Hey software engineers, if you want the big bucks, think networking

The company paying the highest salaries for software engineers is not one of the usual suspects, like Google(S goo) or Microsoft(s msft) or Facebook(s fb). Instead it is Juniper Networks(s jnpr), a company usually associated with networking hardware but that is making a big push into software-defined networking.

25 Highest Paying companiesJuniper pays its software engineers on average $160K per year, according to new research from Glassdoor. LinkedIn(s lnkd) was second at $136K; then Yahoo(s yhoo) at $130K; with Google(s goog) at $127K just edging out Twitter at $125K.

Networking companies — Arista, Brocade(s brcd) and Cisco(s csc) —  took up four of the top 25 companies ranking 11, 16 and 17 respectively. Last year, Cisco was the only networking company to crack the top 15 payers.

In a research note referencing Glassdoor’s findings, UBS analyst Amitabh Passi wrote:

“The fact that software engineers are being increasingly sought by networking companies is not a surprise, given the importance of software defined networking, infrastructure automation, orchestration, and increasing use of open source models within networking.”

The top 5 companies in this category last year were Google, Facebook, Apple(s aapl), Ebay(s ebay) and Zynga(s znga).

Also interesting to note is that Walmart(s wmt), which is waging a fierce battle with Amazon(s amzn) in retail, is ranked number 8 at $122K per year while Amazon itself weighed in at number 14 with $111K per year for its software engineers.

As for regional pay differences, it’s not surprising that of the 20 biggest U.S. cities, San Francisco Bay Area ranks first in highest base salaries for software engineers at just under $112K per year. It is followed by Seattle at $103K and San Diego at $94K.