Where You Should Work If You’re a Software Engineer

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Software engineers are among the hottest talent types in the tech startup space, and most make great money—but some cities tend to value their engineers higher than others.

Given cost of living factors (including housing costs, transportation, food, recreation and more) Glassdoor has revealed the 25 Best Paying Cities for Software Engineers, by identifying the “real adjusted salary” for software engineers in each city, which is determined by looking at the ratio of each city’s local median software engineer base salary to its official cost of living figures from the federal government.

The winner? Seattle, which is also one of the fastest-growing tech markets in North America. With 4,200 job openings, this city pays a real adjusted salary of $106,000. Silicon Valley, despite a very high cost of living, still manages to pay their software engineers six figures. No wonder it’s still the top tech market. Austin ($91,000), Boston ($90,000), and Atlana ($89,000) are among the 10 top-paying cities in real terms.

Below are the top five.

  1. Seattle, WA
  • Real Adjusted Salary: $105,735
  • +7.1% above national average cost of living
  • Median Base Salary: $113,242
  • Job Openings: 4,205
  1. San Jose, CA
  • Real Adjusted Salary: $100,989
  • +21.3% above national average cost of living
  • Median Base Salary: $122,500
  • Job Openings: 2,017
  1. San Francisco, CA
  • Real Adjusted Salary: $99,751
  • +20.3% above national average cost of living
  • Median Base Salary: $120,000
  • Job Openings: 2,232
  1. Madison, WI
  • Real Adjusted Salary: $97,236
  • -2.3% below national average cost of living
  • Median Base Salary: $95,000
  • Job Openings: 105
  1. Raleigh, NC
  • Real Adjusted Salary: $94,142
  • -4.4% below national average cost of living
  • Median Base Salary: $90,000
  • Job Openings: 416

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