With amazing salaries, great work-life balance, challenging work, and incredible growth opportunities, it seems like everyone in the US wants to work in tech. However, most tech jobs tend to be concentrated in just a few cities.
San Francisco, California
Even though there has been a tech exodus from San Francisco over the last few years, it is still the number 1 place to start a build your tech career. San Francisco is home to Silicon Valley, which is the mecca of the software industry and has played a key role in transforming the US economy.
Some of the most successful tech companies are headquartered in San Francisco, including Facebook, Google, Netflix, Linkedin, Slack, and more! Pretty much every tech company has some presence in San Francisco, as it is also home to the top venture capital funds in the world. These venture capital funds keep the start-up scene alive and give founders the opportunities to pursue their ideas.
San Francisco is a beautiful place known for its moderate climate, great cafes, restaurants, and lovely mountains. However, the big downside to living in San Francisco is the high taxes and the super high cost of living. Buying your first home is extremely difficult, even if you are pulling the average Silicon Valley tech salary, which is over $150,000 per year!
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte continues to grow and prosper thanks to an influx of tech companies. Did you know technical jobs in Charlotte have increased by almost 70% over the last decade? If you are looking for a medium size city that still feels like a small town, then you can’t beat Charlotte. It has almost 1 million people and is filled with some amazing bars, live music venues, and an up-and-coming restaurant scene, and they even have an NBA and NFL team!
A wide range of tech companies that have moved to Charlotte include IBM, Red Ventures, Credit Karma, Microsoft, and Lending Tree. Some of the most prized tech jobs in Charlotte, North Carolina, include software developers, testers, and system analysts. With the average cost of living being extremely reasonable, a tech salary affords you a very nice life in Charlotte!
Austin is benefitting from the Elon Musk effect! Tesla decided to build a 10 million square feet manufacturing plant in Austin, which has caused the local economy to boom. Many tech bros have left San Fran and set up shop in Austin. Austin has much lower taxes and living costs, the property is affordable, and overall it is much safer than San Francisco.
Austin is not your typical Texas city. It is actually quite liberal and diverse, with a large student population. Austin is known for its fun bars, restaurants, and overall vibe. It is also great if you don’t like cold winters!
It isn’t just Tesla that is betting big on Austin. Apple, Amazon, AMD, and Adobe are all enjoying the city. If you are looking to save some cash and get out of Los Angeles, New York, and Miami to San Francisco, then Texas is waiting for you!
Tech workers, on average, earn $120,000 per year in Seattle, Washington! The tech scene in Seattle has been around since the 80s when Microsoft moved there. Other big companies such as SalesForce, Amazon, Google, Apple, and Tableau have followed suit. Currently, there are almost 200,000 people in Seattle employed in the tech sector. According to research by SignalHire, this city is in the top not only for good conditions for technical work but also for many other industries. Therefore, it is defined as one of the top cities in the USA.
Seattle consistently ranks among the best cities to live in in the US. It has the perfect blend of great schools, universities, and awesome cafes and is known for being very safe. With 800,000 residents, Seattle is a perfectly sized city. The only downside is the near-constant rain! If you can handle 150 rainy days per year, then this city is definitely worth checking out.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina, just like Charlotte, has become a buzzing tech hub in just a few years. The metro area has a population of 1.5 million, while the city proper has a population of close to 500,000. It is not too small but at the same time still has that country town friendliness.
Tech companies are thriving in Raleigh as they have the first choice of the top students from prestigious local universities such as the University of North Carolina and Duke. Raleigh is also 35% less expensive than New York, which allows them to save on salaries, rent, and general expenses.
Right now, the biggest tech companies in Raleigh include ServiceNow, BitSight Technologies, and Adwerx. The average salary at these booming tech companies is just over $100,000. The most popular roles at Raleigh-based tech companies include developers, systems analysts, support specialists, and software testers.
San Jose, California
If you love San Francisco but can’t afford the rent, San Jose, California, is a great option. Just a 1-hour drive from San Francisco, it is much more affordable but still offers that amazing California lifestyle. A number of big tech companies have been cashing in on cheaper rents in San Jose. Some top tech firms that have offices in San Jose include Adobe, Sage Intacct, and Calyx Software are based here. Almost 200,000 people in San Jose work in the tech industry, and the average salary is over $130,000. Despite having high taxes and being expensive, San Jose is a wonderful alternative to San Francisco.
The tech industry tends to consolidate in particular cities. To improve your chances of breaking into the highly competitive industry, we recommend moving to one of these cities:
- San Francisco, California
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Austin, Texas
- Seattle, Washington
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- San Jose, California
In all of these cities, you will find a variety of different tech roles ranging from junior to senior. The average salary is over $100,000, and with such a nice package, you can afford to live a very comfortable life. Some of the best tech roles in the above cities include soft engineers, data analysts, and testers. Comment below what your favorite city is for technical jobs!