Jul 8, 2022 - Business

Salt Lake City tech salaries fall behind other tech hubs

Select local tech wages compared to San Francisco market
Data: Carta; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Tech wages in Salt Lake City are steadily rising as Utah's Silicon Slopes community grows but still lag behind other tech hubs in the West.

Why it matters: Tech companies in Utah directly and indirectly supported nearly 15% of jobs in the state, according to a 2019 report by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

By the numbers: Tech workers in Salt Lake City earned 84% of what tech workers in San Francisco were paid, according to a compensation report by Carta, a company that helps founders and early-stage startups manage their cap tables, valuations and equity plans.

  • In the Provo-Orem region, tech workers earned 80% of San Francisco workers.
  • The report labeled Salt Lake City and Provo-Orem as third-tier cities for tech salaries.
  • The West Coast contains three of the four first-tier cities in the nation for tech compensation, including San Francisco, San Jose, California and Seattle.

Between the lines: Most companies take an employee's location into account when deciding on wages, according to the report.

What they're saying: "Salt Lake and Provo have really great burgeoning tech ecosystems, but the level of venture capital … just isn't quite to the level of a Bay Area quite yet," said Peter Walker, head of insights at Carta and author of the report.

Yes, but: As remote work becomes more popular, a small number of companies have started to pay certain workers, primarily engineers, identically across all regions to attract and retain talent.

  • Walker said tech wages in Utah are rising, and he wouldn't be surprised to see Salt Lake City become a first-tier city in tech compensation in the next one to two years.

Background: In the last 13 years, tech conglomerates — some lured by lower real estate costs and tax incentives — have established facilities in Utah, particularly in Utah County.


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