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Tech professionals make up to 85% more than state averages in other industries

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Silicon Valley is a great place to earn top dollar, but getting your money’s worth out of your salary may make you look in locations that aren’t considered top tech hubs.


A ranking of states based on highest average tech industry salary.

Image: is reporting that tech professionals make anywhere from 20% to 85% more than the average salary in their states, meaning average tech professional salary ranges from $32 to $58 an hour. 

By compiling data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on jobs the Bureau considers computer or mathematical occupations, staff writer Trevor Wheelwright reported, the highest paying states for tech workers (shown above) come out unsurprisingly: Washington state tops the list, followed by California, Washington, D.C., Virginia and Massachusetts. Job density and high annual median wage in those areas are some of the primary reasons those states ranked at the top. 

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The top metro areas by salary largely follow that trend, with San Jose, California, tech workers earning 507% more than the average area salary, San Luis Obispo, California, tech pros earning 229%, Punta Gorda, Florida, tech workers earning 213%, Seattle technologists earring 176%, and Boston’s tech industry professionals earring 167% more than the average salary in the city. 

Keeping in mind that defined tech professionals based on the BLS’s definition of “computer or mathematical occupations,” the top-earning tech professionals were actually actuaries, who earn an average salary of $123,180. In second place were computer network architects, who average $119,230, followed by software developers and software QA analysts and testers, who earn $114,270 on average. At the bottom of the list (ranked 15th) were user support specialists, who still reported average salaries of $57,000. 

One of the most interesting sets of statistics in the report is its list of state-by-state earnings as a percentage more that tech professionals earn compared with the overall average salary for the particular state. Consider this list a rundown of where a tech salary will go further, regardless of how it compares to salaries in other states. 

Topping the list of tech earnings by percentage over average salaries was Alabama, where the average salary for a tech professional is $86,720, compared with the average salary in the state of $46, 840. That’s a whopping 85% more on average for a tech industry employee. 

In second place is Washington state with an 83% difference, North Carolina with 80%, followed by Texas (79%), Virginia (78%), California (78%), Georgia (76%), Delaware (75%), Mississippi (72%) and Ohio (67%). 

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Washington, D.C., holds the bottom spot, with tech professionals earning a lot of money (third in the nation overall), but only 20% more than the area average. Wyoming (32%), Alaska (35%), North Dakota (37%) and Hawaii (44%) make up the rest of the lowest five. It’s worth noting that in none of those states do tech professionals earn less than the average salary. “Regardless of what type of work you do or where you end up in the tech field, you can expect high salaries and ongoing job demand in the future,” Wheelwright said. 

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