H1B Salaries: When to Trust the Data (and When to Ask More Questions)

H1B visa salaryThe H-1B program is a nonimmigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in “specialty occupations” that require a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent.

The law governing the H-1B program, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), expounds peculiar standards to protect U.S. workers and H-1B workers.

Prevailing Salary for H1B Visa holders determined by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)

One of the standards is the requirement that employers pay H-1B workers the prevailing wage. The prevailing wage is the wage paid to most workers in the same occupation in the same area of employment. The prevailing wage is determined by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

Employers must attest to the DOL that they will pay H-1B workers the prevailing wage. They can attest to paying the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment, or they can attest to paying the actual wage paid to other workers with similar experience and qualifications for the job in question. The actual wage must be at least equal to the prevailing wage.

The requirement to pay H-1B workers the prevailing wage is designed to protect U.S. workers from being undercut by lower-paid foreign workers. It also helps to ensure that H-1B workers are paid a fair wage for their work.

In addition to the prevailing wage requirement, the INA also requires employers to provide H-1B workers with certain benefits, such as health insurance and paid sick leave. The INA also prohibits employers from discriminating against H-1B workers based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or citizenship status.

The H-1B Salary Database is a great resource for H-1B workers to get an idea of the prevailing wages for their occupation in the area where they will be working. The database is based on data from the DOL’s Labor Condition Application (LCA), which is a form that employers must file before they can hire an H-1B worker. The LCA requires employers to disclose the wage they will pay the H-1B worker, as well as other information about the job.

However, it’s not free from errors. The data is self-reported by employers, so it’s possible that some employers may not accurately report the wages they pay their H-1B workers. Additionally, the database only includes data for jobs that have been approved for H-1B sponsorship, so it may not be representative of all H-1B jobs.

Despite these limitations, the H-1B Salary Database proves to be a valuable resource for H-1B workers. It can help workers to negotiate a fair wage for their job and to understand the market for their skills.

Know about the H1B Salary Level Requirements for LCA

It’s essential for H1B visa applicants to grasp the subtleties involved in wage level requirements for the Labor Condition Application (LCA) process. The LCA requires employers to lay down the wage level for the H1B position they are hiring for.

Based on the occupation, experience, and education required for the position, DOL ascertains wage level. There are four wage levels for H1B positions:

  • Level I: Entry-level positions
  • Level II: Mid-level positions
  • Level III: Senior-level positions
  • Level IV: Highly skilled positions

It’s mandatory for the U.S. employer to at least a prevailing wage to the H1B work for the wage level specified in LCA. The prevailing wage is nothing but the wage paid to almost all workers of the same occupation employed in the same area of employment.

The wage level requirements are fundamental for a number of reasons, such as

  • Ensuring that H1B workers are paid a fair wage.
  • Protection of U.S. workers from being undercut by lower-paid foreign workers.
  • Guaranteeing that H1B workers are qualified for the positions they are being hired for.

Why You Need More Information for H1B Base Salary?

As it’s understood that this data is very helpful but it only pertains to the base salary information which is incomplete as there is a definite way to count total compensation. Total compensation includes base salary (offered or visible on the sites), bonus (based on the performance of the employee), equity (granted to the employee in the form of stock options or many other ways), and benefits (such as health insurance, retirement saving plans and miscellaneous perks).

The philosophy of total compensation is gaining momentum in the present-day world, especially in the realm of big technology companies. It’s primarily due to the companies’ ability to attract and retain top talent in their field by offering a better deal in terms of compensation and additional benefits.

How to calculate the total compensation for an H1B Visa worker?

Total Compensation = Base salary + Bonus + Equity + Benefits

If you’re an H1B worker, then you ought to keep certain points in mind while negotiating your total compensation package, such as your skills and experience, the market value of your job position, the company’s budget, and your willingness and boldness to walk away.

Let’s take an instance to understand it better:

You’re a software engineer with 3 years of experience and have accepted the offer from Google in Mountain View, CA, of base salary- $120,000, a bonus of up to 20% of your given base salary, and equity in the form of restricted stock.

As the bonus is performance-based, hence not guaranteed. Nevertheless, meeting the performance goals results in an addition of $24,000. The restricted stock depends on the rising stock value of the company in the stock market. As far as benefits are concerned, It’s estimated to be $15,000. Therefore, the total compensation is:

  • Base salary: $120,000
  • Bonus: up to $24,000
  • Equity: up to $? (depending on the value of Google’s stock)
  • Benefits: $15,000

After comprehending the total compensation philosophy and its varied components, you can make a wise decision about your employment offer.

A Closer Look at Total Compensation of H1B visa employee

Consider the aforementioned instance and remember the fact that the actual total compensation package could differ based on the policy of the company and the worker’s personal skills and experience. The H1B salary data is often incomplete as it focuses only on the base salary information. It’s highly advisable that you do your own research or rather take help from an expert like us, https://h1bvisajobs.com/, as we’ve many years of experience in enlightening young minds about the additional wages and benefits encompassed within the total compensation.

We also provide Negotiation Coaching sessions to potential foreign workers willing to work in the U.S. to help them learn the art of negotiation to avail fair and competitive offers.

We assure you that you’re not alone in this journey. We have a pool of talented experts who have expertise either as a recruiter/employer or worker and they can guide you through the entire process of the H1B salary database and boost your confidence to negotiate a deal with smartness and fluency.


It’s quite natural to feel a bit uneasy while discussing money matters, especially with your employer. However, you can alleviate some of that anxiety by equipping yourself with knowledge about what others in your field are earning. Discovering that you’re receiving a fair salary can boost your job satisfaction and overall sense of well-being. We sincerely hope that the following websites will prove helpful in your quest to determine your worth.

And if you’re interested in even more salary information, we recommend taking a look at our comprehensive guide on salary statistics. This resource can provide valuable insights into what the average salary is for your profession and location.

It’s equally important to be aware that the salary information published for H-1B visas by various sources may not always be entirely accurate. This is due to the fact that certain crucial components of total compensation, particularly in the technology sector and some other industries, may not be included in the data collected.

Lastly, if you’re currently on the hunt for a new job, be sure to check out our list of the top job search engines. These tools can help you find the perfect opportunity to take your career to the next level.

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