How to get SF Bay Area TC in a lower cost of living city (Pittsburg, Austin, Phoenix, etc)

RoviSys MrRest
Nov 3 26 Comments

I don't particularly want to live in the bay area but want the competitive TC of top tech companies. Should I apply to some FAANG companies in the bay area, to get a baseline TC (I really care about what I can save per month after expenses) and use that to help negotiate with companies I'm wanting in my desired cities? Do Microsoft, Amazon, and Google's offers vary widely by which city you tell them you want to work in?

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TOP 26 Comments
  • New oeeL53
    TC is location dependant. No company is going to match top SV TC in low COL cities.
    Nov 3 3
    • RoviSys MrRest
      OP
      Yes, but will they match what I could save after expenses? Ie maybe in SF I could have an offer that would allow me to save $100k per year where in Austin I could only save $50k per year. Would this case bear any weight? Or am I better off just getting as many offers in my desires city so its apples for apples
      Nov 3
    • OpenDoor ok.stop
      No, they won’t. Get offers from FAANG in satellite offices if you want the best TC outside the bay. If you‘re really dedicated you could join at HQ and transfer to a satellite office and ask to keep your pay, but the request will most likely be denied unless you’re moving to NYC which is basically just as expensive.
      Nov 3
    • RoviSys MrRest
      OP
      Ok thanks that helps! I don't want to waste anyone's time so I'd much prefer applying at satellite offices. Just didn't want to leave money on the table.
      Nov 3
  • Airbnb m5xp33
    Why should someone in Phoenix pay you a San Francisco salary? No troll. Serious question. I want to understand.
    Nov 3 4
    • RoviSys MrRest
      OP
      What is it to the company? Why do they care what they pay me when I can complete the same amount of work in Phoenix as in SF. I understand it's because they can pay me less in Phoenix they will, but then why don't companies try to do most of their hiring in low cost cities? Also I was not expecting them to pay the same, but I would be evaluating the offers based on where I can save more.
      Nov 3
    • New oeeL53
      Supply and demand. Capitalism 101.
      Nov 3
    • Synack d78jbg19f
      If you are overpaid, you don’t have as much of an incentive to leave the company if you become unhappy with the job/company. Then the odds the company has to fire you to leave increase, which the company doesn’t like or want to deal with
      Nov 3
    • Airbnb m5xp33
      Ok. I think I see where you’re coming from now.

      This happened in my last job:
      The company relocated the head office because the CODB was extremely high. Its CODB dramatically decreased and COL was more than halved. Employees (tenured) who moved with the company kept their salaries. New employees, no matter where they were from were not offered the previously location’s salary levels but salaries aligned with the location which were very competitive for the region. The company relocated to save money and they did. After a period of time I decided I didn’t like the location (boring. I don’t have children who need good schools and a back yard) so I moved back to the Bay.

      “...why don’t companies try to do most hiring in low cost cities?”
      Prestigious location around other companies competing to get the best employees comes with high costs and high salaries. Less sexy locations with lower costs can find equally qualified employees in the area who don’t require sexy location salaries and there’s no real “need” to hire from hot locations. Opportunity for people in the area and for the company to save. Most people understand a salary in Oklahoma City isn’t going to be the same as Hong Kong but the lifestyle in OKC will be less stressful and more family friendly.

      If you’re looking for Bay Area TC in a more relaxed location I suggest Singapore or Luxembourg.

      Edit: if I had been to able to find a similar role in my home city I would have stayed but at the time (long time ago) there was nothing. Now there are roles being hired for in my home city. I’m not moving back but it would have been nice way back when to not feel forced to move to the Bay to land a role I was qualified for.
      Nov 3
  • Apple pCwX52
    The only way is that you work in top company and in bay area and then move to Austin after some time. Apple does that. They reduce your base by 10% but then again, no state tax compensates for it. You essentially end up getting the bay package
    Nov 3 2
    • RoviSys MrRest
      OP
      Ok yeah that's not worth it for me, I was just wanting to ensure the companies I get offers from are as competitive as possible.
      Nov 3
    • Apple pCwX52
      It wont happen othwrwise. Companies in low COL wont give you a bump no matter how good you are.
      Nov 3
  • New 0413
    You want top dollar, you have to live in those markets. No one will pay you what you are looking for so you save 95% of your salary while living in Timbuktu
    Nov 3 0
  • American Express D.BCooper
    I live in Phoenix and do ~ 165k tc cash.

    You can get a townhouse with a garage in the 2nd wealthiest zipcode that has a pet spa, movie theater and chef that comes in weekly WITH mountain views for 2k a month. No shit.

    Hot for 4 months of the year but great for the other 8. Plus half your coworkers will have cabins in Northern AZ and won't be around in the 110. 90 minutes youre out of the heat. Amex has summer hours and people on my team straight leave the state in July.

    If you get close to 200k here and don't mind the heat, property taxes are basically 0%, and the state doesn't pick your pocket.

    You won't get 360ktc but you will get a way lower CoL and more amenities.
    Nov 3 3
    • New / Eng lHpK84
      Can you give me the zipcode, or one of these townhomes?
      Nov 3
    • RoviSys MrRest
      OP
      This. Yes my wife lived in Phoenix for a year after college and loved it (before we were married). I visted often and it's a great city. I also was looking at full blown houses with a pool for $2k/month. Phoenix is at the at the top of my list for cities, but just looking for good companies. You like working for AMEX?
      Nov 3
    • American Express D.BCooper
      Dc ranch/greyhawk north scottsdale by the McDowell mountains. A lot of places there are amenity ridden.

      Also it isn't a concrete island like Phoenix proper so the nights tend to be a bit cooler.
      Nov 3
  • Google AtMSFTnow
    There’s a lot of bad answers in here. I earn (and have been) Bay Area level pay from Atlanta at a number of FAANGs. The differential is TINY and the cost of living difference huge. Have friends doing it from almost every major city in the US as well.
    Nov 3 3
    • RoviSys MrRest
      OP
      Ok and how did you get your TC? Did you just apply and they handed it to you, did you grow with the company and they kept TC competitive, did you negotiate? All 3?
      Nov 3
    • Airbnb m5xp33
      Pay levels in Atlanta have been SF like for some time in certain industries. It’s also a nice city.
      (I grew up in Decatur.)
      Nov 3
    • Google AtMSFTnow
      All 3. I started off at G at a junior level. They offered pretty much Bay Area pay to start with. Tiny tiny differential. Now that I’m a lot more senior negotiating is much more involved when I switch companies.
      Nov 3
  • Humatics / R&D ☃️☃️☃️☃️
    When I worked for a big company, they were willing to keep your current rate if you transferred to another group in another city. I know people getting Bay Area pay in ridiculously cheap parts of the country.
    Nov 3 2
    • Airbnb m5xp33
      This.

      I’m considering an offer in a location that matches my lifestyle. The salary is lower and that’s ok but if I can transfer with my current co. to a location in the same region, I keep my salary which would be ideal but I’m not holding my breath.
      Nov 3
    • Cisco woods22
      Yes this is 💯 true but a huge catch... your career progression is over
      Nov 4
  • Genesys / Creative
    washtub

    Genesys Creative

    PRE
    Deloitte
    washtubmore
    Just be really unique and good. And do something that is 100% about the deliverable vs. presence. Warren Buffet lives in freaking Omaha. Just be really good at what you do.
    Nov 3 0
  • OP. This is a good idea. Me and wife worked in the valley for 10+ years. When our kids were ready for school, we moved to Austin. She quit from SWE. I got same base pay, which can sustain higher living standards.
    Nov 3 0

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