17 Highest-Paying Cities in the San Francisco Bay Area for Software Engineers by@rickchen

17 Highest-Paying Cities in the San Francisco Bay Area for Software Engineers

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Rick Chen

Rick Chen is the director, head of public relations at Blind. He writes about tech culture and the workplace.

As the world becomes increasingly digital, nearly every company is looking for software engineers to code—no matter the industry. The phenomenon has been great news for software engineers and programmers who can now command high salaries for their hot, in-demand talent.

Perhaps it is no surprise that software engineers in the San Francisco Bay Area, home to Silicon Valley and its many tech giants, can command an even higher premium with their pay packages.

According to the more than 5 million verified professionals on the professional social network Blind, these are the top 17 best-paying cities for software engineers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Blind considered the annual base pay and the total compensation package, including the annual salary and any stock-based compensation or bonuses a company might offer.

1. Los Gatos, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $500,449
  • Median Total Compensation: $475,000
  • Average Salary: $470,015
  • Median Salary: $451,000

Los Gatos is the best-paying city for software engineers in the U.S., according to Blind.

The small town is home to Netflix, which prefers to hire more senior or experienced professionals and pays accordingly. The video-streaming giant typically pays large salaries and gives few employees stock-based compensation.

2. Menlo Park, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $328,423
  • Median Total Compensation: $297,000
  • Average Salary: $167,004
  • Median Salary: $165,000

Menlo Park might be home to only 34,000 people, but its population can swell in size with tech workers during the workweek.

Menlo Park is home to the headquarters of Meta, the owner of Facebook and one of the highest-paying technology companies. Google and Roblox were also founded in the city.

3. Cupertino, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $279,391
  • Median Total Compensation: $255,850
  • Average Salary: $165,753
  • Median Salary: $165,000

Cupertino is home to Apple and its futuristic Apple Park corporate campus. Software engineers at Apple have enjoyed large paychecks recently, as the iPhone maker briefly topped a jaw-dropping $3 trillion market cap early in 2022.

4. San Bruno, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $278,368
  • Median Total Compensation: $225,900
  • Average Salary: $161,269
  • Median Salary: $149,500

YouTube moved its headquarters to San Bruno in 2007 and has become the city’s largest employer. The Google-owned video streaming service employs more than 2,000 professionals.

5. Mountain View, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $275,181
  • Median Total Compensation: $242,000
  • Average Salary: $160,790
  • Median Salary: $156,000

Mountain View is synonymous with Silicon Valley. Long before startups were birthed in San Francisco Bay Area garages, the city was home to silicon semiconductor producers, which gave the region its name.

Of course, the city is now well-known as the headquarters of Google, but other tech companies with prominent presences include 23andMe, Intuit, Mozilla and Synopsys.

6. Oakland, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $266,869
  • Median Total Compensation: $197,750
  • Average Salary: $192,240
  • Median Salary: $168,750

Oakland has become a hub for many financial-technology companies. Credit Karma moved its headquarters from San Francisco to downtown Oakland in 2020. Block and Marqeta also have major offices in “The Town.”

7. San Francisco, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $265,050
  • Median Total Compensation: $225,000
  • Average Salary: $165,042
  • Median Salary: $160,200

San Francisco might be the crown jewel of the technology industry, as the home of too many tech startups and companies to count.

The city by the bay is home to Airbnb, DoorDash, Lyft, Twitter, Uber and more, but its top employer is Salesforce. The cloud giant employs more than 9,000 employees, and its headquarters has made a permanent contribution to the downtown skyline.

8. Sunnyvale, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $260,048
  • Median Total Compensation: $238,000
  • Average Salary: $160,499
  • Median Salary: $160,000

Sunnyvale maintains its Silicon Valley roots as home to the chip-maker AMD and advanced technology and networking companies, including Juniper Networks, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn and NetApp.

9. Palo Alto, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $234,739
  • Median Total Compensation: $200,000
  • Average Salary: $157,488
  • Median Salary: $154,000

The tony city of Palo Alto is one of the major cities of Silicon Valley. Cloudera and VMware are some of the largest technology companies based in the city.

10. San Mateo, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $234,066
  • Median Total Compensation: $187,875
  • Average Salary: $158,629
  • Median Salary: $155,500

Companies that call San Mateo home include Coupa, Roblox and Snowflake. Before being acquired by Zendesk, Momentive, which was founded as SurveyMonkey, was headquartered in the city.

11. Pleasanton, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $225,058
  • Median Total Compensation: $202,000
  • Average Salary: $150,887
  • Median Salary: $150,000

Pleasanton is home to many business parks, but the suburb’s top employer is the HR-technology giant Workday.

12. Foster City, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $220,293
  • Median Total Compensation: $190,000
  • Average Salary: $158,319
  • Median Salary: $148,500

Foster City is the headquarters site of the biopharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences and the enterprise software company Zuora, among other companies.

13. Fremont, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $218,913
  • Median Total Compensation: $180,000
  • Average Salary: $144,638
  • Median Salary: $142,500

Notable companies with headquarters in Fremont include Corsair, Synnex and more, although the city’s No. 1 employer is Tesla.

14. Santa Clara, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $214,168
  • Median Total Compensation: $197,000
  • Average Salary: $153,885
  • Median Salary: $150,000

AMD, Intel, NVIDIA and Palo Alto Networks are some of the most well-known tech companies headquartered in Santa Clara.

15. San Jose, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $210,801
  • Median Total Compensation: $183,000
  • Average Salary: $153,390
  • Median Salary: $145,000

The largest city by population in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose is home to Adobe, Cisco, eBay, PayPal, Zoom and more.

16. Redwood City, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $207,955
  • Median Total Compensation: $190,000
  • Average Salary: $156,248
  • Median Salary: $151,000

Redwood City is the headquarters location for several global technology companies, such as Box, Carbon, Electronic Arts and Informatica.

17. Milpitas, California

  • Average Total Compensation: $188,146
  • Median Total Compensation: $165,750
  • Average Salary: $154,073
  • Median Salary: $138,000

Some of the top employers in Milpitas are tech employers, including Cisco, FireEye, SanDisk and more.

Methodology

Blind analyzed the base salaries and total compensation of software engineers in the San Francisco Bay Area on its platform. Cities were ranked by the average total compensation, including annual base salary and, if applicable, stock-based compensation and cash bonuses. All data is self-reported by verified professionals on the professional social network Blind.

Also published on Teamblind's blog

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