The 10 Best Cities to Live in for Tech

Evening Rush hour in Raleigh, NC
Evening Rush hour in Raleigh, NC. (c) Swapan Jha

Looking to move, but want to make sure you’re not left high and dry for a job? These are some of the best places to live as a tech worker looking for great employment opportunities with the potential for growth.

1.  Raleigh - Durham, NC    

Forbes named Raleigh the “2nd best city for tech job creation” in April 2015.

Population: 431,346 in the city itself, 1,214,516 in the metropolitan statistical area

Annual average tech salary:  $87,311

Average monthly rental rate: $1040

Average monthly utilities: $210

Top tech companies that operate there: Cisco Systems, Red Hat, Inc., Citrix, IBM

Top tech job sectors:

  1. Infrastructure Architect
  2. Design Engineer
  3. SQL Developer
  4. Java Developer
  5. Tooling Engineer

US Census Facts:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/37/3755000.html

2.  San Jose / Sunnyvale / Santa Clara, CA area

Also known as “Silicon Valley,” it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the tech sector is hot here.

Population: 1,912,872

Annual average tech salary: $144,828

Average monthly rental rate: $2,877

Average monthly utilities: $240

Top tech companies that operate there: Apple, Adobe, eBay

Top tech job sectors:

  1. Infrastructure Architect
  2. Software Engineer
  3. Java Developer

US Census Facts:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/0668000.html

3.  Austin, TX

Austin is home to many bigger, more established companies, but it also has a thriving startup scene, so you have options for where you’ll best fit in.

Population: 1,943,299

Annual average tech salary: $84,366

Average monthly rental rate: $2,018

Average monthly utilities: $220

Top tech companies that operate there: Dell, IBM, Intel

Top tech job sectors:

  1. Java Developer
  2. Network Administrator
  3. Technical Writer
  4. Development Analyst
  5. Software Engineer

US Census Facts:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48/4805000.html

4.  Eugene / Springfield, OR

A kind of Silicon Valley of the northwest, this area is sometimes referred to as the “Silicon Forest.”

Population: 351,715

Annual average tech salary: $84,724

Average monthly rental rate: $1272

Average monthly utilities: $200

Top tech companies that operate there:  Feeney Wireless, Cloudability

Top tech job sectors:

  1. IT Service Manager
  2. iOS Developer
  3. Programmer Analyst
  4. Senior QA Analyst

US Census Facts:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/41/4123850.html

5.  Provo, UT

Here, you’ll be working alongside a fair share of BYU grads. There are plenty of startups and independent entities, but Google has a branch there as well.

Population: 551,891

Average annual tech salary: $77,451

Average monthly rental rate: $1432

Average monthly utilities: $148

Top tech companies that operate there: Google, Google Fiber, Qualtrics

Top tech job sectors:

  1. Technical Support
  2. Python Developer
  3. Software Engineer

US Census Facts:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/49/4962470.html

6.  Fort Collins, CO

Combines small-town charm with great tech employment opportunities.

Population:  310,487

Average annual tech salary: $83,961

Average monthly rental rate: $1223

Average monthly utilities: $500

Top tech companies that operate there:  Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

Top tech job sectors:

  1. Software QA
  2. Application Software Developer
  3. Test Engineer

US Census Facts:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/08/0827425.html

7.  Indianapolis, IN

Home to three Fortune 500 companies and some specifically tech-oriented businesses.

Population: 852,866

Average annual tech salary: $77,312

Average monthly rent rate: $1,388

Average monthly utilities: $190

Top tech companies that operate there: One Click Ventures, Phoenix Data

Top tech job sectors:

  1. Java Developer
  2. Infrastructure Architect
  3. Net Developer

US Census Facts:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/18/1836003.html

8.  Boise, ID

Ranks well for affordability and quality of life; home to startups and industry giants alike.

Population: 650,288

Average annual tech salary: $84,000

Average monthly rental rate: $1,053

Average monthly utilities: $155

Top tech companies that operate there: Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard

Top tech job sectors:

  1. Software Engineer
  2. Application Engineer
  3. Mobile Software Developer
  4. Firmware Engineer

US Census Facts:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/16/1608830.html

9.  Nashville, TN

Big city for healthcare and biotechnology (and country music, but you knew that).

Population: 1,792,649

Average annual tech salary: $75,948

Average monthly rental rate: $1,613

Average monthly utilities: $210

Top tech companies that operate there: Infoworks, Zycron

Top tech job sectors:

  1. IT Manager
  2. Information Security Engineer
  3. iOS Developer
  4. Senior Programmer Analyst

US Census Facts:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/37/3746000.html

10.  Nashua / Manchester, NH

With Boston and Portland reasonably close and numerous tech giants within the city itself, Manchester is a great choice for those who want lots of options.

Population: 403,895

Average annual tech salary: $91,178

Average monthly rental rate: $1107

Average monthly utilities: $300

Top tech companies that operate there: Dell, Hewlett-Packard

Top tech job sectors:

  1. Java Developer
  2. Systems Architect
  3. Senior IT Project Manager
  4. Ui Software Engineer

US Census Facts:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/33/3350260.html

Conclusion

These days especially, there are tech jobs pretty much everywhere...but there’s also competition everywhere. Although you’ll still have to work for it, any of these cities will offer you a great opportunity to establish yourself in the career of your dreams.