Starting a career as a Python Developer and choosing a city to start it in can be daunting. Different websites report conflicting information on average salaries, and not every job posting offers salary information. Adding to the challenge, some of the highest-paid Python development positions can be in smaller cities in vastly different states, such as Wyoming and Connecticut.
When choosing the best city to work, considerations like cost of living, climate, and personal preferences should all factor into a decision. If you can’t take the cold, living and working in Chicago might not be your first choice—and if you want to drive through the countryside each day on your commute, New York City won’t have the appeal it holds for many tech pros. Consider these and other factors when deciding what city is best for your Python position.
What is a Python Developer?
Python Developers are tech professionals who can work on websites, software, games, or digital applications. Unlike some career tracks, those who fit the requirements of Python Developer often hold alternate titles; these can include Web Developer, Back End Developer, and Database Engineer, to name a few. Therefore, while most of these tech pros know tools like Django, SQL, and Git, not all Python development positions require the same skill set.
Responsibilities for Python Developers vary by industry as well as position. Some have to implement and maintain cybersecurity or integrate data storage solutions, while others mainly design and integrate front end elements with back end applications. Additional responsibilities can include web scraping, automation testing, and data visualization. Check online job postings for detailed lists of industry-specific Python development skills and responsibilities.
Read more about what a Python Developer does.
What Makes a City Good for Python Developers?
Python Developers may look for various aspects of a city before they search for work there. Some will focus almost exclusively on salary or the number of available job opportunities, whereas others consider factors like cost of living, climate, or other aspects. The following sections expand on some of the most common factors Python Developers consider when starting their careers. While you might find other preferences, remember these when weighing the advantages or drawbacks of a position in a particular city.
With its ever-growing popularity, Python sits atop many online lists for essential skills in today’s high-tech world. Job opportunities abound for Python Developers, whether in strictly back end development roles or more expansive positions like Software Engineer or Full Stack Developer.
Still, if you’re an aspiring Python Developer, you most likely want to look for certain aspects of a city before targeting your employment search there. Ask yourself questions like:
- How many jobs are currently available for Python Developers in the city?
- Which industries are expanding to support more work in Python Development?
- Do I have knowledge and skills applicable to these industries?
- If yes, would I want to work in one of them?
Employment opportunities for Python Developers in a city like New York or Boston might be better than those in a small town in the Midwest. However, if you have to move from another area to a job, will living and working there be satisfying? Some development pros want to live near a city and commute to it, while others prefer to live close to work. Consider these types of factors when assessing the quantity and quality of a location’s job opportunities.
Salary is a primary consideration for most Python Developers, but it shouldn’t be the only one. An excellent pay rate in Michigan might be far less than a comparable position in Los Angeles while providing a higher standard of living. Research what Python development positions pay in any city relative to cost-of-living expenses, including commuting where relevant.
Indeed lists annual pay for Python Developers in the U.S. at about $117,000. That figure falls within a wide range, between $73,000 and $187,000 per year, but cost-of-living expenses factor heavily in a national salary estimate.
Strong Python Developer Community
One of the best aspects of Python is its vast worldwide support community. Python pros of all types can find answers to questions with the click of a mouse.
Beyond the readily available online support, some aspiring Python Developers will look for more. Networking and professional development can be an essential part of a technical career, and you might consider what your targeted city offers in that respect. If your goal is to live in a particular city, the industry or job title might not matter as much. On the other hand, if you move somewhere for work, networking, furthering your education, or finding other career opportunities may be your top priorities.
Vibrant Tech Scene
Growing cities are great places for Python Developers, and a thriving tech scene tops the list of essentials for many of these skilled professionals. That doesn’t necessarily mean Silicon Valley. Cities like Boston, Chicago, and Charlotte, North Carolina offer high starting salaries and booming industries for many Python development positions.
If you want to live in a city with a booming tech ecosystem, consider focusing on information technology (IT) positions. While Python Developers work across all sectors and industries, IT may offer the widest variety of opportunities for related roles like Web Developer or Software Engineer. And should you decide to change or expand your career, you’ll have plenty of options.
Top Cities for Python Developers
Considering the above factors, check out opportunities in the cities listed below. Some may not match your personal preferences in climate, culture, or size, while others may be ideal. If you have the mobility and flexibility to go for the highest-paying positions, be open to making a major move. However, remember that cost-of-living expenses may be high in areas that pay well. Researching multiple options will help narrow your focus—especially if you’re moving far away for a specific job opportunity.
New York, New York
NYC isn’t always the first city name that comes up when looking for tech hubs, but it should always be in the running. New York is one of the nation’s fastest-growing tech cities, offering unmatched cultural, educational, and historical attributes. The average salary for Python Developers here is $150,000, one of the highest on this list.
San Jose, California
Silicon Valley encompasses a number of well-known tech hubs, and San Jose is the region’s largest city. Average annual salaries for Python Developers here run about $140,000, well above the national average. Also, consider other Silicon Valley cities, like Palo Alto, Santa Clara, or Cupertino, home of Apple headquarters.
San Francisco, California
As in San Jose, Python Developers in San Francisco also earn around $140,000 per year. San Francisco is among the world’s best-known cities, and many consider it one of the most beautiful cities in America. It boasts the fourth largest population in California. Like Los Angeles in Southern California, San Fran serves as the commercial and cultural center of the state's Northern region.
Colorado’s capital city, Denver, makes its way onto many online lists for tech career meccas. Python Developers here make about $137,000 per year, and the Mile High City features some of the most scenic views in the country. Many young, active professionals come to Denver for work, especially because the cost of living is attractively proportionate to the average salary.
Another attractive city in the American Southwest, Austin, Texas also makes its way onto many top ten lists for Python Developers. Their salaries here average $127,000 annually, and the region’s reasonable cost of living makes that fit a comfortable lifestyle. It doesn’t hurt that Austin also boasts a thriving cultural scene, with live music festivals, sports, and other attractions.
While these cities all make excellent candidates, the list is by no means comprehensive. Other great U.S. cities for Python development pros include:
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Chicago, Illinois
- Columbus, Oho
- Los Angeles, California
- San Diego, California
Why Become a Python Developer?
If you’ve wondered whether Python Developer is a good career choice, the answer is yes. The reason why is equally simple. In a word: variety.
Career paths for Python development professionals can vary even more than the titles they have. Virtually every industry and sector needs Python Developers, from aerospace to healthcare. Those who stick with development roles can have titles that sound different from each other, like:
- Python Developer
- Back End Developer
- Web Developer
- Software Engineer
Many advertised positions don’t mention Python in the title, because the employer assumes candidates will have Python development skills. Examples include:
- Junior Level iOS Developer
- Entry Level Application Developer
- Entry Level Software Developer
- Software Engineer Developer Jr.
If these sound confusing, they are. It’s nearly always crucial to look beyond the title and check the qualifications listed. A junior Python development position might also require knowledge of C++/C%, HTML/CSS, and tools like SQL, Agile, or Azure.
Beyond the entry or junior level, Python development roles can lead seamlessly to senior roles. An experienced Python Developer will often move on to a Senior Software Developer or comparable position. The most attractive locations for development positions include major metropolitan areas like New York City, Denver, or San Francisco. Salaries for senior development professionals at large corporations can run as high as $200,000 per year.
Read more about whether Python Developer is the right career for you.
How to Find a Python Developer Job
Finding a Python Developer position can come through several avenues, some quite unconventional. A small percentage of development pros teach themselves programming and other skills by combining online tutorials and creating a project portfolio. While this is possible, most professionals agree it’s among the most challenging paths. A much more conventional approach involves getting a degree in a field like computer science, although this discipline can be relevant to a broad range of jobs.
Between the lengthy process of a formal degree program and the uncertain, limited self-taught approach lies a middle ground: immersive bootcamps or certificates. These comprehensive programs can give participants the skills they need for entry-level development positions, plus a portfolio of real-world projects. Startup companies, small organizations, and the freelance world can all be appropriate places for bootcamp graduates to apply.
Whether you get a four-year degree or enroll in a bootcamp, you should also make your candidacy as attractive as possible to recruiters. Popular tips for finding the best Python Developer roles include:
- Create and update a LinkedIn profile, including a professional headshot photo.
- Have a well-written resume highlighting any relevant experience.
- Make sure you have a professional-level portfolio.
- Create and maintain a blog with regular posts highlighting your knowledge.
- Look for in-person and online networking options, like professional organizations.
With tips like these in mind, you can find a roadmap to success that works for you.
Learn the Skills to Become a Python Developer at Noble Desktop
To become a Python Developer, everyone needs a range of skills and knowledge. Most people start with basics, like functions, variables, and the principles of object-oriented programming (OOP). Progressing to a development role also can include additional server-side languages like React (JSX), machine learning algorithms, and object-relational mapping (ORM).
Noble Desktop offers a range of online and in-person Python classes and bootcamps for development, data science and analytics, FinTech, and cybersecurity. Instructors with practical expertise teach these programs, which feature small class sizes to ensure individual attention. Each graduate receives a certificate of completion and can even retake the course for up to one year at no additional charge.
Many Python novices review some free online resources to prepare for one of these courses. Noble Desktop’s Learn Hub includes a comprehensive guide to learning Python for development or data-centered roles. Here you can check out free on-demand courses and tutorials on topics like exchanging Excel for Python and making a Twitter bot with Python.
If you’re new to Python training, you might want to start with an immersive course like Noble’s Python Programming Bootcamp. However, you can also save by taking this bootcamp as part of their immersive Python Developer Certificate. This program provides Python fundamentals before taking participants through in-demand tools like Django REST, Git, and SQL. Check course listings for more details, including prerequisite information.