We keep talking about these huge FAANG salaries, but after considering cost of living, are they really paying that much more? For example, I would require a $550k/year in TC in San Fran and $695k in Manhattan to maintain my standard of living on my $250k TC in a low cost of living city. So are FAANG attorneys (senior counsel level) routinely making $500k + in cities like Chicago, Austin, etc.?

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Where are you getting $250k in a LCOL? Sounds nice. But also some FAANG and FAANG-level growth tech jobs are no longer tied to location.

Also curious how you’re running these comparisons. Why are you pricing Manhattan as so much higher than SF? What are you considering “equivalent standard of living”? It’s common for people to point to a NYC rent and say “omg for that price I can have a 5 bedroom house on 3 acres in Toledo,” but that’s not necessarily the right way to think about it.

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OPs numbers are hilariously way off. First, you’re probably netting something like $165k post tax on your $250k, and someone making $550k is probably netting something like $330k (that’s double OP’s net annual salary). Second, the cost of living - difference - would have to be greater than your entire net salary per year just to put you at worse than a break even. It doesn’t cost a $165k premium to live in SF, for example, and if you’ve bought a house, there’s also appreciation to factor in. These numbers are super rough and not precise (and assumes, in both instances, comp is cash or converted to cash), but they are way better than the spitball ones being talked about here. $550k > $250k every single time, IMO. $695k in Manhattan? Yes, please. What are you talking about?

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How are OPs numbers off? With regards to your first sentence, 550k is a little over twice of 250k before tax, not sure what you are getting at with the after tax comment. If you are purchasing property, cost of servicing loan (1 mil will buy you a property in Bay Area you could probably get for 200k in Houston, or even less in smaller markets), take into account property taxes, cost of childcare and private school(vs premium to live in good school district), OPs numbers seem about right.

FAANG senior counsel in SF make $550k+

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Yes

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Let’s put it this way, I’m at FAANG now in the Bay Area and have the opportunity to move to anywhere in the country with a max 15% base pay reduction. My total comp is around 430k now so that would probably be something like 390k in say Montana. I’ve thought about moving but doesn’t really make sense to me because:

1) I still want to be near a big tech hub - easy to switch jobs I’d I wanted to
2) Bay Area is gorgeous, diverse, lots of nature, hiking, and overall higher quality stuff
3) this is the biggest one - I’ve never lived in a lost cost place so I had no ties to it.

Also I’ve done the math because and 500k in Bay Area is worth waaaay more than 250k in low/medium cost area. You can never equate the standard of living, it’s higher for a reason not just arbitrary.

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What are these numbers? I don't make anywhere that much in NY, but I'm doing more than fine. I think families live in pretty fancy NYC suburbs with great schools and decent size homes on far less than $695K.

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Hmm big law associates/ counsel in NYC aren’t even making $695k. That seems like an arbitrarily high number. I’m not sure this is a FAANG specific question, cuz it sounds like you’re asking “if i make 250k in a low cost of living city, is that really the equivalent of making 550k in SF or 695k in NYC in terms of quality of life.” Unless you live somewhere EXTREMELY cheap currently, I would guess the answer is no from a pure financial perspective. But the quality of life aspect just depends on what you consider important. For me, having easy access to theaters, great restaurants, and live music is way better than living in a big house in the suburb. I’d personally happily take a 300k job in NYC over a 300k job in Raleigh. If you value having a yard and a single family house, then things might shake out differently for you. Large cities just have diff pros/cons, so it’s hard to make a 1:1 comparison on objective metrics.

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I roughly define standard of living as similar Sq ft house that’s similarly renovated, similarly rated school district, same monthly savings plan, and similar or at least reasonable commute time. So maybe it’s more of a financial standard of living. Quick real estate search tells me that I might be able get that in Silicon Valley $550/year but maybe not and any less would be difficult.

I’m really just asking if dollars in TC (including equity) per year are actually that much more at a FAANG after factoring in cost of living expenses.

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Whether one can rationalize a smaller or older, etc. dwelling on grounds like the availability of transit, cultural experiences, good restaurants, etc. is the key. For some, absolutely. If people don’t care about some or all of that stuff but value space, decent public schools, having a car, and so forth, no. All of which is just consistent with your point, not arguing against it, of course.

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5 of my law school classmates are working for FAANG in South Florida and Texas remotely. I think if you snag a remote role with FAANG it’s worth it.

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I am not FAANG but in-house in tech in Texas. COL Austin has been steadily increasing over the past few years. Definitely not Bay Area/NY but I would not consider it low COL anymore. One problem I have seen trying to apply into the Austin in-house market is people really want to relocate there for lifestyle, so companies try to offer lower comp to attorney job postings and someone will take it. FAANG salaries here are probably more insulated from that issue, but just a general comment about Austin.

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The area I’m in has pros/cons, certainly grateful, but would prefer living in a larger city. Data is from the nerd wallet cost of living calculator. There are tons of others too and they all vary slightly.

All I know is that any time I’ve interviewed at F100 companies in large cities, the offers don’t allow me to maintain my current standard of living. Guess FAANG is the answer.

What exactly do you mean by “standard of living”? It’s a different kind of lifestyle. You’re buying access to things — cultural institutions at your fingertips, public transportation, global airport hubs, restaurants that are open past 8pm, world class nightlife, social and commercial networking, yada yada yada. If you want all that *and* to maintain the same square footage in your home and keep an unnecessary private vehicle, of course that’s going to be wildly more expensive.

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Yes 🙋‍♀️ senior counsel, 10yrs practice. The TC is about 10-15% lower in non NY or CA cities like Chicago, Austin and others…

these numbers hurt my soul

Because I’m otherwise similarly situated and have a great job but I don’t make half that

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