Here we compare the benefits of five key tech hubs including Washington, New York, Massachusetts, Texas and of course, California, to help you decide where your next tech career move can be.
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Known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational activities like hiking and skiing, Washington is also home to many tech giants including Microsoft and Amazon. It ranks 4th best city in terms of quality of life, with high scores in healthcare, education and the economy.
Seattle, the largest city in Washington, has a high cost of living index of 173.1 when compared to the rest of the US, (where the average score is 100) with the cost of a centrally located 2-bedroom apartment being $2,950 and the average cup of coffee being $4.74.
While the cost of living is higher than the average state in the US, Washington has zero income tax. The average salary for a semiconductor engineer in Washington is $119,898.
New York City is one of the world’s leading cultural centres, with a wide variety of renowned museums and theatres and a thriving food scene, it is also the headquarter of many large tech companies like IBM and Spotify. It ranks 16th in the country in terms of quality of life, with high scores in healthcare and infrastructure. The average salary for a semiconductor engineer in New York is $118,105 per year.
Living in New York City, however, comes at a cost, with a high cost of living index of 187.2 and the average price of a Manhattan two-bedroom apartment being $4,200 a month and the average price of a cup of coffee being $3.64.
Massachusetts’ largest city, Boston, is home to many of the most renowned universities including Harvard and MIT, as well as being a major sports city for baseball, basketball and football fans. It ranks 7th state in the US overall in terms of quality of life, with high scores in education and healthcare. Many large companies like General Electric, Boston Scientific and Biogen are headquartered in the state. The average salary for a semiconductor engineer is $123,470 per year.
While the cost of living isn’t as high as New York, with a cost of living index of 162.3, it is still expensive compared to the rest of the US, with a centrally-located two-bedroom apartment costing an average of $3,260 a month and a cup of coffee costing $3.83.
Texas has a relatively low-cost of living (with an index of 96.5), compared to other states, although it ranks 28th in the country in terms of quality of life, with lower scores in healthcare and education. Some tech companies headquartered in Texas include Dell, Backspace and NXP. The average salary for a semiconductor engineer in Texas is $107,535 per year.
Known as a foodie-hub for BBQ, Tex-mex and craft beers, he average cost of a centrally located 2-bedroom apartment being $1590 a month and a cup of coffee costing on average $3.05.
California, home of Silicon Valley and a hub for technology and innovation, hosts many of the largest global tech companies including Apple, Google and Meta. A semiconductor engineer earns an average of $126,000 a year in the state. While the mild climate, beaches and national parks making it an attractive place to live, the cost of living, in particular the affordability of housing, is driving many people out. With a cost of living index of 151.3, the state ranks 19 for quality of life in the US. The average cost of a two-bedroom apartment in San Fransisco is $4,250 a month and the average cost of a cup of coffee is $4.50.
Compare local taxes and salaries in each state here:
Cost of Living Table by State
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