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Apple Software Engineering Salary: A Guide

James Gallagher - January 04, 2021

“We bring amazing people together to make amazing things happen.” This is the first line on Apple’s job page and it perfectly encapsulates what it means to work at Apple. As a software engineer at Apple, you’ll work alongside the people who reinvented the smartphone, personal computing and payment industries.

When you’re deciding what tech company to work for, compensation is likely to be on your mind. Every technology company has its own approach to paying its engineers and as an engineer at Apple, you’ll command an impressive salary no matter where you work in the company.

In this guide, we’re going to discuss software engineering salaries at Apple. We’ll explore how much software engineers earn, what benefits they receive and the company’s tier-based salary structure.

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Apple Software Engineering Salary Levels

Apple software engineers are compensated at different rates depending on which salary tier they qualify for within the company.nThis approach is common amongst big companies, especially in the technology industry, as it ensures everyone is paid fairly.

Before we can discuss how much you can expect to earn as a software engineer at Apple, you’ll need to understand the different salary bands and job titles. Here are the five Apple salary levels for software engineers:

  1. Software Engineer I (ICT2)
  2. Software Engineer II (ICT3)
  3. Software Engineer III (ICT4)
  4. Software Engineer IV (IVT5)
  5. Software Engineer V (ICT6)

Unlike many other companies in the technology industry, Apple does not use different terms like “Distinguished Engineer” or “Fellow” to describe its senior workers. Every software engineer is referred to by the title of “software engineer,” alongside a rank that reflects their seniority.

Most engineers at Apple work within lower levels of the hierarchy. In order to work your way up, you’ll need to make significant contributions to the company.

How Much Do Apple Software Engineers Earn?

That’s a great question. The average Apple salary for a software engineer varies between different salary ranges. Engineers who start at the entry-level will command an ICT2 salary, which is the lowest offered by Apple. As you accrue years of experience at Apple and earn promotions, you’ll be able to earn a higher salary.

Apple’s compensation package for software development engineers is highly competitive with what companies like Microsoft and Google have on offer.

Even at the lower levels, software engineers are compensated well for their work. Like at most tech companies, the majority of an engineer’s compensation package is distributed through a salary, which is then boosted by a bonus and stock package.

Here are the average salaries you can expect to earn based on Apple’s salary bands:

Level Name Total Base Bonus Stock (/yr)
ICT2 $167,000 $126,000 $18,000 $22,000
ICT3 $216,000 $143,000 $18,000 $54,000
ICT4 $317,000 $179,000 $25,000 $111,000
ICT5 $452,000 $211,000 $35,000 $205,000
ICT6 $754,000 $309,000 $67,000 $377,000

Data points sourced from .

These reported salaries illustrate one crucial point: Apple software engineers are well paid. It’s unclear whether there are any other levels within the Apple organization, but the aforementioned salary bands are the most common within the organization.

In the above table, “base” is the standard estimated salary you will earn as an Apple software engineer. Bonuses are given on an annual basis to people who hold software engineer jobs at Apple and can vary depending on your contributions to the company. Employees are also awarded stock options, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

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Apple Software Engineer Stock Options

Software engineers at Apple are issued Restricted Stock Units (RSUs). These are used by companies, especially in Silicon Valley, to compensate employees through company shares. RSUs are common because they act as an incentive due to being vested and tied to the company’s success.

At Apple, RSUs are subject to a four-year vesting schedule. This is the standard in the technology industry. Every year, 25 percent of your stock will vest (which equates to 12.5 percent every quarter). This means that after working at Apple for two years, you will have unlocked 50 percent of your total stock options.

Benefits of Working at Apple

Salary and stock options may be an important part of your compensation package at Apple, but it’s certainly not the only part you should think of if you want to work for the company. As an Apple software engineer, you’ll be entitled to a range of other benefits.

A few benefits offered to Apple employees are unique. For instance, Apple provides egg freezing services. The company also has an on-site clinic where you can receive medical assistance and an on-site mother’s room for parents.

There are a few different categories of benefits you’ll receive at Apple, ranging from health and wellness to finance. Let’s discuss the main benefits available to Apple employees.

Insurance and Wellness Benefits

Benefit Description
Health, Vision and Dental Insurance
Life Insurance
Pet Insurance
Free Snacks and Dinner Free dinner is provided five days a week
Gym On-Site On-site fitness classes are also provided
Paid Time Off 12 days of paid time off, plus two weeks of company shut down per year.
Health Savings Account Apple contributes $750 per year.

Transportation Benefits

Benefit Description
Bikes On-Campus
Company Shuttle
Transport Allowance Money toward your travel expenses to and from work

Home, Financial, and Other Benefits

Benefit Description
Company Phones
Fertility Assistance
Employee Discount 25 percent off once per year, 15 percent off multiple times per year.
Tuition Reimbursement Up to $5,250, subject to approval.
401(k) 100 percent match on first six percent of base salary.
Employee Stock Purchase Program 15 percent discount on purchase price of Apple stock. Allows contributions of up to 10 percent of your base salary.
Immigration Assistance
Roth 401(k) and Mega Backdoor Roth IRA

Apple vs Other Technology Companies

When you’re evaluating a compensation package, it can be helpful to know what other companies are offering. This will help you determine if you are getting a fair deal. The below table compares Apple’s software engineer compensation packages with that of Microsoft and Google:

Comparison Level Apple Comparison Company
Apple vs Microsoft Salary Entry-level $167,000 $162,000
Apple vs Microsoft Salary Second level $216,000 $176,000
Apple vs Microsoft Salary Third level $317,000 $221,600
Apple vs Google Salary Entry-level $167,000 $181,000
Apple vs Google Salary Second level $216,000 $258,000
Apple vs Google Salary Third level $317,000 $346,000

Wrapping Up

Apple has been at the forefront of technical innovation for decades. The company was responsible for revolutionizing the way we think about phones; they introduced the first touch-screen phone to the market. And when the company first started, it completely disrupted the personal computer industry through the Apple and Apple II computers.

As an entry-level engineer at Apple, you’ll command a significant salary of $167,000. As you work your way up within the company, you’ll be eligible to earn even more and receive more stock options.

As if that were not enough, you’ll also receive benefits such as paternity leave and on-site fitness classes. If you’re thinking about going to work for a big tech company, Apple is certainly worth considering.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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James Gallagher

About the author: James Gallagher is a self-taught programmer and the technical content manager at Career Karma. He has experience in range of programming languages and extensive expertise in Python, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. James has written hundreds of programming tutorials, and he frequently contributes to publications like Codecademy, Treehouse,, Afrotech, and others.

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