How much should I get paid? How much should I be paying?

It’s a question that gets asked, thought of, written down, tossed around, and discussed over drinks every day – but it’s often difficult to nail down the “right” answer. You could visit 100 job and salary sites and get such varying numbers that your head could start spinning. Lucky for you, this is what we do for a living – place awesome candidates in awesome jobs. We know what Michigan tech compensation looks like, and we want you to know your value as well.

Depending on where you are located, or where your job is located, salary ranges are going to vary. Generally, a tech job in Silicon Valley is probably going to pay more than a tech job in Detroit; but then again, you wouldn’t need a Silicon Valley salary to live large in Detroit, would you? Not even close.

Living Can Be Expensive, But It Doesn’t Have To Be

Did you know that Detroit’s cost of living is much lower than any other tech hub (for example, it costs 29% less to live in Detroit than it does Denver, CO), meaning your paycheck can provide you with a much higher quality of life than in many other tech cities? Let’s take a look at San Francisco, a place that lots of techies think they have to be in order to “make it”. The cost of living is increasing far faster per year in San Francisco (3.4%) than in Detroit (2.5%), and according to, Detroit is 222.8% less expensive to live in than San Francisco. Detroit housing costs are 2,865.8% less than San Francisco’s, and health-related expenses are 9.5% more in San Francisco. It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that while San Francisco jobs may “pay” more, are they going to pay 222% more, or cover housing costs that are 2,865% higher? Not exactly. Based on an average score of 100 across the entire United States, here’s how Detroit stacks up against San Francisco:


michigan cost of living

Tech Compensation: Comparing $100 Apples to $100 Apples

For comparison sake, we took a gander at what had to say about the value of $100 in each state in the union. Published in August 2018, this is a valuable resource to help compare the earnings for your position in your state to the same position in other states, taking into account taxes, cost of living & goods, and real estate prices. Comparing California vs. Michigan, we can see that $100 is worth $87.41 in CA and $107.18 in Michigan. So basically, that same $100 is worth nearly $20 more in Michigan. Pretty sweet.


Michigan tech compensation


With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few popular tech positions and career levels we place here at re:purpose, and see what an expected salary for each would be here in the Wolverine State. While salaries can certainly vary depending on city/town of a company, education level, and years of experience, these are the average salaries one can expect to find for these positions.

Software Engineer I

The average salary range for the U.S. is $59,000 – $78,000

  • Junior Level +/- $57,000
  • Mid Level +/- $65,000
  • Senior Level +/- $76,000

Software Engineer III

The average salary range for the U.S. is $97,000 to $119,000

  • Junior Level +/- $94,000
  • Mid Level +/- $104,000
  • Senior Level +/- $116,000

Marketing Strategist

The average salary range for the U.S. is $79,000 – $102,000

  • Junior Level +/- $76,000
  • Mid Level +/- $88,000
  • Senior Level +/- $100,000

Operations Manager

The average salary range for the U.S. is $82,000 – $112,000

  • Junior Level +/- $80,000
  • Mid Level +/- $92,000
  • Senior Level +/- $108,000

So, as you can see, job seekers looking at Michigan tech compensation data earn right around the average wages for their jobs – but their cost of living is much lower than other technology hubs. And that’s a good thing! Here at re:purpose, our goal is to help connect purpose-driven people with innovative startups. It is completely free to use for talented job-seekers, and all you have to do is fill out a single application and you instantly get access to dozens of startups hiring now.

Find A Startup Job

And if you’re an employer looking to hire top talent, you’ve come to the right place. You will gain access to a pipeline of engineers, designers, marketing gurus, and more, and you can use custom filters to find high-potential candidates based on your hiring needs.

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