The Best Places to Find the Highest-Paying Jobs

If you're working in sales, marketing, media or software engineering and you're ready for a new location, you have a wider array of options than you might have realized. While of course you could make the obvious choice and head for San Francisco, Silicon Valley or New York City, you may want to take a look at the job markets in cities that are newcomers to this elite urban group. For jobs in software engineering, marketing or any of the STEM fields, some extraordinary opportunities are wide open in these less talked-about places.

Boulder, CO.

Starting even before 2010, Boulder began attracting high-tech talent from across the nation. Boulder's mix of university communities, livable urban areas and stunning natural scenery have made it what the New York Times calls a "magnet" for high-tech businesses. By the spring of 2015, Boulder had achieved the country's highest density of startups in the tech field. The media is filled with photos of tech industry workers spending time off amid alpine wildflowers, while local paper Boulder Neighbors comments that "CEOs are picking Boulder as a place to run their business."


With its own 1,000-acre "Innovation District," which the city calls "a hub for emerging ideas," @@Boston is rolling out the red carpet for its tech sector workers.@@ Two hundred companies have already settled into this extraordinary cluster of high-tech creativity, which also provides individual entrepreneurs a range of opportunities for work space and collaboration. PCWorld places Boston's average tech salaries fifth highest in the nation, at $94,531. Home to MIT, Harvard and more than 100 other colleges, the Boston area also offers a young, culturally vibrant demographic.

Los Angeles

Anyone with an interest in media will eventually find themselves spending time in Los Angeles. Numerous opportunities in broadcasting and journalism are anchored here, while technology plays an increasingly large role in the urban ecosystem. Seventeen percent of all Los Angeles payroll wages arise from jobs in the tech sector, which number over 360,000 overall. USA Wage shows that L.A. marketing and financial managers earn average salaries of over $130,000 a year. As the home of Uber, Lyft, Google Shopping Express and many other glossy names in tech, Los Angeles also offers warm Pacific beaches and a climate that makes for easy winters.


Ranked No. 1 in the country for jobs by CNN Money, the Raleigh-Durham area is home to "a host of health and technology companies." Raleigh's "Research Triangle" is formed by three major universities (Duke, University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University), and draws enormous scientific and technical investment. In the past decade, @@tech sector jobs in the RDU region grew by a stunning 32 percent@@ according to Forbes, while the area is home to the sixth most well-educated urban population in the country. With median home prices under $200,000, North Carolina's triangle region is an easy place to put down roots.


Seattle's location between freshwater, saltwater and two mountain ranges continues to attract workers who want the good life. High-paying jobs are rapidly transforming the city, generated by numerous bioengineering companies and tech industry giants that headquarter there (Amazon and Microsoft, for starters). Sixteen percent of jobs in the region are in what the Brookings Institution calls "advanced industries," and the $99,400 average local salary for tech jobs is second in the nation, according to Forbes. There is still time to get in and find a cool place to live, although Bloomberg News warns that because of the local tech boom that's underway, that door may close before much longer.

@@When you change jobs, there are advantages to picking a city that's not yet saturated by the influx of high-level workers.@@ Networking is easier in a community where others are also just starting up, and you'll make collaborative connections faster. In a few years, you may well end up farther ahead than if you had just headed straight for New York or Silicon Valley.