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Magic Leap salaries revealed: From $80,000 to $220,000, this is what the famously hyped and troubled AR startup pays its workers

Magic Leap salaries revealed: From $80,000 to $220,000, this is what the famously hyped and troubled AR startup pays its workers

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Magic Leap's new CEO Peggy Johnson.Magic Leap's new CEO Peggy Johnson.
Magic Leap’s new CEO Peggy Johnson.

Stephen McCarthy / Getty Images


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  • Magic Leap has had a heck of a 2020.
  • Earlier this year, the much-hyped augmented reality startup had a massive layoff as part of big restructuring and shortly after it installed a new CEO.
  • Throughout it all, the company was hiring and today it lists dozens of jobs.
  • So how much can you make working at Magic Leap? Business Insider dug into data on actual salaries paid to workers through disclosures made via the H1-B visa program to find out.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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.

Magic Leap paid an audio systems architect $220,000

Magic Leap

Magic Leap



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

Angry Birds magic leap thumbs up
“Angry Birds” on Magic Leap.

Rovio


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

Magic Leap


Magic Leap


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

Magic Leap One


Magic Leap


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

Magic Leap headset
Magic Leap’s hardware has come a long way from looking like one of Frankenstein’s contraptions.

Magic Leap


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

Shaq Magic Leap


Recode/Magic Leap


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

Insider Inc.’s parent company, Axel Springer, is an investor in Magic Leap.

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