Let's say you work as an app developer in Austin, making $87,700 a year. Life is good -- you can afford all the breakfast tacos your heart desires.
But wait! A company based in San Francisco has offered you $108,000 a year to do the same job.
It seems like a no-brainer to take the higher-paid job, right? You start thinking about trading in breakfast tacos for $4 toast.
Jobs site Indeed reports that when you factor in the cost of living, Austin is the better deal because you would only spend 23 percent of your take-home salary on rent, versus 37 percent in San Francisco.
The Indeed study looked at salary data from the 15 different job titles, and the most popular job search destinations on its site. Here's how that list looks without taking into consideration the cost of living:
|Rank||City||Average Salary (Unadjusted)|
|1||San Francisco, Calif.||$113,497|
|2||San Jose, Calif.||$111,925|
|3||New York, N.Y.||$109,765|
|4||Los Angeles, Calif.||$98,346|
|11||San Diego, Calif.||$93,011|
|14||Salt Lake City, Utah||$85,139|
But after looking at Bureau of Economic Analysis data on cost of living, Austin rises to the top:
|Rank||City||Average Salary (Adjusted)|
|3||San Francisco, Calif.||$90,457|
|6||San Jose, Calif.||$88,085|
|8||Salt Lake City, Utah||$85,395|
|9||New York, N.Y.||$85,287|
|12||Los Angeles, Calif.||$80,939|
|14||San Diego, Calif.||$76,641|
So Austin actually pays the highest salary, when adjusted for monthly expenses such as housing.
Indeed also looked at the salary and cost of living data for 15 different job titles. Austin ranked first as paying the highest adjusted salary for these jobs: salary architect, data scientist, database administrator, Java developer, mobile developer, front-end developer and web developer.
For those of us who have watched housing prices ratchet up year after year, it's hard to believe Austin is still a bargain compared to cities such as Minneapolis, where housing is less expensive. But this study basically concludes that Austin tech firms strike the right balance between paying decent tech wages and a housing market that is still comparatively less expensive than cities such as San Francisco or New York.
What do you think about tech salaries in Austin and the cost of living? Let us know in the comments section.
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