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Salary Comparisons

Interested in discovering what the pay is like in the USA.  Just as an example, I have 5 years experience as a VB programmer, mostly on small projects for the first 4 years, and on Enterprise level apps for the last year.  Within our team of 5 I am a "standard" developer ie. I have responsibility for "my" areas of the system, but do not have any real input into system architecture or design.

I would be interested in knowing what people in a similar position in the USA are making, and what sort of standard of living that gives you ... ?

My salary is £28K p/a (c. $40k).  I also get free fully comp health cover for me and my whole family, my employer matches my pension contributions, and a share option scheme that I can choose to pay into. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Salaries in the USA vary widely by geography. A programmer in a major city (like New York, San Francisco or Boston) will often get paid a lot more than a programmer in a rural area or small city, but will also have a significantly higher cost of living.

For an accurate comparison, you should pick one or two US cities that resemble your home city in the UK and look at the average salaries in those places. Also, consider the impact of taxes when you do the comparison.

Beth Linker
Tuesday, March 5, 2002

UK Taxes account for 28-30% of my salary

Tuesday, March 5, 2002

2 years out of date-but is VB-focused sort of.  lots of charts.

razib khan
Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Have a play with -- Pick some locations and the job description that matches your skillset best, and see what the kids are getting paid.

Income tax is a bit wacky and complex over here.  You opt for a level to PAYE, then there's a big messy scary process every April where you have to fill out masses of forms to correct it to what you really should have paid (resulting in either a refund, or more taxes to be paid).  I think that taxes (plus social security, etc) take about 30% of my regular income.

(Brit -- moved to Boston in '98)

Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Also keep in mind that salary levels have largely gone to hell in the past two years. Or in many cases the salaries have remained reasonable but no one can get them. Two years ago I knew plenty of VB developers in Seattle in the $75K to $100K range. Now I know plenty of developers (VB and otherwise) in Seattle in the unemployment ranks. The tech landscape in the US is currently very tough for many people.

Mike Gunderloy
Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Also, taxes vary widely geographically....

If you live in NYC you have to pay 11% (8-state,3-city) extra tax on top of the 30 something % for federal which comes out to > 40%.

Whereas if you live in New Hampshire, there is no state or city tax so you only pay the federal tax. 

Usually you have to pay the taxes where the company is located if you commute, not where you live.  So if you live in Connecticut but commute to NYC, you still have to pay NYC taxes (I believe).

In NYC you could probably find a job I'd imagine in the range of 50-80,000 USD.  I realize thats a wide range, but the market is bad now so its hard to guess.

Michael H. Pryor
Tuesday, March 5, 2002

You forgot the ~8% employee portion of social security.  So that would make NYC taxes ~50%.  What good slaves we have become.

Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Government has so many ways of extracting money from its citizens that just comparing income tax isn't very useful.  In the USA there is some group that figures out a tax freedom day.  That is the day of the year that the average citizen has paid off all taxes if all his or her income up to that point had gone to government.  I think the day is late May.  Don't the Europeans, including UK, have big VATs?

This only counts explicit taxes, not the costs of economic inefficiencies awarded to special interest groups.

The job market is quite bad right now.  A year ago the Washington Post was printing a separate section of the Sunday paper for high tech job listings.  Now it has dwindled to a few pages and has been merged back into the main job section.

This may be good time to start planning and looking, though.  Things can't get any worse, can they?

Tuesday, March 5, 2002

I have a friend who calls Fridays "Uncle Sam Day". Since he pays about 20% of his salary in federal income taxes, that is one day of work per week. Therefore, since he is not personally getting paid for his work, he slacks off on the job every Friday. btw, this person invented this idea when he worked at Microsoft.  :)

Banana Fred
Tuesday, March 5, 2002

"This may be good time to start planning and looking, though. Things can't get any worse, can they?"

Ever heard of the Great Depression?

Wednesday, March 6, 2002

Salary means shit until you figure out how much food, shelter, and clothing cost in that area.

Wednesday, March 6, 2002

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