When looking for a new tech job, there are lots of different things to consider. Do you want to work in an office or remotely? Would you like to join a striving start-up or work at a well-established multinational? What about a flexible work schedule?
While all these considerations are important, let’s not ignore the elephant in the room. Pay is still the number one factor that people consider when thinking about moving jobs (or locations).
In fact, according to results from the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor, 63% of U.S. adults said that pay rates or salary would be among their most important decision-making factors.
While unlimited vacation days and a dog-friendly office might be fun and inventive, they aren’t going to help employees pay their mortgage or work off their student debts. We know that the tech market is currently facing a turning point, with a looming recession and rising inflation rates. However, candidates are still holding on to the balance of power.
If denied an expected raise in the next six months, the majority (89.9%) would start looking for a new job immediately, and half expect salary increases by 2023 according to Hired’s 2022 State of Tech Salaries Report. But where are these tech workers going to find the top salaries?
Top 5 U.S. locations for the highest-paid tech jobs
1. San Francisco, California
Average salary: $174,063.
San Francisco has once again topped the list of the top paying tech cities in the U.S. However, this might come as a surprise to some people. During the pandemic, there was a supposed “tech exodus” from the city and its wider environs.
Elon Musk famously moved Tesla’s headquarters to Austin in 2021. Other large companies such as Oracle, Airbnb, Twitter, and Salesforce also downsized or left the Bay area entirely. But, the San Francisco tech bubble hasn’t burst yet.
A new study from the Brookings Institution found that the exodus narrative was largely overblown. The think tank finds there was some shuffling of tech jobs around the nation, but the same tech hubs that have existed for the past decade remain intact. The reality is, San Francisco is still an excellent city if you want to grow your career, and earn a pretty nice salary too.
Right now, there is a Staff Data Engineer role on offer at BetterUp. You will be joining a small team responsible for the data systems that power everything from operational efficiency of the business, to personalized product experiences, to cutting-edge behavioral research and organizational analytics.
2. Seattle, Washington State
Average salary: $168,069
Coming in at number two we have another west coast city, Seattle. Often compared to San Francisco a decade ago, the city is growing, and tech companies, including some (formerly) headquartered in the Bay Area, are expanding their footprint in the Pacific Northwest.
Seattle’s tech scene is largely concentrated in South Lake Union. The area saw a transformation in the 1990s when Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen bought significant land in South Lake Union. Today, South Lake Union is home to Amazon headquarters, as well as outposts of Bay Area tech companies like Facebook and Google.
According to Washington State’s Department of Commerce, the area’s tech sector employment has grown by nearly 34% over the last 10 years. Tech workers also make up 10.7% of the state’s total workforce. That’s pretty impressive.
If you’re interested in working on cutting-edge solutions, then this Software Engineering Programme Manager job at Apple might appeal. You will help to build the next generation of augmented reality (A.R.) interactive solutions for Apple platforms, working with some of Apple’s most advanced technologies, including A.R., machine learning (ML), and computer vision (CV).
3. New York City, New York
Average salary: $161,128.
Historically, New York’s main industries have been finance, manufacturing, and hospitality. But in the last 20 or so years, NYC has become a tech haven in its own right.
The city cemented its tech status during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, New York tech salaries jumped double digits, with an increase of 11.6% from 2019, according to reports.
In fact, according to the Savills Resilient Cities Index 2022, New York is now America’s top tech city. New York City surpassed Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston, thanks, in large part, to the availability of venture capital, a deep talent pool, and the opportunities available for incoming tech talent to consider.
Android software engineers will be interested in this Senior Software Engineer position at Duolingo, working on a specific project critical to Duolingo’s needs and developing applications primarily in Kotlin, using the Android SDK.
4. Boston, Massachusetts
Average salary: $158,548.
Another east coast entry makes the list in the form of the beautiful city of Boston. Residents of Massachusetts are regarded as some of the most educated in the country. The state is home to some of the top graduate business schools, including Harvard University and Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology (MIT). So it’s not really surprising that the tech salaries here are high.
However, you might have read worrying reports about the Bostonian tech sector this summer. The city on the hill faced major layoffs in the first half of 2022, with companies such as Wayfair, Whoop, and Hydrow announcing redundancies.
Despite that, Boston has remained strong. According to reports, many of the 2000 tech workers who were let go have already found new jobs. On top of this, the average tech worker salary actually rose 7%.
If you’d like to work here, Amazon.com has a Software Development Engineer role on offer. You will solve unique and complex problems at a rapid pace, utilizing the latest technologies to create solutions that are highly scalable.
5. Austin, Texas
Average Salary: $157,612.
Finally, we have Austin. Bat City made headlines in 2021 for being “the place” for startup founders and venture capitalists alike to set up shop post Covid-19. While Austin was once known as “hippie haven”, today, it’s become more synonymous with tech startups than tie-dye.
V.C.s invested over $5.5 billion across 412 deals in 2021, more than double the amount of capital invested in 2020, according to PitchBook data. Rounds are getting larger, too, all of the top 10 deals for Austin in 2021 amounted to $100 million or more.
This investment is trickling down to employees, too, with salaries rising faster than those in Silicon Valley.
Electronic Arts is hiring an Associate Technical Director in the city. You’ll work in the BioWare Quality Technology team, managing a broad portfolio of technology while also leading the team in future transformation.
By Pippa Hardy