What you earn in technology depends on where you live.
The delta between what a technology worker with 10 or more years of experience earns on average in the Atlanta area and what a tech worker with the same experience in Silicon Valley makes is roughly $27,000, according to data released June 17 by Glassdoor.com, an employee-rated and reviewed career Website.
The average San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley technology employee with over 10 years of working experience earns $125,461; in Atlanta, the average tech worker with the same experience is earning $98,449, according to Glassdoor's data from 200 employee reports on average base salaries in each city.
"The Glassdoor tech industry report points out that it pays to do your research to find what the new normal is in terms of salary and compensation in today's market," said Glassdoor CEO and co-founder Robert Hohman to eWEEK. "What was normal in 2007 is likely not normal in today's market. Location and years of experience typically play into compensation, so it's important to know how those can impact your paycheck."
The report shows average base salaries in nine U.S. cities charted in five categories of experience level. The cities covered in the report are Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington. The experience levels given are zero to one year, one to three years, four to six years, six to nine years and 10 or more years.
Glassdoor.com allows users to anonymously rate CEOs, publish salary information and share comments on employee satisfaction at the wide variety of enterprise-level companies at which they work. Glassdoor then ranks companies, salaries and their leaders based on this employee-provided data. The site also allows users to see what companies in the same sectors are paying for the same job title.
The data set in this report looks at all technology salary averages but is not broken out by job title. As a point of reference, the job board Simply Hired has average technology job titles posted for the United States. Here are a few average technology salaries from Simply Hired:
-Java Developer: $78,000
-Software Engineer: $75,000
-IT Specialist: $66,000
-Project Manager: $75,000
-Business Analyst: $67,000
-Electronics Engineer: $72,000
The Glassdoor data could be useful to workers considering relocation from one U.S. city to another.
"Before walking into a salary negotiation, know what you need to earn to make ends meet," Hohman said, advising tech workers on what to consider when thinking about relocation. "Salaries in the San Francisco Bay Area are higher than in Chicago, but the cost of living in the Bay Area is much higher than in Chicago. That's important to consider, as are local unemployment rates.
"Before making a move, test the waters. Apply for jobs and set up interviews, but be mindful of the travel expenses associated with relocation, as it might be on your dime, as many companies have cut back on assisted moves."