SpaceX & Tesla Top List Of “Meaningful” Tech Company Jobs

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

Elon Musk’s companies Tesla Motors and SpaceX are at the top of the list when it comes to the (self-reported) “meaningfulness” of the work done by employees — as well as being at the top of the list when it comes to stressful work environments, and low “early career compensation” — according to a new report from PayScale.

The reference to “low” early career compensation (a reference to the median income for employees with no more than 5 years experience) is of course quite subjective — despite being well below the figures for Facebook or LinkedIn, the money on offer from Tesla and SpaceX is certainly not bad money.

Musk’s companies really do seem to eclipse the competition with regard to the meaning of the work being done. If anything, the disparity seems as though it should be greater — do 78% of Facebook employees genuinely believe that their work is making the world a better place in some real way? Hmm… Interestingly, Adobe employees seem to have no illusions on that count.

The lack of a stressful work environment at Facebook (only 44% think that their work environment is “fairly” stressful going by the figures above) isn’t surprising though, matching up with what I’ve heard from employees firsthand. The Tesla and SpaceX figures match up with my firsthand conversations with employees as well. Launching rockets into space is of course more stressful than working for a social media company.

The San Francisco Chronicle provides more:

A strong urge to make the world a better place drives many employees, even when they’re working in high-stress and relatively low-paying jobs, according to a report released Wednesday by the company PayScale, which aggregates pay and benefits packages for millions of workers.

Using its compensation database, PayScale analyzed the salaries, demographics and sense of well-being of all non-retail employees at 18 major tech firms, including Bay Area giants Apple, Facebook, Google and Salesforce. The three main questions posed to employees were: Do you feel satisfied in your job? How stressful is your job? And do you feel like your work makes the world a better place?

…SpaceX and Tesla, both headed by Elon Musk, did the best job fostering a sense of meaning for their employees. While early-career staff were among the lowest paid and most stressed in the study, between 89 and 92 percent said that they feel their work is making the world a better place. That compares with an average of 57 percent of workers who feel that way at the other firms surveyed.

Elon chimed in on this, noting that:

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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4 thoughts on “SpaceX & Tesla Top List Of “Meaningful” Tech Company Jobs

  • It looks like if you want high pay and low stress, go for Facebook and Adobe. Samsung, SpaceX and Tesla appears to require Kool-Aid.

    • SpaceX and Tesla offer the sort of challenges people went into engineering for in the first place rather than being a well compensated code monkey living in a cubicle farm. Designing a space capsule that will take the first humans to the surface of Mars or building an electric car that can drive itself is more appealing than writing code for the next update of Windows 10, or debugging the latest version of the Candy Crush game.

      • Also note the comparisons aren’t entirely fair. FB and LinkedIn have proportionately higher numbers of high paying jobs because they don’t have factory line workers. Tesla and SpaceX have factories and lots of lower pay workers. But that doesn’t necessarily mean their engineers earn less.

    • I suppose the high pay gives FB “meaning”.. frankly I fail to see its import

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