10 Top Cities & Metro Areas for Tech Salaries in 2019

Portland

2018 Salary: $101,019
Year-over-year change: 10.8 percent

Portland, OR saw a massive jump in tech pro earnings, and was one of two metro areas with a double-digit percentage increase year-over-year. The average gross tech pro salary in Portland is now $101,019, a 10.8 percent jump from last year.

What’s behind this surge? Many large tech companies such as Google and Microsoft have satellite offices in the area, and firms such as Adidas and Nike are always pushing the boundaries of tech within their respective industries. Portland also has sleepy under-the-radar firms such as Urban Airship, along with a healthy FinTech scene.

While cost of living is rising sharply, it remains well below other metro areas. Like Minneapolis, the adjusted cost of living is reasonable: Your $101,019 salary comes down to $99,330, making it one of the more sensible metro areas for tech pros.

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New York

2018 Salary: $100,616
Year-over-year change: -3.2 percent

The only other major metro area in our top ten to see a salary decrease year-over-year (Boston was the other), New York still allows tech pros to crest that six-figure-salary mark. Although a 3.2 percent downgrade versus last year, the $100,616 average gross annual income is nonetheless very respectable.

Sadly, New York is an expensive city. The adjusted salary for New York tech pros is $82,472. Like Boston, San Diego, and Silicon Valley, New York is at the $20,000 threshold for cost of living reduction versus gross salary.

It also has the lowest salary of those cities with exceedingly high cost of living. What gives? New York has a ton of web developers, a discipline that tends not to pay as highly as some others; there’s also a heavy reliance on contractors and freelancers, which can drive down salaries for full-timers in some circumstances.

Tampa

2018 Salary: $96,777
Year-over-year change: 11.8 percent

The first city on our list to dip below six-figures, Tampa has a lot going for it. Its 11.8 percent salary increase tops every other metro area, edging Portland’s 10.8 percent jump. While $96,777 is a sharp decline versus eighth-place New York ($100,616), Tampa’s cost of living is excellent.

Specifically, Tampa ranks third on the cost-of-living list behind Minneapolis and Portland, and it’s the only city on our top-ten list with a net positive adjustment: Your $96,777 salary in Tampa scales slightly up to reach $96,971.

It’s an anomaly. Tampa doesn’t have a big tech company anchoring it, but has become attractive for startups looking to avoid Orlando or Miami.

Denver

2018 Salary: $96,258
Year-over-year change: 1.7 percent

Off the beaten path for many tech pros, Denver is nonetheless becoming a mainstay metro area for tech firms.

Its $96,258 average gross salary is a 1.7 percent bump versus last year, giving it the same trajectory as the D.C./Baltimore area. Cost of living is average, with that $96,258 slipping down to an adjusted cost of living income of $90,809.

Like Tampa, Denver has no big tech firms anchoring it, with MapQuest and Photobucket the most notable tech firms to come from the area. Like Portland, Denver is proving a popular spot for tech pros to relocate once they grow weary of the Silicon Valley hustle.

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6 Responses to “10 Top Cities & Metro Areas for Tech Salaries in 2019”

  1. Darcy Carpenter

    I believe these reports are way under inflated. Maybe the salary is only listed for junior level employees or does not include other perks? Employees working for the “big” tech companies make north of 200k when bonus, stock incentives etc are all added.