Main image of article Utah Tech Salaries Lag the National Average: Salary Survey

The average tech salary in Utah stood at $86,981 in 2017, according to the latest Dice Salary Survey. That’s a 3.1 percent decline from 2016.

With regard to average annual salary, Utah ranked behind “tech hub” states such as California ($104,445 in 2017), New York ($105,133), and Massachusetts ($106,047). However, it managed to beat out a number of other states, including North Carolina ($84,813), Montana ($82,389), and Indiana ($76,284).

Nationwide, tech pros made an average of $92,712 in 2017, a slight 0.7 percent increase from 2016. Although wages are stagnant, employers have been focusing on perks such as flexible work schedules as a way to retain top tech pros, with the number of employees reporting such benefits increasing from 53 percent in 2009 to 71 percent last year. (The ability to work from home or a coffee shop, as opposed to crawling into an office, holds particular appeal: In a separate Dice snap poll, some 63 percent of tech pros said they’d be willing to take a pay cut in order to work remotely at least half the time.)

In the Salary Survey, tech pros also reported employers offering flexible work hours (11 percent), more challenging or interesting work (10 percent), training and certification courses (3 percent), and more vacation or paid time off (2 percent).

In a certain way, Utah (and its local tech hub, Silicon Slopes) is a bit ahead of the curve on this trend. Although the state’s tech pros make less on average than their counterparts in states such as California, local firms have long compensated for this salary discrepancy by emphasizing things like work-life balance. “We are mindful of providing dining, arts, and entertainment because people want to live in cool places—part of what makes a city cool is having those options,” Lara Fritts, director of the Department of Economic Development for Salt Lake City, recently told Dice.

Combine that with lower housing prices, and it’s clear that Utah offers quite a bit for tech pros. The big question is whether the state’s current efforts to promote “Silicon Slopes” will pay off in the long term with a more robust tech ecosystem.