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One major reason why software engineers should start their careers in San Francisco

The sun sets behind the city skyline on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Start here if you hope to strike it rich.
By Alice Truong

Deputy editor

This article is more than 2 years old.

Given skyrocketing home prices in the San Francisco Bay Area, it shouldn’t be any surprise that software engineers here are offered higher salaries than anywhere else in the US.

But even when they move to less expensive housing markets, programmers who’ve worked in the Bay Area continue to command a premium over local engineers, according to a report released today, Dec. 10, by job marketplace Hired.

In 2015, companies offered software engineers in the Bay Area an average salary of $132,000, Hired concluded from an analysis of 80,000 job offers. But those same developers can make even more money in markets such as Seattle ($134,000), New York ($133,000), Los Angeles ($133,000), and Boston ($133,000). Overall, companies located outside the Bay Area are actually willing to pay more for engineers with Silicon Valley experience.

In the 11 markets that Hired analyzed, transplants from the San Francisco metro area made $7,000 to $17,000 more than the local engineers.

In general, transplants—regardless of where they’re moving from—are typically offered higher salaries over locals when they relocate to new markets, according to Hired. But there is one exception: Those moving to the Bay Area from outside were offered an average of $128,000—3% less than local candidates.

According to Hired, there’s one major takeaway from this data:

No matter where you want to work, engineers that start their careers in San Francisco have a higher earning potential once they move to other job markets.

So go west, young engineers.

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