Looking for your next tech job? If sheer dollar amount is your top priority, avoid tech jobs in San Diego—and (surprise!) shoot for a career in the San Francisco Bay Area.
New proprietary data from Hired, including more than 420,000 interview requests across 69,000 job seekers, sheds light on what tech workers in roles including software engineering, data analytics, design, and product management, make in 10 different cities across the U.S, as well as in 3 international hubs. Read on to see how your salary (and city) stacks up.
Tech salaries in the Bay Area top the charts for the third year in a row, coming in at an average of $142K in 2017. That’s 5% more than in 2016—the same growth rate as seen for tech salaries globally. But with an average monthly cost of living of more than $1,000 in San Francisco, other cities might be just as, if not more, desirable for your next tech job.
Both Los Angeles and Austin, for example, have seen steady salary growth in recent years, with the average salary in both cities increasing by more than 9% since 2015. New York and Seattle have also experienced upward trending salaries since 2015, but to a lesser extent. This trend could continue, particularly if more companies, both large and small, decide to relocate or add additional offices in these cities.
The story isn’t so positive across the board, however, with cities like London, Washington, DC, and Boston experiencing a net decrease in average income since 2015. Of course, that’s not the whole story—DC, for example, saw 6% growth from $109K to $116K between 2016 and 2017, but that’s from a high of $121K in 2015.
From a pure numbers perspective, the Bay Area is followed by Seattle, with an average tech salary of $132K, while New York and Los Angeles tie for third place at $129K. Here is a ranking based on average tech salary (including roles in software engineering, data analytics, design, and product management) of all 13 cities analyzed in this study:
While an eye-popping salary number can be exciting, the cost of living can be a sobering reality in some of the more tech expensive cities across the country.
To account for this variability, we adjusted the above rankings for cost of living—that is, we calculated how much each city’s average salary would be worth if the cost of living were the same as in San Francisco. This ranking looks a bit different, with the SF Bay Area falling to the #10 spot:
Other cities known for high living costs, such as New York and Washington, DC, also shake out lower on this list, leaving room for up-and-coming tech hubs to land the top spots.
These high living costs are affecting how tech workers think about where to live, and where they might move. We asked over 700 techies who got a job on Hired where they find most appealing for relocation… their answer? Seattle (#1) and Austin (#2). Still further, 4 in 10 tech workers said they did not feel they were compensated fairly based on the cost of living in their city.
So while the epicenter of tech may remain in Silicon Valley for the foreseeable future, keep an eye on lower cost-of-living, high growth cities—whether you’re an employee looking for a new job, or a company considering a relocation or second office.