Oregon Compensation Survey

Julianne Brands - June 2017

What are VC-backed companies in Oregon and SW Washington compensating their employees?  OAF teamed up with the Brentwood Group to find out.  Here is a summary of the 2017 survey findings.

For entrepreneurs and venture investors in Oregon and SW Washington, understanding compensation for venture-backed companies has historically been difficult given unreliable data and skewed benchmarks.

Our solution is to annually survey the private, VC-backed companies in our own community. This data allows entrepreneurs and investors to track annual compensation with guidelines that are accurate, robust, and meaningful and specific to our region.


•       Median salaries increased 15% across the board from CY 2015 to CY 2016 (excluding non-founding CEOs, an outlier in the sample). 

•       Executive level positions & senior technical talent increased the most significantly, up 20% and 18% respectively (excluding non-founding CEOs, an outlier in the sample).

•       Non-founding CEOs earn on average 24% more in cash compensation compared to founding CEOs.  However, founding CEO’s earn higher variable compensation, with a median of 23% equity ownership vs. just 8.5% for non-founding CEOs. 

•       Engineering and sales continue to be the most highly compensated roles. Sales, Marketing & Customer Success roles are heavily weighted toward variable (bonus and commission) compensation.

•       Senior Software engineers now earn $110K cash comp, up 7% from 2015. The median equity grant to board members and non-founding employees is trending downward compared to last year.  For example, board members in 2016 received 0.5% equity ownership, vesting over 4 years (regardless of stage – i.e., Series A, B, C) vs. 0.9% in 2015. 

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Click here to view the Executive Summary.

This report was a collaborative undertaking between Oregon Angel Fund, The Brentwood Group, many of the venture firms investing in Oregon, and our collective portfolio companies. 

If you’re a venture-backed company in Oregon or a VC with venture investments in the area, and want to participate, please email me, Julianne Brands (julianne@oregonangelfund.com). Survey participants receive full access to the dashboard that analyzes employee salary, equity, and bonus compensation across company stage, capital raised, and revenue.