OpenAI's Gigantic Salaries Are Making Apple, Google, Microsoft Pay Look... Meh

Zinger Key Points
  • OpenAI is paying engineers about $925,000 per year on average in total compensation.
  • The company's valuation has soared to upwards of $80 billion this year.
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Artificial intelligence hype is at an all-time high as companies across the board rush to implement AI across their businesses. OpenAI, arguably the leader in the space, is paying top dollar for its talent

What To Know: According to recent reports citing tech salary data from Levels.fyi, Microsoft Corp MSFT-backed OpenAI paid the average engineer about $925,000 per year in total compensation.

A level five software engineer at OpenAI had a base salary of $300,000 and made an additional $625,000 a year from stock-based compensation. Level five employees had around 10 years of experience. 

The lowest reported salary was an engineer with two to four years of experience, making $210,000 per year. That figure doesn't include stock-based compensation. Some of the higher-level software engineers at OpenAI made as much as $1.4 million per year. 

OpenAI essentially spearheaded the AI boom with the launch of its large language model (LLM) ChatGPT late last year. It quickly became the fastest-growing consumer application in history and continued to be adopted across a wide range of industries.

Related Link: OpenAI's New Frontier: GPT-4 Turbo Packs A Punch With Expanded Memory And Reduced Costs

OpenAI forked over bigger salaries than some of the largest companies on the planet including Apple Inc AAPL and Alphabet Inc GOOGGOOGL

Even Microsoft, which previously invested more than $3 billion in OpenAI and announced an additional $10 billion investment in the AI company earlier this year, paled in comparison. 

The tech giant made salary offers ranging from $77,000 to $310,000 in 2022 and trimmed back its workforce by about 5% this year. 

The unprecedented demand for AI roles appeared to be driving premiums in the space. Workers without any experience reportedly landed prompt engineering gigs training LLMs for as much as $335,000 per year. 

OpenAI's valuation continued to soar as AI rapidly advanced. Earlier this year, the company raised $11.3 billion at a valuation between $27 billion and $29 billion, according to TechCrunch

A recent report from The Information suggested the company was now being valued at close to $80 billion as investment firms looked to buy up employee shares. Given the company's valuation surge, stock-based compensation packages would likely pay huge dividends well beyond the aforementioned numbers. 

Read Next: Personalized ChatGPT To Copyright Shield And Selling GPT Bots: What You Need To Know About Sam Altman's OpenAI Dev Day

Photo:  Sergei Tokmakov from Pixabay.

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