Members of the Louisville Tech community had a question: how do salaries in Louisville’s technology sector compare to other cities? What started as an organic discussion in a Slack channel, led to the development of a survey where 193 respondents from the Louisville area shared their salaries, benefits, and satisfaction with technology jobs in this particular Kentucky city. The curiosity of the survey team also uncovered interesting findings on job satisfaction in the sector.
The overall median salary in Louisville for tech jobs, not differentiating between the type of job, was $82,000 annually.
While the report does not include a national salary figure to compare, LinkedIn found in their 2017 study that the median salary for a tech job was $92,300. Hired.com also aggregated their salary data and 10 of the cities listed have a higher salary than Louisville. The survey methods and details of these studies may not be comparable, but this basic comparison does seem to support sentiments amongst Louisville tech members that their salaries are lower.
Within their own study results, the Louisville Tech survey found two factors that influence salary. There was a significant difference between salaries for those who work in Louisville and those who work remotely ($79,500 and $100,000). There was also a strong correlation between years of experience and salary (R = 0.50).
Given the small sample size, other factors that may influence salary did not result in statistically significant differences, but still shed light on interesting trends that the industry should be aware of. The Louisville study saw that across all levels of experience, females make approximately 10,000 less than their male counterparts. Overall racial minorities make $17k less than whites. The gap between the two racial groups decreases when looking at years of experience, but at each level minorities have a lower salary than whites.
Job satisfaction seems to be high for the Louisville tech community, but 39 percent of respondents said they are very likely to look for a new job in the coming year.
Changing employers does seem to increase salary gains ($7,750) than choosing to stay ($5,000), given the same job rank. A possible way to increase satisfaction is for employers to address benefits employees feel as most important: paid vacation/sick leave, health insurance, and paid holidays. Over 90 percent of respondents indicated their company provided these benefits and most were satisfied. However, only 25 percent said they were very satisfied with health insurance and it was listed 4th as most unsatisfied. The data also shows that retirement options could be a point of improvement as it was ranked 4th most important but showed less satisfied responses.
When finding employment, networking and personal contacts seems to be the most common method. This highlights the importance of having a community that can continue supporting its members. Increasing communication between members can help each maximize their benefits and gains. Additionally, as evident by the emergence of this Slack survey, a strong network can lead to helpful findings and answer members’ questions.
It’s encouraging to see the Louisville Tech community take initiative to study their own ecosystem and the compensation provided to its members. It would be interesting to know how members have used these findings in discussions about salary and benefits. Many studies that compare salaries across various cities account for differences in living expenses by reporting adjusted salaries. Collecting information on Louisville’s cost of living would allow the team to calculated adjusted salaries and compare to other cities.