

          Why inaccurate? If StackOverflow wants to pay a developer a fair salary, the could and should! After all, they aim to hire the best of the best 😉 it’s natural they are prepared to pay well above market

    2. Apply for a job in SO if you think you can make it 🙂

  7. Everyone, note that this is how much *Stack Overflow* would pay for someone in that country. Given how Stack overflow feels about its responsibility to its employees, it should not be surprising if the rates you see are significantly higher than the average pay in a given country.

  8. Aftab Ahmed says:

    In Pakistan, if you have 0 experiences and fresh graduate from university, you need to do internship and after 1-2 years experiences you only have 200$ per month.

  9. Markus Heiler says:

    Do they compare currencies? One of my latest personal pitfalls was that I equated Euro to Dollar 1:1 which evidently is not the case. It is also amazing how I manage to trip up over different currencies – and don’t even get me started on the british pound!

  10. I’ve tested the French one and I can tell for sure that it’s far away from the reality. Like two times bigger

    1. Marc Waiwai says:

      Yes, French salary usually is lower.
      It has included perks such as universal healthcare.
      So an US employee will earn more but will have to pay for additional healthcare.

      If you work in Paris or Sophia Antipolis you wil generally earn 25% more than in other city in France.

      Another thing, in France salary is very linked to hierarchy and diploma especially in early years of a career.

      1. I work in Lyon in a start-up and the calculator claims that I could/should earn 77k€/y with 1 year of experience as a dev. Even in Paris you don’t earn that with a Bac+5 diploma and 5yo of experience.

        1. Hi guys – This is how we calculate developer salaries for people working at Stack Overflow. It’s not meant to be a benchmark or an industry estimate–it’s just the calculator we use for our own staff.

          1. Chonne OfTheDead says:

            Are french workers actually directly employed by SO or do they work for SO as contractors? In the second case, the “salary” can be divided by two because of all the existing taxes (I may be exaggerating a little).

          2. You are not exaggerating. Depending on the legal status of the contractor’s company (EURL, SASU, etc.) and the social organisms he’s affiliated to, social contributions weigh between 45% and 55% of the daily rate. This is without counting the additional heathcare insurance (‘mutuelle”) and the other taxes (e.g., CFE) and any business-related expenses (accountant fees, office and supplies, office space renting, electricity, Internet and whatnot). All in all, I doubt the net income will be above 35% or 40% of a daily rate. 160€ net income for a 400€/day rate is a realistic figure for each day of work. Of course, like for any other worker in this country, personal income taxes and VAT will be paid off that 40% remaining income. How small the net income is compared to the rate paid by our customers is a reason why the rates are usually well above 400€. However, with middleman companies (or “SSII” as they are known here) fighting for market share, the rates have been plunging for the past years. For instance, three years ago, I was at 550€ in Belfort, far eastern France close to the border with Switzerland. With my last contract this year, I was at a rate that varied from 420€ to 380€ over 7 months… Smile, life is beautiful.

  11. Yep, as I was expecting similar to other user’s experiences, it is way off for UK as well.

    1. Artur Biesiadowski says:

      I disagree. All my collegues earned around or above what was given for London salary in this tool, not even taking bonuses into account. It really depends on area of work and skillset. There is a lot of difference between run-of-the-mill REST/web/hibernate/spring/whatever factories, which is probably lowest possible salary range and things requiring bit more specialized domain knowledge (finance, complex data analytics, engineering/aeronautics, etc) or skills (realtime, massively distributed computing, GPU programming etc).

  12. At least for employees, results for Belgium are easily 2x too high.

    1. Indeed. 76k for a developer position with 0 years experience is so incredibly off the mark. ~25k is a more realistic salary, and that’s if you end up at a company who pays honest salaries.

      1. As far as I can tell, Belgian dev wages typically vary from 1800 to 4500 Euro / month, depending on experience, sector, type of job, etc.

  13. Lorenzo Dematté says:

    Joe, I think that given the comments, you should add a big banner at the beginning stating clearly: “This is the *StackOverflow* salary calculator. This is how much SO will pay someone from that country with that skill set *if* they get hired”.

    1. The title for this post “International salaries at Stack Overflow”
      and the blurb above the salary calculator “See how much you’d earn if you worked at Stack Overflow.” should be enough already.

      1. Lorenzo Dematté says:

        Yeah, you are right… Nothing will stop people from non-reading 😀
        I was pushed to write it by the comments, 80% are about it being too much/off scale/it’s wrong/etc, but probably no amount of writing will make people stop and read.
        Or maybe.. are they really suggesting that SO developers are too well paid, and would be happy to work for less? (joking)

  14. Lorenzo Dematté says:

    Joe, for countries with heavy social care costs (like, every European Country) you should mention that the salary *does not include* social care, if you are not able to hire directly as employees (I don’t know if this is the case, but given that you do not have an EU office I suspect this is the case).

    This is one of the biggest problems about talking salary in many EU countries: if you are an employee, social care is mostly paid by your company. So if you earn, say, 60k, you still have to pay for your taxes (in Italy that would be around 30% of your gross salary), but social care is mostly taken care for.
    If you are not an employee, but a contractor or a freelancer, you need to pay social care for yourself. It is often mandatory (again, in Italy it is 20-30% of your gross salary).

    60k as an employee could easily be more convenient (i.e. more money will stay in your pockets) than 75/80k as a contractor. Do you also adjust for that, in your calculations? I suspect (but tell me if I am wrong) that UK employees are direct hires (employees) of StackOverflow UK, while people from France, Spain, etc. are just contractors for StackOverflow (US).

    That would explain the difference between UK and France, for example (after rate exchange).

    1. In Belgium, a consultancy company can easily ask 1000 Euro / DAY to outsource someone they pay a gross income of 3000 – 4000 Euro / MONTH. So you can’t compare those, really!

      1. Lorenzo Dematté says:

        Sure, but I don’t see how it is relevant to this instrument or to my post.
        We are talking about individuals, not big consultancy companies. I really doubt SO will ever hire or pay the services of a big consultancy company 🙂

        1. As a freelancer, you can get the same rates.

          1. Lorenzo Dematté says:

            Really? For a full time (40 hours/week), long-term contract?
            Darn, that makes ~300K Euro/year!
            I should move to Belgium…

          2. You need to subtract about 50% for taxes, though… if not more 😉

          3. Artur Biesiadowski says:

            It is not really specific to Belgium. You can get similar rates in most western European countries, just need to hit proper sector or have required skill-of-the-year (which sometimes is something 20 years old, just suddenly needed as previous developer passed out 😉

            500-600GBP daily is very common in London, but just few days ago I got 950GBP/day job offer from an agent (not for my qualifications, but nothing really uncommon mentioned there). These jobs are often 1+year contracts, not some 3-month ‘rescue-the-world’ stunts.
            But as John said, you need to be careful with taxes. Some (many) people manage to get around 10-20% tax in UK with ‘creative accounting’, but it is asking for trouble (IR35), otherwise you will be off 40-50% of your salary, even before taking into account unpaid off or sick time.

  15. For germany, you’re easily 2x-3x off base depending on area. In my area, a developer with degree (and 4 years exp) is looking at 20-22k a year at most, and that is if you don’t end up working for smaller companies who usually hire devs (again, with degree) near minimum wage.

    1. I can tell you, I live in germany, I have a B.Sc. degree in computer science and studied M.Sc. without finishing it, no 4 years of job experience and still I would not hire below 45k€ / year and I have a job, getting quite a bit more than my baseline. Accepting 22k / year is just ridiculous if you’re not only having the degree but also actual programming skills. Just let such employers rot away without getting the job done and find a better one. Or just get some freelancer projects – it may be hard to outperform a well payed job, but it should be very possible to get more than a 22k job out of it, all extra expenses included.

    2. The Voice of Reason says:

      Yes, speaking from personal experience, in Germany a very good Developer would be lucky to earn even 60K EUR per year. I just checked the calculator & it’s saying around 145K, which some CEOs do not even earn in Germany. Those are US numbers & just a dream in Germany. People wish they could make that much here.

  16. Lol what a joke. 200k for Canadian developer? And 75k EURO for a Slovenian one? Have you ever been in Slovenia?

    1. Matt Sherman says:

      These salaries are for what we pay Stack Overflow employees. It’s not a general industry rate.

      1. Realized that yeah, so what makes SO pay Slovenians about 40% less as their US counterparts?

        1. Supply and demand

  17. John Hascall says:

    So, I guess you don’t want to hire anyone with >25 years professional experience…

    1. Lorenzo Dematté says:

      Or maybe it never happened before and they have no data points 😉

      1. Matt Sherman says:

        That’s right, we just haven’t had such a person yet. I will change the pull-down menu to go out to 40 years, it’s just linear formula.

  18. For developer position in France your estimations are way too exaggerated – he real salaries are almost twice as low in reality.

    1. Again, this is what they would pay. Not an average or a sample of salaries in France.

  19. Jean-François Côté says:

    Salary for Canada is way too high compared to reality. Yeah maybe some people do this but it’s FAR from reality. Where did you get this information?

    1. This is how we calculate developer salaries for people working at Stack Overflow. It’s not meant to be a benchmark or an industry estimate–it’s just the calculator we use for our own staff.

      1. I’m a bit confused then as to what the point of this blog post is.

        > This salary is determined the same way we do it currently in the US – by researching the appropriate market rate for the country.

        That leads me to think that you want to let readers know what the appropriate market rates are for a country. But apparently that wasn’t the goal at all then?

        Note that you are reaching a very large audience, since this blog post appears in the sidebar of http://stackoverflow.com/

        1. Jean-François Côté says:

          Yeah exactly.
          If this is the salary these guys are doing, well they are very very lucky people.

        2. Perhaps the initial post about this calculator can shed some light: http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2016/07/salary-transparency/

          We launched this calculator as a way to “practice what we preach” in terms of salary transparency. Research on our job listings has shown that candidates are more likely to show interest in a job listing that has a salary listed, even if it’s not a super high salary. So from a recruiting perspective, it’s in the employer’s best interest to be up front about what each role is going to pay. We released our own data about that sort of as a way to say “See? We are transparent about it and the sky hasn’t fallen.”

  20. Hm, well it looks like a lot of folks in the comments may have misunderstanding the purpose of this tool- it’s not a industry benchmark by any means, it’s just what SO offers to employees around the world.

    That being said, what people have been saying isn’t exactly wrong. The international salaries here are far, far higher than the market rate in most countries. The US salaries, especially when compared against the international offerings, seems to be on the low end. I guess $100k for a developer with average experience is not too far off the mark in New York, but if you were to hire on the West Coast you’d generally need to offer $10-20k more to fill an equivalent position.

  21. Salary for Eastern European countries are woefully inaccurate, often higher than in Western Europe, which is ridiculous.

    Also, the amount doesn’t say whether it’s yearly, monthly, before or after taxes, etc. (I guess it’s yearly, before taxes) It would be very helpful to display it, because in several countries, salaries are expressed not in yearly, but in monthly (or other) amounts, and in several countries the salary negotiation is about the after-taxes value. People from those countries might get confused if these facts aren’t stated.

  22. In food supermarkets in the US (and possibly elsewhere too, I don’t know), prices are shown in two ways: the purchase price of the item and beside it the price per unit-of-measure, such as per ounce or per pound. Shoppers can see how much they’re paying for each ounce, say, when purchasing the product in a one-pound size or in the half-pound size. On the same principle, it would be valuable for job seekers to know the typical number of hours worked per year at a job. That value is especially important for those who wish to have a work-life balance. Is the work-week for the job 37-hours-per-week? 40 hours per week? 45 or more hours per week?

    1. Stack Overflow takes work-life balance very seriously – we are all people before being employees. One of the things that my manager told me on one of my first days is that he would tell me if I was not getting things done at the pace that was expected… but also if I was working too much (to the point that it could impact my health and/or personal life).

      That said, the average work week (for me at least, and I’m pretty sure that for others too) is 40 hours. Sometimes it’s a bit less, sometimes it’s a bit more, it depends on the workload. We don’t report working hours, nor are we paid to work X hours – but to get stuff done.

  23. Hugo Santiago Becerra Adán says:

    If you pay the amounts you say for Spain, Where can I apply?

    I have never known a developer with that amount of salary in Spain.

    In my case, the calculator says I would earn three times more of what I earn now.

    1. Yeah right? 😀

      You can apply to a job at Stack Overflow here, by the way: http://stackoverflow.com/company/work-here

  24. I’m a developer working at Stack Overflow from Spain (the only one at the time of writing this, so it’s “my fault” that Spain is in that countries dropdown). There seems to be a bit of confusion about this tool so let me clarify a couple of points.

    First: as it has been said already, these salaries are just what Stack Overflow employees earn (I guess that the “See how much you’d earn if you worked at Stack Overflow” sentence in the page should be a clue? 🙂 So it doesn’t make much sense to say that these figures are “inaccurate” – they are indeed 100% accurate!

    Second: this is gross yearly salary. For contractors (basically all non-US and non-UK employees) this means that every month we send an invoice for 1/12 of this value (plus benefits such as the cost of home Internet or gym membership) and we get it via bank transfer. I guess it’s similar for US+UK employees, minus tax deductions and the like.

    Third: as Lorenzo Dematté points out, we the contractors must take care by ourselves of healthcare, taxes and other expenses that are usually covered by companies for salaried employees. However the salary we get at Stack is so high compared to what people in similar roles and with similar experience earn at local companies (at least where I live) that it is totally worth it.

  25. Even if those are SO numbers, as said above, they are calculated upon “market rate on the country”. And this is quite far (let’s say too much far) from actual market reality.
    I live in Rome, where cost of living is (on a average basis) higher than Madrid, for example. A developer with 0 years of experience and no skills at all, wolud earn 65.600€ year in Spain.
    Even as a contractor is something you’ll never obtain, at any level.
    Here in Rome, 90% of developer jobs is consulting in outsource; the average rate for a senior developer (5+ years of experience) is 35-40k year (gross salary, as employee).
    No doubt SO hiring process is way different from what is happening here but even so it seems, to me, pure fiction.

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