Austin is the state capital of Texas. With the population just under 1 million, this city is the cultural and economic center of the larger Austin — Round Rock metropolitan area.
The hilly terrain on the west side of Austin is nicknamed “Silicon Hills” due to its developed IT market as well as a large number of tech companies and jobs.
Additionally, Austin was named the best place to live in the US several times by various media including CBS Money Watch, Forbes, Money, U.S. News, and WalletHub.
The average IT salary in Austin is $73,560 per year ($6,130 per month). Among other things, it can vary depending on the specialization (USD per year / per month):
- Software developer: 79,290 / 6,610
- Back-end developer: 83,680 / 6,970
- Front-end developer: 76,350 / 6,360
- Full-stack developer: 87,110 / 7,260
- DevOps engineer: 94,980 / 7,915
- Database administrator: 80,550 / 6,710
- Web designer: 52,210 / 4,350
- System administrator: 61,580 / 5,130
- Project manager: 64,330 / 5,360
- QA engineer: 67,850 / 5,650
- Technical writer: 53,920 / 4,490
- Security analyst: 80,860 / 6,740
The unemployment rate in Austin is 2.4% — even lower than the national average of 3.5%. This city benefits from its vibrant job market, with lots of career opportunities in the technology sector.
The most important tech industries in Austin include the cloud industry, eCommerce, and software development. Other important industries include the following:
- Corporate R&D
- Video games
There are more than 2,630 tech companies present in Austin and its suburbs. The largest ones include:
- Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
- Blizzard Entertainment
- Cisco Systems
- Electronic Arts (EA)
- Hewlett Packard
- Silicon Labs
Cost of living
The annual salary required to live in Texas is $63,470 — which almost equals the average IT salary in Austin ($73,560) after income tax.
Monthly costs without rent in Austin are $880 for a single person and $3,130 for a four-person family.
The cost of living in Austin is cheaper than in other large US tech hubs such as Boston, New York, Silicon Valley, and Seattle.
Consumer prices comparison (including rent) in other US cities vs. Austin:
- Boston: 29% higher
- Chicago: 13% higher
- Los Angeles: 22% higher
- New York: 66% higher
- San Francisco: 67% higher
- San Jose: 36% higher
- Seattle: 24% higher
The average prices in Austin (USD):
- Meal at McDonald’s: 5–11
- Meal at another inexpensive restaurant: 10–22
- Average food basket (milk, bread, eggs, cheese, chicken, apples, potatoes, water, beer): 35
- Monthly fee at a fitness club: 20–100
- Monthly pass: 40–96
- Monthly rent (1 bedroom): 950 – 2,500
- Monthly rent (3 bedrooms): 1,650 – 4,500
- Property prices per square meter: 1,600 – 7,000
- Utilities: 100–250 per month
Austin—Bergstrom International Airport is located 5 miles (8 km) southeast of the city. It serves flights to many major cities of the US, as well as to Amsterdam, Calgary, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London, Mexico City, Paris, and other destinations.
Austin is also located at a relatively close distance to Dallas (200 miles or 3 hours drive), Houston (165 miles or 2.5 hours drive), and Monterrey, Mexico (600 miles or 6.5 hours drive).
With the slogan “Keep Austin Weird”, which aims at protecting local businesses from being overrun by large corporations, Austin is home to numerous coffee shops, unusual stores, Texas and Tex-Mex restaurants, and more than 1,250 food trucks. Due to a large number of Czech and German descendants, there is also an abundance of European-style bakeries and over 50 microbreweries.
Nicknamed Live Music Capital of the World, the colorful capital city of Texas also boasts a great live music and art scene, with more music venues per capita than any other US city. Austin hosts many cultural festivals including the Austin City Limits music festival, Austin Reggae Festival, Chaos In Tejas, Eeyore’s Birthday Party, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Old Settler’s Music Festival, South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival, Urban Music Festival, and others.