How much do those designers and engineers make?

March 1, 2016

Engineers are among the most sought after talent these days. They're the unsung heroes behind the success of many companies and it's no secret that they get paid well. But according to compensation data from J. Thelander Consulting, designers are quickly approaching the salary levels of engineers. Exactly how much do these positions earn? Let's break it down.

Designers—includes UX director, UX designer, UX manager, UX researcher, product designer, visual designer and drafter:

  • The mean total cash distribution for designers in 2015 was $106,126
  • Total cash (50th%ile) by level: I - $65,000, II - $90,000, III - $111,167, IV - $140,000, V - $175,000
  • The mean total cash for designers in Northern California: $119,646; 75th%ile: $141,563


Want access to compensation data for 150+ positions from CEO and admin to non-investor board members? Participate in the Thelander 2016 Private Company Compensation Survey, which features key compensation-related data on 2016 base pay, bonus and founder/non-founder equity. By participating in the survey, respondents will receive access to a high-level overview of the survey results and a significant discount on the full report. Over 1,500 private companies participated in the Thelander surveys last year and used the results to make informed compensation decisions, compete for talent and strengthen employee retention. Make sure you know what they know. Click here to take the survey.


Engineers—includes software engineer, database engineer, network engineer, engineering manager and test engineer, among others:

  • The mean total cash distribution in 2015 was $119,431
  • Total cash (50th%ile) by level: I - $66,890, II - $90,000, III - $120,000, IV - $145,000, V - $175,000, VI - $205,000
  • The mean total cash for engineers in Northern California: $128,085; 75th%ile: $150,000


[Related: Breaking down 2015 private co. CEO salary increase by industry]

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