When you think of technology in California, it’s inevitable that you’d think of the technical powerhouse of Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. What many don’t think about is the technical innovation that takes place in yet another of California’s major cities, Los Angeles. Often referred to as Silicon Beach, LA is shaping up to be a technical powerhouse in its own right. With the continued expansion of both corporate companies and startups to the city, Los Angeles is growing bigger than ever before.
Tech Job Trends in LA
From Hollywood to Malibu, the tech scene of Los Angeles is expansive and is continuing to grow every day. The city is highly diverse, and the tech scene in the area is working hard to reflect this. We can spend time talking about how prosperous the city of Los Angeles is, or we can just prove it to you. So, let’s get to the facts!
Los Angeles by Numbers
While Los Angeles may be known for its film and entertainment industries, what many don’t think about is how much tech and entertainment coincide. Major players in consumer technology call Los Angeles home for this very reason. Companies such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Netflix, and Warner Music all garner thoughts of entertainment. In reality, these companies all have major needs for qualified tech workers as they look to push the bounds of technology and innovation. Even major traditionally, tech sourced companies such as Apple and Amazon have launched their streaming and film platforms.
This merging of entertainment and technology makes Los Angeles a perfect hub for tech workers looking to cash in on one of the most profitable industry mergers of all time. Many believe that tech, in general, is surpassing its industry and isn’t even an isolated industry anymore. We’ve seen transitions of tech into a variety of industries, including medicine, retail, gaming, and entertainment, to name a few. This merging of entertainment and tech in Los Angeles, actually speaks volumes to where the tech job force may transition to shortly.
From 2016 to 2017, tech job availability in Los Angeles increased by 14.6%. The average salary for a tech worker in Los Angeles is around $104,000 per year. As of 2018, there were an estimated 140,000 tech employees in the Los Angeles area, which is the third-largest pool of tech workers in the United States.
Now that we’ve gotten a chance to take a look at the city of Los Angeles as a whole, we can dive into the specifics of the city’s tech sector. So, if you’re looking to break into LA’s tech industry where do you start? Which jobs offer the highest payout? Let’s get to the breakdown!
Data Scientists – $123,000
The world of data science is expansive and ever-changing. If you take a look at the tech scene as we know it today, almost everything around us is made up of data. The truth is, we have so much technology in our lives, we’re continually producing mass amounts of data. Whether it’s our online shopping habits or our likes on social media, everything must be cataloged. So, who takes on this daunting task of tracking, sorting, and optimizing the world’s data? A data scientist, of course!
With such a prestigious and all-encompassing job such as data science, it only makes sense that compensation would be high. The average data scientist salary in LA is $123,000 per year. Salaries for a data scientist in LA range from $96,000 to $156,000 per year.
Software Developers – $92,000
As one of the most prominent jobs in the tech industry, software development is a highly important part of the tech world. Picture a typical tech tool that you use today; there was most likely one or many software developers involved in making that tech work. Software developers must have a diverse set of skills to be able to build and maintain software applications.
The average software developer salary in Los Angeles is just under $92,000 per year. The starting salary for this position is $68,000, while experienced professionals can earn more than $125,000.
UX/UI Design – $92,000
Remember tech in the ’90s? The clunky devices and useless webpages. That was the unfortunate reality of what technology used to be. In the digital age of today, we’ve become accustomed to seamless web pages and fast reaction times. Who’s responsible for this shift? Let’s say the next time you log on and don’t have to squint for 10 minutes to ready a webpage, thank a UX/UI designer.
UX/UI designers work with the user in mind. Their job is to ensure that not only do web pages and applications look right, they also run smoothly and respond well to the user.
The average salary for a UX/UI designer in Los Angeles is around $92,000 per year. UX/UI designers can make as little as $68,000 per year and as high as $124,000 and more.
Full Stack Developer – $81,000
Full stack developers are yet another highly popular position within the tech industry. These professionals are highly talented and work hard to possess the ability to create comprehensive usable programs.
Full stack developers utilize a variety of both client and server-side programming languages, which allows them to work on all aspects of the project.
Full stack developers combine the skills of both front end and backend developers. That means that full stack developers can build both the user and server sides of applications. This job is continuing to rise in demand as companies are eager to look for well-rounded individuals that can both build and maintain quality websites and apps.
The average full stack developer salary in Los Angeles is around $81,000 annually, though experienced programmers can earn $106,000 per year or more.
How Does This Benefit You?
The world of tech in Los Angeles is moving at lightning speed. New and improved companies are popping up across the city almost daily. With that much innovation, companies are continually looking for qualified programmers. One of the best things about the tech industry is that when demand rises, so does the number of opportunities for workers. As demand for workers across the tech industry continues to increase, so will the pay and other benefits that companies offer employees in the hopes of competing amongst the competition for qualified workers.
The city of Los Angeles is a highly diverse place that has experienced a variety of industry mergers throughout the past decade. Hollywood and the world of cinema may not seem to have anything to do with the world of technology. However, the two industries have a lot more in common than many people think. With continued innovations in the tech scene, Hollywood productions have had the ability to create worlds of both animation and live-action that many never would’ve considered to be possible.
So, what does this all mean for you? For starters, if you’re looking to make your mark in the Los Angeles tech industry, understanding the typical salaries for the area is a great way to stay informed. When looking for a job in either the LA area or beyond, it’s always essential to understand what other people are getting compensated. This way, you won’t sell yourself short or accept less than what your skills are worth. Having an understanding of the most common salaries in your industry will save you a ton of money in the long run!