Average Salaries of Developers in California

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There comes a time in every developer or programmer’s life when they start thinking about their job potential, exciting opportunities and new skills. Related fields such as development require progression. If you are sticking to just one skill, you’ll meet your end sooner than you think.

I am going to cover how much on an average a developer can earn in a hot tech zone city like California, focusing on Los Angeles and San Francisco. If you must know, Google and some of the most influential companies have headquarters in California.

The average salary for a Software Engineer is around $115,625 per year in California, which is 19% above the national average salary.

Being a developer, there is so much to choose from. Even if you stick to one field, let’s say Web development, there are so many technologies & frameworks, to name a few Angular, Vue, Aurelia, that you could start your career and flourish in. The most important thing of all is choosing the right skill at the right time and staying updated.

Whatever you decide, know this first that there is no limit to the number of skills you can and must own to increase your value as part of the tech industry. The more you have to offer, the higher an offer you get.

Presently, companies like UBER, Google, Facebook, Airbnb and Apple have a high demand for Java developers, JavaScript developers, Python, Linux.

In Silicon Valley, Java developers are mostly required to work with IoT technologies, cloud computing, big data computations & Artificial Intelligence. The highest in demand applications for Java are mobile app development, UI/UX based applications and website development.

Let’s look at what a developer career and the average salary is in San Francisco.

Developer Salaries in San Francisco

When you think of Development career in San Francisco, apart from giant companies, the expensive living standards also come to mind. Rest assured, if the rents are skyrocketing so is the salary. You can earn a lot more for a skill in San Francisco. The salaries here do cover the cost of higher living standards and if you can cash in on further opportunities that are uniquely present here, you could end up doing much more than just covering costs.

Experts estimate that software engineers working at top tech companies in the Bay Area tend to make between $15,000 – $33,000 more annually than software engineers working at top tech companies in other cities.

Experience in the Bay Area seems to strengthen careers. Developers moving from San Francisco to other cities make an average of $9,000 more than other developers working in different cities. The Bay Area premium increases even more in cities like Boston: $16,000, Chicago: $17,000 and San Diego: $19,000.

san francisco-salaries-developer

The above graph shows a general rating of some of the skills booming in San Francisco and the earning generated from them.

The data suggests that iOS developers and Full Stack developers make it to the top on the highest average salaries tree. A six-figure annual salary of $127,280, of an iOS developer can range from $72K to $131K and a Full Stack Developer might fly in between $160,014 to $139,340.

Following closely behind are Java and Android developers with an estimate of $133209 and $132,427 of average annual salary, respectively. The annual salary of an Android developer might range from $73K to $133K in the city of San Francisco.

In general, the typical tenure of any software developer in San Francisco with one skill is around 1-3 years. An experienced Software Engineer in San Francisco might be able to grab an earning ranging from $112K to $163K.

Aside from that, to stay in the race and compete with better odds, choose a mix of skills and keep on polishing them.

Developer Salaries in Los Angeles

LA is also home to over 500 tech startups. With the presence of Silicon Beach, LA was termed as second-or-third most hottest tech hub in the world in the year 2012. In comparison to San Francisco, the living standards are gentle.

Los Angeles, with a figure of $89,000, is one of the top three paying cities in the world for computer programmers

High salaries of figures reaching $131, 000 are expected for software architects in Los Angeles.

Let’s look what the statistics suggest of the average salary potential of developers in LA.



Full Stack and Java developers seem to be in the lead. A full-stack developer can grab an average earning potential of around $117,229 per year in L.A.

While a well versed Java developer is estimated to earn an average of $119,921 per year. Considering Los Angeles, that is a very handsome amount.

 “Los Angeles, now referred to as Silicon Beach, continues to have strong tech salaries,” says Marissa Peretz – founder and recruiting consultant for Silicon Beach Talent

Apart from the skills projected here, the average pay for a Software Engineer with C programming Language skills in Los Angeles, $85,000 per year. The starting five to ten years in this position might bring an increase in the salary but as soon as you cross over to additional years, it will have no effect. Usually, people with such jobs do not have more than 20 years of experience.

Data Scientists, however, have it great in the city of Los Angeles. If you are planning to work in Los Angeles, being a Data Scientist proficient in R, Python, Matlab, Tableau, statistics, user behaviour analysis, or business best practices could land you an average salary of around 75,000 – 135,000.

Some people prefer Los Angeles over San Francisco because of the high cost of hiring labour and rent while some possess a completely different take on the matter. The labour and skill pool of San Francisco is rich and churns out more experienced professionals than any other city. It really depends on what you are looking for. What city are you going to choose?

All of the information in this article is gathered from sources:

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