The Average Tech Worker in San Mateo Makes WHAT?

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The average tech worker in San Mateo County, California made $291,497 last year, according to a new analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.

There’s just one catch: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was responsible for more than $80,000 of that average, thanks to his decision to exercise $3.3 billion in Facebook stock options last year. Once you cut him from the mix, the average tech worker’s salary in San Mateo drops to “only” $210,000, which is nonetheless more in line with what top tech talent around the country can expect to earn in a given year.

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According to SFGate, which posted up the BLS analysis by commercial real-estate services firm JLL, the average tech wage in nearby Santa Clara County in 2013 topped $196,000.

This latest BLS data dovetails neatly with previous surveys by other firms, which all found that Northern California is a very lucrative area to live and work for tech professionals. The quest to find the best talent has driven companies in that region to offer generous salaries and perks, and the upward hiring trend doesn’t seem like it’ll slow down in the immediate future.

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But it’s not just Northern California: Across the country, it seems good times for many tech workers are at hand. In April, a Dice analysis found that 32 percent of full-time tech pros earned more than $100,000 in 2013, up from 26 percent in 2011. Contractors did even better, with 54 percent taking home more than $100,000 last year.

If you want to really jump the average annual salary in a particular region, though, it helps to have a tech titan sell off a couple billion dollars’ worth of stock. (Yet another good reason to report salary data as a median, if the data’s available.)

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6 Responses to “The Average Tech Worker in San Mateo Makes WHAT?”

  1. 291,497 per year? For the average IT tech worker? My last NYC job was 20% of that amount and guess what – it was off-shored to cut expenses…
    Honestly, there is some mistake in those numbers.
    Dice has the e-mail so I can confirm.

  2. Jonathan

    This is just another case of biased journalism in tech. The cost of living in Northern California is substantially higher and hence the salaries are high. Rent for a “hole-in-a-wall” apartment is about the same for a mortgage in the east cost as well as the high costs for car insurance, electricity, and food. When taking into account for the high cost of living, these “high salaries” become adjusted to market value and in some cases, below market value.