Best Places to Live: Which Cities are Best for Software Engineers?

The number of software engineers grows year by year and so does the demand for their skills and knowledge. To be a software engineer today means having a well-paid job, working on interesting projects, and choosing among career opportunities other people can hardly dream about. Given this, there is no wonder why Forbes named this profession the second most popular among recent college grads.

Wondering which cities are the hottest for software engineers?

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. San Jose, CA
  3. San Francisco, CA
  4. Dallas, TX
  5. Phoenix, AZ
  6. Denver, CO
  7. Salt Lake City, UT

With this in mind, we decided to round up the list of American cities with the best career opportunities for software engineers. Since we’ve worked on similar city ratings for musicians, entrepreneurs, and tech professionals before, we now have a tried and true algorithm helping us find out the best locations for anyone. So sit down comfortably and let us kick-start your search for a perfect place to build your career. Remove all the guesswork and get ready to meet the best cities for software engineers.

Seattle, WA

– Real adjusted salary: $105,735
– Tech industry growth: 47.7%
– Best employers: Microsoft, Salesforce, Adobe, DocuSign

If you’re surprised to see Seattle topping the list, you need to know this city is called an American tech mecca of tomorrow. It didn’t happen overnight though. The trend has been building for decades, and now this city is considered a great place to search for jobs in tech. One of the major advantages of Seattle’s tech scene is that the local ecosystem is not reliant on startups only, which helps local professionals achieve success and keep it stable in the long run. This stability together with high salaries and reasonable cost of living make Seattle the best city for web developers.

San Jose, CA

– Real adjusted salary: $100,989
– Average rental price: $2,617/mo (as on Jan 2020)
– Tech industry growth: 79.6%
– Best employers: Cisco System, eBay, IBM Corporation

It seems like all people fall into two camps – those who admit that San Jose is a great alternative to San Francisco and those who refuse to believe it’s true. Over the last 10 years, the number of tech jobs in the city has grown by almost 80 percent. As for today, tech jobs make up 14.1% of all jobs in the city, which is almost fivefold compared to the national average rates. The cost of living in San Jose is still high, but not as cosmic as in its bigger brother San Francisco.


San Francisco, CA

– Real adjusted salary: $99,751
– Average rental price: $4,050/mo
– Tech industry growth: 90%
– Best employers: Facebook, Google, Linkedin

It would be wrong not to mention the world-recognized tech hub of the US. Despite reasonable critique, thousands of tech professionals from all around the world are flocking to the city every year. Head over to San Francisco to build a mind-blowing career of a software engineer, but get ready to pay a fortune for housing. After all, it is America’s most expensive city to settle down in.

Dallas, TX

– Real adjusted salary: $88,294
– Average rental price: $1,703/mo
– Tech industry growth: 43.2%
– Best employers: AT&T, Bottle Rocket CyrusOne, CyrusOne

America’s 11th best-paying city for software engineers, Dallas is a wonderful place to be. Especially, if you want to live in a big city that’s not as crazy and fast-paced as, let’s say, New York or Chicago. Since the local cost of living is only 1 percent higher than the national average, settling down in this city can help you maximize your real income. According to experts, Dallas is poised to outrun San Francisco as a top tech talent market in the years to come.

Real estate investment opportunities in Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, AZ

– Real adjusted salary: $87,997
– Average rental price: $1,833/mo
– Tech industry growth: 48.5%
– Best employers: Yelp, AFS Technologies, WebPT

At first glance, Phoenix might seem like a weird choice for software engineers looking for a great career in tech. But if you take a closer look, you’ll realize this place has got a fair amount of advantages. To begin with, Phoenix is one of top 25 best-paying cities for software engineers. What’s more, local rental prices are 3 times lower than in San Francisco and two times lower than in San Jose. Local cost of living is almost 2 percent below the national average. Now add to that warm dry climate offering you 211 sunny days per year, and here it is a wonderful place to live, work, and be happy.

Denver, CO

– Real adjusted salary: $85,878
– Average rental price: $2,173/mo
– Tech industry growth: 40.3%
– Best employers: IBM Corporation, Oracle, SendGrid

To cut a long story short, software engineer’s salary in Denver is worth way more than a salary in the Bay Area. To be more specific, Denver gets the 2nd place on the list of best-paying cities considering salaries that are adjusted to a cost of living. Local prices for housing, transportation, and groceries are reasonable, which means you won’t have to spend the biggest part of your income on necessities. No wonder why IT companies are flocking to Denver for good.

Salt Lake City, UT

– Real adjusted salary: $87,262
– Average rental price: $1,623/mo
– Tech industry growth: 38.9%
– Best employers: Twitter, WorkDay, Instructure

If none of the above-mentioned cities made your heart beat faster, Salt Lake City will correct this mistake. Surrounded by picturesque mountains and filled with an atmosphere of mystery (thank you Mormon population), Salt Lake City is more than just a pretty face. In fact, it is one of the country’s greatest locations for tech professionals in general and software engineers in particular.

There is a mountain of evidence that the following years will change the geography of a tech industry in the US. As an increasing amount of companies begin to realize the absurdity of paying thousands for what normally costs hundreds, global relocation turns into a trend. Hope this article featuring best US cities for software engineers helped you in your deliberations and now you’re ready to buy a one-way ticket to one of the cities from the list.

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