Google’s Leaked Spreadsheet Reveals Employee Salaries

By: Julia Mehalko | Last updated: May 07, 2024

A spreadsheet regarding Google staff’s salary has been leaked, revealing various aspects about Google employees and what they can end up earning over time.

While Google has always made the base salary of its employees known, the company has long kept information about bonuses, equity, and maximum salary rates private. However, this leaked document now reveals all.

Money in the Tech Industry

Over the past several decades, the booming tech industry has seen small companies turn into leading players in the S&P 500. 

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Those who graduate from university dream of being interviewed for a position at companies like Google, Meta, or Apple, which can offer both experience and a healthy paycheck. 

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Google Employees

Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998 to market their search engine. It has since grown to become one of the largest in the world, having a market cap of over $2 trillion. 

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With such an extensive market cap, Google’s 180,000 employees are likely well compensated for keeping the company among the top five in the tech industry. However, exactly how much wasn’t clear until a recently leaked spreadsheet spilled the beans on just how much Google employees earn. 

What This Spreadsheet Contains

Last year, numerous media outlets referenced a leaked spreadsheet from Google that revealed the salaries and bonuses of over 12,000 Google employees. 

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A person on a laptop open to Google with a mug of coffee next to him.

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Interestingly, this spreadsheet clearly lays out how many employees can earn quite a lot of money while working for Google.

What Employees Can Earn at Google

In this spreadsheet, one can see the position and what its minimum and maximum equity is. 

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However, it also shows what this position can get in bonuses, both minimum and maximum. As a result, it’s clear which employee positions earn the most and the least.

The Lowest Paying Jobs at Google

Though some people can end up making a lavish amount of money while employed at Google, there are a few positions that don’t earn nearly as much as others.

Interestingly, this spreadsheet clearly lays out how many employees can earn quite a lot of money while working for Google.

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According to this leaked spreadsheet, the lowest paying positions at Google are media account specialists, as well as workers in the HR benefits and childcare sector at the company.

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Lower Salaries at Google

According to the information on the spreadsheet, media account specialists are paid around $106,000 annually. 

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Meanwhile, workers in the HR benefits and childcare sector are paid $79,109 annually.

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Lower Maximums Across the Board

Additionally, there are various positions that have low maximums across the board. 

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For example, UX designers get the lowest bonus max. Even the highest-paid program managers at the company received less money than those other positions. Finally, technical solutions employees may be paid well, but they also receive the lowest maximum equity option.

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Higher Than Average Salaries

Though these positions earn the least at Google, it’s worth noting that the salaries of media account specialists and those in the HR benefits and childcare sectors are still above the national average.

An extreme close-up of a Google logo on a building.

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor has stated that the average U.S. salary is $59,384 annually. However, this may increase or decrease, depending on each state.

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The Highest Paying Jobs at Google

Those who make the most money at Google are clearly making a lot of money. This spreadsheet confirms the allegation that Google pays its top tech employees well.

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According to this document, the highest-paying positions at Google are software engineers, engineering software managers, and enterprise direct sales workers.

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Extravagant Salaries

Software engineers earn the most. The highest-paid engineer at Google makes $718,000 annually, as seen in this spreadsheet.

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Meanwhile, engineering software managers come in second. 

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Managers Salaries in the Software Department

The spreadsheet reveals that the highest-paid manager in the software department earns an impressive $400,000 per year. 

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Meanwhile, the highest-paid enterprise direct salesperson takes home a salary of $377,000.

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Software Engineers at Google

Software engineers at Google always seemed to take the top spot when it came to just about everything in this spreadsheet. 

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From annual earnings to available maximum bonuses, these software engineers always make a lot. There is a reason behind this. 

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Software Engineers Receive the Most Bonuses

Software engineers are allowed to receive the most bonuses, which can reach a whopping $605,000. 

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Their equity is also set to the highest max seen in the spreadsheet at $1.5 million.

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About Equity

One of the most interesting aspects of this leaked Google document is it gives an inside look into the equity the company provides to its employees.

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Through equity, employees can be paid through Google stocks. As Google stocks remain quite highly-priced on the market, these workers can end up making a lot of money through them.

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Minimum and Maximum Equity

According to this spreadsheet, software engineers can receive the highest maximum in equity received, as they could potentially earn up to $1.5 million in these Google shares.

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Program managers at Google get the smallest maximum of equity available. As a result, these workers can only get up to $400,000 of equity.

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The Difference in Earnings

It should be noted that much of what is seen in this leaked document deals with the maximum amount of earnings different Google employees can earn.

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Therefore, this spreadsheet doesn’t actually go through and show what the average employee is making at Google. 

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Engineers Salaries May Widely Vary

While one of the highest-paid software engineers may be making $718,000 a year, other engineers may be making much less — anywhere from $100,000 to $375,000 — instead.

An engineer is pictured looking at data on his laptop

Source: Freepik

This will be the same for many Google employees, as other factors, including the length of their employment, will have a say in their overall salary. 

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Google Remains a High-Paying Option

This document showcases how well Google can pay its employees and how much money exists in the tech industry. 

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As one of the biggest companies in the world, owned by Alphabet, Google can pay its workers high salaries thanks to Alphabet’s $1.7 trillion net worth.

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Google Will Continue to Grow

As Google and the tech industry continue to grow in new ways thanks to the pursuit of artificial intelligence, it will be interesting to see how salaries are impacted.

A person on a laptop open to Google with a mug of coffee next to him.

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The spreadsheet allowed experts to surmise that the median total for an average Googler in 2022 was nearly $280,000. However, as it continues to grow, this could easily surge in the coming years. 

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African Employees Make Less

According to a report from the Daily Mail, the spreadsheet seemed to indicate that black employees made nearly $20,000 less than their Asian and White counterparts. 

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When asked for a comment on the leaked spreadsheet, Google spokesperson Tamani Jayasinghe replied, ‘We compensate Googlers based on what they do, not who they are.’

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Google Run Analysis Each Year to Remain Fair

According to Jayasinghe, Google works hard each year to ensure all employees are treated equally.

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“We run a rigorous pay equity analysis every year to make sure salaries, bonuses, and equity awards are fair,” they added.

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Google Employee Claims Spreadsheet Information is Dated

When directly speaking on the information contained in the spreadsheet, Jayasinghe argued that some of it is old data. 

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“This spreadsheet has old, self-reported data that has not been verified and is not an accurate representation of compensation across our workforce.”

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Google Employees Remain Amongst the Best Paid

The data leaked from the spreadsheet certainly led to some controversial debates on whether subgroups are paid the same as white and Asian employees. 

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However, it does point towards the fact that all Google employees are paid some of the largest salaries in the tech industry. 

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