Utah Valley high-tech wages average $20,000 less than national average

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    By MANDY REDD and JASON BURGESS

    Despite having the highest sales rate per employee, Utah Valley high-tech companies still pay salaries that rank among the lowest, according to Utah Valley Economic Development Association.

    Although salaries for high-tech companies are good compared with other Utah County professions, the average wage is $20,000 less annually than the national average for high-tech salaries, said Richard Bradford, CEO of Utah County Business Development Department.

    “It’s a little discouraging because we produce the most, but are paid the least,” Bradford said.

    Employees at Utah Valley computer and high-tech related firms average $281,000 in sales annually. This is $115,000 in sales higher per employee compared to other Utah jobs and $180,000 higher than the national sales per employee average.

    The Utah Valley average high-tech income, on the other hand, is just $36,000 per year, compared to the national average of $56,000 a year, Bradford said.

    Economic development officials said Utah County does not have problems attracting high-tech companies. Of the 412 high-tech companies in Utah County, 42 have started within the past 12 months. These companies employ 14,800 workers, representing a 17 percent increase from the previous year.

    “We offer competitive salaries and bonus plans. We don’t have problems attracting or retaining new employees,” an Intel representative said.

    Bradford said Utah Valley’s reputation as a high-tech Mecca is well deserved.

    Harvey Frank, director of staffing for Novell, said many companies are attracted to Utah because of the lower cost of living and the many out-door activities available to residents.

    High-tech entry-level salaries in Utah county are competitive with those salaries found in Silicon Valley Frank said.

    Employee turnover is not as high in Utah as in other regions, which brings employees and businesses, Frank said.

    “The stability of Utah County attracts many different companies,” he said.

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