Keep Austin Paid

Austin tanks with worst salaries among America's top tech hubs

Austin tanks with worst salaries among America's top tech hubs

Typing at a laptop computer
Austin's highest level execs make the lowest amount of money in the U.S. Photo by PeopleImages

This is one list Austin probably didn't want to land on. A new study from Comparably, a career monitoring website, compared the salaries of executives within the tech sector and found that in addition to Keeping Austin Weird, we should probably be Keeping Austin Paid.

Released on July 2, the study examined nearly 7,000 anonymous salary records between March 2016 and June 2018 for U.S. employees. When it comes to getting paid, the numbers reveal that most Austin tech execs don't just make less than their counterparts in other cities — they're making a lot less. 

Comparably began by identifying the five cities with the largest technology sectors: Austin, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. In order to get a wide swath, the study notes it took data "from small, mid-size, and large tech companies (VC-funded, privately-held, and public) to household brands like Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Uber, etc."

When it comes to the highest C-level salaries, the numbers show that, perhaps unsurprisingly, San Francisco workers are paid the most. Seattle, hometown to Amazon, among other tech companies, is close behind, offering above-average salaries for chief creative officer, chief innovation officer, chief operating officer, and chief technology officer jobs. 

Here in Silicon Hills, Austin comes in at the bottom of nearly every position, with the exception of chief creative officer, in which we tied for last place with New York with an average salary of $158,600; chief information officer, No. 4, with a salary of $201,257; chief product officer, No. 2, with a salary of $250,600; chief revenue officer, No. 4, with a $204,011 salary; and general counsel, which pays $182,000 and also came in at No. 4. 

The jobs that paid the lowest in Austin are: 

Chief executive officer

  • Austin: $159,233
  • Los Angeles: $210,853
  • New York: $216,215
  • San Francisco: $240,264
  • Seattle: $218,703

Chief technology officer

  • Austin: $118,435
  • Los Angeles $163,359
  • New York: $137,914
  • San Francisco: $140,196
  • Seattle: $141,999

Chief operating officer

  • Austin: $127,897
  • Los Angeles: $236,711
  • New York: $227,191
  • San Francisco: $267,782
  • Seattle: $265,683

Chief marketing officer

  • Austin: $192,828
  • Los Angeles: $230,857
  • New York: $243,155
  • San Francisco: $280,495
  • Seattle: $246,653

Austin also came in the lowest in the vice president level positions. VP of marketing, VP of human resources, and VP of sales employees all make significantly less in Austin than their peers in other cities.

As Comparably CEO Jason Nazar (wonder how much he makes?) notes to CNBC the main reason for the discrepancy is Austin's low cost of living compared to the other four cities. Nazar goes on to note that with Austin's growth, this could change relatively soon. The possibility of Amazon HQ2 landing in the Capital City would also mean a jump in the cost of living. 

Outside of geography, the study also outlines other upsetting, if not unsurprising, trends. On average, female execs in the tech sector make less than their male counterparts in every single category, in some cases up to 30 percent less. When it comes to diversity, African-American C-level employees are paid the lowest across the board.