Financial tech is in the business of money. Yet, software engineers within this industry aren’t getting what you may think—even at some of the larger firms—when it comes to compensation these days. These technologists are needed to keep companies innovative and functioning, whether it’s advancement in artificial intelligence (AI), building and maintaining database infrastructure and making sure apps are up to par. Their role is priceless, in a sense.
There’s really no clear answer why software engineering might not be the most lucrative. After all, these companies are all about money, and if it weren’t for these engineers, where would their innovation blossom?
Bonuses among the different tech companies seemed pretty level. However, there was some significant shift in the amount of employee stock options within some financial firms. Older companies like Capital One, Visa, and even PayPal offer some lackluster compensation in terms of stock options, in comparison to smaller companies like Square or Stripe. Overall, these financial firms are quite similar when you look at base salary, but if the company fails to go public, or if the IPO is overwhelming, it can possibly deplete any equity that employee grew within their years of work.
Overall, there’s really no difference to working specifically for a finance tech company over a regular technology company. A recent report by Levels.fyi, found that in comparing tech companies like Apple, Google, IBM, and Microsoft, compared to engineer salaries at companies like Capital One, PayPay, Square, and Stripe, all technologists who were schooled in AI and other in-demand skills were being paid, on average, well over six figures with decent equity in stock. (Stripe and Google topped as the most generous, offering more than $124,000 annually, according to the report.)
Interestingly, there’s proof that working tech at a non-financial company can pay off better. Another recent report found salaries for tech engineers at companies like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, We Work, and Doordash far surpassing those at the aforementioned companies—some even surpassing $200,000 a year for entry level. Mid-career to senior-level engineers can make up to a half million or more annually.