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New City, New Salary: 5 Best Destinations For Tech Transplants

Would you move to a new city for a tech job? Doing so might be financially rewarding–but a large part of that depends on where exactly you’re headed when you pack up the U-Haul (and where you’re coming from).

Of course, if you’re going to uproot your life and bid farewell to family and friends, you want it to be worth your while. Start your job hunt in these five cities, which, according to a Paysa study, offer the highest average salary increases for migrating tech professionals.

1. San Francisco, CA

Anyone in the tech world won’t be shocked that San Fran takes the top spot. After all, it’s home to the famous Silicon Valley, where many big companies and startups offer generous packages to tech talent.

If you’re coming from Chicago, you’re going to like it here: Windy City transplants top the list with average salary increases of over $120,000 after moving. And San Diego residents might be able to double their salary just by moving eight hours north–thanks to the $114,000 salary increase the average tech migrant can enjoy without even leaving the state. In third place are New Yorkers, who tend to add about $110,000 to their salaries after a move.


2. Seattle, WA

The Pacific Northwest (and Seattle in particular) is emerging as another major tech hub, and companies here are making it worth candidates’ whiles to invest in a good raincoat and stay for a while.

If San Diego tech professionals are willing to travel even further north than San Francisco, they can tack on a few extra tens of thousands to their offers: on average, those who make this move increase their salaries by over $139,000. Close behind is the average for movers from our nation’s capital–transplants from Washington D.C. enjoy average increases of $134,000+. And Texans moving from Austin might be willing to give up their warm climate for a $131,000 pay bump.


3. New York, NY


Best cities to relocate to for a salary increase

Not all the good jobs are in the west. Tech professionals who want to stay on the East Coast should set their jobs board searches to NYC.

As it turns out, the tech workers most likely to benefit from moving to the city already live in New York. If you’re moving there from Fulton, you’ll add an average of $63,000 to your salary. Buffalo transplants command increases of nearly $59,000. The third-highest increases are for movers from Chicago, who increase their pay by roughly $53,000.

Lower down the list, movers from Los Angeles usually add to their salaries by $11,500–but if you’re coming from San Francisco or Seattle, you’ll be losing between $1,000-$15,000.

4. Boston, MA

If you like coding and snow, head northeast to Boston–another fast-growing tech hub with a mix of startups and established companies.

And if you’re from Chicago, this should be near the top of your list when you’re job hunting–if you want to tack on an extra $110,000 to your yearly gross, that is. Southerners who migrate from Atlanta, GA come in second here; they’ll make $105,500 more after a move. And Texans take the third spot, with Austin transplants pulling in an extra $78,700 when they switch jobs.

5. Washington, D.C.

The last city on the list also hails from the east–and while many consider D.C. to be more a hub of politics and history, it’s actually a big player in the tech world as well. The city is third in the nation for tech jobs, and even San Francisco tech transplants enjoy rewards for moving here.

The study shows that it’s most lucrative for those moving from Charlotte, NC: they’ll add to their yearly salaries by nearly $68,000. West-coasters from Los Angeles enjoy $47,000 increases, and Chicagoans command $44,500 higher offers.

So: have tech skills, will travel? Maybe you’ll be the next transplant to call one of these cities home.

Laurence Bradford is a product manager at Teachable, an EdTech enthusiast, and the creator of Learn to Code With Me, a blog and podcast helping self-taught coders get ahead in their lives + careers.


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