Taking a look at salaries in Austin’s tech sector 

More than 2,600 responded to our first 512tech Salary Survey.

Posted January 25th, 2017

Story highlights
  • Over 2,600 people took our 512tech salary survey. Find out what they said. 
  • Tech workers who took the 512tech survey had a median salary of $110,000. 

This summer, we asked Austin’s tech industry a difficult question: Tell us how much money you make.

Our goal was to gather demographic and salary data on Austin’s tech industry, one of the fastest-growing and most vital pieces of the Central Texas economy. 

Many of you answered that call. We got 2,659 responses from a cross-section of people who work for more than 300 companies within Austin’s tech industry, from CEOs to entry-level workers and entrepreneurs. 

Reporter Lilly Rockwell and Data Editor Christian McDonald reviewed these responses, eliminating those that did not fit our criteria of working in the tech industry.

We specifically wanted to gather data on Austin-area residents who work for tech companies in any capacity, rather than workers who perform a technical job but work for the government or a nonprofit.

Keep in mind when reviewing these survey results that every question was optional, so the number of people who answered each question will vary. 

Check out some of our results below: 

Median salary

Below is the median *salary of the people who took our survey and work in Austin’s tech industry. For comparison, we have shown the median earnings of the entire Austin-Round Rock metro area. 

*Salary does not include annual bonus

Median salary by education level

More education generally equals more money among our survey respondents. 

Tech industry workers who took our survey with doctorate degrees had the highest median salary at $171,000 while survey respondents who earned just an associate’s degree clocked in with the lowest median salary of $82,000. 

The number in parenthesis next to the salary is the number of people who responded to our survey.

Median salary by gender

There is a significant wage gap among the tech industry workers who took the survey, with the median wage of a man roughly $25,000 higher than that of a woman.

And among the tech industry workers who took our salary survey, about 25 percent were women. The number in parenthesis next to the salary is the number of respondents. 

Various studies have shown that the tech industry is overwhelmingly male. A recent federal study showed that women make up about 36 percent of the tech workforce nationally, while a Census data analysis done by Smart Asset put that number at 26.5 percent. 

Smart Asset also reported that women make up 21.2 percent of the Austin tech workforce

But their analysis relies on “computer and mathematical occupations” and does not include executive-level positions or non-technical jobs for technology companies. Our data does.

Median salary by race

Among the tech industry workers who took our survey, white workers had a slight salary edge over Asian workers with the highest median salary of $115,000. 

Hispanics had the lowest median salary of $88,000 among our survey respondents. African-Americans were included in the “other” category due to lack of a representative sample size.

The number in parenthesis is the number of total respondents. About 82 percent of the people who took our survey and disclosed their race were white. Eight percent were Hispanic and 5 percent were Asian. 

national study on the ethnicity of tech workers done by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission concluded that about 69 percent are white, 14 percent are Asian, 8 percent are Hispanic and 7 percent are African-American.

Median by industry

The tech industry workers who took this survey said software, semiconductors and computer manufacturing are among the highest-paid tech industries in Austin. 

The number in parenthesis next to the salary is the number of people who responded to our survey.

Median salary by job

Among the tech workers who took our survey, managers at the senior vice president or vice president level made significantly more than other job titles, with a median wage of $150,000 or more. 

But other jobs that didn’t necessarily come with management responsibility also had high median wages, such as software developer, program managers or electrical engineers. On the low end of the scale was IT support and engineering or manufacturing tech jobs. 

The number in parenthesis next to the salary is the number of people who responded to our survey. 

Median salary by stock options

We asked survey respondents whether they had stock options as part of their compensation packages, and a majority said no. 

But of those that did have stock options, they tended to earn more than the people who didn’t have stock options. That’s likely because stock options tend to be offered to management-level employees who earn higher salaries. 

Employment status

A majority of survey respondents - 85 percent- work full-time in their tech industry jobs.

Interested in learning more?

If you’d like to explore more data on Austin’s tech salaries, check out these charts provided by EMSI, which specializes in economic and workforce data analysis. 

And several companies, such as IndeedDice and Payscale also offer extensive tech wage data. 

We’d like to thank the following people, companies or organizations that consulted with us on the development of this survey: the Austin Technology Council, Indeed, pollster Peter Zandan, and Josh Wright with economic and workforce data analysis firm EMSI.