The Highest-Paying States for Tech Pros


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The average technology professional made $89,450 in 2014, according to the latest Dice salary survey. That’s an increase of 2 percent over 2013, and yet another sign of the technology industry’s robust health.

When it comes to salaries, however, not all states and cities are created equal. Those tech pros living and working in Silicon Valley are the highest-paid in the country, with an average annual salary of $112,610—but that salary grew only 4 percent year-over-year, lagging behind cities such as Portland (up 9 percent year-over-year, to $91,556) and Seattle (up 5 percent, to $99,423).

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As you click around on the map above, note how salary growth is particularly strong in parts of the West, the Northeast, and the South, while remaining stagnant (and even regressing) in some middle states. If anything, the map reinforces what many tech pros have known for years: that more cities and regions are becoming hubs of innovation. Expect that growth to likely continue through 2015.

Dice Salary Survey Methodology

The 2014 Dice Salary Survey was administered online, with 23,470 employed technology professionals responding between September 29 and November 26, 2014. Respondents were invited to participate in the survey through a notification on the Dice site and registered technology professionals were sent an email invitation. A cookie methodology was used to ensure that there was no duplication of responses between or within the various sample groups and duplicate responses from a single email address were removed. The Dice Salary Survey was adjusted for inflation in 2014: Technology professionals earning salaries of $250,000 and above were not automatically eliminated from the survey if they met other criteria.

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25 Responses to “The Highest-Paying States for Tech Pros”

  1. It would be much more meaningful if the salary information included a basic cost of living for each area. In Silicon Valley, $112,610/year will not allow most people to even consider buying a modest home, as a 60 year old 900 square foot home sells in the $1,000,000 range. (My family owns one of those in Sunnyvale, with an added two car garage. It appraised for $1.3M, and similar homes are selling for over $1M — as “tear downs”.)

    Seattle is not AS bad, but costs are much higher than the rest of the country — and at least on par with NYC.

    Dallas and Austin offer far more bang for the buck — and housing is very affordable,

    • It’s true that home prices in Texas are much lower than in California, but be careful about property taxes. Property tax rates in the Austin area are much higher than in the Bay Area, particularly if you have owned the home in California for quite a while.

      • Let’s compare “apples to apples” — or as nearly as we can get to that.

        Sunnyvale, CA: 1950’s built frame home on a small lot, with added two car garage. Sold in 2014 for over $900,000. 1% property tax = $9000 = $750/month.

        Austin, TX: 1950’s built frame home on a small lot, with added two car garage. Listed today for $125,000. Even if we assume the highest property tax of 3% = $3750 = $312.50/month BEFORE we apply the homestead exemption(s).

        Richardson, TX: 1950’s built frame home on a small lot, with added two car garage. Average market price $150,000. Total property tax of 2.639% (Dallas County) = $3958 = $329.88/month BEFORE we apply the homestead exemption(s). (would be 2.40% in Collin County)

        Now, we must note that there is a VAST difference in the cost of the required insurance, and in the required income levels to own each of these houses. Also note that Texas has no state income tax versus 13.3% in CA.

  2. The map and the headline have nothing to do with each other. The map doesn’t show “The Highest-Paying States for Tech Pros.” It shows states with the largest percentage annual increase. That’s why Mississippi, which very well might be the lowest-paying, appears to be the highest. Also, am I the only one who found the UI for this map to be frustrating and counter-intuitive?

  3. Cost of living is everything–so look for small town jobs. I am a Software Engineer earning more than the national average (14 yrs) in Salem Virginia. My recently built 3800 sqft home abutts the national forest with privacy and a pool–for $300k. My drive to work is 20 minutes. Jealous yet? We have 4 openings, two for C# windows developers, two for real time C++ (QNX) devs. Check the GE careers website.

    • Dessaire

      Wow!!! Yes, Demigrog!! I was jealous as I read your post !! LOL I am applying today. is a clearance required (I would expect so…) I do NOT currently have one and this is one reason I gave up on Federal positions in my field. The Snowden incident really did those of us who have no [CURRENT or recently expired] clearance in! Thank you for the plug though re: the vacancies.

      Appreciative

  4. TwelveOhOne

    The Federal Reserve is guaranteed a 6% annual profit by the US Govt, per their founding documents.

    If you’re not increasing 7% a year, you’re falling behind.

    So to say a 2% increase shows “robust growth” seems to not be taking all factors into consideration.

  5. Now if only there were a measure of the number of professionals. If south dakota got 100 new professionals would the wages collapse? If California lost 100 professionals would it cause a price boom? We just don’t have the information to get the picture. Knowing that there is a wage isn’t the same as knowing both the wage and the number of open positions.

  6. Housing in Austin has become very very expensive in the last several years. It’s not as bad as Silicon Valley but the housing market can no longer be called affordable. The suburbs are much better but traffic is a major issue. Housing prices in Houston are much lower than Austin.

  7. I know many programmers who are making well over 120K in the DFW area, well qualified Instructional Designers are making $90K to $120K, and some IT PM jobs are posted at over $70/hour.

    It is not at all clear what “tech pros” includes.

    A 4000 square foot house in the best school districts (Richardson, Plano, Frisco) areas will cost you $350K or so. Those cities also have loads of green spaces, parks, hike/bike trails — and very low crime (well below 50% of national average). The areas of Richardson that do not adjoin Dallas have almost no crime.

      • The issue with “IT Instructional Design” projects is that most of the companies are confused about what they actually NEED. They look for IT types who may have some experience delivering “training”, and add nonsense “needs” like Java and other IT tools as “requirements”. This is akin to asking that an airline pilot also know how to write the code to generate tickets for passengers.

        Most fully qualified Instructional Designers are NOT going to be IT types. Many of us HAVE created and guided IT and other projects, but we are NOT coders. We are Instructional Designers who can take just about anything that we do and can understand, and create effective training — AFTER we analyze the audience(s), the best delivery method(s), and the goal(s) of the training.

        ID in Dallas typically turn down any assignment that pays less than $40/hour ($83K), and most turn down anything below $45/hour (93.6K). My last contract was at $50/hour, and everything in my current potential assignments is between $47 and $55/hour.

  8. Whoever thought that modifying the mouse scroll event over the graphic to resize it instead of continuing to perform the expected page navigation behaviors (move page up and down) needs to stop doing that. Now. It’s highly frustrating and incredibly bad design. Today’s web wizards emphasize bells and whistles over functionality. This is a prime example of smart technology being used in a not so smart manner.