How is the salary at SpaceX compared to tech giants such as Google, Facebook, etc.?

As a recent grad (2017) working as a SpaceX engineer my offer was:

  • $90K salary
  • $200K stock award over 5 years
  • $7.5K relocation/signing bonus

Some new grad engineers are paid less than that, some more.

With SpaceX’s recent increase in value, the stock award is worth quite a bit more than when I started. Next year my total compensation will exceed $170K before taxes and after vesting of the stock award. This is comparable with Google as per this answer:

What is the salary for new graduates starting at Google in 2016?

Which is pretty inline with what I have heard my friends from school getting. I do believe Facebook is a little higher.

For someone comparing offers I think it’s important to consider SpaceX is an order of magnitude smaller company than Google is, and so the stock has a lot more room to grow — though in a riskier business.

Other things to consider:

  • Cost of living in the bay area is a little higher than LA
  • Google has a lot cushier benefits and perks like free food (SpaceX charges a little for onsite food)
  • A potentially lower compensation and longer hours can be worth it for a job one may find much more fulfilling (would you rather help colonize another planet or work on serving ads?)
  • The average household income for the world is $10K a year. You’re already wealthy working as an engineer for one of these companies. Consider what would be best for you in terms of long term happiness and fulfillment over a marginal increase in salary and perks.
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