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Expat Exchange - 5 Tips for Tech Jobs in Seattle
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5 Tips for Tech Jobs in Seattle

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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Summary: Tech expats in Seattle live in one of the most famous centers of high technology in the world. Home to such tech stalwarts as Microsoft and Amazon, the Seattle area also has a vibrant business environment for start ups to cash in on and thrive.

Expats in the high tech industry in Seattle and the surrounding areas work in one of the most important tech centers in the world. Here are a some tips for finding work in the tech industry in Seattle.

Basics For Tech Expats in the Seattle Area

Expats will find that Seattle has a rich history in the tech industry. Microsoft, based in Redmond (actually 16 miles east of Seattle), is a name that leaps to mind immediately when discussing the tech scene in Seattle. But there is much more to the tech industry in the Seattle area than Bill Gates' famous brainchild.

A good place for expats to start research expat life in Seattle is our article 5 Tips For Living in Seattle.

If you're coming from the U.K., take a few minutes to read 10 Tips for Brits Living in Seattle.

Seattle's tech growth continues to march on, and it does come with challenges.

Geekwire does a great job of keeping track of all things tech related in the Seattle area... and beyond.

Major Tech Employers and Start Ups in Seattle

Tech Expats interested in living in and working in the Seattle area will find no shortage of companies in several tech niches. For a few years, some experts have noted that Seattle is the center of the a tech boom.

While expats are able to secure jobs at major employers such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook, there are also plenty of exciting startups, such as those identified by Geekwire recently at Techstars Seattle Demo Day.

Just For Fun:

Amazon recently moved into its new Seattle office, which included Amazon's Tower I

Facebook also has a Seattle presence, which has a pretty sleek looking new office.

Not to be outdone, Google is going to double size it's engineering center in Microsoft's backyard.

H1-b Visas

As with other areas in the United States, expats who want to move to Seattle will need The H1-B visa for tech jobs.

It is a visa in extremely high demand from people all over the world. CNN recently wrote a story about the 2016 H1-B program for expats coming into the United States, reporting that "this year, 236,000 foreigners applied for the H-1B, the most common visa for high-skilled foreign workers. That's up 3,000 from 2015 -- and up significantly more from 2014 which had 172,500 applications."

In the United States, the program is controversial. Many in the United States worry that the program is taking jobs away from U.S. citizens, that the program doesn't provide jobs to who it is designed for, among other issues.

Who Pays the Most in Seattle?

Three of the highest paying employers in the United States are in the Seattle area. Amazon Lab126 (#7), Microsoft (#22) and F5 Networks (#23) all have a median salary north of $120,000. The research was conducted by Glassdoor, a jobs and recruiting site based in Mill Valley, California.

For more analysis of the Glassdoor study, read Geekwire's article Tech industry dominates list of top 25 highest-paying jobs in demand.

Seattle Is Great For Tech Start Ups

Seattle offers a great environment for a start up, as noted by a WSJ.com blog. Some of the reasons noted include a "thriving start up scene," proximity to a tech-friendly University (University of Washington), and world-class, loyal tech talent.

While it isn't Silicon Valley from a venture capital perspective, there are plenty of firms there. Madrona Venture Group and Maveron are in Seattle, as are many other venture firms

Here is Geekwire's list of start-up resources in the Pacific Northwest.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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