Technology-industry salaries have risen significantly over the past few years, hitting an average of $96,370 in 2015, according to the annual salary survey from Dice. Experienced tech pros with in-demand skillsets can demand much more, in addition to other perks such as equity and flexible hours.
The reason behind this rise is simple: employers with a desperate need for tech help are willing to pay top dollar to those with the necessary skills. Some 23 percent of those who responded to the Dice salary survey said their salary increases came from changing jobs. In tech hubs such as Silicon Valley and New York City, skilled tech pros have their pick of positions.
But in some areas, a significant portion of tech pros’ rising salaries are going towards ultra-expensive housing, affecting their overall standard of living. That’s led some to leave Silicon Valley in favor of lower-cost cities such as Denver and Portland.
According to Dice, tech-job postings dipped 6 percent in the past twelve months, even as they’ve risen by double digits in other cities such as Austin and Seattle. Thanks to the wonders of remote work and satellite offices, tech pros can pick up their lives and move to areas where the rent for a one-bedroom isn’t $5,000 per month (that is, unless they’re held in place by other factors, such as family concerns).
For employers trying to lure tech pros to work for them, the housing costs in some areas could complicate negotiations; a decent salary by one city’s standards is practically poverty wages in a high cost area. If they want to pull in the best of the best, they’re going to have to take that into account. (And if you’re Facebook, you can just take your billions and create the 21st century version of a company town.)