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HEARD ON THE BEAT / TECHNOLOGY

Go West, Tech Engineers

November 04, 1996|GREG MILLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Software companies were a major engine of job growth last year, and some of the highest salaries in the industry are paid to software engineers on the West Coast, according to a survey conducted by Coopers & Lybrand, an accounting and consulting firm.

Software firms expanded their work forces by an average 34% in 1995, compared with typical job growth of 5% among Fortune 500 companies, according to the survey of 500 software companies throughout the United States. Average salary increases at software firms are projected to grow by about 8% this year, as companies compete with one another for talent, according to the survey, which also uncovered geographic variation in pay.

Top software industry executives in the mid-Atlantic region are better paid than their counterparts elsewhere. The typical software chief executive in the mid-Atlantic receives a salary of $175,000, compared with $142,000 overall.

But for software engineers, according to the survey, the West Coast is the place to be. Those on the West Coast receive salaries and bonuses averaging $70,000, compared with $63,000 nationally.

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Greg Miller covers high technology for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-7830 and at greg.miller@latimes.com

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