IT job market: SoCal vs other markets

User Forum Topic
Submitted by kev374 on May 4, 2012 - 6:17pm

I just did a search on Indeed for Senior Java positions and it looks like other metros (example: Atlanta, GA) with vastly lower cost of living have a ton more higher paying jobs than here in SoCal...am I reading this wrong?

I've highlighted the $120k/yr+ mark...

Results returned for within 50 mile search with salary breakdowns:

San Diego, CA:
$60,000+ (221)
$80,000+ (84)
$100,000+ (27)
$120,000+ (7)
$170,000+ (1)

Irvine, CA:
$60,000+ (694)
$80,000+ (361)
$100,000+ (149)
$120,000+ (46)
$140,000+ (18)

San Francisco, CA:
$70,000+ (2743)
$90,000+ (1897)
$110,000+ (706)
$130,000+ (261)

$150,000+ (114)

Los Angeles,CA:
$60,000+ (761)
$80,000+ (411)
$100,000+ (171)
$120,000+ (55)
$140,000+ (22)

Atlanta, GA:
$70,000+ (710)
$90,000+ (333)
$110,000+ (149)
$130,000+ (68)

$150,000+ (32)

Submitted by DataAgent on May 4, 2012 - 7:57pm.

To live in San Diego, you need to pay the Sunshine Tax: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunshine_tax

Submitted by paramount on May 4, 2012 - 11:05pm.

If I were in IT, So Cal would not be my destination unless one is truly a SuperStar and lives for IT.

Way to much competition...

Submitted by fat_lazy_union on May 5, 2012 - 8:24am.

I've been trying to tell you that all along....If you are in tech..Be in tech... Be in the bay area... or elsewhere. Trying to be a techie in L.A. area is like trying to be a movie star in silicon valley

Submitted by bearishgurl on May 5, 2012 - 10:27am.

walterwhite wrote:
I've been trying to tell you that all along....If you are in tech..Be in tech... Be in the bay area... or elsewhere. Trying to be a techie in L.A. area is like trying to be a movie star in silicon valley

Good advice, flu. Even with all the "tech" that has sprouted up in SD the last 15 or so years, SD is still a "branch office town" in this regard. And the "sunshine tax" will ALWAYS prevail here. This applies to pay scales for ALL occupations :={

Yes, I said "ALWAYS." Nothing has changed in this regard over the last four decades and nothing ever will, IMHO. Even my Gen Y kid(s) (SD natives) know this.

If working in tech and looking to get paid what you're actually worth, get yourself a nice-looking windbreaker and go for interviews in SV (the SM & SC Co "SV") :=]

Submitted by AN on May 5, 2012 - 12:25pm.

Yes, the "sunshine tax" exist, but it's not nearly as bad as many thinks it is. You might not have the same amount of openings as SV down here, but look at the pay scale, SV are only paying 10-30% more. If you look at the cost of living, your net pay is actually less up there than down here. I've ran the number 2 years ago and I decided to stay put, even though I was getting ton of interviews up there. It's just not worth it to get a net pay cut, just to be in an area that have a lot of jobs opportunity. It might sound like a RE cliche, but you really only need one job, not thousands. If you're good enough and land that one job, I'm pretty sure your pay isn't that far off after factoring in the cost of living and commute time.

Submitted by fat_lazy_union on May 5, 2012 - 1:28pm.

AN wrote:
Yes, the "sunshine tax" exist, but it's not nearly as bad as many thinks it is. You might not have the same amount of openings as SV down here, but look at the pay scale, SV are only paying 10-30% more. If you look at the cost of living, your net pay is actually less up there than down here. I've ran the number 2 years ago and I decided to stay put, even though I was getting ton of interviews up there. It's just not worth it to get a net pay cut, just to be in an area that have a lot of jobs opportunity. It might sound like a RE cliche, but you really only need one job, not thousands. If you're good enough and land that one job, I'm pretty sure your pay isn't that far off after factoring in the cost of living and commute time.

Compwise only from my W2.. SD is doing better for me than Silicon Valley if you factor in cost of living. And way better than L.A....At least currently....

I once worked briefly in L.A. for 6 months. Oh god, that was the armpits. You work in LA, you work in either defense (armpit in comps) or you work in entertainment (armpit in they way they treat you)... What's more frustrating isn't that you get treated like crap, but the fact people actually think they know what they are doing....

Submitted by AN on May 5, 2012 - 11:40pm.

walterwhite wrote:
Compwise only from my W2.. SD is doing better for me than Silicon Valley if you factor in cost of living. And way better than L.A....At least currently....

It's not just you and me. I've talked to a few coworkers who are at the director level and we all agree that, if you're young, single, and wanna take a swing in hoping to be at the ground floor of the next Facebook/Google, etc, then the bay is where you should be. But once you get older and taking that kind of risk is out of the question and you have to do budget based on W-2 and cost of living, you'll quickly notice that they bay ain't got nothing on SD. I'm living 11 blocks away from work and when I was getting interview up in the bay, that was one of my criteria (being <20 blocks or ~5 miles away from work). With that criteria, my cost of living went up at least 50% and when you add in comparable school quality, the cost of living gap widen. Then I ask about the ball park of pay for companies up there and companies down here. It turns out the gap was ~10% for a Sr. Software Engineer.

Submitted by paramount on May 6, 2012 - 9:40pm.

The other question to ask is are you in the US on a H1B visa? If so, you'll have a much easier time finding a job wherever you decide to look.

Submitted by kev374 on May 9, 2012 - 1:11pm.

Just a quick question... is $75/hr W2 6 month "contract" for a Sr. Java Engineer (15 years exp.) under, over or average?

A year ago I had asked for $70/hr and my recruiter said $65/hr was about as far as the market will bear right now...I had to pull some strings in the company (I had worked there earlier for a few years and they wanted me) to get the rate I had asked for but not without a lot of negotiation drama.

In 2007 I was making $70/hr as a contractor and it upsets me that in 2012 I am making the same while salaries have increased at the 3% rate (at least in the company I work at) and cost of living has VERY sharply increased.

Opinions?

BTW, I am a US citizen!

Submitted by flu on May 9, 2012 - 1:50pm.

kev374 wrote:
Just a quick question... is $75/hr W2 6 month "contract" for a Sr. Java Engineer (15 years exp.) under, over or average?

A year ago I had asked for $70/hr and my recruiter said $65/hr was about as far as the market will bear right now...I had to pull some strings in the company (I had worked there earlier for a few years and they wanted me) to get the rate I had asked for but not without a lot of negotiation drama.

In 2007 I was making $70/hr as a contractor and it upsets me that in 2012 I am making the same while salaries have increased at the 3% rate (at least in the company I work at) and cost of living has VERY sharply increased.

Opinions?

BTW, I am a US citizen!

In LA, it sounds about right. I don't think you can find a $100/hr java/J2EE job these days in LA, unless they are bringing you in as more of a system's architect. And then it should be probably above $100/hr, even in LA

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.