Adobe is one of the few software companies that has successfully made the switch from selling boxed software to cloud-based programs. While it’s best known for creative software like Photoshop and its PDF tools, it has also been building out a digital marketing unit over the last 10 years.
As at other Silicon Valley companies, jobs at Adobe are highly sought after. While the firm doesn’t share its salary and compensation information publicly, federal data gives some insight into how much Adobe pays its top talent.
When American companies want to hire foreign workers under visas like H-1B and L-1, they have to disclose salary information in the applications to the The Office of Foreign Labor Certification, which publishes the data every year. Business Insider analyzed Adobe’s 248 active foreign-worker visas to find out how much it pays workers in areas like engineering, data science and machine learning, sales, product management, and finance.
While its not a comprehensive look — the data only includes salaries for foreign workers and the roles they were hired for — it is a rare snapshot into how Adobe employees are paid. Notably, the data also doesn’t include bonuses or stock awards, so this is base salary versus total compensation.
We’ve included data for the most common roles, as well as some of the highest paid roles, which often only had one or two hires. Roles are categorized into business units like marketing, engineering, or security, based on information we found in job postings. Let us know if you think any titles are in the wrong category.
A few notes: If job titles have a salary range it means there were multiple hires with varied salaries, and if a job title only has one salary it means there was only one hire or that all the hires had the same salary. If a job title has a state listed, it means the data only showed hires in that state, but if no state is listed, it means hires were across multiple states.
Offices in different cities may pay local employees at different rates, based on factors including the cost of living. A majority of Adobe’s active visas are in California, where the company is headquartered.
Here’s how much Adobe paid employees in seven different departments within the company in 2020:
Software engineers are core to Adobe’s business, and made up a majority of the company’s active visas this year. The positions also earned some of the highest salaries included in the data. Adobe’s engineers work on building its core products: its creative tools, document tools, and its digital marketing and customer experience tools.
This category also included the highest paid role included in the data: a senior engineering manager UI in California for $241,696.
Senior engineering manager UI (California): $241,696
Software development engineer: $80,371 to $172,640
Senior software engineer: $116,958 to 168,958
Research engineer: $124,280 to $168,002
Engineering manager (California): $205,440
Web services software engineer (California): $118,456
Security, reliability, and infrastructure
As a software company that runs its technology in the cloud, Adobe needs engineers that focus on the reliability, security, and infrastructure of its products. These include engineering roles focused on site reliability, designing the systems that the software runs on, and checking the quality of the tools.
These roles also netted some of the highest salaries in the data.
Senior site reliability engineer (California): $172,640
Systems design/architecture engineer (California): $146,994
Senior network engineer (California): $145,725
Software quality engineer: $89,627 to $113,086
Cloud operations site reliability engineer (Washington): $144,123
Technical support engineer: $108,783 to $113,630
Application security researcher (California): $146,994
Data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence
Adobe has a huge focus on integrating artificial intelligence into all its products. It’s continually developing its AI platform — called Adobe Sensei — to make its creative, document, and digital marketing tools better and easier for customers to use.
Adobe’s CTO Abhay Parasnis previously told Business Insider that the company can be successful in AI by focusing on a narrow set of goals, rather than try to outstrip Microsoft, Google, and others.
“We are not trying to make it a general purpose AI for anything,” he said. “And so that gives us the chance to go super, super deep.”
These are some of the AI, machine learning, and data science roles that make this work happen, and how much they are paid.
Data scientist: $109,554 to $168,002
Machine learning engineer (California): $92,560 to $154,669
Senior data engineer (California): $156,749
Big data engineer (California): $131,726
Manager, applied machine learning platforms (California): $163,530
Manager, machine learning engineer (California): $121,472 to $169,603
NLP specialist (California): $108,784 to $117,770
Product managers and program managers
The federal data also listed a number of product and program manager hires, some earning over $200,000.
Product managers generally manage the process of rolling out a new product, including planning and troubleshooting, as well as figuring out the strategy for how to convince customers to buy it. Though similar to product managers, program managers generally take a more organization-wide approach and consider the strategic initiatives that go into developing a product.
Senior director, product management (California): $232,419 to $241,696
Product manager: $108,347 to $163,530
Senior product manager (California): $137,530 to $161,845
Analytics product & experiences manager (California): $136,531 to $163,530
Senior engineering program manager (California): $140,253
Security program manager (California): $146,994
Program manager (IT) (California): $163,530
Sales, marketing, and customer facing roles
Sales and marketing roles span a wide variety of responsibilities within Adobe, but most importantly they all interact with customers in some way. That includes salespeople and consultants, who have the most direct customer relationships. Meanwhile marketing roles focus on bringing in new customers, and go-to-market roles focus on the process of getting a product into the hands of customers.
SMB sales executive (New York): $81,661
Campaign sales velocity lead (New York): $142,076
Manager, consulting services sales (California): $161,845
Manager, marketing and customer insights (California): $122,803
Marketing specialist (California): $108,347 to $122,803
Go to market strategy associate (California): $108,347
Professional services consultant: $100,152 to $138,341
Functional lead, Adobe Experience Manager (Pennsylvania): $134,347
Finance and business
There were a few roles on the finance and business development teams listed in Adobe’s foreign worker data. People in these roles are tasked with determining how Adobe’s business is doing and creating plans to continue growing the company, while working with product and sales leaders.
Financial analyst (California): $94,806 to $139,443
Senior business solutions analyst (California): $163,530
Business intelligence analyst (California): $101,379 to $136,531
Business process analyst (California): $136,531
Tax accountant (senior tax analyst) (California): $106,662
Corporate development/strategy partner (California): $155,251
While there weren’t many design roles in Adobe’s foreign worker data, its an important job at the company. Adobe is a leader in the design industry with its photo and video editing, graphics, and animation tools. That means its own products are designed thoughtfully and consistently to give users a good experience.
User experience designer: $79,664 to $85,696
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