Hired’s 2018 State of Salaries report finds that Seattle, Washington, and Austin, Texas, offer the best deals for tech workers looking to relocate. 

By Liz Steelman
February 12, 2018
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When you think tech, you probably think start-ups in garages, hoodies, wildly-priced rents, and appealing salaries all nestled tightly against the beautiful, but inconvenient backdrop of Silicon Valley. But if you’re looking to pivot into the fruitful world of tech, you don’t necessarily need to pack up your belongings and live like a college grad in the Bay Area. According to a new report by the hiring management company Hired, when adjusting for the cost of living, San Francisco doesn’t offer the best value in terms of salary in the nation. Instead, job seekers should look to relocate to Seattle or Austin.

For the 2018 State of Salaries report, Hired looked at data stemming from 420,000 interviews for more than 10,000 companies in 13 cities booked on their marketplace. They also considered the salaries shared from thousands of final job offers. Surprisingly, they found that though San Francisco’s Bay Area does offer the highest tech worker salary ($142,000), when you adjust for cost of living, you can actually  find a better value for a given salaries in so many other cities. Yes, that’s right: It’s technically not worth moving to San Francisco to work in tech.

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Instead, you might want to consider Austin, which currently offers the best value for those looking to relocate. Not only is the industry booming there (the average worker made seven percent more last year than they did in 2016), but the city also offers the best bang for your buck. When comparing it with San Francisco’s cost of living, the $118,000 average salary for an Austin tech worker grows to $202K—the highest in the nation. According to the survey, “tech workers in Austin would need an $84K raise to maintain their same standard of living in San Francisco.”

But if you’re not a fan of tacos, or are looking to partake in that West Coast-cool that the Silicon Valley offers, you have another option. Just look a bit north: Microsoft, Amazon, and Zillow have helped make Seattle a finance-friendly tech hub on par with Austin. Though those who live, work, and play in Washington might have only made $132K last year, they were living like those who made $182K in San Francisco.

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Want to delve into more of the numbers yourself? Check out Hired’s 2018 State of Salaries report, here. And once you’re ready to relocate for your awesome new job (congrats!), here’s everything you need for a stress-free move. (It's possible, we promise!)