Report: Tech Salaries Go Further in Texas than in California

Cost of living in the Lone Star state is far less than in Silicon Valley

By Aliah D. Wright Sep 20, 2016
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​Recruiters know it can be challenging to fill IT jobs—even when the jobs come with good salaries, as SHRM Online reported earlier this month.

A new report from the Indeed Hiring Lab titled Where Are the Highest Paying Tech Jobs in the U.S.? reveals that just because you're willing to pay tech workers more money doesn't mean those jobs will be easier to fill—especially when those workers consider their living expenses.

The Austin, Texas-based job site Indeed bills itself as the No. 1 site of its kind worldwide. Its global research institute, the Hiring Lab, mined salary and cost-of-living data to determine where technology jobs pay the most when adjusted for locality.

What it found was that people with technology skills have a lot of choices beyond Silicon Valley when it comes to finding jobs, according to the report.

The top five cities, in order, where technology salaries go the furthest, the report found, are Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas.

"Since the Great Recession, salary growth has remained sluggish for many workers in the U.S. and around the world," said Daniel Culbertson, U.S. economist for Indeed, in a news release. That's especially true for workers in the United States, which has undergone the weakest salary recovery among developed countries, SHRM Online recently reported.

"However, when it comes to technology roles, it is a different story," Culbertson said. "Here, employer demand continues to outstrip talent supply, putting ample upward pressure on salaries. Job seekers should not just consider salary but where their earnings will go the furthest."

Indeed's report studies 15 specific technology roles.

Indeed discovered that technology employees living in San Francisco may earn an average annual salary of $113,000, but the median rent of $3,357 takes up to 36 percent of that monthly income. By contrast, similar workers living in Austin earning an average of $94,025 a year will have more spending money, because only 22 percent of their monthly income would be required to cover the median rent of $1,693.

"The data shows that the highest-cost cities often set the wages for in-demand technology talent," said Paul D'Arcy, Indeed senior vice president, in a release. "Once we factor in cost of living, we quickly see that technology workers have their pick of cities and can optimize for happiness, whether that means quality of life or location."

Companies that "consider these factors when planning where to open," the report said "are likely not only to reduce costs, but also to boost employee satisfaction and improve retention."

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