Main image of article The Tech Professional's Salary Premium
Tech professionals earn a salary premium over their non-tech colleagues, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data by USA Today. Among major cities, Seattle drew the highest premiums, with tech workers earning an average of 78 percent more than all area workers. Dallas-Fort Worth came in second, with a 77 percent premium, followed by Houston (74 percent), Austin (71 percent), and Oakland (70 percent). Three other prominent tech hubs made the newspaper’s top 10 list: San Jose in eighth with a 64 percent premium, followed by San Francisco (63 percent) and Boston (58 percent). According to the most recent Dice Salary Survey, all of the aforementioned cities feature high annual salaries for tech workers—salaries that, in many cases, have risen a significant percentage in the past year. For example, the average Seattle tech professional took home $103,309 in 2015, a year-over-year increase of 3.9 percent; in Dallas-Fort Worth, the average tech salary was $93,206 last year, having risen 1.7 percent since 2014. It’s no secret, of course, that tech pros are much in demand these days, especially as more companies attempt to build out their cloud and mobile architecture. Some of the fastest-growing tech skills include Spark, an open-source cluster-computing framework; Big Data technologies such as Azure and Cassandra; and JIRA, a project-management platform that’s free for open-source projects and non-profits. Experienced developers and IT managers can earn significant perks in addition to their base salaries, including flexible work hours and equity. Nor is job growth constrained to a few select tech hubs such as Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley. As more cities have realized the value of hosting a tech community, more municipal governments have taken steps to incubate and encourage startups and established tech firms.