Avleen Vig avleen at
Fri Dec 9 14:11:14 GMT 2011

On Fri, Dec 9, 2011 at 2:49 AM, Richard Foley <richard.foley at> wrote:

> UK programmers are half the cost of US programmer?  Wow, and I thought all
> the
> IT jobs were moving to India!
> Maybe it's time to move back to the UK, where the beer is warm and the
> girls
> are...

The true answer, of course, depends on your definition of "half".

US salaries (use payroll expense) is much higher than in the UK.
Where in London I would pay a programmer or sysadmin about £45k - £55k, in
New York I would pay at least $125k - $150k (about £78k - £93k).
This sounds really great!
Until you realise that it's pretty much a wash.

You'll pay far less for some things in the UK than in the US (eg, food
seems to generally be a lot cheaper in the UK), and vice versa (petrol in
the US is cheaper than pissing in your own toilet). Having grown up in
London (and lived there recently) and lived in quite a few major metro
areas in the US, I can quite confidently say that both pay levels result in
similar quality of life. No-one is getting rich.

Then there are taxes that both you and the employer have to pay (generally
UK employers pay less than US employers or a similar amount I believe,
whereas UK employees pay much more).

US employers have to pay large healthcare costs for their employees, and
other benefits like "commuter benefits" where they get you cheaper travel
on public transport, etc. There are many more things too.

So yes, the UK does cost "less" but in the end it doesn't for anyone.

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