Top 10 Cities for Tech Salary Growth

Salary-Survey-2016_WP-Top-5-Metros

Dice’s annual Salary Survey broke down the highest-paying tech skills. But which U.S. cities are paying tech pros the most on average? In addition to the usual suspects such as Silicon Valley and New York City, which have an intense need for nearly every brand of tech pro (and the funding to pay for them, thanks to deep-pocketed tech giants and V.C. firms), cities such as Minneapolis and Austin are also shelling out more than ever for people with the right skills.

After checking out the following slideshow, if you’re wondering how much your own city or state pays in salaries (and how fast that number has grown over the past five years), check out our interactive salary map.

First Up: Silicon Valley (click below)shutterstock_316704203

Silicon Valley

2015 Salary: $118,243
Year-Over-Year Change from 2014: 5.0 percent

Silicon Valley continues to add tens of thousands of jobs every quarter, as startups and tech giants implement aggressive plans for growth. That continual need for talent has put considerable pressure on the housing market, with prices in the Bay Area skyrocketing. It’s also led to steady salary increases, as companies fight to secure the best talent in technology segments ranging from e-commerce and database administration to artificial intelligence and self-driving cars.

Like many of the geographic areas in this list, Silicon Valley boasts several key attributes for growth, including amenities, innovation cultivators (i.e., accelerators and V.C. incubators), universities (which pipeline talent to companies), established tech companies, and an abundance of office space and transportation options.

 

Next: New York City (click below)shutterstock_147954134

New York

2015 Salary: $106,263
Year-Over-Year Change from 2014: 11.2 percent

New York has spent the past several years positioning itself as the East Coast’s preeminent tech hub; a healthy mix of established tech companies have major offices here, with startups springing up in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

Demand for developers, engineers, network administration professionals, data analysts, and other types of tech pros has led the city government to implement a number of policies to broaden the talent pipeline, including the Computer Science for All initiative, which seeks to give all students in New York City’s school system a computer-science education.

 

Next: Los Angeles (click below)shutterstock_155452709

Los Angeles

2015 Salary: $105,091
Year-Over-Year Change from 2014: 10.2 percent

For the past couple years, Los Angeles has positioned itself as “Silicon Beach” (a title that Miami also claims), a hub for V.C. investment, tech startups, and innovative founders. Lending some credence to that assertion is the growth of companies such as Snapchat (located in Venice).

“The high-tech sector is growing in counties across the U.S., though Los Angeles is not among the top leaders in terms of patents, capital or salary,” economist William Yu wrote in a UCLA Anderson Forecast in mid-2015. “However, there is a large information sector in Los Angeles, currently concentrated in vibrant small-sized firms. Silicon Beach is on the rise.” One sign of that growth is tech salaries, which have risen rapidly since 2014.

 

Next: Boston (click below)Boston Financial District

Boston

2015 Salary: $103,675
Year-Over-Year Change from 2014: 6.6 percent

With major universities such as MIT and Harvard filling Massachusetts’ tech pipeline with new talent, you’d think Boston tech firms would have no trouble locking down the tech pros they need. You’d be wrong; for the past few years, companies in the area have wrestled very publicly with an inability to fill key roles with the right talent, especially as the local economy continues to add positions at a healthy clip.

Boston-area firms are also looking for very specialized help. ERP/CRM applications, Big Data analytics, and biotech are hot areas, and there’s a continuing need for project managers, business analysts, and engineers.

 

Next: Seattle (click below)shutterstock_211107223

Seattle

2015 Salary: $103,309
Year-Over-Year Change from 2014: 3.9 percent

Hiring remains strong in this longtime tech hub, with a widespread need for software developers, business intelligence analysts, Web developers, computer systems analysts, and support specialists. The local giants, Microsoft and Amazon, also hire lots of salespeople (particularly enterprise sales).

When Dice interviewed a startup advocate for Seattle’s Office of Economic Development in July 2015, it seemed that virtual- and augmented-reality technologies were receiving a good deal of local V.C. funding and attention. Facebook subsidiary Oculus has an R&D facility in nearby Redmond, Washington. If you’re interested in VR as a career, Seattle could very well be your city.

Next: Baltimore/Washington D.C. (click below)shutterstock_120159808 Orhan Cam

Baltimore/Washington D.C.

2015 Salary: $102,873
Year-Over-Year Change from 2014: 4.6 percent

Washington D.C. always needs tech pros willing to work for the federal government, especially cyber-security professionals who can help harden large systems against attack. Given the amount of data that federal agencies handle on a regular basis, network administrators and database experts are in high demand.

 

Next: Minneapolis (click below)shutterstock_113821471

Minneapolis

2015 Salary: $100,379
Year-Over-Year Change from 2014: 9.3 percent

In August 2015, the Dice Report suggested that the fastest-growing state for technology jobs wasn’t California, New York, Washington, or Texas—it was Minnesota, where cities such as Minneapolis-Saint Paul are seeing demand for tech talent to power a growing collection of startups, major corporations, and service providers.

 

Next: Portland (click below)Portland, Oregon

Portland

2015 Salary: $100,309
Year-Over-Year Change from 2014: 9.6 percent

Last year, Portland saw a spike in the number of Big Data professionals living in the area. Skills such as Hadoop, MapReduce, HBase, Flume, and Pig have become must-haves among professionals who work with data analytics.

 

Next: San Diego (click below)shutterstock_95925931

San Diego

2015 Salary: $98,934
Year-Over-Year Change from 2014: 5.1 percent

Although Silicon Valley (and, to a smaller degree, Los Angeles) receive the bulk of the attention devoted to California’s tech community, San Diego has managed to grow a healthy ecosystem of startups and established firms.

 

Next: Austin (click below)shutterstock_220743916

Austin

2015 Salary: $98,672
Year-Over-Year Change from 2014: 5.9 percent

The rise of the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference has rendered Austin synonymous with innovation, but the city is much more than just a single event. Google, Amazon, Apple, Dell, and Oracle have all established outposts here, while startups have a continual need for developers (particularly mobile developers), Big Data experts, and UI pros. That demand, in turn, has helped spike salaries.

10 Responses to “Top 10 Cities for Tech Salary Growth”

  1. john doe

    Minneapolis the hottest city for tech jobs?? That is B.S! Companies here brag that IT workers are complacent and for that reason they do not have to give them raises! There also has been LOTS of layoffs and outsourcing to India!

  2. Same in Charlotte

    Same story here in Charlotte, NC as well. Our politicians have created the laws & incentives for companies to give jobs that once belonged to Americans, to Indians on “work visas”.

    They are supposed to only fill the jobs of the skills can’t be found here domestically which is complete and total BS. It’s a sellout. And wait until one of them ever makes it into a position to hire other employees….you want to talk about discrimination? They’ll be hiring half their family tree within 12 months. I’ve seen it happen too many times to count unfortunately.

    How about INCENTIVES for American companies to hire Americans? Yeah right…will never happen when there’s a dollar to be saved and these do-nothing politicians keep being elected. The American dream is fading year over year…

  3. Maury Crothers

    My observation has been that the cheaper labor with work visas is replacing less competent, complacent ‘Americans’ who worry less about keeping their skills up-to-date and more about “immigrants taking OUR jobs”.

  4. dwf.austin

    I have seen the same thing in Austin that the person from Charlotte discusses but it isn’t the Indian’s fault. If I lived in India and the U.S. government opened up the recruiting floodgates I would be first in line. I work with some very nice Indian peeps and they tell me that the all the large Fortune 500 companies have set up permanent recruitment shops in the tech rich hub of India. Mostly southern parts they describe. Also, as the person from Charlotte tells us, there isn’t a shortage of local born S.T.E.M. candidates, it’s just an excuse to dilute the U.S. market. Due to a combination of work visas, immigration and lax government policies the U.S. will cease to be a caucasian majority. I recall reading by 2040 this will be the case all across the U.S. Anyway Austin has already passed the 50% minority threshold. It’s time to start blending in. Mein amrikan hoon. Aapsey milkar khushi huee! Austin survey: http://www.austintexas.gov/page/top-ten-demographic-trends-austin-texas.

  5. Talk to the HP people getting dumped- HP set a policy they would not hire back anyone ousted by their layoff. When you shut out the former workers, then it’s easy to claim there aren’t people here “more” qualified than anywhere else since there is no one more qualified for a job than the person that just left it. Very unethical.

  6. BC Shelby

    …here in Portland, there is also a downside to the “boom”.

    Rents are being driven up to the point they are out of reach for the majority of residents not in the tech sector who don’t make those lofty salaries. Median rent has zoomed to 1,580$ for a 1 BR and even tiny cramped studios in new developments are going for 1,200$ or more. Were the state to raise the minimum to 15$ it would still not be enough for those in other lower paying occupations to keep rents at a reasonable percentage (33% – 35%) of one’s net monthly income.

    On the local news service’s website, there was an article last year about a concern in Silicon Valley planning to purchase homes in the east central area of the city (close to where I live) This will only serve to cause housing prices in the city to spike even further.

    The Metro administration is part to blame as well as they are the ones promoting Portland as a great place to live and work for professionals and thus have been allowing upscale development and gentrification to proceed with almost reckless abandon. The Portland Metro area also is under a unique urban growth boundary restriction (imposed to curtail sprawl) which forces “buildable” land values up and encourages high density development (resulting in more living spaces being crammed into a smaller footprint). The city and Metro are looking at a large increase in population over the next ten years, creating a situation of less and less room to put the newcomers due to the fixed urban growth boundary. As a result property value and housing costs (as well as other issues I mention below) will only increase further.

    This is putting a huge squeeze on long time residents who are in lower the and fixed income bracket. It has caused a “reverse urban migration” from what we saw in the 1950s – 60s where today those with money are now moving into the city rather than fleeing to the burbs, thus forcing low and fixed income folks to the outlying areas where services are far apart and transit is unreliable.

    Most of those who are in well paid tech positions still choose to drive drive over taking transit for commuting to work (often to the outlying areas west and south of the central districts) and running errands. This is beginning to create serious traffic and parking issues (particularly for a city of Portland’s size). Many of the new in city apartment and condo developments do not provide parking for their residents, so the streets of the surrounding neighbourhoods become their “parking lot”.

    Many of these gentrified areas become magnets that attract upscale patrons to newly created (often high priced) commerce districts which the local residents can no longer afford to patronise. What were once working class neighbourhoods that once offered basic affordable amenities for the surrounding area’s residents, are becoming havens for the more affluent crowd who often drive in from other parts of the city.

    These are the hidden costs of living in a “boom town”.

  7. I would like to see more about best paying cities when weighted against cost of living.

    Sure, its interesting to see where wages have gone up, but is that increase due to a raise in the cost of living?

    I am surprised the Salt Lake City, Utah area (Provo/Orem) didn’t make the list. It seems like a ton of tech out there with more and more competitive salaries. I guess they just didnt fill out the survey.

  8. Don't come to Boston

    Not seeing pay increases at all. In fact just the opposite. A lot of low balling and entrenched senior IT/executive management. I assume the increases are going to them.

    There is some HB-1 abuse. Vacancies are due to retirements and people leaving the state due to cost of living. Nepotism is a factor too. Ton’s of recruiters fighting over scrapes like vultures on a fresh kill. Do you really need a PHD to do helpdesk?

  9. Interesting, another aritcle listed the Fastest Growing Tech Cities in this order: 1-Charlotte, NC 2-Austin, TX 3-Oklahoma City, OK. Another important aspect is what is the definition of high tech? For instance, I do believe Oklahoma City to be a fast growing tech city, but I’m not as sure about the creativity component of that equation (as compared to a decade prior). Most of the job listings I see here are focused on .NET. Not what many of the creative designer/developers are after. Does the city even matter as much now with remote options?

  10. Joe/Jane Doe

    Pay rates and salaries for I.T. are rapidly decreasing in Seattle and all of WA. Wanting to get back to work, I’ve been submitted to places taking me 15 years back in terms of compensation. In WA, jobs stay open for ever (a year or more). Meanwhile, the cost of living is sky-rocketing.
    Recruiters agree…the “boom” in jobs and salaries isn’t hitting OR or WA at all. It’s really bad here.