Top 20 U.S. Cities Paying the Highest H-1B Salaries

With the incoming Biden administration, the H-1B and other visas will likely undergo another round of changes. In the meantime, it’s worth looking at the cities that pay the highest average salaries to H-1B workers, if only because these numbers could shift along with those new policies. 

This city and salary data comes from the H-1B Salary Database, which indexes the Labor Condition Application (LCA) disclosure data from the United States Department of Labor (DOL). When you look at the list, keep in mind that this breakdown includes all H-1B roles, such as medial, in addition to tech. Nonetheless, it’s clear that the nation’s largest tech hubs (such as Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and New York City) also offer some of the highest average H-1B salaries in the nation:  

The prevalence of Texas cities such as Austin, Houston, Irving and Plano is worth calling out. For starters, consulting firms such as Tata have multiple offices in the state; second, Austin and Houston have seen an uptick in tech-industry activity over the past few years, particularly Austin. And where you see more tech companies, you tend to see a rise in H-1B usage—accompanied by higher H-1B salaries.

And those salaries might change over the next few years. As part of the Trump administration’s recent, sweeping reform of the H-1B system, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an Interim Final Rule that addressed the visa’s minimum wage. The DOL faulted the current H-1B wage structure for allowing companies to substantially underpay specialists on the H-1B visa, undercutting U.S. workers in the process. 

“While the prevailing wage levels the [DOL] sets in the H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, and PERM programs are meant to protect against the adverse effects the entry of immigrant and nonimmigrant workers can have on U.S. workers, they do not accomplish that goal—and have not for some time,” reads the runup to the rule. “For starters, the [DOL] has never offered a full explanation or economic justification for the way it currently calculates the prevailing wage levels it uses in these foreign labor programs.” 

If those wage changes stick (which is an open question, given the government transition), it would have a huge impact on business-services and consulting firms that apply for lots of H-1B workers that are subcontracted to other firms. It could also force big tech companies, which are some of the biggest utilizers of the H-1B, to reconsider how they hire. Most of all, though, it would probably shift the average H-1B salary in most of the above-listed cities. Stay tuned for what Biden’s administration may or may not do in this regard.

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15 Responses to “Top 20 U.S. Cities Paying the Highest H-1B Salaries”

  1. jake leone

    The real reason for the high demand of H-1b workers has nothing to do with local supply. Facebook receives hundreds of resumes for every openly advertised STEM position. Of those hundreds of resume, Facebook admits (to Federal investigators) it find 30+ local fully qualified STEM candidates, that it would hire, but it has only one position.

    Facebook then further admits, that it does a Fake PERM process in order to protect foreign workers from local competition, by better qualified Americans. Facebook never forwards the 29+ resumes of the better qualified (by Facebook’s own admission) STEM workers to the hiring managers in the PERM process. Facebook then purjures itself on Federal forms, saying it made a good faith effort, when in fact it made every effort to completely avoid finding any local candidates for the jobs in the PERM process. Again, in order to protect foreign workers from local competition.

    Facebook did this 2600+ times over just 1.5 year period.

    See the DOJ indictment of Facebook.

    Facebook in effect created 2600+ illegal foreign workers, who do indeed displace better qualified local U.S. STEM workers in jobs located in the United States. Facebook needs foreign illegal workers that will keep their mouths shut, forever, until Green Card day.

    That is the real value of foreign workers, at Facebook. Again see the DOJ indictment of Facebook. Facebook is not experiencing a shortage of programmers, Facebook is experiencing a shortage of workers that are forever tied to their job, in an illegal state, until Green Card day.

  2. You don’t know how much I laughed at this. The Trump’s DOJ accusing Facebook, obviously.

    The good thing is that Trump is goin out and we will have a new administration with an INDIAN VP, better get used to how things are going to be now.

    Kamala is the future of H1B!!

    • I highly doubt that. America has much more pressing problems than H1B so I doubt any changes to Trump’s rules will be made. With so many Americans out of work, the last thing we need is more lazy Indians coming to America to take our jobs.

      • Since when has Government been worried about more pressing problems, the H1B floodgates will be opened very soon, good luck finding a job in IT or Telecom of course I don’t really care about California or most any of the locations in the story, they are cesspools anyway. Current college students take notice if you are in a STEM program unless you are a Foreign student in STEM by all means stay in it your golden, change your major you won’t have a future in STEM. When your networks start crashing and you can’t keep a call up while driving you won’t need to look far for the problem it will in the White House and Congress.

  3. Obviously the pay is much lower than what they would need to pay an American worker to do the same job. It’s all about lower pay and has nothing to do with not having qualified US citizens. H1B is a sham and now will be even more of a sham, if it goes the way it is likely to there is absolutely no incentive for a US Citizen to enter into any STEM program, you will be wasting your money and won’t find a job when you get out, at least not one that makes it worth it. Get ready to say do you want fries with that.

  4. Thomas Edison

    This whole argument is a twisted, disingenuous, dollop of propaganda. It has always been a psych-ops to force acceptance of this truly traitorous crime.

    In a war, do you invite your enemy’s soldiers to come behind your lines because they are “better qualified”?

    Even if you believe that these people are “better qualified”, that is even more reason to keep them out of OUR COUNTRY.
    But…we all know the truth here. These people are brought here by the elites because they work for less, and are more exploitable than the local workers.

    I say, if Faceberg wants to use “better qualified” workers in it’s business, they should have their operation based in India, and, “GET THE F*** OUT!”.

    • Americans blocked from working in tech

      Google, Amazon, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, Facebook, HP etc. all have huge work campuses complete with cricket fields in the new tech areas (Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc) of India. Not sure why these American companies with nearly all East Indian staff need to be in India and the US, or why foreigners feel they have a RIGHT to jobs in America. There’s no other Western country in the world that permits this (except the UK, some Canada), not to mention that our US technology and personal / industrial data is now overseas where it is unprotected by American law (what we have of them). Guessing the recent DOD data breach wasn’t done just by the Russians alone.

      • I’m a qualified Doctor who has been serving in the COVID hit city…check out how many H1/J1 Indian doctors r working in most remote parts of the US where of course US doctors refuse to step in…u find plenty…ppl here seems to vent frustration without facts

  5. I have worked with many H1 visa personnel and have found them to be friendly, competent, and very fair in their thinking. While 75% of the Americans working were fine, 25% had the jobs go to their heads and were not easy to work with. This was in the high tech field. So maybe you need to work with some to figure it out. I am more worried about the ones either here or there that have lost the work ethic.

  6. Jake_Leone

    What’s twisted is how little people really understand how the Green Card system and the H-1b visa are being used to exclude Americans from tech jobs.

    The Facebook case (2600+ illegal IT workers over just a 1.5 year period) is but one example.

    An old friend called me (he was retired from a California State engineering job). And he was shocked when I meantioned that DOJ Facebook case. 2600+ times, Facebook lied on Federal forms in order to protect foreign workers from local competition.

    People just don’t understand this issue and it is costing Americans millions of jobs.

    Most of the rules, which Biden did indeed rescind in his first month in office. Were aimed at preventing job loss. Rescinding the change from a lottery to a wage based system, hurts companies that actually are trying to find real foreign talent… Helps Offshore Outsourcing companies that game the H-1b system.

    Rescinding the new higher wage limits, hurts workers fresh out of college. Helps me, because it guarantees a constant supply of freshers (who can’t really learn my job). 3 of those fresher just left, I could predict, I could see it coming. Pay workers low wages and you get high turn over.

    Of course it also means I am stuck at my job. Because people won’t take a chance on an unknown quantitiy, when it is sold at a high price.

    All of these tech companies are sucking up the to Biden administration right now. I think Facebook needs to in order to avoid a 250 million dollar fine (proportional to similar cases already settled) and quiet, sealed, hushed settlement.

    Obviously Joe Biden is completely clueless. We are in for a rought economic patch

    I expect my house will be worth 2.5 million by end of it as the government prints and endless supply of cash. Of course every house in the country will be costing around 1 million.

    Honestly, can’t someone just listen to what I have written. It was never in my best interest. It was just the truth. A truth I have come to realize after studying this issue for decades. It is my one big political issue. All others, including Biden, are complete amateurs and are going to mess up the gears tinkering with it for the sake of campaign dollars.

    We need to call this out at every opportunity. Because when stagflation hits (when gasoline hits 8$ a gallon) we will need to pin the blame on the idiots who acted without knowledge about how the U.S. economy works.