Tech salaries grew in each major U.S. city last year, averaging $146,000 compared with a global average of $130,000, according to Hired’s fifth-annual State of Salaries report. The company analyzed more than 425,000 job offers and interview requests for software engineer, product manager, DevOps engineer, designer and data scientist positions.
San Francisco ($155,000), New York ($143,000), Seattle ($142,000), Los Angeles ($137,000) and Austin, TX ($137,000) ranked as the top five U.S. cities for the highest tech worker salaries. Austin, TX and Toronto took the lead for tech worker salary growth, seeing a 10% increase last year, while Seattle experienced the lowest rate of salary growth at 3%.
A majority of tech workers (53%) also said they would "likely" or "very likely" move to a more affordable city if their employers implement a permanent remote workforce due to the coronavirus. This figure supports current projections that people will begin moving away from big metropolitan hubs toward smaller, less-dense cities.
Hired’s salary reports are typically reliable predictors of the tech trends and salaries to come in the next year — but due to the coronavirus, these figures are all subject to change.
The tech industry itself has been subject to rapid change since the pandemic began with Amazon, Netflix and other companies seeing their usage soar, while Uber, Lyft and Airbnb have laid off thousands of employees.
The cities where these tech workers live and work could also change dramatically within the next year as tech giants Twitter and Square have announced employees can work remote indefinitely. Facebook has also encouraged employees to work remote, but warned salary cuts could occur due to cost-of-living adjustments if employees move to a new city.
The report also found that tech salaries within the healthcare industry saw a rapid increase, averaging $151,000 in the U.S, followed by technology, entertainment, consumer mobile, education, e-commerce, finance and media industries, respectively.
Product manager salaries also surpassed software engineer salaries this year, with product managers making an average salary of $154,000 in 2019 compared to $146,000 the year prior.
Salaries are still largely divided across racial lines. Black candidates were offered higher salaries in 2019 than in years prior, but those salaries are still lower than any other racial group and average about $10,000 less than the salaries offered to White candidates. Black and Hispanic candidates were also found to list preferred salaries at $9,000 and $4,000 less than White candidates in 2020, respectively.
The report highlights ageism within the industry as well. Offered salaries were found to plateau around $150,000 and typically decline for candidates 45 years or older.
Looking ahead, Hired dug into attitudes among tech talent in light of COVID-19 and remote work. Almost one-third said they would accept a lower salary if they had to work remote permanently, but 55% said they would not. And notably, only 7% of tech talent said they would want to return to the office every day after the coronavirus, whereas half said they would work at the office at least once a week.
As tech workers indicate an interest in moving to more affordable cities, smaller cities like Madison, WI and Durham, NC — college towns with high education attainment levels and a low density — have stood out as well-positioned to recover from the coronavirus, according to a recent Moody's Analytics report. Boise, ID, Denver, and Provo, UT are among those cities best-positioned to recover, whereas Detroit, Honolulu and Los Angeles are among the cities worst-positioned for recovery.
To keep up with all of our coverage on how the new coronavirus is impacting U.S. cities, visit our daily tracker.