General Motors vs. Tesla: Software Engineer Pay – Dice Insights

If you believe the hype coming out of the tech industry,autonomous driving is the future of how well get around. And theres perhapsno bigger hype-driver than Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who breezily predicted earlierthis year that vehicles will become almost fully autonomous bymid-2020 or so.

Of course, Musk has predicted that degree of autonomy foryearsat one point, he also said that full self-driving features would arrivein Tesla vehicles by 2019. Nonetheless, Musk is just one of the manytechnologists working towards our self-driving future; his company is locked infierce competition with Waymo, a Google subsidiary that has been pilotingself-driving taxicabs onthe mean streets of suburban Phoenix, as well as Uber (which hasexperienced someautonomous-driving setbacks) and the traditional auto industry.

One of those auto-industry stalwarts, General Motors, has made no secret of its interest in autonomous vehicles. Its self-driving division, known as Cruise, has collected roughly $1.15 billion in investments from a variety of outside funders, which means its at least somewhat serious about producing a car that can drive itself within the next few years. (Its workers, meanwhile, are very serious about getting additional concessions from management, because 50,000 of them are currently on strike.)

But as any technologist will tell you, winning a race likethis all comes down to talentand talent wants to get paid. With that in mind,how much do software engineers at General Motors make? And how does thatcompare to salaries at Tesla?

Fortunately, we have, which provides tons of crowdsourced salary information, to give us at least some idea of how these companies match up. Lets start with Tesla; the compensation levels listed below represent a mix of base salary, stock, and bonuses:

Now lets take a look at General Motors:

What can we conclude from this data? Asweve mentioned before, Tesla pays its software engineers a solid salary,although we hear that the stress placed upon them is often enormous, completewith grinding schedules and multiplereports of burnout.

But General Motors seems to pay its software engineers appreciably less, at least according to the crowdsourced breakdown available on Granted, not all software engineers at GM are involved in autonomous driving (and those who do might be earning bigger salaries than average), but if this is representative of how much the company is willing to pay for engineering talent as a whole, then its going to struggle to face down technology companies that are muscling into the automotive space.

Just forcomparisons sake,Facebookpays its newbiesanaverage base salary of $111,250, a bonus of $67,000, and stock options worth$116,875.Entry-levelAmazon recruits,meanwhile, earn an average salary of $108,000, combined with a bonus of $51,142and stock options of $70,000.Googleshells out an average of $115,000for entry-level engineers, combined with a $44,000 signing bonus, stock optionsworth $139,000, and an annual bonus of $22,000. That represents quite a hurdlefor non-tech companies such as General Motors if they want to compete for thesame pool of talent.

Indeed, there are indications that some companies arewilling to pay many millions for those technologists with an ideal mix ofexperience and skills in building autonomous-driving platforms. Google, forexample, paidsome members of its autonomous-driving team so much that they actuallyquit, loaded up with enough cash to retire or start their own companies. Anycompany that wants to compete in this arena, in other words, may have to pay anabsurd amount of money to those with the right knowledge to get the jobdone.

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General Motors vs. Tesla: Software Engineer Pay - Dice Insights

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