How Much Do Startup Engineers Make?


They are starting up a business from scratch, and pushing it to a point where it’s solid and sustainable requires a lot of things. According to Bill Gross, the founder of Idealab, five key factors can influence the success of a startup; the idea, team, business model, funding, and timing.

Having a “strong team” is essential for every startup company, as it contributes more than 30 percent of the entire success ratio. In a startup, a strong team means having the right talents to take up the different roles in the company. Depending on the business, startup roles include engineering roles, product department, sales, business development roles, marketing department, accounting department, and many more.

Engineers can always take up several different roles in startup companies. Some of their jobs include Analytics Engineer, Backend Engineer, Front End Engineer,  Supply Chain Engineer, and Lead Quality Engineer. Furthermore, the salary of startup engineers differ depending on the roles they occupy in the company.

In the rest of this article, I’ll be sharing the average salaries of startup engineers, depending on what they do. So, without wasting any time, let’s get straight down to business.

What Are The Popular Startup Engineer Roles And Salaries?

To understand how much engineers make, it’s essential to know the different engineering roles in startup companies. So, here’s a quick question; do startups employ engineers?

Yes, there are several different roles that engineers can take up in a startup company. Let’s have a look at some of them below:

  1. Analytics Engineers

One of the many roles that engineers can take up in a startup company is analytics. Most entrepreneurs know that analytics offers startups a considerable advantage, and that’s why they often look for the services of analytics engineers in their companies.

The job of analytics engineers varies from company to company. While that’s the fact, one of their fundamental roles is to build data products. These products enable investors and stakeholders to perform their jobs adeptly. Furthermore, analytics engineers are the ones responsible for ingesting data into the data warehouse.

That’s not all; analytics engineers are more of a bridge that connects the data engineers and data analysts. Here’s why; they are responsible for modeling raw data into well-tested and up-to-date datasets. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of an analytics engineer in the United States is $111,480.

  1. Technical Support Engineers

Most startup companies, especially IT firms, often employ technical support engineers for several reasons. Issues are an inevitable part of every business. Yes, every startup company will, at some point, encounter technical issues. Here’s where the need to have sound technical support engineers comes into the scene.

One of the roles of a technical support engineer is to provide startups and other business types with troubleshooting and tech support services. 

Furthermore, for startup companies, there are two different types of technical support engineers. First, the role of some of them is to provide technical supports for the startup’s internal departments and employees. The other type is the customer support engineers – they are responsible for providing technical supports to the clients.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of Technical Support Engineers in the United States is $63,781.

  1. Backend Engineers

The job roles of backend engineers in a startup company are many, and they are the ones in charge of designing and building the server-side of web applications. Of course, the work of backend engineers also extends to maintaining the web applications for startup companies.

That’s not all; in a startup company, the backend engineers are responsible for optimizing servers, ensuring speed and stability. Furthermore, backend engineers are in charge of helping startups build security structures. Also, they are responsible for designing data storage solutions and generating reusable code libraries for businesses.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of Backend Engineers in the United States is $126,880.

  1. Front End Engineers

Like backend engineers, front-end engineers are also essential to most startup companies, especially IT firms. They perform several different roles in the company. For instance, front-end engineers are responsible for coming up with better ideas for renovating existing websites or creating new ones.

Furthermore, front-end engineers are in charge of researching and understanding the type of information that the company’s website should have. That’s not all; their job roles also extend to developing a better plan to present the data across the website.

Other job functions of front-end engineers include keeping track of the website to ensure it’s performing up to expectations, developing website prototypes, and testing the functionality of a website. According to ZipRecruiter, an average front-end engineer in the United States makes $111,377 annually.

  1. Software Engineers

Almost all startups need the service of software engineers. Well, that’s so because these companies, irrespective of their orientations and sizes, need quality software for their businesses.

The roles of software engineers can vary from company to company. Fundamentally, they are responsible for visualizing processes and outcomes in the short term and the long term for startup businesses. Furthermore, software engineers are expected to work with other team members and perform various tasks, depending on their skill sets.

In startup companies, software engineers can also be charged to perform the work roles of UI/UX and front-end engineers. Speaking of their average annual salary, it’s roughly $101227, according to Indeed.

  1. Full Stack JavaScript Engineers

Full Stack JavaScript Engineers are experts in using JavaScript to perform several different things. In a startup company, full-stack JavaScript engineers are in charge of revealing other front-end technologies to build interactive user interfaces (UIs).

Since they are full-stack engineers, they also perform some of the functions of backend engineers, such as helping the startup company design robust backend architecture using different technologies. That’s not all; full-stack JavaScript engineers are also responsible for creating flexible applications that meet customer needs.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of full-stack JavaScript engineers in the United States is $113,034.

  1. Mobile App QA Engineers

Mobile App QA Engineers also play essential roles in startup companies. The primary job function of any QA specialist is to improve the software development process. Their roles include, but are not limited to, checking for errors in products and providing better solutions to prevent the issues from ever occurring again.

Furthermore, in a startup company, another role of a mobile app QA engineer is to test mobile applications and see to it that the products comply with specific requirements. That’s not all; their job roles also extend to assessing risks and coming up with better ideas to improve the mobile apps.

According to ZipRecruiter, an average mobile app QA engineer in the United States makes up to $99,054 annually.

  1. Lead Quality Engineers

Lead quality engineers are experts responsible for managing a company’s team of quality assurance professionals. The primary aim of that is to ensure the overall quality of the company’s products. In startup companies, lead quality engineers are needed to perform several different job functions.

For instance, lead quality startup engineers are responsible for developing Statistical Process Control (SPC) programs in the factory. Furthermore, they also collaborate with product engineers to create technical and domain expertise.

The work of lead quality startup engineers also includes analyzing defects and gaps in the quality of products. After detecting any issues, they are also responsible for planning better ideas to improve development processes. On average, according to ZipRecruiter, the annual salary of lead quality engineers in the United States is $81,500.

  1. Field Service Engineers

Field service engineers are engineering technicians that primarily work with their hands. They are responsible for working on sites to demonstrate, install, or fix products and systems for startup companies.

One of the job roles of field service engineers is to repair several different types of equipment and networks. Fundamentally, it’s safe to say that the work of a field service startup engineer is to ensure that the company’s equipment is running smoothly. When issues surface, the service engineer is in charge of troubleshooting to identify the problems and address them.

According to, the average annual salary of field service engineers in the United States is $63,009.

  1. Applied Cryptography Engineers

Another regular engineering job in startup companies is applied cryptography. An applied cryptography engineer is needed in most startup firms to perform several different roles, including helping to secure computer and IT systems.

In case you don’t know, cryptography engineers help startups to secure their systems by creating algorithms to encrypt the company’s data, including that of the customers. That’s not all; cryptography engineers can also perform the functions of Cryptanalysts – an example is “deciphering” algorithms and “cipher” text to decrypt and collect information.

Furthermore, applied cryptography engineers are also responsible for creating or developing cryptology theories and techniques necessary to keep information technology systems secure for startups. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of applied cryptography engineers in the US is $152,058.

  1. Telecom Operations Engineers

The primary function of telecom startup engineers is to help companies design, plan, install and manage complex systems and networks, such as mobile networks, Internet Protocols (IPs), and Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP).

Apart from that, telecom operations engineers also work for startups to develop proposals and determine costs for telecom-related projects. That’s not all; this type of engineer is also in charge of testing and implementing new telecommunications products and services.

Telecommunications operations engineers help startups to analyze and design system specifications. They also help in troubleshooting, running a check to address complex technological problems. On average, the annual salary of a telecom operations engineer in the US, according to ZipRecruiter, is $89,863.

  1. CAD Engineers

The job roles of CAD engineers in a startup company are many. Also, the parts can vary depending on the type of business run by the company.

Generally, however, CAD engineers are in charge of creating technical and detailed design drawings in startup companies. They do that by making use of several different tools, including CAD software applications. For instance, CAD engineers are responsible for designing and developing high-quality 3D and 2D models using CAD tools.

That’s not all; CAD engineers are in charge of running checks on products, and they do that to understand the feasibility of the products and their quality, performance, costs, and safety.

A CAD engineer in the United States, as estimated by ZipRecruiter, can make an average salary of $71,398 yearly.

  1. Integration Engineers

The primary job role of integration engineers is to create and implement viable solutions that can help startups and other businesses coordinate applications. They work by utilizing methods and tools to design system components, as well as software interfaces. Also, the work of integration engineers includes helping startup companies to analyze ICT network bandwidth and requirements.

Furthermore, integration engineers can also work with specialized ICT tools to develop system codes. These codes, when interpreted, can be utilized to extend applications and automate system operations. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of System Integration Engineers in the United States is $104,031.

  1. Supply Chain Engineers

Supply chain engineers are the people responsible for optimizing the production chain of companies, such as the production process, transportation, and many more.

In startup companies, Supply chain engineers work by analyzing business processes, and they do that to understand risks, customer coverage, prices, and many other factors. Furthermore, when introducing new products for a startup business, these engineers are in charge of designing and implementing the supply chain.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of supply chain engineers in the US is $81,494. That’s approximately $39.18 per hour,  $1,567 weekly, and $6,791 per month.


If you’re looking to get into the startup world, this article should give you a good idea of what salaries are like. The wage gap between engineers and other professions is not as wide as it once was. This means that if you want to go into engineering, that’s your decision, and salary will depend on how much time and dedication you put in. But don’t let money stand in the way of doing something fulfilling!

Quick Answers To Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average base salary in bay area silicon valley?

The average salary ranges from $170,000 for a senior software engineer to $119,975 for an entry-level software developer.

What is the base salary for a junior software engineer?

A junior software engineer’s base salary typically falls between $50,000 and $85,000 per year. Of course, this depends mainly on the experience of the individual and their specific job offers. However, a high school degree is required with no more than two years of related work experience in most cases. The most qualified applicants often have 4-6 years of related work experience.

What is the salary range for ai engineers?

On average, a package in the range of £40-90k a year is a solid baseline salary in the UK. For US figures, it’s hard to give an exact number because there are so many different salaries depending on what city. But judging from salary ranges across the country, it can be estimated that 50k-200k would be an excellent range to stay in at any given point in time.

What is the software engineer salary in a big tech company?

Salaries for software engineers with five years of experience at an enormous tech company range from $132,400 to $127,000.

What is the median salary for a senior software engineer?

Senior software engineers typically make upwards of seventy thousand dollars a year.  A person’s qualifications are typically the determining factor in his final salary, with each decade only increasing by two to three thousand dollars on average.

Does a startup software engineer employee receive equity compensation?

Compensation for a startup software engineer employee includes salary, 401K matching, etc. The company may also offer equity through stock options or restricted stock units that vest after four years with specific provisions.

What is the best way of hiring a mechanical engineer for a small startup?

It’s always wise to include a skills test in the interview process for engineers, but also it’s crucial that you directly check the applicant’s references. Small startups are always unique environments, and if you’re trying to design your problems to solve, it might be good to know who has tackled similar types of ones before.

Where can I find job openings for a software developer in a big company?

For entry-level positions, it’s typically best to work your way up the ladder and gain experience. Reaching out and asking for an interview is often much more effective than simply submitting a resumé and hoping someone will take notice. 

Reach out to recruiters at companies you might be interested in working for – many employers don’t have formal hiring channels or posting guidelines, so if this is the case, you’re likely to stand out as an active candidate by reaching out directly.

Where can I find salary data for big tech companies?

It is not easy to find the big tech companies’ salary information, and by design, salary data are closely guarded secrets. Nevertheless, numerous public sources can provide some insight into what someone in your position might make.

Difference between early stage startup and a large company?

Large companies can ride on their name’s seemingly eternal marketing power and become successful by selling products to a broad audience. But they usually grow uniformly without any particular clever use of resources and won’t innovate in the same way. 

A small company probably has better growth potential. Still, it’s also more challenging for them to get what they need to keep going because they don’t have the expensive resources that large companies have raised through venture capital or the IPO process. This makes them unable to compete with larger enterprises, even when times are relatively good for everyone in an economy. At least in theory, if you’re looking for innovative ideas, start-ups are better off than big companies.

Difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning?

The difference between machine learning and artificial intelligence is mainly in how it’s used. Machine learning means that a computer program is “learning” from the past data to create future data. In other words, you’re teaching a humanified program what to do just by giving it enough information to work with. Artificial intelligence refers to the ability of a machine or computer system to imitate intelligent human behavior, such as being able to make decisions that mimic those made by humans.

Can a venture capitalist be a startup founder with startup employees?

No, a venture capitalist invests in startups. They can provide guidance and expertise for new entrepreneurs to collaborate with, but it’s not their role to do the actual “building.”

Is a tech startup a good fit for an entry level software engineer?

As with any career decision, it’s best to do your research. But if you’re looking for a fast-paced environment where you can learn new skills quickly, there are few options more rewarding than working for an up-and-coming tech startup.

What is the average software engineer salary?

The average software engineer salary can vary depending on region, organization, location within the company. It has been reported that the average salary for a junior engineer is about $76000-$85000 per year. The industry standard of 35-50% consists of 65% paid time off and 8-10 paid holidays.

Generally speaking, an experienced software developer/engineer should be looking to make between $125k-$150k per annum or even higher depending on proficiency.

Difference between a junior engineer and a senior engineer?

A Junior engineer is typically defined as an individual with less than five years of experience in the field. They need to be still working closely with their co-workers and supervisors to use social skills to get work done efficiently. 

A senior engineer will mostly not need any help because they’ve already gained more experience in software development or networking, which enables them to be more efficient on their own.

Can a web developer do software engineering?

Yes, software engineering provides a set of well-established principles to guide the design and development process.

Can a data engineer get total compensation?

The total compensation a data engineer may see is going to vary from company to company. A data engineer’s duties will also depend on their employer, but typically it can range from 10-75-100 hours per week in direct work. In some cases, this could translate into 40 hours spent producing or analyzing raw data for projects that take 8-12 weeks from start to finish. The hourly rate for a senior-level data engineer is around $64-$107/hour when working directly with clients and $58-$80/hour when working internally with other engineering team members.

Difference between an early employee and a product manager?

Early employee refers to somebody who started at a very early stage company before product managers were needed. A product manager relates to somebody who manages either development or marketing efforts for an established business with many products already on the market. Which one you depend on what your income statements say you do every day.

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Wasim Jabbar

Hi, I'm Wasim - a startup founder and proud dad of two sons. With 15 years of experience building startups, I'd like to share my secret to achieving business success - quality marketing leads. Signup today to gain access to over 52 million leads worldwide.

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