Underpaid? Can some semiconductor industry veterans please advise me?
B.E. Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering
M.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)
5.2 years (Firmware development, platform development and RF system design over 2 jobs before & after Masters)
7 months internship (full time internship developing the validation platform for a mid-sized semiconductor company)
Current Job Title:
Software Quality Engineer (Small Semiconductor company based in Austin, Texas)
$93000 (Base pay)
No bonus plan & stocks that are currently worthless (Company has been around for 10+ years but doesn’t want to go public)
Write C code to test out accurate functionality of the hardware, simulator, instructions and communication protocols. Might soon do some performance analysis.
Use Bash shell and Tcl scripting in conjunction with C code. Python on rare occasions.
Analyze test failures, find and file bugs and assist in adding solutions to improve the test suite.
Assist the RTL team with some test automation.
I have been working at my current small sized company for the past year. On negotiating before joining, I could raise the initial salary from $90k to $92k. No signing bonus or annual bonus. Since I mentioned that I was expecting a much higher pay given my 4 years of prior experience. (2 years before masters & 2 years after), they mentioned that once I spend 6 months in the company, my performance will be evaluated & I’ll get a raise accordingly.
Fast-forward 7 months in & the company is not doing too well. I decide to not ask for a raise until things stabilize. After a month & new funding, everyone in the company got a pay hike to “match industry standard salaries”. I got a hike of $1000 & was told that since I was not with the company for even a year, that’s all that I would get. A few days later, I setup a meeting with my manager & expressed my appreciation for the bonus. But I also mentioned to him that I was promised a review that should lead to a hike 6 months in. I told him that I would wait until I complete a year to approach the topic again. He has always been very accommodating, understanding & is a great Manager. He agreed that it was the right way to approach things.
Since we don’t have official reviews, during a casual talk with my Manager a while back, he mentioned that he got an overall good feedback (apart from me asking a lot of questions at times). I am planning on talking to him about the raise soon & wanted to have a good case to bring to him.
Therefore, here I am, asking you veterans out there for some advice.
Since I joined, I have learnt Tcl & Perl for various projects, expanded myself to help people from other teams when they have technical questions & have generally been very flexible. Have worked with almost every team. I like the work, love working with & learning from my colleagues & love the flexibility of the job. However, I feel that the total compensation is highly inferior to my peers.
For my current level of experience, am I underpaid? If yes, what would you say would be a good range? (eg. 95k-100k, 100k-105k, etc.)
Tips on how to make my case stronger would be highly appreciated.