London tech salaries: is it enough compared to living costs?

Despite the average salary for London tech workers increasing 6% from last year, from £58K to £62K, half of London’s tech talent belief they’re paid fairly given the city’s cost of living.

This is according to Hired, the career marketplace that matches tech talent with the world’s most innovative companies, annual global State of Salaries Report 2019.

London tech salaries

On average, London tech salaries are 67% higher than the average London salary of £37.1K, despite the dissatisfaction of half of them.

In fact, despite their top salaries, 71% of London’s tech talent currently chose to rent rather than buy a home, standing out from the average techie in the US, Canada and France where 45% own their own place. According to the UK House Price Index, as of March 2019 the average flat in London costs £404.2K to buy and the average detached house costs £897.8K.

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UK findings

• UK tech workers in healthcare and finance earn the most, with average salaries of £67K and £64K respectively.

• Product managers have enjoyed a £8K increase in salary from 2017 to £69K, while data scientists’ salaries have remained the same.

• Backend engineers are the most in-demand techies in the UK, followed by full stack engineers, frontend engineers, data engineers, mobile engineers and machine learning engineers.

• 54% of tech workers globally are on the fence about forgoing a higher salary for company equity, rising to 69% in the UK.

US tech salaries leading the way

The US is the most profitable country for tech workers — the San Francisco Bay Area continues to pay its tech talent most, with employees earning $145K (up 2% since last year), followed by $138K in Seattle (up 5%) and $133K in New York (up 3%). However, pay cheques are growing fastest in Toronto, Boston and Paris where tech workers are making 9%, 9% and 8% more than last year respectively.

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Other findings

• For the first time, Asian tech workers are out-earning their white counterparts by $2K on average.

• Racial disparity remains a massive problem in tech, however. Black tech workers are paid the least, earning $13K less than Asian tech workers. Salaries for black tech workers have fallen by $6K since 2017 and the wage gap between black tech workers and their white colleagues has widened by $5K.

• 60% of tech talent plans to leave their current city within five years. For employees considering relocation to another city, Austin, Seattle, and Amsterdam are most attractive.

• Only 23% of techies with a Master’s and/or PhD believe they command high salaries because of their advanced.

Hired’s report analysed data from its career marketplace, looking specifically at the salary trends in different cities that are shaping the global technology industry as well as utilising survey data to better understand how compensation affects tech talent’s job satisfaction and personal fulfilment.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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