Main image of article How Much Do Software Engineers Make in the Biggest Tech Hubs?

The media has devoted a lot of digital ink over the past few months to layoffs at some of the world’s largest tech companies. However, overall tech unemployment remains low (1.5 percent in January, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), and organizations in many industries still need tech professionals for a variety of tasks, from maintaining tech stacks to creating websites.

That demand can translate into high compensation—but how high? In the nation’s largest tech hubs, software engineers can still earn quite a bit, according to crowdsourced data from While crowdsourcing isn’t always the most scientific way of gathering data, the website’s sample sizes are large enough for us to trust its ranges. Here’s a breakdown:

For software engineers in the biggest and oldest tech hubs (such as San Francisco and New York), high compensation is necessary due to a relatively high cost of living. According to the latest Dice Tech Salary Report, the average software developer salary stands at $104,566 nationwide, while those who lean into their management skills can earn as much as $700,000 per year in total compensation if they end up at some of the country’s highest-paying companies for software engineering managers

No matter where you work, organizations are interested in software engineers who have mastered specific skills, including (but certainly not limited to) GitHubAmazon Web Services (AWS), the principles of test-driven development (TDD), and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). Job-posting data suggests there’s also a lot of generalized interest building around TypeScript, jQuery, and PostgreSQL. also has a breakdown of how much certain software engineering specializations pay, such as machine learning and DevOps. Acquiring skills in these in-demand areas can also translate into substantial compensation, although the learning process usually takes quite a bit of time. The best thing is, these specializations are needed in a range of markets, not just the world’s biggest tech hubs.