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From coast to coast, there are brilliant work opportunities for IT professionals in the U.S.
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San Jose, California

The oldest city in California, San Jose was founded by the Spanish in the 18th century, but for most of its history it's been in the shadow of San Francisco. Then came the Silicon Valley tech boom. For the past couple of decades, San Jose has sat confidently on the global map for technology — and for good reason.

This is such a liveable city. Set in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains and with the Pacific Ocean nearby, San Jose is an amazing base for exploring California's outdoors. Napa Valley, Yosemite, and Lake Tahoe are all just a few hours' drive away.

Companies in the area: San Jose is the base for many IT workers who work at Silicon Valley giants like Google in Mountain View, Apple in Cupertino, YouTube in San Bruno, and Pixar in Emeryville. Right in the city are Cisco Systems, IBM, and eBay.

Average salary: San Jose tops other major U.S. cities with an average IT salary of $77,357*.

Family friendliness: San Jose is home to two million, but it maintains a small-town feel. Suburban areas like Blossom Valley and Cambrian are particularly well-suited to families.

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San Francisco, California

Home to tumbling fog, ice-cream coloured Victorian houses, cable cars, and a notably red bridge, San Francisco is well-known in the tech world as a hub of industry. Surprisingly compact, bohemians and tech kids all rub shoulders at the microbreweries and farmers markets that make this city so great to live in.

One thing to consider: if you've chosen to join an exciting new startup that doesn't yet have much financial clout, you may find SF house and rental prices a burden. Then again, maybe it's worth it to live in one of the world's most exciting cities?

Companies in the area: If you love city living and want to work at a Silicon Valley powerhouse like Google or Facebook, those companies provide shuttles for their employees who work in SF. Within the city, there's the Gap HQ and more.

Average salary: $73,997

Family friendliness: There are amazing parks and museums for kids across San Francisco. In the Bay Area, Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill have good schools and are popular areas for families.

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New York City, New York

Live here and you could visit MoMA and the Guggenheim every weekend. You could take up paddling on the Hudson River and try a new brunch place every Sunday. Astoria or Williamsburg, Hamilton Heights or Hell's Kitchen — an amazing part of NYC could be the place you call home.

There's a thriving hockey culture (not to mention the great baseball, basketball, and football scene), and the three main airports all fly to hubs in Canada. In fact, Toronto's only 1.5 hours' flight away.

Etsy, Trello, and Tumblr all got their start here. Up-and-coming startups in 'Silicon Alley' — Manhattan's own version of Silicon Valley — are making their money in everything from software development to biotechnology, which means the job opportunities are exciting.

Who's hiring: Citigroup, American Express, Verizon, and Time Warner among others.

Average salary: $64,819

Companies in the area: If you want a big yard and lots of space to raise your children, New York City doesn't really fit as family friendly. If you want your children to be raised in one of the most multicultural places in the world, surrounded by great museums and parks, then absolutely, this is a great place to raise kids. Park Slope in Brooklyn is just one family-friendly neighbourhood in the city.

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Seattle, Washington

An impossibly green part of the U.S., the outdoors here are truly great. Peek out of your office window on a Wednesday afternoon and it may be hard not to feel the draw of Mount Rainier in the distance. The city that spawned Starbucks is also a city that's home to indie bookstores and third-wave cider houses. And if you're homesick, the Canadian border is only a couple hours' drive away.

Who's hiring: Huge firms like Microsoft and Amazon are headquartered in Seattle. Boeing also has offices here, though their HQ has moved to Chicago.

Average salary: $68,247

Companies in the area: With a solid public school system, Seattle can be a wonderful place to raise children. Family-oriented neighbourhoods in Seattle include Pinehurst, Ballard, and North Beacon Hill. You could also live on Bainbridge Island and commute to work by ferry.

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Washington, D.C.

Washington has a brilliant mix of NYC culture — think great museums and hot new restaurants — and history, with important buildings scattered across the city. Yes, we're looking at you, the White House.

It's true that traffic can be bad and the public transport system is limited. But the negatives are mitigated by the fact that Forbes listed the capital as the best place in the country to find a job. Even if you're not interested in a government position, there are various private tech companies you could work for in D.C.

Companies in the area: The presence of the U.S. Government means there's a higher concentration of high-tech jobs than anywhere else in the States. Cybersecurity opportunities also abound at companies like Tanium.

Average salary: Washington has one of the highest median incomes in the country, with the average IT professional earning about $70,526.

Family friendliness: There are great single family homes in the historic Georgetown and Glover Park neighbourhoods. And if your kids get bored easily, Washington's Smithsonian Institution is made up of 19 leading museums.

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Asheville, North Carolina

Bohemians and artists, rock climbers and whitewater rafters, IT professionals and tech workers all make their home in Asheville. One of the coolest little cities in the east, this mountain town may be full of slick stores and hotels, but it hasn't lost its laid-back feel.

As an emerging tech and IT hub, Asheville may not have the same opportunities — and jackpot salaries — as bigger cities on the list, but if you're into smaller cities that are surrounded by nature (Asheville's only 90,000 strong) it may be an ideal home for you.

Companies in the area: Asheville is known as Climate City for good reason. A walk away from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, which houses the world's largest collection of environmental data, The Collider is a nonprofit where scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, and IT professionals are figuring out climate solutions. There are also exciting startups like RISC Networks, which deals in cloud and data center migrations.

Average salary: $53,484

Family friendliness: With affordable housing and the Appalachian Mountains right on your doorstep, this must be the most family-friendly town on the list.

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Las Vegas, Nevada

Since CEO Tony Hsieh relocated Zappos to Sin City in 2012, Vegas has become a startup and tech mecca. Innovative companies are being drawn to it by cheap rents, lower tax rates, and a revitalised, and increasingly hip, downtown.

You're really not in Canada anymore. Las Vegas gets an average 294 sunny days a year, and warm (to scorching hot!) temperatures year-round.

Companies in the area: Zappos, Influential, RevUnit, and numerous exciting startups.

Average salary: $57,490

Family friendliness: The cost of living is affordable, and if your family is into camping, you have Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area at your feet. Plus there are all the great nearby ski resorts around Tahoe come winter.

*Average salaries are according to Glassdoor and based on salaries submitted anonymously by IT professionals living in the city listed.

For more tips on moving to the States, check out our Moving to the U.S. From Canada series.