Tech salaries grew in each major U.S. city last year, averaging $146,000 compared to 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, Texas ($137,000) ranked as the top five U.S. cities for the highest tech worker salaries. Austin and Toronto took the lead for tech worker salary growth, seeing a 10% year-over-year, while Seattle only 3% growth.
More than half of tech workers said they would "likely" or "very likely" move to a more affordable city if their employers implement a permanent remote workforce because of 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 indicators 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 has been subject to rapid change since the pandemic began. Amazon, Netflix and other companies have seen usage soar, while Uber, Lyft and Airbnb have laid off thousands of employees.
The cities where these tech workers live and work could change dramatically within the next year as tech giants make remote shifts permanent. Twitter and Square have announced employees can work remote indefinitely. Facebook has encouraged employees to work remote, but warned salary cuts could occur due to cost-of-living adjustments if employees move to a new city.
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, according to Hired.
Product manager salaries 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.
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, Wisconsin and Durham, North Carolina — 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, Idaho, Denver, and Provo, Utah are among those cities best-positioned to recover, whereas Detroit, Honolulu and Los Angeles are among the cities worst-positioned for recovery.