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Box vs. Dropbox: Who Pays More for Tech Talent?

When people debate over Box versus Dropbox, it’s not usually about whether Dropbox salaries are higher or Box has better benefits. It’s typically about which cloud storage service is better. The two companies launched within 24 months of one another and since then have been in constant competition for the top cloud service provider position with enterprise customers.

In fact, the two companies are so intertwined in the race-to-the-top that Gartner predicted 70 percent of the two companies’ competitors would be gone by 2018.

That competition doesn’t stop with customer acquisition either. Given the similarities in product, location (the two companies are about 30 minutes from one another in the San Francisco Bay area), and even name, it’s no surprise that the brands compete for talent, too.

Here at Paysa, we’ve shared some insights into Dropbox salaries before, but to help you evaluate different job opportunities at Dropbox and Box, we’ve pulled together a handy guide comparing Box and Dropbox salaries for a variety of common tech jobs.

But first, let’s look at a comparison of the average Box and Dropbox salaries for all roles:

Average Box Salaries

Box has approximately 1,400 employees in 2017 (and is looking to hire more) with an average overall salary of $250,000 per year, according to Paysa data. Not too shabby, right? That includes an average base salary of $140,000, an annual bonus of $32,000, and because Box became a publicly traded company in 2014, $78,000 in annual equity.

Box Average Salary

Average salary for a Box employee, per Paysa data

Average Dropbox Salaries

According to LinkedIn, Dropbox currently has approximately 2,500 employees. Like Box, the company is definitely bringing on new talent (check out some current job openings here). According to Paysa data, Dropbox salaries are over $50,000 more than what you’d find at Box. The average base salary at Dropbox is $144,000 per year with an annual bonus of $30,000. Both of those are pretty on-par with what you’d expect to see at Box, but it’s the annual equity that gives Dropbox a considerable edge.

Because Dropbox is one of those tech “unicorns” that have not yet had their IPO, equity is considerably higher there than with Box. The average employee sees $129,000 per year in annual equity, bringing the overall compensation to over $302,000 per year. Equity is a serious chunk of the overall compensation for Dropbox jobs. Some tech professionals may see it as an exciting opportunity to land a position with a pre-IPO company. For others, the risk may be too high and the safety of a career with Box may sound more appealing.

Dropbox Average Salary

Average salary for a Dropbox employee, per Paysa data 

Can you expect the same difference in Box and Dropbox salaries for individual jobs? Let’s take a look:

Web Developer

When it comes to web development jobs, Dropbox definitely maintains a competitive edge regarding compensation. Box web developers earn an average salary of $154,000 per year, which is still about $30,000 more than the average tech salary for web developers of $123,000, according to Paysa. But Dropbox blows that number completely out of the water. Dropbox salaries for web developers average around $249,000 per year—nearly $100,000 more than what you can expect to earn at Box.

A good chunk of that gap comes from the difference in equity. At Box, annual equity equals out to about $45,000, whereas Dropbox offers $113,000. But, it’s not just the equity that puts Dropbox so far ahead. Though the base salaries are nearly the same at $110,000 (Box) and $113,000 (Dropbox), Box does not have an annual bonus plan for web developer jobs. Dropbox, on the other hand, offers an annual bonus around $23,000 per year.

Box Web Developer Salary

Average salary for a web developer at Box, per Paysa data

Dropbox Web Developer

Average salary for a web developer at Dropbox, per Paysa data 

Software Engineer

It’s no secret that software engineers earn some of the best salaries in all of tech. So, let’s take a look at how compensation for this mission-critical job compares between the two cloud service giants:

Box Software Engineer Salary

Average salary for a software engineer at Box, per Paysa data

Dropbox Software Engineer Salary

Average salary for a software engineer at Dropbox, per Paysa data

Once again, Dropbox comes out on top by nearly $100,000. The average software engineer at Box earns $262,000 per year, including a base salary of $149,000, an annual bonus of $32,000, and equity of $82,000 per year. Dropbox salaries for software engineers average around $360,000 per year, which includes a base salary of $163,000, an annual bonus of $29,000, and annual equity that actually exceeds the base salary: a whopping $168,000 per year. 

Engineering Manager

While engineers have different career paths they can take, for those interested in leadership, an engineering manager position is a natural step. And while both companies definitely take care of their leadership with generous compensation plans, the difference between Box and Dropbox salaries for engineering managers really puts the nail in the coffin for Box.

Box Engineer Manager Salary

Average salary for an engineering manager at Box, per Paysa data

Dropbox Engineer Manager Salary

Average salary for an engineering manager at Dropbox, per Paysa data

$230,000 more per year is a huge difference and likely more than any engineering manager would be willing to consider. The average engineering manager at Box makes a base salary of $213,000 per year, with a $70,000 bonus, and $117,000 in equity. Dropbox, on the other hand, offers a base of $234,000 per year, with a $52,000 bonus, and an amazing $344,000 in annual equity. Which is why, when it comes to compensation, Dropbox is undoubtedly the winner. And as a result, it should come as no surprise that Dropbox currently holds the #13 position in Paysa’s CompanyRank (Box is in the #60 spot).

Paysa CompanyRank comparison for Dropbox and Box 

Box (Average salary)$350K
Dropbox (Average salary)$302K
Box Web Developer$154K
Dropbox Web Developer$249K
Box Software Engineer$262K
Dropbox Software Engineer$360K
Box Engineering Manager$400K
Dropbox Engineering Manager$630K


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Author: Paysa