Remote work is becoming more popular, but some tech companies still prefer office work. This is why you should keep track of the best cities for tech jobs. Whether you’re a professional seeking a fresh challenge or a newcomer looking to break into tech, choosing a top tech city can help you propel your career forward, maximize your earning potential, and give you the job satisfaction you deserve.
This guide highlights 10 of the best cities for tech jobs in the US, based on the local tech landscape, presence of tech companies, demand for skilled tech workers, compensation for popular IT roles, and other factors. Let’s dive in and discover the top 10 tech hubs in the US that serve as great environments for tech professionals to thrive in.
10 Best Cities for Tech Jobs: At a Glance
The following table shows information about the top tech cities, breaking them down according to population data from the US Census, the variety of tech roles available, and the concentration of large and well-known tech employers within each of their city limits.
|City||Population estimates (2022)||Popular tech roles||Top tech companies|
|Austin, TX||974,447||Software engineers, data analysts, UI developers, UX designers, systems engineers||Adobe, Electronic Arts, NVIDIA, Salesforce, Dell Technologies|
|San Jose, CA||971,233||Web developers, QA engineers, data scientists, AI specialists, cloud engineers||PayPal, Cisco, Western Digital, Netflix, eBay|
|Atlanta, GA||499,127||Software developers, cyber security specialists, data analysts, network engineers, product managers||Calendly, Visa, Mailchimp, Cricket Wireless, Unity|
|San Francisco, CA||808,437||UX researchers, software engineers, IT support specialists, UX designers, data engineers||Google, Airbnb, Uber Technologies Inc, Stripe, Oracle|
|Seattle, WA||749,256||Cyber security engineers, UX designers, cloud engineers, QA testers, data scientists||Amazon, Tableau, Meta, Microsoft, Boeing|
|Baltimore, MD||569,931||Software engineers, IT specialists, program managers, network engineers, database administrators||ZeroFOX, IBM, Oracle, CADD Microsystems, Mindgrub Technologies|
|New York City, NY||8,335,897||Project managers, network engineers, data analysts, UX researchers, IT support specialists||Apple, Shutterstock, Meta, Salesforce, MongoDB|
|Portland, OR||635,067||Cyber security specialists, software developers, data analysts, project managers, web developers||Microsoft, InFocus, Autodesk, AppNexus, DAT Freight & Analytics|
|Miami, FL||449,514||Network engineers, IT consultants, software engineers, data architects, automation specialists||Oracle, Alienware, Ava Labs, Cisco, Deloitte|
|Phoenix, AZ||1,644,409||Web developers, cyber security specialists, systems administrators, data analysts, software engineers||IBM, GoDaddy, Lyft, Axon, Honeywell|
Top Cities for Tech Jobs in 2023: A Closer Look
Below are 10 of the best cities for tech jobs in the US, as well as their average salaries for software developers. This list of top tech hubs in the US should offer insight into potential opportunities, the tech ecosystems, and the local job markets in these top tech cities. Cost of living estimates were made using the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator.
Average cost of living for one individual per month: $3,053
Average salary for software developers: $91,230
Austin has emerged as a thriving US tech hub in the last few years. Big tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Meta have chosen this city as a location for their offices, contributing to job creation and economic growth. Austin topped CompTIA’s Tech Town Index for three years in a row, thanks to its unique combination of career opportunities, affordable living costs, and quality of life.
Austin is considered one of the best cities for startups, with a diverse network of incubators, accelerators, and venture capital firms. But, just how big is the startup scene? An Austin Chamber report revealed that Austin-based startups are valued at an all-time high of $128 billion. It is also said that they raised over $5 billion in funding in 2022, proof of confidence in Austin’s future as a tech hub.
San Jose, California
Average cost of living for one individual per month: $5,964
Average salary for software developers: $129,800
San Jose is known as one of the best cities for tech jobs for the past few decades, especially due to its strategic location in Silicon Valley. As of May 2022, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area saw one of the highest numbers of IT employment in the country, with 154,180 employees. It is also the highest-paying metropolitan area for tech professionals in 2022, with an annual mean wage of $206,540, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
As the birthplace of many tech giants, San Jose attracts a highly skilled and diverse tech workforce from around the world. The city’s reputation for tech excellence creates an environment of collaboration and creativity, making it an ideal place for tech professionals of all backgrounds to come together, create, and innovate.
Average cost of living for one individual per month: $3,637
Average salary for software developers: $91,460
Atlanta is a formidable tech hub in the Southeast that continues to draw attention and investment from the tech industry. More and more top tech companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Visa are moving to Atlanta. Their investment in the city’s tech landscape helps boost innovation and foster collaboration.
Atlanta also strives to promote inclusion and diversity in the industry. Initiatives such as the Atlanta Action for Racial Equity (AARE) and the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation (PIN) help contribute to a more equitable tech ecosystem. Compared to other major tech hubs in the US, Atlanta offers a relatively lower cost of living, making it an attractive destination for tech professionals seeking a balanced lifestyle without compromising job opportunities.
San Francisco, California
Average cost of living for one individual per month: $6,347
Average salary for software developers: $119,813
San Francisco is an iconic and influential tech hub in the US. Its status as a tech powerhouse is evident during the latest tech layoffs, where hiring momentum continued in the area while the majority of the global tech scene took a devastating hit. According to CBRE, San Francisco and Silicon Valley saw 12,000 new high-tech jobs between 2020 and 2021, a figure higher than pre-pandemic highs.
As one of the best cities for tech jobs in the US, San Francisco is also welcoming to startups and tech entrepreneurs. It has adopted tech-friendly policies that support innovation and technological development. This fosters a conducive business environment for tech companies across sectors, including areas like software development, biotech, fintech, and more. In turn, tech professionals in the region have access to dynamic and lucrative career opportunities.
Average cost of living for one individual per month: $4,347
Average salary for software developers: $120,278
Seattle is home to some of the world’s most prominent tech companies, with the most popular being Amazon. The company’s rapid growth is a major driving force behind Seattle’s tech scene. An example of this is the positive economic impacts Amazon had on local businesses and public transportation when its nearly 70,000 employees returned to office in May 2023.
Beyond that, Seattle offers a supportive ecosystem for tech companies and workers. This top tech city offers an environment built around a collaborative culture. Tech professionals in Seattle have access to networking opportunities, mentorship programs, and resources through organizations like Techstars and the Seattle Tech Meetup.
Average cost of living for one individual per month: $3,250
Average salary for software developers: $92,283
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Baltimore may not be widely recognized as one of the best cities for tech jobs, but this emerging tech hub has been steadily evolving in recent years. Its location on the East Coast means that it is in close proximity to major cities like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City. This makes it an attractive location for businesses looking to boost their presence in the region. It is now home to successful companies in fields like healthcare, software, and cyber security.
Tech professionals in Baltimore can expect to enjoy a high quality of life, thanks to the city’s low cost of living in comparison to other tech hubs in the US. Baltimore is actually one of the top 10 cities and metropolitan areas that compensate their tech workers well. According to BLS, the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area has an annual mean wage of $118,630.
New York City, NY
Average cost of living for one individual per month: $4,727
Average salary for software developers: $114,641
NYC’s vibrant tech scene comprises multinational companies, thriving startups, and everything in between. Dubbed “the fastest-growing tech hub in the US,” NYC is reportedly home to over 7,500 tech firms, which account for over $124.7 billion in economic output. The city also has the highest number of employees in the tech sector, at 316,230 in May 2022, according to BLS.
Because of its status, NYC attracts tech talent from around the world. The city’s diverse population and rich cultural offerings make it an appealing destination for tech professionals seeking both career opportunities and an enriching lifestyle. You can expect to connect and network with industry leaders, investors, and other technologists at the various tech events NYC has to offer.
Average cost of living for one individual per month: $3,851
Average salary for software developers: $106,634
Portland makes our list of the best cities for tech jobs due to its vibrant tech ecosystem that consists of innovative startups and established tech companies. Known for its collaborative community, Portland has seen the birth of many companies that are centered around entertainment, art, and lifestyle. They include Cash App, SeatGeek, and Brilliant Earth.
An eco-conscious mindset is also at the heart of Stumptown. This is why the city has also attracted more companies that are focused on sustainability and green efforts. Portland is now home to many diverse tech industries, which include software development, clean technology, bioscience, gaming, and outdoor tech.
Average cost of living for one individual per month: $3,424
Average salary for software developers: $88,208
Miami is rapidly emerging as a dynamic tech hub in the US. Its location as the gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean provides unique advantages for tech companies seeking to expand on a global scale. Miami often plays host to major tech events and conferences, attracting industry leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs from various regions. These events provide valuable networking opportunities and showcase the city’s tech potential.
The city also encourages the growth of new ventures, witnessing the rise of powerful Miami-based startups that have raised more than $1 billion in the first quarter of 2022 alone. Some startups to watch include Novo, ThriveDX, Yuga Labs, and DoorLoop. Miami’s diverse population and multicultural environment attract a broad range of tech talent from around the world, promoting inclusion in the industry.
Average cost of living for one individual per month: $3,358
Average salary for software developers: $98,725
With a growing tech ecosystem and a supportive business environment, Phoenix has attracted tech companies, startups, and skilled professionals over the past few years. Meta, for example, is building an $800-million data center in the city while Intel Corp is expanding its chip production factories, which is estimated to cost up to $20 billion. These are just a few notable projects currently in the works in Phoenix.
Phoenix’s tech growth means more job opportunities and better pay. According to DICE’s Tech Salary Trends report, Phoenix witnessed a 26 percent increase in the average salary between 2021 and 2022, making it the number one city in the US with the fastest-growing tech salaries. With a fairly low cost of living, tech professionals in Phoenix can aim for a better quality of life and higher job satisfaction.
Benefits of Working in a Top Tech City in the US
Being part of a top tech city’s ecosystem offers an exciting and dynamic environment that encourages innovation, collaboration, and professional growth for tech professionals. Below are other benefits of working in the best cities for tech jobs.
Access to Job Opportunities With Competitive Salaries
Top tech cities are home to a wide array of tech companies, which ensures ample job opportunities for aspiring tech professionals. As part of a tech hub in the US, you also have access to diverse positions, allowing you to explore niche roles and tech specializations that align with your interests and career goals. Tech cities often offer higher average salaries than other regions due to the demand for skilled tech workers and the high cost of living.
Opportunities for Career Growth and Learning
The best cities for tech jobs generally offer a supportive environment that promotes learning and career development. This could mean faster career growth and the possibility of climbing the ladder more quickly than in other areas. Top tech cities foster a strong tech community where professionals can network, collaborate, and learn from one another, boosting career growth and knowledge exchange.
Access to Diverse Tech Communities and Events
Major US tech hubs tend to attract talent from around the world, creating a vibrant and diverse cultural environment. This also exposes tech professionals to inclusive work environments, fresh perspectives, and creative discussions. Robust tech communities often organize meetups, conferences, and workshops, offering a chance to stay updated on industry trends and build professional connections.
Top Tech Hubs in the US: Recap
The best cities for tech jobs in the US offer lucrative career prospects and a fulfilling and dynamic lifestyle. The collaborative nature of tech communities in these cities encourages networking and knowledge sharing. As such, working and living in top tech cities allow you to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share the same passion for all things tech.
As technology continues to evolve, you can expect these US tech hubs to remain at the forefront of innovation, paving the way for global trends and digital transformation. Whether it’s the vibrant tech culture of San Francisco, the diverse opportunities in New York City, or the booming startup scene in Austin, each city provides a unique environment for tech professionals to thrive and make a lasting impact in the industry.
Best Cities for Tech Jobs FAQ
The US city and metropolitan area that pays the most for tech roles is San Jose, California. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech employees in this area receive an annual mean wage of $206,540. It is followed by San Francisco, California with $155,490, and Boulder, Colorado with $141,500. These salaries are much higher than the median income in the US, which is $69,717.
As of 2022, New York City has the highest number of tech workers across all sectors. According to the BLS, there were 316,230 tech employees in the New York-Newark-Jersey City region. Other cities and metropolitan areas with the highest number of tech employment are Washington DC, Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle, and San Francisco.
Some of the highest-paying jobs in tech right now are enterprise architects, data scientists, and cyber security specialists. According to Glassdoor, these jobs pay an average of $138,535, $117,588, and $105,088 respectively. Other factors that can influence the salary for these jobs include experience, skill level, location, and company.
No, you don’t need a computer science degree to get a lucrative job in tech, although some employers may prefer it. One popular alternative to a four-year degree is coding bootcamps. They are job-focused training programs, designed to equip you with the technical skills needed to break into tech in just months. Coding bootcamps are also cheaper than college degrees, making them an accessible option for many aspiring programmers.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.