Intel Careers: What You Need to Know

Intel careers cover a wide range of job types: engineering, business, graphics, AI, design, sales and marketing, hardware, construction, data science, and so on. Founded in 1968, Intel now has well over 100,000 employees, with about 6,500 in the Santa Clara, CA headquarters.

There are also offices in many other US states and in a number of countries, so it would be best to target your preferred locations if that consideration is important. You could also prioritize Intel careers first if the role is more important than location.  Fortunately, there are about 5,700 Blind users who are Intel employees so there are many unique insights within our platform about careers at Intel.

How do I get a job at Intel?

It’s common knowledge that having contacts with a company can help you get a referral which boosts your chances of getting a job. Intel careers are no different, but if you don’t have any contacts there you can also always try your LinkedIn network. If you don’t have many LinkedIn connections, you could try to build them up before you use that channel. Also, you can try to connect with Intel recruiters on LinkedIn.

Another avenue to pursue is to look for a referral on Blind like this one:

 “It depends if you work in hardware or software and which group you are planning to join. DM me if you want a referral, I can tell you which groups to avoid. The chances of someone looking at your resume increase by around 95% with a referral.” Sep. 27, 2017

Insights from Blind

“It’s totally ok to interview with multiple groups, it’s better to be frank though and tell each group you are also interviewing with others when they ask. But you won’t get more compensation since groups are not allowed to bid on offers. So if you decided to join another group than the one initial offered, unless it’s a different title/job code, the offer should be the same. I do think Intel is a good place for hardware engineers to learn so many aspects, compensation and politics aside.” May 29, 2018 (Read more here)

“I think it took me over a month for them to get from “we intend to hire you” to an initial offer… it was very unimpressive.” May 15, 2018

“It took them 2 months to get back to me after on-site. Chill. They are glacially slow.” Mar. 2, 2018 (Read more here)

How is the compensation?

The average Intel salary is about $141,000 according to Paysa. Of course, there are many factors that influence salary level, and total compensation can include other resources like stock, bonuses, benefits and perks.

Insights from Blind

“I’m a SWE 8 grade at Intel Santa Clara, with 6 YOE (10 including PhD), and I make 150/40/30, so 220k TC.”  Oct. 20, 2018 (Read more here)

“I have 8 years experience in hw verification. Got an offer for 140k base n 50k stocks from intel . Is it a good offer?” Nov. 22, 2017 (Read more here)

“Principal SW Engineer, H1b, Bay Area. 10yrs worked. Current TC is 200k base, 30k bonus, 50k stock. Is this good at Intel?”  Sep. 30, 2018 (Read more here)

“Well I was given a high grade 6 offer – 120K + 12K stocks and 12K bonus and 13K and sign on of 30K. Folsom location. At 13% for geo difference.” Sep 30, 2018 (Read more here)

“Grade 6. Remember, real employment at Intel starts at Grade 7, so you want to get there asap. No RSU before 7, and bonuses are much smaller.” May 14, 2018 (Read more here)

“Apparently Intel likes to pay less than market value and advertise their bonus structure as a way for you to make up a portion of the money you should be earning as part of your base salary.” Jan. 2, 2018 (Read more here)

How are the perks?

Some of the perks at Intel written about online are free gym access, free food, discounts at local business, sometimes there are free movie and event passes. Corporate discounts may be available as well.

Insights from Blind

For a question about Intel processor discounts, one answer was, “It’s about 50-60% off the processor. Pretty good deal imo.” Aug. 24, 2018 (Read more here)

How is the culture?

Intel has an intentional company culture based on six values: results, risk taking, discipline, inclusivity, quality, and customer orientation.

Insights from Blind

“Join only if wlb is the ‘only’ thing you care about. But imma be honest, if you ‘only’ care about wlb, you arent gonna go far with your career. Apart from wlb, intel does not offer anything eve close to mediocre. Intel’s sw teams are sub mediocre.” Feb. 3, 2019 (Read more here)

“Intel internally is stuck in the 90s tech and process wise. Do not expect to work on anything new, modern or groundbreaking software wise. Do not expect good raises or promotions. Do not even expect good w/l balance, as that is no longer a given for Intel anymore in my experience.” Apr. 9, 2018 (Read more here)

“Intel is the best place to be if you are around 60. Many old timers around this age have already retired on payroll. Join if you are done with your career, but would like a paycheck for a few more years. In any other case, RUN!” Apr. 10, 2018 (Read more here)

“I feel stifled in Intel. Back when I had joined , it had very good quality people at least in the couple of teams that I worked in. Most good people have left or are leaving , so I have no choice but to leave.” Feb. 11, 2019 (Read more here)

“I work on actually building the processors at Intel. I am a white male and I got a six figure starting salary in Arizona, United States. You don’t need to be an URM. I see a lot of white, Asian, Indian males being hired this past 12 months. I work a lot of hours, but I am treated well, paid well, and have career development.” Sep. 27, 2017 (Read more here)

“Intel internally is stuck in the 90s tech and process wise. Do not expect to work on anything new, modern or groundbreaking software wise. Do not expect good raises or promotions. Do not even expect good w/l balance, as that is no longer a given for Intel anymore in my experience.” Apr. 9, 2018 (Read more here)

How diverse are the employee ranks?

In 2018, almost 27% of the US employees were female, about 5% were black and 9.2% were Hispanic.

Insights from Blind

“I’m at Intel and male. I do see the recent uptick in hiring of women at Intel. Apparently almost all of the diversity hires for the past 2 years have been women. Now that they have met their quota, they are going after other areas of minority. So, far I’m only stating facts and no opinions of mine have been expressed.” Nov. 1, 2018 (Read more here)

What are some of the issues?

Former CEO Brian Krzanich resigned in 2018 after having an affair with an Intel employee. The relationship was a violation of the company’s non-fraternization policy. This scandal was not indicative of any company-wide issue. Once such problem is a lack of diversity, another is the lower pay relative to other big tech companies.

Thousands of employees were laid off in the last several years, and some were older workers which raised the potential issue of age discrimination. A number of the laid off Intel employees had been with the company for close to 20 years, which is much longer than the average tenure at the newer large tech companies.

Insights from Blind

“Do people actually believe he was truly fired for having an affair with a subordinate? Come on now.” Jun. 29, 2018 (Read more here)

“He lost his job because Intel missed out on mobile and because his personal behavior provided an opening for dismissal.” Jun. 29, 2018 (Read more here)

“When I interviewed there, the hiring manager mentioned that the ‘tier 1 talent is unjustifiably expensive and not worth it.’ I worked there for a few years while improving my CS skills. And man can I tell you how shit Intel software generally is. At this point the inertia means it’s not worth hiring the best – you’d have to strip down entire teams and rewrite whole codebases. TLDR: a culture of crap software means more expensive talent is not easy to leverage, so why try.” Dec. 29, 2017 (Read more here)

What is the cost of housing in Santa Clara?

Santa Clara is located in Silicon Valley where housing is very expensive and Intel careers typically don’t pay as much as the big tech companies like Google, Facebook and Apple do. For some Intel employees it might be better to live in more affordable areas where they can afford to buy a home. Some tech workers in Silicon Valley don’t make enough to buy their own homes.

If you are thinking of trying for a career at Intel in Santa Clara you might have to give up the idea of home ownership.

On a question about total compensation for a role in Santa Clara, one answer on Blind was, “TC is not bad for a low cost geo like AZ or OR. Issue is that Intel does not scale cost of living correctly to Bay Area locality, where you’d need at least +$70k.” Dec. 12, 2018 (Read more here)

What are some advantages to pursuing Intel careers?

Intel has been in business for over fifty years and has generated enormous revenues. It’s very well-established with a huge employee base. If you desire a predictable career path with long-term stability Intel might be the way to go. At the same time, technology can change rapidly so even a tech company with a very long history can be subject to rapid changes in business operations and the market.

Even so, a career at Intel might last longer than one in a startup because about 75% of startups fail. Some Intel employees have remained with the company for many years, but the average employee tenure at some of the largest tech companies is much shorter.

If you are young and just starting out, working at Intel for at least three years might be what you are looking for to build your resume and a savings account. Some young adults want more action, speed and maybe some excitement so they accept the risks  embedded in the the startup experience and choose that path.

What are some Intel career disadvantages?

Intel is sort of the opposite of a startup and some consider it to be a level below the top tech companies like Google and Apple. These people want the best options and go for them. According to them, Intel might not be a work environment that helps develop your professional skills and experience to get to the top level. 

On Blind, a number of posters did not say Intel is the best place to work.

Insights from Blind

“As a company it is not inspiring, is stodgy, and is severely messing with morale. There have been seemingly arbitrary decisions to gut our IT department, which has left us with the same roadmap projects and no resources to help us get things done on schedule.” Apr. 11, 2018 (Read more here)

“I really don’t recommend Intel. The business is tenuous, the exec and middle management is bad, the HR practices are horrible, and it is a caustic sweat shop.” Sep. 27, 2017 (Read more here)

“A friend from college who works there says they work you pretty hard, the scheduling is relentless. So work life balance sucks and pay is not so good compared to other top tech companies. Other that seems ok.” Sep. 27, 2017 (Read more here)

Image Credit: Coolcaesar, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

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