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The 10 Highest Paying US Cities for Tech Talent

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Last year, over 7.4 million Americans moved for job-related reasons, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Moving for your job makes perfect sense, when you consider that 76 percent of companies with more than 100 employees across multiple geographic locations use geographic pay differentials and 86 percent of companies with over 10,000 employees do the same.

What does that mean? In short, it means that it pays to think about where you want to live … literally. Consider, for example, how software engineer salaries vary from city to city across the country. Take a look at the 10 highest paying U.S. cities for software engineers, as compiled by Paysa.

Number One: Seattle, WA

Based on 7,265 profiles, the average base salary for a software engineer in Seattle, WA is $143,540 per year, ranging from $116,591 to $171,775. As far as educational requirements go, 75 percent of software engineers in Seattle need a bachelor’s degree, and 59 percent of all software engineers there are proficient in Java.

Top tech companies in Seattle for software engineers are: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Tableau.

If you consider the average market salary, Seattle also comes in at number one with an average market salary of $229K per year.


Seattle takes the top spot for base salary and market salary for software engineers.

Number Two: Edmonds, WA

Based on 22 profiles, the average base salary for software engineers in Edmonds, WA is $129,695 per year, ranging from $112,524 to $147,438. Educationally, 80 percent software engineers in Edmonds need a bachelor’s degree and 86 percent need to be proficient in Software Development.

Top Edmonds companies for software engineers are: Microsoft, Amazon, Macaulaybrown Inc., Booz Allen Hamilton, and Vidal Bosch.

When you consider market salary, however, Edmonds falls to number four on the list of top companies for software engineers, with an average market salary of $171K per year.


Edmonds takes the number two spot for base salary, and the number four spot for market salary.

Number Three: San Francisco, CA

Based on 21,157 profiles, the average base salary for a software engineer in San Francisco, CA is $126,005 per year, ranging from $102,470 to $150,658. As far as education goes, 77 percent need a bachelor’s degree and 59 percent need to be proficient with Java.

Top San Francisco companies for software engineers are: Google, Cisco, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter.

If you take into account the average market salary, San Francisco goes up a notch to the number two spot of top tech cities, with an average market salary of $198K per year.


San Francisco is an attractive choice for software engineers, ranked third in base salary and second in market salary.

Number Four: San Jose, CA

Based on 10,006 profile, the average base salary for software engineers in San Jose, CA is $121,330 per year, ranging from $99,213 to $144,471. Educationally, 83 percent of software engineers have a bachelor’s degree and 68 percent are required to know Java.

Top San Jose companies employing software engineers are: Google, Cisco, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Apple.

As far as market salary goes, San Jose ranks as number three among the top ten tech cities in the country, with an average market salary of $185K per year.


Software engineers know the way to San Jose, with base salaries ranked at number four and market salaries ranked at number three nationally.

Number Five: Bellingham, WA

Based on 107 profiles, the average base salary for a software engineer in Bellingham, WA is $118,896 per year, ranging from $94,926 to $144,098. 73 percent of software engineers in Bellingham need a bachelor’s degree and 65 percent must be proficient in C#.

Top companies for tech in Bellingham are: Microsoft, Cypress Semiconductor, Intermec, Google, and Boeing.

With an average market salary of $154K per year, Bellingham ranks as number five for market salary as well.


Bellingham is ranked number five overall for software engineer salaries, both base and market.

Number Six: Los Angeles, CA

Based on 3,842 profiles, the average base salary for a software engineer in Los Angeles, CA is $108,247 per year, ranging from $89,301 to $128,033. 72 percent of software engineers in Los Angeles need a bachelor’s degree and 60 percent need to know Java.

Top companies hiring software engineers are: Google, Symantec, Northrop Grumman, Snapchat, and DIRECTV.

Los Angeles also ranks as number six for market salary, with average market salaries of $142K per year.


LA makes the grade at number six on the charts for base salary as well as market salary.

Number Seven: San Anselmo, CA

Based on 192 profiles, the average base salary for a software engineer in San Anselmo, CA is $106,405 per year, ranging from $88,737 to $124,816. Educationally, 73 percent need a bachelor’s degree and 50 percent must know Java.

Software engineers find employment at: Cyan, Cisco Systems, Monitise, Software.com, and Agilent Technologies.

Sam Anselmo shares the number seven spot for market salary, with average market salaries of $135K per year.


San Anselmo makes its mark at number seven for both base and market salaries.

Number Eight: Boston, MA

Based on 6,760 profiles, the average base salary for software engineers in Boston, MA is $104,558 per year, ranging from $87,033 to $122,827. As far as education goes, 75 percent of software engineers in Boston have bachelor’s degrees and 65 percent must be proficient in Java.

Top companies for tech talent there include: Google, IBM, EMC, Cisco Systems, and MathWorks.

Boston also boasts the number eight spot for market salaries, with an average market salary of $134K per year.


Boston comes in at number eight across the board for base and market salary.

Number Nine: Denver, CO

Based on 2,988 profiles, the average base salary for a software engineer in Denver, CO is $103,289 per year, ranging from $86,163 to $121,134. Educationally, 73 percent need a bachelor’s degree and 58 percent need to know Java.

Top tech companies are: Google, Hewlett-Packard, Lockheed Martin, Oracle Corporation, and IBM.

Denver also holds the number nine spot for market salaries, with an average market salary of 131k per year.


Denver hits the number nine spot for base and market software engineer salaries.

Number Ten: New York, NY

Based on 6,934 profiles, the average base salary for a software engineer in New York, NY is $103,172 per year, ranging from $84,089 to $123,152. A full 73 percent of software engineers in New York need bachelor’s degrees and 63 percent need to know Java.

Top companies for tech talent are: Google, IBM, FactSet Research Systems, Bloomberg, and Facebook.

When you consider market salary, however, New York ties with San Anselmo, CA at number seven, with an average market salary of $135k.


At number ten for base salary and number seven for market salary, New York makes the top ten list for tech talent in America.

Honorable Mention: Sacramento, CA

While Sacramento does not quite reach the top ten list as far as base salary goes, it does come in at number ten on the market salary list, with an average market salary of $129k per year.

Top tech companies in Sacramento are: Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Accenture, and Northrop Grumman.


Sacramento comes in for honorable mention by making the list of top ten for market salary.

This article by Houston Jayne first appeared on Paysa and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.




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