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An anatomy of an Apple job offer

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Today I’m going to share with you the breakdown of a recent Apple job offer. (Disclaimer: I have changed the data slightly to protect confidentiality but both the numbers and structure of the compensation reflect the current reality of Apple offers.)

Job Title: Software Engineer

Internal Job Level: Apple ICT 4

Base Salary: $200,000

Annual Performance Bonus: 10%

Equity: $600,000 worth of Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) vested over 4 years (25%, 25%, 25%, 25%)

Annual Total Compensation: $200,000 + $20,000 + $150,000 = $370,000


This is a rich offer — the annual total compensation is $370,000 at time of signing (before taking into consideration of annual raise and stock appreciation.)

This offer is comparable to offers from Google or Facebook. In term of leveling, Apple ICT 4 = Amazon Between SDE 2 and SDE 3 = Google Between L4 and L5 = Facebook Between E4 and E5.

Ironically, the $370,000 total compensation is barely above the $343,420 household income threshold to afford a $1.7M medium-priced home in San Francisco County.

Startups are having a hard time to compete against top employers such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. If you get an offer average $370,000 a year from Google/Facebook/Amazon/Microsoft, the opportunity cost and risk of joining a startup is simply too high (unless you’re getting startup equity at co-founder/senior management level and the startup is a rocket ship.)

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