Software Engineer Salary By State
In 2020 In the early days, it was hard to find an industry that didn’t anticipate seeing job growth over the next decade. Even those sectors that are aging are expected to grow simply because the strong economy makes it harder to find skilled workers.
Software Engineer Salary By State
What is the difference between a year and a pandemic. The latest data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics is still expecting global job growth, but is expected to be about 20% lower than previously forecast.
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The number of software engineers has also been cut, but not as much as the overall job market. While software engineering isn’t completely immune to a pandemic or recession, it’s still a solid career. Last year, the industry was expected to grow by 26% over 10 years. It now stands at around 22 percent, more than 5 times the national average across all industries.
Average software engineer salary in 2019 was $107,510 per year, which is a solid salary considering where you live. Higher salaries tend to be found in areas with the highest cost of living. Most of the high paying jobs are on the east and west coasts. Colorado, which was strong last year, continues to be a good salary area. The only state that rose to the top is Texas, a state known for its growing participation of technology companies.
One thing to remember when looking at BLS data is that you can’t just look at the state. There are data that also consider metropolitan areas and individual counties. When you do your research, you’re sure to find six-figure salaries in states with lower overall wages. Higher paying states will also have slightly lower wages, but in more affordable areas.
This region of the country has more states offering high wages than any other. New York, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are all states that offer an average salary between $107,000 and $135,000. All remaining states are in the $90-$107,000 range. Depending on where you live, it could be a great salary, a decent salary or you could be struggling.
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Pennsylvania is the most affordable state in the region. Delaware and New Hampshire are slightly less expensive than the rest of the region, but still quite high. Virginia also looks accessible, but their figure is heavily dependent on the southern and western parts of the state. Northern Virginia metro areas like Arlington and Alexandria are very expensive. If you can find a good paying job in a cheaper part of the state, it can be just as good as in Pennsylvania.
Higher wages are harder to come by in the southern region, but this region is also improving. North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida are very competitive with the Northeast and West regions. Moving on land can be difficult. West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana are in the lowest category. One of the advantages of software engineering is that even the low salary is still better than most other industries. Salaries around $90,000 are still found in those states.
The South region continues to be one of the most affordable places in the nation to live. Higher-wage states also tend to have a higher cost of living, but those areas still rank below the national index.
Except for the Dakotas, all states offer salaries between $90,000 and $107,000. You’ll have a better chance of finding a six-figure salary if you search Illinois and Minnesota. North and South Dakota are in the lowest range.
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Another one of the most affordable places to live with only a few states coming slightly closer to the national average. Living can be more expensive the further north you go, and Minnesota has the highest COL index in the region.
Traditionally a lower paying area, the Midwest is also growing. Texas leads the way. Many metropolitan areas in the Lone Star State have made concerted efforts to attract tech companies to the area. This is an area where you will find better jobs and better salaries. Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri are also starting to see wage growth. Oklahoma remains the only state in the group that is still at the bottom.
With its reasonable cost of living and rising wages, the Midwest is the region with the best balance of wages and expenses. Almost all states rank in the top 10 for affordability. Some metro areas won’t be as affordable, but it’s still the easiest area to pay. The region is also becoming more attractive as rising wages combined with a more stable COL means your money will go further.
This region is also dominated by one state, Colorado. Like Texas, the state has made significant efforts to attract tech companies and their target workers, particularly in the Boulder and Denver areas. Arizona and Utah are also very competitive with the Centennial State, so these two states are on the rise. New Mexico, despite being an area where technology has been used in the past, lags behind Wyoming and much of Montana.
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New Mexico is the cheapest state in the region, but it also has the lowest wages. Utah, Arizona and Wyoming are places with decent COL indices. Colorado has the highest cost of living in the region, but it’s similar to Virginia with regions where the numbers are skewed. In Colorado, the effect is the opposite. The costs in the Denver-Boulder region are very high, which increases the overall COL. Southwest Colorado is one of the highest paying non-metropolitan areas in the country, and the standard of living is significantly lower than the Denver metro area and the state of Colorado in general.
California and Washington continue to outdo the West Coast, but like the Northeast, it’s a good place to explore no matter what state you’re in. Assuming a salary is your only reward.
The West Coast is notoriously expensive, especially in California, Oregon and Washington. Oregon’s cost of living has risen to the point where it has surpassed New York and is competing with California for the second most expensive state in America. California holds that spot, although rents in San Francisco recently fell 25%. Nevada and Washington are more expensive compared to other regions, but are cheaper than other states. The best choice on the West Coast is absolutely Idaho, which is just as affordable as the Midwest, and has higher wages.
Both of these states offer solid wages, making it relatively easy to find a job worth more than $100,000 a year. The problem with both states is that they are among the most expensive in the country. The cost of living in Alaska is very high. Hawaii is by far the most expensive state, offering nearly double the national average.
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For a more detailed analysis, we compared the actual earnings of software engineers in 43 cities around the world to find out where they would have the most purchasing power. Actual earnings were calculated as follows:
Real Income = Income – Taxes – Social Security – Cost of Living – Rent A quick summary of our results
Seattle is the clear winner, with salaries close to those of Silicon Valley but with significantly lower rental costs. In addition, US cities ranked higher than international cities, with few exceptions. Interestingly, San Jose (our proxy for Silicon Valley) still ranked #3 out of 21 US cities, while San Francisco was back at #19 for rent differential.
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On the East Coast, New York and Washington, D.C. performed even worse, taking the last two places respectively. Phoenix came in second, with Austin and Houston rounding out the top 5. Internationally, we recommend Tel Aviv, Canadian cities and Berlin. Contrary to what you might expect, our data suggests avoiding London, Singapore and China.
Previously listed by Glassdoor as the “25 Highest Paying Cities for Software Engineers”.
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