Main image of article Top States for Tech Salaries
shutterstock_40823005 Recruiters and employers know that salaries are higher in certain technology hubs, such as the Bay Area. This is a reflection of supply and demand: there are only so many experienced professionals to go around, even in a tech market as big as San Francisco, and so companies are willing to pay top dollar (and lots of perks) in order to secure the help they need. The cost of living in the larger tech hubs also informs the increases in salary—a fact that smaller cities are using in a bid to attract top talent. Why burn nearly all of your six-figure salary on rent and food in New York City, those municipalities ask, when for the same monthly paycheck you can buy a house and invest? Whatever the location, the burgeoning tech industry has enjoyed an accompanying rise in salary, which has made life more interesting for recruiters and employers trying to lock down talent. But which states pay their tech pros the most? According to the most recent Dice Salary Survey, the following pay quite a bit, as an influx of startups and established firms makes the competition for specialized skill-sets increasingly fierce. Next Page: California, New York, Maryland (click here or below) shutterstock_8527795


2015 salary: $109,488 Year-over-year change: 6.4 percent Silicon Valley, that decades-old tech hub outside of San Francisco, isn’t the only part of California enjoying something of a tech renaissance. Southern California also features a muscular combination of startups, established companies, and venture funding. Over the past few years, well-funded companies such as Snapchat have helped transform Los Angeles into ‘Silicon Beach.’ “The high-tech sector is growing in counties across the U.S., though Los Angeles is not among the top leaders in terms of patents, capital or salary,” economist William Yu wrote in a UCLA Anderson Forecast in mid-2015. “However, there is a large information sector in Los Angeles, currently concentrated in vibrant small-sized firms. Silicon Beach is on the rise.” That tech growth means salaries in California were the highest in the nation last year, averaging $109,488 (and that’s in addition to the usual perks). And for many tech pros, that’s a very good thing, as the cost of living in Los Angeles and San Francisco is nothing to sneeze at.

New York

2015 salary: $105,927 Year-over-year change: 15.5 percent As employers and recruiters know, New York City has spent the past several years rebranding itself as ‘Silicon Alley,’ the East Coast competitor to the Bay Area. Companies based here often cite the density of talent as a key attribute. “I believe that more and more Stanford graduates will find themselves moving to Silicon Alley,” then-mayor Michael Bloomberg told Stanford’s graduating class in 2013, “not only because we’re the hottest new tech scene in the country, but also because there’s more to do on a Friday night than go to the Pizza Hut in Sunnyvale… and you may even be able to find a date with a girl whose name is not Siri.” Area employers know that they’ll need to offer competitive salaries (and perks) in order to compete against the multitude of other companies in the area. Outside of New York City, that density of competing firms drops (as does the cost of living), but the pool of tech talent is also more dispersed.


2015 salary: $104,570 Year-over-year change: 11.5 percent There’s a lot going for Maryland’s technology scene. The state is close to Washington, D.C.; many firms that service the federal government’s infrastructure and analytics needs are based here. That’s good news for firms that contract with the government, and need tech pros in order to help fulfill strategic tasks (it’s also great for the recruiters who need to help those firms fill seats). Baltimore itself also has a strong tech-startup scene: the city’s tech advocates point out its advantageous geographical location (close to D.C., and easily reachable from Boston and New York), strong talent pool (thanks to Johns Hopkins and other local universities), and access to venture capital.  Next Page: Washington, Massachusetts, New Jersey (click here or below) shutterstock_248838679 (1)


2015 salary: $103,750 Year-over-year change: 7.8 percent Of course Seattle is the heart of Washington’s tech scene, as it headquarters Amazon and Microsoft (in addition to lots of other firms, including Facebook’s Oculus subsidiary). From an employer perspective, there’s lots of venture capital to help fund new efforts. For recruiters, the city abounds in tech pros, but high demand and a plethora of richly-paying companies may make it hard at times to attract candidates who already have a job. 


2015 salary: $103,373 Year-over-year change: 6.8 percent Massachusetts boasts lots of tech firms and incubators (thanks to the presence of major universities such as MIT and Harvard) as well as lots of tech pros (again, thanks to its substantial academic pedigree). If that wasn’t enough, the state offers easy access to the tech hubs and talent pools of New York City and Washington D.C., although that also means employers and recruiters here are competing against lots of other companies and individuals.

New Jersey

2015 salary: $102,980 Year-over-year change: 8.3 percent Tech employers in New Jersey like to cite the state’s close proximity to New York City (which gives them access to venture capital and tech talent) as well as the cheaper cost of living as prime reasons to work here.  Next Page: Washington, D.C., Virginia, Colorado, Minnesota (click here or below) shutterstock_174209186

District of Columbia

2015 salary: $101,649 Year-over-year change: 3.4 percent The federal government has a constant need for tech pros of pretty much every stripe, from network engineers and Web developers to IT security and help-desk support. Government services and defense contracting are the top technology segments here, followed (to a smaller degree) by banking and healthcare. There’s also been some movement to give the city more of a startup scene. 


2015 salary: $100,550 Year-over-year change: 4.0 percent For Amazon, Microsoft, and other firms, Virginia is datacenter country. The state’s proximity to Washington D.C. has led to the rise of a substantial tech corridor in its northern portion, which has attracted lots of tech pros. The state’s office parks are filled with tech firms that subcontract to the federal government in some way. 


2015 salary: $98,890 Year-over-year change: 6.4 percent Denver, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs all boast a high rate of tech startups per capita, according to a 2013 study by The Wall Street Journal. The state’s highly educated workforce makes it an attractive destination for tech firms and recruiters; if they’re not working for a startup, tech professionals here might participate in the aerospace and defense industries.


2015 salary: $98,559 Year-over-year change: 9.2 percent In mid-2015, Minnesota topped Dice’s list of the fastest-growing states for tech jobs, with year-over-year workforce growth of 8.36 percent. Minnesota cities such as Minneapolis-Saint Paul have a track record of attracting both major corporations and tiny startups. As with other Midwestern and Southern states, Minnesota touts a low cost of living, combined with a burgeoning tech scene. Venture capitalists have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in startup firms here over the past few years, and big firms such as Optum and 3M have settled into the community. That makes it a potentially attractive destination for both recruiters and employers.