The Highest-Paying Tech City in the Northwest Might Not Be Seattle

For years, Seattle has dominated as the preeminent tech hub of the Pacific Northwest, home to Amazon and a plethora of other tech companies. But while Seattle attracts a lot of attention, it might not pay the region’s highest tech salaries. 

Instead, that honor goes to Kirkland, WA, according to a new analysis by Blind, which surveys anonymous (and verified) technologists on a range of issues. The website recently crunched the numbers and came up with a list of the cities that pay the highest average and median salaries to technologists. Take a look:

What’s behind Kirkland’s powerhouse payouts? According to Blind, it’s an expanding Google campus, along with other employers such as GoDaddy and ServiceNow. That’s apparently enough to edge Kirkland beyond second-place Seattle, which is home to either the headquarters or sizable outposts of some of the largest names in tech, including Meta, Apple, Dell, Uber, the aforementioned Amazon, and Microsoft.

Speaking of Microsoft, the company’s massive presence in nearby Redmond was enough to put it at fourth on the list, behind Bellevue (home of T-Mobile and Valve) and ahead of Portland, OR (where Intel has a large footprint). 

According to this year’s edition of the Dice Tech Salary Report, the average tech salary now exceeds six figures ($104,566). Multiple roles, including sysadmins, UI/UX designers, software developers, and technical support engineers, all saw their salaries rise between 2020 and 2021. In that context, the cities of the Pacific Northwest seem to be paying exceptionally generous salaries to technologists—but as with anything else (and anywhere else), individual pay hinges on skills and experience. Those with the right backgrounds can earn considerable compensation no matter where they live.