Seattle beats Vancouver for software engineers: study

Seattle is a more attractive option than Vancouver, financially, for software engineers

Six-digit salaries and cheaper housing make Seattle a better choice than Vancouver for software engineers with the option of working on either side of the border, according to a new study from Point2 Homes.

The average salary for these workers was found to be around US$55,000 in Vancouver, which is just over half of the average of US$108,000 they could earn, on average, in Seattle. Not only do they earn much less in Vancouver, according to the study, the high cost of housing here means much more bang for their buck in Seattle, with an average detached house in Washington state’s largest city of US$675,000, compared with well over US$1 million here. Even when comparing condo prices, Seattle wins again, with a median of US$475,000 to purchase a home of this type, compared with US$492,000 in Vancouver.

For those not looking to own a home, Vancouver is slightly more attractive in terms of rent, Point2 Homes found. In Seattle, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment was found to be US$2,000 per month. In Vancouver, it is slightly less at US$1,500.

The study compared the two cities with San Francisco. Salaries were slightly higher in the California city with an average of US$110,000, but Seattle came out on top of all three when housing cost was considered.

Infographic source: Point2Homes.com

Higher salaries and cheaper homes are not the only things workers may consider when deciding whether or not to relocate down south, however.

“All in all, although income and reputation gained by working for a big name company are two of the most attractive benefits of working in the U.S., Canada’s free healthcare, lower child care costs, economic stability and more inclusive immigration policies should also be taken into account as they can actually play a decisive role in the relocation decision of tech employees,” the report said.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV

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