Google Leads Tech Salaries

Google employees are the best-paid in the IT industry, according to a pay survey.

Workers at the search giant earn an average mid-career pay, for workers with 10 years' experience, of $141,000, which is 23 percent higher than the IT industry's market pay, the PayScale survey found. (See also CEO Payday: What Tech's Top Execs Raked in for 2010.")

Google, which provides company perks such as free meals, pets at work and daycare, was ahead of Microsoft, which had the second-highest mid-career pay of $127,000. This is despite Microsoft paying the highest average starting salary of the industry ($86,900), compared to Google's $82,600.

Both companies were ahead of Facebook in terms of average starting salary pay ($59,100), however the survey was not able to provide a mid-career pay for the social networking company because not enough employees were able to report ten or more years' experience.

After Google, Amazon was found to pay its employees 17 percent more than the industry average, with an average starting pay of $72,200 and a mid-career pay of $110,000.

Apple and Microsoft came in jointly at third place, paying staff 15 percent more than market pay.

However, Hewlett-Packard was found to pay its employees 5 percent below the market rate, with a mid-career median pay of $91,600. Although its starting median pay at $55,100 was not as low as Apple ($43,100), which was the lowest but provides perks such as occasional gifts and a stock purchase plan, and Dell ($53,700).

Despite the high pay rates, one area that all the companies surveyed performed weakly on was gender balance.

Facebook had the highest percentage of female employees, at 33 percent versus 67 percent men, followed by Google, where female workers made up 29 percent of the company.

The poorest performing companies were Intel and Microsoft, where women made up just 20 percent of the workforce.

Meanwhile, Facebook also has the youngest workforce, where the average age is just 26 -- founder Mark Zuckerberg only turned 27 last month -- compared to the oldest, which was HP, where workers are aged 44 on average.

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