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Software engineers tell job site Glassdoor that Wal-Mart pays more than Facebook

Software engineers on the job-search site Glassdoor report Walmart ranks ninth in average base salary, above firms such as Facebook and Microsoft. Above, people walk past a Wal-Mart sign in Rogers, Arkansas in this June 4, 2009 file photo. (JESSICA RINALDI/REUTERS)

According to a new survey of the base salaries of software engineers around the country, you don’t necessarily have to work at the hottest tech firms to get a high-paying job.

The job-search Web site Glassdoor compiled self-reported salary data of more than 33,000 software engineers over the past year. According to the results, while firms such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter all rank in the top 25 for highest average base salary, so do companies such as Juniper Networks, Integral and even Wal-Mart.

The salary snapshot also shows that software engineers aren’t only in demand at the highest levels of the tech world. Engineers who told the site they work for Wal-Mart reported a higher annual base salary than those who said they work for Facebook. The retailer ranked eighth, with a reported average base salary of $122,110 — just behind Oracle’s $122,905 but ahead of the average salaries reported by engineers from Facebook, eBay, Amazon and Microsoft.

Juniper, which manufactures networking equipment, topped the Glassdoor list. Engineers who said they work for Juniper reported an annual base salary of $159,990, compared with the $136,427 base salary reported by those who said they work for the second-place firm on the list, LinkedIn. Yahoo, Google and Twitter rounded out the top five, while Apple came in sixth.

The site also offered a picture of how salaries vary across the country. The greatest demand for software engineers is in the San Francisco Bay Area, which also boasts the highest average base salary per area, at $111,885. But employers using Glassdoor to recruit are also hunting on the East Coast. New York City has the second-highest concentration of Glassdoor employers looking for software engineers, followed by the District. But salaries are lower out East: In Washington, for example, employers using the job-search site are offering an average base salary of $83,765, below Glassdoor’s estimated national base salary average of $92,790.

Overall, the averages have jumped since Glassdoor looked at the same job market last year, but they also show a shift. Last year, according to the site’s survey, Google engineers reported the highest average wage, followed by Facebook, Apple, eBay and Zynga, a firm that didn’t even crack the top 25 this year.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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