The best tech job cities of 2023

Despite the wave of widespread layoffs that hit the tech industry in 2022 and 2023, the technology sector is still flourishing. Tech companies are projected to grow by 15% by 2031, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tech salaries are also on the rise thanks to a demand for talent across nearly every industry. A recent industry report indicated that salaries increased 2.3% between 2021 and 2022, reaching an average tech salary of $111,348 per year. The report also showed that there were quite a few interesting shifts when looking at salary by location.

If you’re looking for a career in tech, it still pays to live in traditional innovation hubs like Silicon Valley, Boston or New York City. Silicon Valley remains the most prominent (and expensive) U.S. tech hub, with a talent pool of nearly 380,000 tech workers. And even despite the growing number of workers abandoning the hub following the trend of remote work, tech layoffs and this year’s Silicon Valley Bank collapse, the area still continues to be a top destination for tech professionals. It’s seen as a center of innovation and an especially attractive area for ambitious entrepreneurs and startup developers.

It also boasts the highest average tech salary of $144,962 per year and one of the best climates year-round. Check out global tech organizations on the VentureBeat Job Board like Apple which is looking for a Data Collection/Machine Learning Lead to assist in delivering CVML-based algorithms for ground-breaking features such as augmented reality (AR), Cinematic Video, RoomPlan, FaceID and Animoji. All of these features depend on high-quality data collection, data understanding and data curation. You’ll be responsible for the team’s data strategy and as such will need proficiency in programming languages including Python, C++, or similar and at least one major machine learning framework such as PyTorch, Jax or Tensorflow. The base pay range for this role is between $161,000 and $278,000.

Seattle is another hotspot for tech talent in the U.S clocking in an impressive 32% growth rate over the last five years. Home to Amazon and Microsoft, as well as many startups, Seattle offers a thriving tech scene and a relatively lower cost of living than the Bay Area. A total of 160,660 residents work in tech, or 83.78 per 1,000, which is one of the highest concentrations in the Pacific Northwest. Tech jobs here are expected to grow by 2.5% in the next year and by 8.7% by 2026. With an average salary of $129,456 annually, Seattle boasts some of the highest average wages for IT jobs.

On the radar are leading firms like Adobe which is currently recruiting a Sr User Experience Designer to join its Adobe Design dynamic team in Seattle. To apply, you’ll need a Bachelor’s Degree in UX, HCI, Design or a related field and a minimum of five-plus years’ of shown experience in product design, building and delivering consumer and/or enterprise products plus direct experience across a range of design approaches and methodologies, from persona development to prototyping and the many steps in between. The U.S. pay range for this position is $111,700 to $206,100 annually.

While America’s large, coastal cities still contain the lion’s share of tech talent, mid-sized tech hubs like Salt Lake City, Portland and Denver have put up strong growth numbers in recent years. Known as the ‘Silicon Forest,’ Portland offers high-paying tech jobs in an area with a lower cost of living expenses than Seattle. The average salary for tech workers in Portland is about $127,734 and median tech wages in Portland are 103% higher than median national wages. Portland’s startup scene is thriving, and the city is rife with incubators and coworking spaces. It’s a city proud to champion diversity and inclusivity and of the 30,000 tech workers in the area, 32% identify as female.

Opportunities in Portland include jobs with companies like Autodesk which is looking to hire a Senior Full Stack Engineer to join its Digital Experience Platform. As well as the minimum requirements (BA/BS degree plus five years’ industry experience) the preferred candidate will also have advanced knowledge in architecting AWS based systems, JavaScript modules and Object-Oriented Programming and experience working with AEM or other CMS technologies. For U.S.-based roles, the starting base salary is between $109,400 and $188,760.

As more and more tech salaries increase, so too has there been a rise in nontraditional tech hubs in the U.S. Emerging as Florida’s tech capital, Tampa holds over 25% of all tech jobs in the state. The city features over 50 software and IT companies, with more likely to take root over the next few years. Through initiatives like the Embarc Collective, Tampa supports tech startups and early-stage tech companies to continue tech growth in the city. Over the last few years, Charlotte has consistently been one of the best tech job cities on the East Coast. North Carolina is full of rich diversity — of all the tech companies in Charlotte, 37% of their CEOs are women. On top of a cost of living that is 1.7% lower than the national average, North Carolina boasts a flat income tax rate regardless of annual earnings, as well as low property and sales taxes. This means your median salary of $118,465 will go further.  Other notable growth stories outside of the more established tech hubs include Columbus, where average tech salaries grew 16% year over year, and Phoenix where salaries grew 26%.

Finding your dream tech job isn’t just about luck — it’s also about factors totally within your control. When you’re on the job hunt, one of the success-defining factors is as simple (yet difficult) as looking in the right place.

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