Seattle is located in the state of Washington, in the Pacific Northwest of the US. It’s the northernmost large city in the country and the fourth-largest port in North America. Seattle is known for its cool and wet winters, temperate climate, lush green forests, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, coffee culture, and a great music scene. This city is also considered to be one of the best places in terms of income taxes, workplace environment, and career opportunities.
The median household income in Seattle (about $93,480 per year) is 50% higher than the national average. And the average IT salary in Seattle stands at about $82,480 per year ($6,870 per month).
Average IT salaries in Seattle depending on the specialization (USD per year / per month):
- Software developer: 96,070 / 8,010
- Back-end developer: 94,340 / 7,860
- Front-end developer: 86,670 / 7,220
- Full-stack developer: 97,970 / 8,160
- DevOps engineer: 103,400 / 8,620
- Database administrator: 85,560 / 7,130
- Web designer: 56,920 / 4,740
- System administrator: 67,610 / 5,630
- Project manager: 71,150 / 5,930
- QA engineer: 74,080 / 6,170
- Technical writer: 68,490 / 5,710
- Security analyst: 87,540 / 7,295
Note that there is no personal or corporate income tax in Washington State. However, residents are subject to business and occupation (B&O) as well as public utility tax. And you will still need to pay a federal income tax (at a marginal rate of about 22%). Among the factors that determine the amount of the federal tax are your address, marital status, and potential tax deductions.
Seattle (and the state of Washington in general) has a reputation as a global hub for information and communication technology. The city offers great career opportunities as the unemployment rate in Seattle is just 2.8% — even lower than the national average of 3.5%.
Important economic sectors in Seattle include:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Big Data
- Cloud computing
- Real estate
- Research and development (R&D)
- Software development
- Video games
- Virtual and augmented reality
More than 2,120 tech companies are located in Seattle (and more than 12,000 in Washington State). The popular tech industries include software, marketing tech, and MedTech. About 300,000 tech workers are employed in the state’s technology sector, including software engineers, game developers, and others.
The largest and most popular technology companies present in Seattle and surrounding towns include the following:
- Big Fish Games
- F5 Networks
Cost of living
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the overall price level in and around Seattle for housing, goods, and services is 12% higher than the overall country on average. It has one of the most expensive property markets in the US.
Monthly costs without rent in Seattle are $1,115 for a single person and $4,030 for a four-person family.
Consumer prices comparison (including rent) in other US cities vs. Seattle:
- Austin: 20% lower
- Boston: 4% higher
- Chicago: 9% lower
- Los Angeles: 2% lower
- New York: 33% higher
- San Francisco: 34% higher
- San Jose: 9% higher
The average prices in Seattle (USD):
- Meal at McDonald’s: 7–12
- Meal at another inexpensive restaurant: 12–30
- Average food basket (milk, bread, eggs, cheese, chicken, apples, potatoes, water, beer): 48
- Monthly fee at a fitness club: 30–110
- Monthly pass: 80–120
- Monthly rent (1 bedroom): 1,300 – 2,700
- Monthly rent (3 bedrooms): 2,100 – 5,000
- Property prices per square meter: 3,770 – 10,760
- Utilities: 100–300 per month
Seattle’s international airport, Seattle — Tacoma International Airport, serves flights to many US major cities as well as to Amsterdam, Beijing, Dubai, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Montreal, Paris, Reykjavik, Taipei, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, and other destinations.
Seattle is also located at a relatively close distance to Vancouver, British Columbia (140 miles or 2.5 hours drive) and Portland, Oregon (170 miles, about 3 hours drive).
Seattle has an abundance of theater and music venues, a large number of museums, one of the largest Ferris wheels in the US, many parks and urban trails. The city is dubbed “The Emerald City” for its national parks with green forests.
The annual events include the Seattle International Film Festival, Northwest Folklife, Gay Pride, Seattle Hempfest, Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair & Book Arts Show, Sakura-Con (an anime convention), Penny Arcade Expo (a gaming convention), and more.