Glassdoor says the “real adjusted salary” for a software engineer in Seattle is $105,735, after looking at data on median salaries as well as cost-of-living expenses.
Seattle is the best-paying city for software engineers when taking into account the cost of living, according to a new report from online employer-review site Glassdoor.
That’s not to say software engineers get paid more in Seattle than anywhere else in the country — they don’t. But by factoring in cost-of-living expenses, Glassdoor created a “real adjusted salary” for software engineers in many U.S. cities that takes into account how far each dollar will go.
Software engineers in Seattle make a median salary of $113,242, and the city’s cost of living is 7.1 percent above the national average. Taken together, Glassdoor said, the “real adjusted salary” for a software engineer in Seattle is $105,735.
For a city to be included in Glassdoor’s “best-paying” list, at least 100 software engineers in that city need to have filed salary reports in the last year.
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Glassdoor routinely publishes lists that use its data to rank highest-paying jobs and cities with the most open jobs.
“What we consistently hear from job seekers is that they also want to know how that relates to cost of living,” Glassdoor spokeswoman Jessica Jaffe said. “Seattle is gaining a national reputation as an alternative to some of the high-cost places to live.”
It may come as a surprise that Seattle is considered relatively affordable, what with home prices spiking, but Silicon Valley far outpaces the Northwest in terms of expensive spots to live.
San Francisco, home to tech giants such as Yelp and Uber, ranked No. 3 on the best-paying list. The city has a median base salary for software engineers of $120,000, and its cost of living is more than 20 percent above the national average, giving it a real adjusted salary of $99,751.
The top five best-paying cities on the list were Seattle; San Jose, Calif.; San Francisco; Madison, Wis.; and Raleigh, N.C.
Glassdoor used data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, which takes into account costs such as housing, taxes, restaurants and education at a regional level. The company created a ratio using its own data on median salaries for software engineers from each city.
The company’s pay data is based on voluntary reviews and information from employees who choose to anonymously share salary figures and feelings on the company they work for.
Glassdoor did not factor in the number of open jobs in each city but included that data in its report. Seattle has 4,205 open positions for software engineers, according to the report.