Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
The Almighty Buck Technology

Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living 285

McGruber writes "Austin ranks number one in the nation when it comes to offering the largest tech salaries that have been adjusted for cost of living expenses, such as housing, groceries, utilities and other necessities. This is according to a study by TriNet, a company I had never heard off, that provides (buzzword alert!) cloud-based human resources services. The seven major tech hubs, ranked by cost of living adjusted average salaries: 1. Austin: $105,000; 2. Atlanta: $103,000; 3. Denver-Boulder: $98,000; 4. Boston: $79,000; 5. Silicon Valley: $78,000; 6. Los Angeles: $70,000; 7. New York: $56,000." It's true that Austin has cheaper real estate than Silicon Valley, or London, but what this kind of analysis can't capture well is the worth for an individual of living in a particular place. Some jobs are easier to do from Texas (or Timbuktu) than others, and opinions vary wildly about the importance of climate, culture, alternative job options, and other factors. New York living is expensive, Yes, but it comes with a free bonus if New York is where you want to be. Some people even like Los Angeles. Is there a place you'd rather be but forgo because of the cost of living, or a place you'd consider simply because it would amplify your salary?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living

Comments Filter:
  • really (Score:4, Insightful)

    by garyisabusyguy ( 732330 ) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @01:10PM (#46434835)

    this is not an add for Dice reps at SXSW


  • Re: really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08, 2014 @01:37PM (#46434977)


    Two things to keep in mind here. The average price for real estate within the city limits of Austin isn't that high because it's pulled WAY down by the relatively cheap outskirts of town. If you want to live downtown with the cool kids, it's definitely not cheap. (And you DO want to live close to the job here...the traffic is getting insane, and they are doing more to make it worse than they are to fix it. The just keep incentivizing more and more companies to come here.)

    And speaking of many Dice employees are attending SXSW this year. This post almost perfectly corresponds to the start of the festival. The forces of marketing are strong in Austin...

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @01:40PM (#46435003)

    Salary amplification in... states with no income tax:

    - Alaska
    - Florida
    - Nevada
    - South Dakota
    - Texas
    - Washington
    - Wyoming

    If you have no dividend or interest income, add:

    - Tennessee
    - New Hampshire

    What actually matters here is not where you want to live to work, but where you want to live eventually/retire to, and how long you are willing to work before you can safely retire, which is how much money you are effectively able to sock away each year.

    Austin is still something of a deal, since compared to California, you get about 25% of your salary back through not paying income taxes, but the other places in the article are less of a deal, regardless of the cost of living, because what matters is not the cost of where you are, but the cost of where you end up when you and your money eventually move there. And that includes differential real estate pricing.

    Washington is not so much of a deal, unless you live near the Oregon border; Washington makes up for its lack of income tax through sales tax, and Oregon makes up for its lack of sales tax with an income tax, so if you can get salaries in Washington, and buy your consumables, furniture, cars, and other items in Oregon, you can get a pretty good deal. A lot of Microsofties take this option, and have no problem with job transfers, which are more of a problem in Austin than Silicon Valley, but less of a problem than if you took a job at some data center in Iowa.

  • by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @02:04PM (#46435151) Homepage Journal

    The problem with living in Austin is that you're subject to the Texas Legislature.

    Just like the problem with Silicon Valley and LA (Disclaimer: I live in LA) is that you are subject to the California Legislature.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08, 2014 @02:13PM (#46435215)

    Maybe theres no shortage of jobs there because no one wants to live there? Or maybe the non-cost of living adjusted average salaries are so low relative to other areas in reality its not worth it in reality?

  • by Dasher42 ( 514179 ) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @02:31PM (#46435293)

    Austin is *not* ready to be a big city. Its infrastructure wasn't designed for it. Its traffic jams are some of the worst in the country, its aquifers are in serious trouble owing both to desertification and fracking around the Colorado River's headwaters, and much of its distinctive nature is being destroyed by new development. This is why you see signs reading, "Welcome to Austin! Don't move here."

  • by tjb ( 226873 ) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @03:28PM (#46435619)

    making $100,000/year and having $60,000 or $70,000 of that amount after taxes going to rent

    That's way too high of a rent estimate. Even in San Francisco, you can get a decent place for 1 person for $3000/month.

    Generally speaking, if you put a premium on having a big house and lots of land, Silicon Valley is probably not for you as the difference in pay will not make up for the absurd cost of housing. If you're willing to compromise on housing, the higher pay is more than worth it in terms of the stuff and experiences you can afford. Compared to most places, housing is a lot more expensive, and restaurants/bars are moderately more expensive but groceries are cheaper (high-quality produce, in particular) and most non-perishable goods (cars, anything you can buy on Amazon) are the same price as everywhere else.

  • Re:How exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XopherMV ( 575514 ) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @03:45PM (#46435683) Journal
    Fighting increases to the minimum wage. A higher minimum wage would increase wages for both the people at the low end and those immediately above the low end. Republicans don't like that.

    Fighting government stimulus which provide jobs. Fighting stimulus creates a surplus of workers. More workers means more people looking for work. Businesses don't need to offer good pay to find workers. Republicans like that.

    Fighting unemployment payments, food stamps, medicare, medicaid, and housing assistance. All that money eventually enters and supports jobs in local economies. That increases the demand for workers. That also increases salaries. Republicans hate that.

    Fighting against sick or vacation days. Keeping people at work means that employers don't need to hire as many workers as companies in other countries. That creates lower demand for workers. That keeps salaries down. Republicans like that.
  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @04:21PM (#46435877) Journal

    Several annual trips to NYC makes you a tourist, it's not nearly the same as living there.

    Clearly. In some ways, if you've been following the conversation, it's better.

  • Re: really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08, 2014 @04:37PM (#46435949)

    They all have their problems, but not all are this bad. There are literally only a few cities that rank worse. []

    Some people in Austin say it's not so bad, but it depends entirely on where you are trying to go to and from and when. There are a few routes that are sheer driving hell.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.