Tech & Work

Indeed report: What cities are most profitable for these common tech jobs?

It's easy to get caught in the allure of Silicon Valley, but is it the most profitable place to work? Indeed doesn't think so, and they have the numbers to prove it.

Indeed has just released a report of which cities pay the most for particular tech jobs. Don't let the actual salary offerings fool you—this list is adjusted to consider the average cost of living in each location so you know how much you actually get to keep.

Silicon Valley has been the perennial place to be for tech employees of all different kinds. With its high concentration of startups, big name companies, and constant innovation, countless cyber-eyed young people flock there yearly. Indeed might make you want to reconsider that, though: San Francisco only tops the list for .NET developers.

The findings

Indeed reports that, while San Francisco pays the most, employees get the most value in Austin, TX. In fact, out of 15 cities ranked San Francisco comes in 13th on the list of best value for employers and employees.

SEE: Study of IT job postings on Indeed reveals trends important for all tech professionals (TechRepublic)

Austin actually comes in at number 10 for highest paying cities, and its climb to the top for value may surprise some people. Not every position will get top value in Austin, so Indeed breaks the report down by position.

The list

Here's a list of all the positions included in the report, broken down by title, location, adjusted salary, and how much more the top ranking city pays than number two.

IT Security Specialist

Security specialists will get the most bang for their buck in Minneapolis, MN, of all places. The adjusted average salary in Minneapolis is $127,757, which is seven percent higher than Seattle, the second place finisher.

There are a number of major retailers and businesses have made their homes in Minneapolis, and those companies are finding themselves an ever-increasing target for hackers. Many of them, like Target, have suffered breaches and are trying to attract top-tier talent to reinforce their systems.

Software Architect

The best place to be for software architects? Austin, where they can make nearly eight percent more than Salt Lake City. The average adjusted salary in Austin is $123,710

SEE: 15 US cities with the highest salaries for cybersecurity jobs (TechRepublic)

Austin's tech industry is growing by leaps and bounds, which is the general reason why architects and other positions in the report find it consistently number one. The cost of living is relatively low, and Texas has a lot of tax incentives for companies, making it the new hotspot.

Data Scientist

Big data is everywhere, and so are data scientists. More and more are finding themselves attracted to Austin, where they can make an adjusted salary of $117,088.

Austin beats out Chicago by nearly nine percent, and the weather's a bit nicer, too.

Database Administrator

Surprise—it's Austin at number one again. DBAs can make $104,277 a year here, which is roughly 10 percent more than they'll make in Chicago.

Software Engineer

Seattle, WA, steps in to break the Austin combo, where software engineers can make $100,691 annually. Austin still makes it in at number two, and Seattle only beats it by two and a half percent.

Devops Engineer

Dallas, TX, comes in at number one, followed closely by Austin. With around four percent separating the two cities, devops professionals can expect to make $103,161 in Dallas.

Java Developer

Austin is back on top for Java developers. They can expect to make $99,602, which is four and a half percent more than in San Jose, CA. San Francisco rounds out the top three, indicating that big tech hubs continue to need Java coders.

Mobile Developer

Yet again, Austin is number one. Expect to make around $97,264 in adjusted income in the Texas tech hub. Seattle comes up second, losing by nearly five percent.

Software Developer

Generalized software devs will actually find their home on the east coast, where Boston, MA, tops the list. Austin isn't trailing too far behind, though: you'll only make two and a half percent more in Boston.

Front End Developer

Austin beats San Jose, by two percent to claim the number one spot. You can expect to make around $92,332 as a front end dev in the home of the Longhorns.

.NET Developer

San Francisco manages to claim its only top spot for .NET devs, beating Austin by three and a half percent. .NET devs make an adjusted salary of around $92,112 in Silicon Valley, so don't hesitate to look for jobs in the region if you're an expert.

Web Developer

Expect to make $91,199 in Austin, the number one city for web devs. San Francisco ranks number two, being beaten by four percent. Surprisingly, San Diego is at the bottom of the list, where you can expect an adjusted salary of only $55,789 for the same kind of work.

App Developer

Catch-all app devs will find the best pay in San Jose, where they can make an adjusted wage of $90,019. Austin continues its strong showing at number two, being beaten by just over one percent.

Quality Analyst

$86,900 is the expected wage for a quality analyst in Seattle. Jokes about Microsoft bugs aside, Seattle beats out Los Angeles by over eight percent—that's a sizeable difference that can definitely affect your career aspirations.

Data Analyst

Seattle takes the number one spot for data analysis too: expect to make $73,464 for the job. It beats out Boston by less than two percent, so you still have options on either side of the country.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Always account for cost of living when looking for a new tech job. Relocating only to find out that a raise doesn't leave you with much more cash would be a real bummer.
  2. Austin might just be the future hub for tech. If you're looking at getting into the industry it might behoove you to take a lower-paying job in that area so you can establish yourself. The cost of living won't get lower as more companies realize it's the place to be.
  3. Don't rely on these numbers as an absolute. Do your research before deciding to apply for or take a job—Indeed's numbers are only averages.

Also see

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Image: iStock/g-stockstudio

About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

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