Texas is a great place to work as a software engineer looking for new opportunities. The state has many tech businesses that are often hiring, such as Apple, Hulu, and Cisco. It also has amenities like parks, restaurants, and hiking spots to help keep you entertained whenever you’re away from work. The fact that the state doesn't collect income tax might make it a cheaper place to work and live compared to other states.
Thinking of moving to Texas? Let's break down what you can expect as a salary in the state, the cost of living, the quality of life, and the companies you could work for.
Software Engineering Salaries in Texas
Software engineers in Texas receive ample compensation for their work. Here's an analysis of the median, 25th percentile, 75th percentile, and 90th percentile earners in Texas, according to Level.fyi:
Location: Texas | Houston | Austin | San Antonio
Median Salary: $138,750 | $126,000 | $163,000 | $120,000
25th percentile: $105,000 | $100,000 | $122,000 | $95,000
75th percentile: $180,000 | $160,000 | $212,000 | $152,000
90th percentile: $234,000 | $209,000 | $272,000 | $189,000
Upskilling and joining tech communities are among the best ways to increase your earning potential as a software engineer. For instance, tech communities will help you interact with other people in your industry, which can present you with learning and collaboration opportunities. Luckily, all of the best cities to work in as a software engineer have strong tech communities.
How much of your salary will you be left with after paying bills like food, rent, and transport? Living in an affordable state will help you retain more cash after handling your expenses. This cash can go to savings, pension, or even passion projects.
Texas has positioned itself among the most affordable states to live in America. Here's a breakdown of what the average resident spends on typical monthly needs, according to Sofi:
Housing: $900 to $1,641
Transport: $5,113 to $13,896
The fact that Texas residents don't pay income tax makes it more affordable to live here.
However, each of the top tech hubs' residents spends their income differently. The expenditure of the average consumer is calculated using the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a measure of what people are spending for a basket of goods and services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects this data by asking a sample of consumers to record their expenditures over a specific period. The average CPI in 2022 across the US in 2022 was 293.
Here's a breakdown of what people spend on transport, food, and housing in comparison to the national average:
- Houston: Houston has a CPI of 262. The city's housing expenses are 16% lower than the national average. Houston residents also pay 6% less than the national average for food and 5% less than the national average for transport.
- Austin: Austin has a CPI of 279. The city's housing expenses are 15% higher than the national average. However, residents pay 11% less than the national average for food and 8% less than the national average for transport.
- San Antonio: San Antonio has a CPI of 290. The city's housing expenses are 20% lower than the national average. San Antonio residents also pay 4% less than the national average for food and 11% less than the national average for transport.
For context, the average U.S. household spends $8,289 on food, $10,961 on transport, and $22,624 on housing expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Companies That Hire for Engineering Roles in Texas
Texas has established itself among the top tech hubs in the U.S. to works in. There are a growing number of opportunities across industries. In fact, Texas experienced a 22.8% increase in new tech jobs advertised between 2021 and 2022.
Here are a few companies that hire developers in three of the state's biggest tech hubs.
Austin has several tech companies that hire developers, including:
ThousandEyes (Owned by Cisco)
ThousandEyes delivers a Digital Experience Management platform that enables enterprises to have optimal visibility of their internet supply chains. Enterprises can use the platform to identify issues with their internet, applications they use internally, and applications they deploy for use by their customers to improve customer experiences.
2K is a video game development company that was founded in 2005. It develops and distributes games that can be played on consoles, mobile devices, and desktops. The company hosts multiple game development studios like Firaxis Games, Visual Concepts, and 31st Union. It is also behind games like NBA 2K, Borderlands, and Mafia.
Apple is a consumer tech company at heart. It also develops software and applications for its OS. Apple employees often share that the company has a supportive work environment, with Apple helping employees advance their careers by creating a learning environment.
Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) is a company that provides on-demand cloud solutions to individuals, enterprises, and government agencies. Since the company is a subsidiary of Amazon, you can expect to enjoy similar perks to other Amazon employees. People use the services for IoT, storage, networking, computing, and even middleware.
Sonar is a code quality control solution that enables teams to assess the quality of their code and remediate existing code to make it more efficient. The company has commercial and open-source code analyzers like SonarCloud, SonarLint, and SonarQube that support 27 programming languages.
There are multiple employment opportunities in tech in Houston. You can find yourself working for companies like:
GitLab provides an open-source development platform that helps security, development, and ops teams collaborate successfully. It helps improve productivity by reducing development cycles and decreasing time to market and costs.
Merck looks to solve some of the world's biggest health problems. The company launches medical services and products alongside vaccines, medicines, consumer health products, and medication.
Two Sigma is a technology-driven hedge fund. The company relies on AI, distributed computing, and machine learning to develop tools that inform its investment decisions. It has clients like government agencies, educational institutions, and pension funds.
Deloitte is a financial consulting company. It helps its clients with consulting, risk management, auditing, and financial advisory.
San Antonio has been growing as a tech hub. If you want to move here, you can expect to work for businesses like:
Northrop Grumman is a security company at heart. It creates products in the aerospace, information security, shipbuilding, and electronics industries for both government and commercial clients worldwide. The company is a great option for developers that are interested in the security and aerospace industries.
Dell Technologies creates tech devices, products, and services for consumers and enterprises. The company sells data storage solutions, network servers, personal computers, and software.
Hulu is a video streaming platform that hosts clips, movies, and shows. It has content from over 260 companies, including MTV, Lionsgate, FOX, Comedy Central, and Sony Pictures. Hulu also producing a great deal of original media content.
Cisco sells services, hardware, and software that help connect people over the internet to make access to information easy. It sells several networking solutions, including IP phones, network routing products, and wireless access points. The company is well-known for innovating in IP-based networking technologies.
Quality of Life in Texas
Everyone needs a break from work, and Texas' top tech cities have what it takes to help you relax after work. Here's what the different tech hubs in the state have to offer for leisure and entertainment:
Austin is a great place to be during the summer and offers outdoor activities for friends and family.
For starters, there are plenty of parks that you can visit, including Mount Bonnell and Zilker Park. You can also tour the Austin Zoo, which is a sanctuary for many endangered species. The city and its environs provide great opportunities for hiking, swimming, and camping.
The city also hosts multiple festivals yearly to celebrate its vibrant culture. Some of these festivals include Austin City Limits, the SXSW film festival, and ACL Music Festival.
There are a lot of ways to enrich your life in Houston. If you are an art lover, you can visit the Museum of Fine Arts to see pieces from artists like Picasso, O'Keeffe, and Van Gogh. For those nights that you need a laugh, Alamo Drafthouse, and Improv comedy club will be good places to visit.
Houston is also a thriving sports scene, with teams like the Astros, Rockets, and Dash bringing sports fans together. When in the mood for outdoor activity, parks like Big Thicket Park and Galveston Island State Park are worth visiting.
If you're looking for more social interaction with residents, there are multiple festivals you can attend. These include the Bayou City Art Festival, Buzzfest, and the Houston International Jazz Festival.
San Antonio is a great city to live in if you're an art lover. You can celebrate the city's culture and history at the San Antonio Museum of Art, The DoSeum, and the McNay Art Museum.
You can also get an incredible view of the city at the Tower of Americas and visit Brackenridge Park to celebrate the city's natural beauty. If you're looking for a sports-friendly place, you can join other San Antonio residents in cheering for the Spurs and the Brahmas.
The city's mild weather makes spending time outdoors for all these activities easy.
Look for Software Engineering Roles in Texas
Texas is a great place for software engineers looking to grow their careers. The state offers a lot to support your career, from the availability of a strong tech community to the presence of multiple activities for after work hours.