Tech salaries in Austin, Texas are effectively $66,000 higher than in NYC thanks to the cost of living

Potential startup founder.
Potential startup founder.
Image: Reuters/Reuters photographer
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The financial returns for tech workers who leave Silicon Valley keep getting bigger.

Soaring housing prices in the Bay Area mean average annual tech salaries of $142,000, the country’s highest, don’t compensate for the lower cost of living elsewhere. Only New Yorkers were worse off, with adjusted average salaries $6,000 lower than tech workers in SF.

Online hiring platform Hired calculated tech salaries in major US metropolises, along with London and Paris. Although salaries in the Bay Area came out highest in absolute terms, they ranked 10th in terms of real compensation after adjusting for the cost of living. The most lucrative city for tech workers was in Austin, Texas, where a booming startup scene and low-housing costs resulted in an average adjusted salary of $202,000.

Hired calculated the ranking using data from more than 69,000 job seekers and 10,000 companies on the platform, which allows workers to post their preferred salaries and companies to interview and extend offers to candidates. Hired combined this data with a survey of 700 tech workers on its platform to understand workers’ decision-making around location. Cost-of living adjustments considered rent and real estate prices, groceries, transportation, utilities, local taxes, and other variables drawn from the Numbeo database.