Top 20 Cities for Tech Salary Value

Christine Hoffman-Hicks

March 29, 2017

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In recent headlines, stories emerged that some Facebook engineers are living out of their cars in order to continue working for the tech leader. This prompted the question, can you afford to live where you work? In 2016, the site found that you'd need to make at least $216,129 a year to make the rent on a two-bedroom apartment. While tech employees of Fortune 500 companies like Facebook make an average of over $100,000 a year, they are facing living cost that rank among the most expensive in the world. Employees have even approached CEO Mark Zuckerberg on how he can subsidize housing for those who are struggling. The job boom that's made San Francisco one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. is starting to slow down as it becomes too pricey for the workers.

With the Silicon Valley Exodus in full effect, where are tech workers looking to relocate? New York, Austin, Seattle, and Atlanta are the most common but places like Durham, Salt Like City and Baltimore are looking more attractive due to affordability.

We've compiled a 20-city comparison of average tech salary side-by-side with average rent�"the results are eye-opening. Despite a $20K pay gap on the front end between San Francisco ($113,000) and San Diego ($93,000), their adjusted salary is nearly the same. As another point of comparison, San Jose, Sacramento, and Baltimore�"albeit less cosmopolitan�"can provide nearly $10,000 more in adjusted salary.

According to Indeed salary data broken down by roles, app developers in San Francisco on average make around $108,000 a year, but after paying out $3,270 in rent each month they are left with much less. In Austin by contrast, app developers earn "only" $87,700 a year -that's more than $20,000 less than in San Francisco - but their rents are also lower. In fact, the median rent of $1,693 a month will only eat up 23% of an Austin app developer's income.

Salary data provided by Cost of Living Adjusted Salaries Report 2016

Additional salary data provided by Dice Tech Salary Report 2016

Rental data cited from Numbers based on average cost per month for a one-bedroom apartment.

Bloom, Esther. "Facebook engineers struggling sky-high rents ask Mark Zuckerberg for help" 3 March 2017

Vekshin, Alison. "San Francisco Tech Firms See Workers Flee From $4,500 Rents" Bloomberg. 5 April 2016

Author Bio

Christine Hoffman-Hicks founded of Staff Smart, Inc. in 2007 where she serves as CEO and President. Hoffman-Hicks has spent the last eighteen years as a global top biller, business executive, and leader in the staffing industry. She was appointed the 2017 chairman of the American Staffing Association engineering, IT, and scientific section policy council. ASA is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. Connect with her on LinkedIn

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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