20 High-Tech Cities You'll Want to Call Home

While New York and San Francisco might be the first cities you think of moving to when looking for a tech-savvy, post-college abode, you should broaden your horizons.

Location, location, location doesn’t just apply to your first apartment post-graduation; it also refers to what city you move to. Yes, there are tech jobs everywhere but some cities have more of a payoff.

For its annual salary survey, Dice.com, a career site for those in technology and engineering, got the input of over 10,000 professionals in 2018 about how much they make. The number of cities with average salaries in the six figures has increased from last year, though overall salaries for those in the industry were flat in 2018. Silicon Valley still has the highest at $118,306.

Dice notes that salary satisfaction has been declining since 2012 but that employees also look to other benefits and factors when taking or changing jobs. Better working conditions—whether it’s the possibility of remote work, flex hours, and an improved culture—were behind the decision of 47 percent of employees who switched jobs.

Those little extras won’t help you if you’re paying rent in San Francisco or New York, though. So while they might be the first cities you think of moving to when looking for a tech-savvy, post-college abode, you should broaden your horizons.

That’s where this list comes in. We didn’t include the most obvious tech hubs of Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York but these cities offer plenty of reasons for you to want to call them home.

  • Seattle (Photo by Paul Mounce/Corbis via Getty Images)

    1 Seattle

    Yes, it’s always sort of gray in Seattle, but the Emerald City is also pretty green. The average salary for those in tech is $105,059. Nearby Redmond, Washington, is home to Microsoft, but there are plenty of other tech companies in the area, including Amazon, of course. Maybe the surest sign that Seattle could be the next Silicon Valley is that it’s about to get scooters. (Photo by Paul Mounce/Corbis via Getty Images)
  • San Diego

    2 San Diego

    If you’re talking tech and start a sentence with “San,” you’d probably expect the next word to be “Francisco,” but San Diego residents get great weather and great salaries. And those sunny skies are filled with drones thanks to a three-year testing program the city secured with the Department of Transportation. The city is also home to behemoth Qualcomm and lots of startups, almost 170 of which are part of the EvoNexus incubator. The average tech salary in San Diego is $103,846.
  • Minneapolis

    3 Minneapolis

    Minneapolis doesn’t have a tech hub but it’s managed to make it on this list and be the envy of the Midwest. With average salaries at $103,271, it’s the place where your paycheck will go the furthest, according to Dice. The area is ideal for those who are looking for a management job in tech. If you do score one and go to a conference, you might be lucky enough to see one of these 100 women speak.
  • Washington D.C./Baltimore

    4 Washington D.C./Baltimore

    Politics is the center of life in D.C., making it the perfect place to put tech companies that are chasing federal contracts. It’s also about to be a second home for Amazon, so expect there to be more jobs than ever there. The average salary is $101,235.
  • Portland

    5 Portland

    Portlandia might be over but Portland isn’t. Women especially might want to consider the support they’ll receive from organizations like PDX Women in Tech, which has a mentorship program. An average tech salary in the city is $101,019.
  • Tampa

    6 Tampa

    Tampa is not the top place you’d think of for tech but it has thousands of open STEM jobs. It’s also in the top three of how many places on this list have salaries that go the furthest. That’s good news since it’s in the top 10 as far as average pay goes, at $96,777.
  • Denver

    7 Denver

    There are a lot of Rocky Mountain highs in Denver and one of them is that those in tech can expect to earn on average $96,258. The Denver Tech Center has been in business since the 1970s, encouraging tech companies to settle in the city. Ahead of ski season, put Denver Startup Week on your calendar this fall, and don’t miss the emerging smart city Panasonic is building out in the great expanse near the airport. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
  • Los Angeles

    8 Los Angeles

    Tech workers in Los Angeles might have to deal with the freeways, but if they can find a job close to home and a home not far from the beach, they’ll be happy enjoying the $96,203 average salary they bring in. Tesla’s Design Studio is in nearby Hawthorne but the city itself has some high-tech career options, too.
  • Philadelphia

    9 Philadelphia

    Philly Tech Week just passed but that doesn’t mean the future isn’t moving forward there. There are startups working on feeding at-risk newborns, helping doctors understand patients’ mental health, and programs for increasing diversity in tech. Salaries average $93,340.
  • Chicago

    10 Chicago

    Chicago is filled with as much culture as New York but it also has midwestern friendliness going for it. Salaries are good at an average of $92,300 and there are plenty of companies hiring.
  • Phoenix

    11 Phoenix

  • Houston

    12 Houston

    Though it’s been associated with oil for decades, Houston also has a bit of silicon in its veins. Last year, the city partnered with Microsoft for a computer literacy effort for its citizens and work on smart-city projects like reducing traffic through data and technology. Microsoft also said it will support local startups, so if you’re considering moving to Houston now is the time. You can expect an average salary of $91,591.
  • Austin

    13 Austin

    You might have already been to Austin for SXSW Interactive, but there are plenty of good reasons to stay. It’s where many a tech giant got its start, including Twitter. Tech workers can make an average of about $91,382 each year, according to Dice. If you’re looking for a place to start, there are plenty of startups that are set to take off this year.
  • Raleigh

    14 Raleigh

  • Charlotte

    15 Charlotte

  • Dallas

    16 Dallas

  • Orlando

    17 Orlando

    Living in Orlando gives you proximity to some magical or out of this world places to work, like the Magic Kingdom and SpaceX. An average salary in the area is $88,133.
  • St. Louis

    18 St. Louis

  • Atlanta

    19 Atlanta

  • Miami

    20 Miami

    Everybody knows Miami is hot in all ways and it’s no different when it comes to the tech sector. The LAB Miami gives startups a place to grow with a born-in-a-garage aesthetic, while 500 Startups has also opened a branch in the city. One thing to keep in mind, though: the average salary is $80,493 and Miami is the last city on this list when it comes to how far that goes.

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