Magic Leap, the much-hyped augmented reality startup that raised billions for its augmented-reality goggles, has had a roller coaster of a 2020.
The Florida-headquartered startup had raised over $3 billion by the end of 2019 from a who’s who of big-name investors. But then its first product launched in 2017 to middling reviews and poor sales.
By 2019, Magic Leap rebranded as an enterprise product, putting it in head-to-head competition with giant Microsoft. In April, the company restructured and reportedly laid off almost half its workforce and shortly after, CEO Rony Abovitz announced he was stepping down.
In July, the company hired Microsoft’s famed dealmaker, Peggy Johnson, to replace Abovitz as CEO.
There was considerable damage before Johnson came on board. Nearly all of those big-name mutual fund investors who bought in during the hype marked down the value of their shares, viewing the company as now worth $450 million, down from a $6.7 billion valuation in April 2019, according to PitchBook data.
But through it all, the one-time unicorn has been hiring and currently lists dozens of open jobs on its careers web page. And it remains one of the few dedicated AR companies working on products for what is still considered to be an area with enormous potential.
So, how much can you make working for Magic Leap? We can learn something about that from looking at what Magic Leap pays the workers it hires from overseas. Corporations have to disclose to the federal government how much they pay employees through the H-1B visa program, a major part of how Silicon Valley fills its offices. The Office of Foreign Labor Certification makes that information public annually.
Business Insider went through data released in 2020, which included jobs hired for up to the last six years, to discover how much Magic Leap pays software and hardware engineers. This is salary information only and doesn’t include other compensation such as stock. When there were multiple jobs with the same title, we included a range.SEE ALSO: From 17 cents to $22 a share, here’s how much 22 investors paid for stock in Snowflake, Palantir, Unity Software, JFrog and other unicorns hitting the public markets
Magic Leap paid an audio systems architect $220,000
Augmented reality requires tricking the brain into believing it is seeing something in the real world that isn’t there, with a digital image projected in front of the eyes.
To that end, Magic Leap needs a variety of engineers that specialize in audio, 3D, and graphics.
Principal audio systems architect in California: $220,000
Interaction engineer in Florida: $135,087
Lead, audio designer/composer in Florida: $137,062
Human factors engineer in California: $120,000
3D generalist in Florida: $85,000
Product experience designer in Florida: $85,000
Visual designer in Florida: $82,963
FX artist in Florida: $80,000
Magic Leap paid a lead computer vision engineer $220,000
Since Magic Leap’s whole thing is to create augmented reality goggles, or glasses that impose a computer-generated image on top the the real world, the company naturally hires a lot of experts in computer vision and related technologies.
Lead computer vision researcher/engineer in California: $220,000
Senior computer vision researcher/engineer in California: $155,000 – $200,000
Principal computer vision engineer in California: $194,227
Computer vision researcher/engineer in California: $160,000
Applied deep learning engineer in California: $155,000
Senior data engineer, integrations in Florida: $130,000
Senior vision scientist in Florida: $130,000
Computer vision & optics software engineer in Florida: $107,420
Magic Leap paid a manager of software engineering $205,262
Almost all of the 54 job titles that Magic Leap hired from overseas were for some form of engineering. And software engineers claimed some of the highest paid roles.
Manager, software engineering in California: $205,262
Sr. Software engineer, realtime communication in California: $161,829
Lead software engineer, 3D engine in Florida: $160,000
Sr. software engineer in California: $132,600 – $159,939
Lead software engineer in Texas: $158,882
Sr. Software engineer, browser in Florida: $132,243
Software Engineer, Identity in Washington $125,000
Software Engineer in Florida $116,126
Senior software engineer, embedded in California and Florida: $105,000 – $122,408
Magic Leap paid an optics engineer $160,000
Because Magic Leap is making a product in a new hardware gadget category, it hires lots of experts in various aspects of hardware engineering.
While most of them are paid in the solid six digits, this category was the widest ranging with jobs that paid as much as $160,000 a year down to $80,000.
Senior diffractive optics engineer in California: $160,000
Lead, software engineer, embedded in Florida: $150,117
Senior embedded DSP engineer in Florida: $150,000
Senior manufacturing process engineer, opto-mechanical in Florida: $145,000
Lead mechanical engineer in Washington: $106,592
Optical systems engineer, calibration & verification in Florida: $105,000
Senior manufacturing process engineer in Florida: $97,268
Associate mechanical engineer in Florida: $80,000
Magic Leap paid a director of manufacturing operations $178,500
Before Magic Leap laid off about 1,000 people, reportedly half its workforce, it employed about 2,000 people. And within those ranks were a wide variety of other types of engineering roles, such as various process engineers that deal with manufacturing.
Director, manufacturing operations management in Florida: $178,500
Director runtime in Florida: $190,551
Strategic sourcing manager in Florida: $189,359
Lead platform performance architect in Florida: $140,343
Senior process engineer, reverse logistics in Florida: $126,750
Metrology engineer in Texas: $105,000
Process engineer in Florida: $97,194
Sr. Process engineer in Florida: $92,850
Continuous improvement engineer in Florida: $86,834
Magic Leap hired a Lead cloud API engineer for $148,000
Because augmented reality devices rely heavily on cloud computing, Magic Leap also hires for cloud and networking roles.
Lead cloud API engineer in Florida: $148,000
Manager information systems engineer in Florida: $130,497
Senior reliability engineer in Florida: $126,250
Network engineer in Florida: $110,000