A quick look at salaries in Austin

The city of Austin, Texas, is well known for being a center for technology and business. Many large companies, such as Dell, IBM, Google and National Instruments, to name a few,  are headquartered or have regional offices here. According to Wikipedia, Austin was ranked number 1 by Forbes among all big cities for jobs in 2012, and it was also ranked number 1 by the Wall Street Journal Marketwatch for growing businesses, naming it the “San Francisco of Texas”.

I wanted to learn a bit more about the type of industries that have presence in Austin, as well as how much they pay (useful to know if you are in the job market),  and I turned to the website Glassdoor.com, which contains first-hand information on companies, salaries associated with different job positions, and even employee reviews.

I did a search of all the companies listed on the website, and there were a little over 2,400. Not all of the listed companies included information about their positions or salaries (especially true for small companies). The first thing I scraped off the website was the distribution of companies over different industries. The results are summarized in this graph:


Austin’s character as a tech hub is obvious from this bar chart, where IT companies stand out. Keep in mind that this information is changing constantly.

How are salaries distributed across industries? Gathering the available salary figures for all positions in each company, and for every industry, gave this result:


Note that the salaries taken to produce this plot are averages for each job title. The black dot associated with each industry represents the median of the corresponding average salaries. The left end of each dashed bar corresponds to the minimum salary for that industry, while the right end is the maximum value. The left and right edges of the rectangular boxes denote the 1st and 3rd quartiles, respectively. There are several outliers indicated by the empty circles. Two industries in this plot (Non-Profit and Insurance) do not appear in the first plot, because not enough companies were listed in those industries on the website, which of course doesn’t mean that there aren’t many such companies in Austin.

Next, I counted the total number of different job titles. Unsurprisingly, a tech-related title stood out. I include the 15 most numerous job titles below:

positionsATXThe final count of different job titles turned out to be 13, 525. This number includes those cases in which there exist several variations of a job title. For example, similarly to Software Engineer, there are titles such as Software Development Engineer I, Software Development Senior Engineer, Software Applications Engineer, etc.

Salaries for some job titles are shown in this figure:


It’s also interesting to look at how salaries for one job title vary across different companies. Take a peek at this graph for Electrical Engineer:

elecThe highest salary is approximately twice the amount of the smallest one. Now take a look at the case of Account Manager:

account The abrupt changes shown in the bars are due to my selection of companies to include in the plot; since there are many more companies that can fit in one graph (over 100 of them), I picked three groups of companies from the ones available. The highest-paying company for Account Manager offers more than five times the salary of the one that pays the least.

In the two preceding plots, it’s worth bearing in mind that the same job title may involve different duties, depending on the company, so one has to be cautious about interpreting this raw information.

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