Visa creating 800 seemingly well-paying IT jobs in Austin

Detailed agreement with Texas spells out average wage levels, year by year

Credit card issuer Visa USA plans to create a global IT center in Austin and hire about 800 people to run it.

Visa year-by-year average annualized compensation
Visa's agreement with the state of Texas for its Global IT Center sets year-by-year average annualized compensation levels for all new full-time hires. The figures include bonuses but exclude health insurance and retirement benefits. The average salaries must not be less than the amounts listed above on Dec. 31 of the applicable year.

Under an agreement with the state of Texas, Visa intends to renovate 175,000 square feet of office space in Austin and invest $27.2 million by the end of 2015.

In exchange, Visa is getting state and local assistance, including $7.9 million through a state enterprise program. The amount of aid is based on what the state expects to receive in increased sales tax revenue.

There are strings attached to the aid.

The state development agreement, announced last week, spells out some specific terms, including set levels for the annualized compensation that Visa's Austin employees receive.

The average wages of employees at the new IT center, excluding health and retirement benefits, can't be less than $96,469 in 2013; that figure rises to $129,775 in 2022.

The agreement calls for "a grand total of 841 full-time jobs" by the end of 2017. Visa employs a total of about 7,500 people.

A Visa spokeswoman declined to provide any details on the types of jobs that will be available in Austin.

In terms of recruitment, Visa is obligated to make "commercially reasonable efforts" to work with nonprofit organizations to help find IT professionals.

The city evidently hopes that most of the hires will be local.

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His email address is

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