Ask a technologist to name a city where someone working in technology can make a lot of money, and chances are good they’ll name one of the nation’s largest tech hubs—Silicon Valley, for example, or New York City. But while some of those metropolises can pay hefty salaries to go along with the high cost of living, it’s also worth looking at some of the cities where salaries are growing the fastest—because those accelerating salaries can accompany an escalating number of opportunities.
As part of this year’s Dice Salary Report, we looked at the U.S. cities with the fastest-growing average salaries for technologists (year over year). We found a diverse collection of metro areas, from the super-large (New York City) to the up-and-coming (Charlotte and Orlando). Here’s the chart:
Charlotte (13.8 percent, to $99,961), Detroit (7.7 percent, to $90,110), and Houston (7.1 percent, to $99,727) have all attracted startups fueled by venture capital; in addition, technologists help drive robust local industries (such as oil and gas in Houston, and automobiles in Detroit). Austin, a well-established tech hub, is likewise benefitting from the tech industry’s increasing interest in Texas as a place to headquarter.
With the other cities on this list, accelerating salaries are similarly a sign of longtime strengths. Minneapolis remains a strong tech city, thanks to its combination of startups and major corporations. Baltimore and Washington, D.C. benefit not only from federal contracts, but also a growing tech local tech scene that encompasses everything from massive datacenters to Amazon’s HQ2.
New York City’s growth, meanwhile, shows that even mature tech hubs can still experience solid growth—with salary acceleration to match. For many years, New York City has gone out of its way to cultivate local startups; meanwhile, despite the pandemic, some of the biggest names in tech—including Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple—have been rushing to secure enormous quantities of office space in Midtown. Competition between companies large and small for precious talent is likely driving the year-over-year salary increase.
Overall, average technologist salaries in the U.S. increased 3.6 percent between 2019 and 2020, hitting $97,859. Download the Dice Salary Report for more on the highest-paying tech professions and cities.