Salt Lake City tech salaries fall behind other tech hubs
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.
- For example, the overall cost of living is 49% lower in Salt Lake City compared to San Francisco, according to NerdWallet's cost of living calculator.
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.
- Adobe launched a new corporate hub in Lehi during the early 2010s after acquiring Utah-based company Omniture.
- Meta, previously known as Facebook, announced plans in 2018 to open a data center in Eagle Mountain that began operating in 2021.
- Google recently announced it purchased 300 acres of land in Eagle Mountain to establish a new data center.
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