These 12 cities pay software engineers the most

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These 12 cities pay software engineers the most
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  • Software engineers are some of America's highest paid workers.
  • With remote work threatening to disperse engineers across the country, we wanted to find out where they're paid the most.
  • The highest-paid engineers are all either around Silicon Valley and San Francisco or New York City.

Software programming of all stripes has become an essential part of the economy, to the point where coding has become part of children's educations, and the online troll's refrain of choice for people who have recently lost their job is "learn to code."

In an increasingly digital world, software programmers take on the roles of building and maintaining the programs that connect us. They're absolutely essential, and only becoming more so. A recent Insider analysis of the 30 most future-proof jobs picked software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers as their number one selection, with over 300,000 jobs to be added by 2029.

They also, famously, are quite well paid, though with the popularization of remote work, there's more attention than ever on how software engineers are paid in different locations. Facebook has said it will allow workers to work remotely post-pandemic, but the company will adjust salaries to the cost-of-living of wherever they move.

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To that end, Insider used our salary comparison tool to find the twelve cities where software engineers are paid the most. We selected all titles in the database that included both the terms software and engineer.

The Insider salary database is made up of recent accepted visa applications for immigrant workers, and there is evidence that immigrant workers make less than their counterparts that don't require visas because of misclassification of titles. Additionally, these salaries don't include bonuses or equity in companies, which are often major portions of engineers' income.

As you can see, eleven of the twelve highest-paying cities are in the San Francisco Bay and Silicon Valley area, the center of America's tech industry. The fifth highest city, and the only one outside of California is famously expensive New York City.

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While the locations or top employers aren't a major surprise, the especially high salaries for Los Gatos software engineers are. Netflix has its headquarters in the California city, and the streaming giant is known for its high pay.

Of these top paying locales, Mountain View, home to Google HQ, is the one with the most software engineer employees with visas, with over 10,000.

You can view our full salary database here.

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