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In 2020, despite the economic turmoil caused by the global pandemic, America’s tech sector experienced rapid growth. Last year, the total number of U.S. tech jobs grew by 60,000. Because of this demand, U.S. employers are willing to pay for the right talent—on average, tech workers in the U.S. earn […]

In 2020, despite the economic turmoil caused by the global pandemic, America’s tech sector experienced rapid growth. Last year, the total number of U.S. tech jobs grew by 60,000.

Because of this demand, U.S. employers are willing to pay for the right talent—on average, tech workers in the U.S. earn about 61% more than the average salary. But some tech workers make more than others, depending on where they live.

This graphic by business.org uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to highlight the average annual tech salaries in each state, compared to the average salary of other occupations. We’ll also touch on the top-paying metro areas, and what type of tech jobs offer the highest compensation across the country.

Average U.S. Tech Salaries by State

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Washington and California have the highest average salaries, largely because of the high job density in those areas.

However, when it comes to the difference in tech salary versus average salary, Alabama takes the top spot—on average, tech jobs pay 85% more than other occupations in that state.

Rank State Average hourly wage for tech workers Average salary for tech workers % more that tech workers earn than all occupations
1 Alabama $41.69 $86,720 85%
2 Washington $58.96 $122,640 83%
3 North Carolina $44.19 $91,920 80%
4 Texas $45.04 $93,690 79%
5 Virginia $51.50 $107,130 78%
6 California $56.16 $116,820 78%
7 Georgia $44.00 $91,510 76%
8 Delaware $47.76 $99,340 75%
9 Mississippi $34.48 $71,720 72%
10 Ohio $41.48 $86,270 67%
11 Idaho $37.65 $78,320 67%
12 New Hampshire $45.50 $94,650 67%
13 South Carolina $37.06 $77,080 67%
14 Iowa $39.34 $81,820 66%
15 Florida $39.81 $82,810 66%
16 Maryland $50.55 $105,150 65%
17 Colorado $48.33 $100,520 65%
18 Arkansas $35.28 $73,390 64%
19 Kentucky $36.21 $75,330 64%
20 Missouri $39.44 $82,040 64%
21 New Jersey $50.04 $104,090 63%
22 Pennsylvania $42.29 $87,970 63%
23 Arizona $41.84 $87,030 63%
24 Oregon $44.25 $92,040 62%
25 West Virginia $35.29 $73,410 62%
26 Kansas $37.70 $78,420 61%
27 Tennessee $36.86 $76,660 61%
28 Utah $39.82 $82,830 61%
29 Minnesota $45.47 $94,570 61%
30 Indiana $37.66 $78,340 61%
31 Nebraska $38.83 $80,770 61%
32 Illinois $44.87 $93,320 61%
33 Wisconsin $39.55 $82,270 61%
34 Oklahoma $36.33 $75,560 60%
35 New Mexico $38.06 $79,160 59%
36 Louisiana $35.50 $73,840 59%
37 Nevada $38.29 $79,650 58%
38 Maine $38.48 $80,030 56%
39 South Dakota $33.65 $70,000 56%
40 Rhode Island $44.43 $92,410 53%
41 Michigan $39.32 $81,780 53%
42 New York $49.65 $103,280 52%
43 Montana $34.40 $71,540 51%
44 Massachusetts $50.67 $105,400 51%
45 Vermont $38.55 $80,180 50%
46 Connecticut $45.94 $95,550 46%
47 Hawaii $40.32 $83,870 44%
48 North Dakota $34.53 $71,820 37%
49 Alaska $40.02 $83,250 35%
50 Wyoming $32.52 $67,640 32%
51 District of Columbia $54.78 $113,930 20%

Why are tech workers so generously compensated in Alabama? It could be because the area’s talent pool is not keeping up with demand.

In 2021, Huntsville, Alabama is expected to see 25,000 new jobs in aerospace, logistics, defense, and other tech-related industries. But these jobs could be difficult to fill given the area’s low unemployment rate.

On the other end of the spectrum, the District of Columbia has the smallest discrepancy between tech and other salaries. But at $95,330, the area has the highest average yearly salary for other occupations in the country—and tech workers still make 20% more.

Top 10 Metro Areas for Tech Salaries

Some of the highest-paying states are also home to the highest-paying metro areas.

For instance, when it comes to pay differences in tech, two of the top 10 metro areas are located in Washington state, while three are in California. The graphic below shows the metros with the highest difference between the area’s average salary and the average salary of tech jobs.

The highest pay difference between tech jobs vs the average salary is in San Jose, where tech workers make 507% more on average. This figure is almost certainly skewed because of the area’s high concentration of tech millionaires and top tier programmers.

Highest Paying Tech Jobs Nationally

Of course, location isn’t the only factor that plays into salary—the type of job is important, too. Here’s a look at U.S. tech salaries, organized by job type:

Highest Paying Tech Jobs US

In this analysis, which looked at jobs in computer science as well as mathematics, actuaries are the highest paid professionals on average.

While actuaries are more on the mathematical and financial side of the equation, more commonly associated jobs with tech are all over the list as well: software developers, computer network architects, information security analysts, data scientists, computer programmers, web developers, computer systems analysts, and so on.

The Future of Tech is Bright

America’s information technology sector, worth about $1.6 trillion, is expected to grow to $5 trillion by the end of 2021. And as this fast-growing industry continues to boom, jobs in this sector are likely to remain in high supply.

Augmented Reality (AR) in the U.S. is looking especially promising and is projected to grow by a CAGR of 100% between 2021-2025.

In short, tech is expected to keep growing. And salaries will likely follow suit.

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