Oct 20, 2021 - Business

Chicago tech salaries are lowish but rising

Average tech salary in select cities, 2021
Data: Hired.com; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Despite a decade of municipal efforts to build up Chicago as a Midwest Silicon Valley, local tech salaries lag behind many of the top cities in the nation.

Local takeaways: Of the 12 cities examined by job marketplace Hired, Chicago ranks 10th, with only Dallas and Toronto trailing in average salary.

Yes but: When salaries are adjusted for local cost of living, Chicago ties for 7th.

  • And Chicago is part of a group of cities where tech salaries dipped in 2020 but rose in 2021.

What they're saying: Scott Kitun, co-founder of Songfinch and host of Technori, admits the city used to lose a lot of newly minted tech grads to the coasts, but that's changing.

  • "With more early stage founders with liquidity to self-fund and pay competitive comp, the lure of a lower cost of living has enabled Chicago startups to better compete," he tells Axios.
  • "Then, add the billions of venture dollars that were invested in Chicago startups the past 18 months, Chicago not only can now keep its graduates but also recruit away from SF/NYC/MIA."

And one more thing: Chicago tech workers enjoy another important perk. They get to live in the Best Big City in the nation — at least according to Justin, Monica and the readers of Condé Nast Traveler.


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