How Remote Work Is Influencing Tech Salaries During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Write-up courtesy of  Career Karma

The coronavirus pandemic definitely changed our lives. We can’t visit our friends and family, and we’re also not able to work as we used to. Some people were laid off from their jobs because their companies couldn’t afford to pay salaries during quarantine or because their jobs exposed them to the virus.

This has led most companies to implement remote working to maintain their business afloat. This has also opened a debate about how much money remote workers should earn. Since most salaries in the United States are based on location, it’s challenging to set up a uniformed wage for remote workers that have moved to different areas.

Tech workers, who are still working despite COVID-19, have experienced a drastic change in the way they work and their salaries. In this article, we discuss some of the influences of the coronavirus outbreak on tech salaries.

Tech Salaries Are Growing

Most of the high-paying jobs in the market have high demand and a low supply of professionals. In the past, people who work in the stock market were seen as some of the highest-paid professionals. Although this is still a reality, tech professionals have replaced them. According to Hired, the average tech worker makes more than $100,000 annually.

But that number became higher this year. In Hired’s State of the Salary Report, we can see that tech workers in San Francisco experienced a 7% salary increase. Other tech professionals from Austin reached a 10% wage increase this year. The reason for this is that tech workers are more in-demand these days.

In-Demand Skills Have Changed

During the coronavirus outbreak, some skills are more in-demand than others. Jobs that require physical effort are usually put on pause during the pandemic to avoid spreading the disease. That’s the main reason why many people were temporarily or permanently laid off from their work.

However, some other professions are in-demand during the pandemic. Besides healthcare professionals, other skills like data science, software development, or digital marketing are highly needed these days. All those professions that can continue to work despite the pandemic help the economy stay afloat.

Salaries Based on Location

Remote working was the best solution for companies to stay active during the quarantine. Not only it allows their workers to work from the safety of their home, but it also reduces costs from energy expenses or rent. Without the need for a physical location, companies can now focus their resources on more relevant expenses.

Since most remote workers moved to other cities, many companies decided to adjust their salaries based on location. The reason for this is that the cost of living is different in every city.

For example, tech workers in San Francisco make $155,000 a year. If they moved to Denver, their salary would be the equivalent of $202,000. They’d be making even more because the cost of life in Denver is lower.

This has not been good news for everyone. According to Hired’s report, more than half of employees would not agree to a salary reduction because of remote working, in case it becomes permanent. Other companies are not planning to switch to location-based compensation. Most of the employees in these companies are considering moving out to another city with a lower cost of living.

The Future of Work After Quarantine

Nobody can predict whether remote working will become permanent or not. However, this trend is strong, and it was already increasing before the quarantine. According to Deloitte, before the pandemic, there was an increase from 18% to 24% in workers working from home for at least half a day per week. This is expected to grow in the future. The Hired report we previously mentioned stated that only 7% of workers are willing to go back to their offices after COVID-19.

If remote working becomes permanent, most companies will probably end up switching to the location-based compensation system. Regardless of whether employees agree or not, it sounds like the most feasible way to handle salaries.

Remote Learning Is Possible Too

Things are evolving thanks to technology, and after COVID-19, tech skills will probably continue to be in demand. There’s no need to waste time during the quarantine. If you have free time and you’d like to invest it in something that pays off, you can start learning a new skill. Here are some of the schools that offer online education.

  • Thinkful
    Thinkful offers various online boot camps, including data science, digital marketing, and software development. This school provides one-on-one education with skilled teachers. Besides, this school offers a program called “Get a job in tech or get your tuition back.” If you don’t find a job in six months after graduation, you’ll get your money back.
  • App Academy
    App Academy’s online coding boot camps are some of the most complete courses out there. Some of the programs it offers are cybersecurity, data science, and web development.
  • Flatiron School
    Flatiron School’s online boot camps are focused on employment. This school has a high-tech lab where students put their skills into practice. Some of the boot camps offered by Flatiron School are UX/UI design, cybersecurity, and software engineering.
  • Galvanize
    Just like many others, Galvanize offers several online boot camps where you can reskill yourself during quarantine. This school has business mentors that guide you through the process of getting a job. Besides, Galvanize offers flexible payment methods. Its online courses cover data science, software engineering, and machine learning.


Remote working has become a potent trend in recent years, and the coronavirus pandemic increased this trend. The results of this change in the work dynamic have directly impacted salaries. While some companies want to continue paying their regular wages, others have started to pay their employees based on location. We can expect that in the future, remote working will still be a trend.

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