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The U.S. States with the Top Tech Salaries in 2021

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Average Tech Salary Across the US Best Paying States

The U.S. States with the Top Tech Salaries in 2021

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.

RankStateAverage hourly wage for tech workersAverage salary for tech workers% more that tech workers earn than all occupations
1Alabama$41.69$86,72085%
2Washington$58.96$122,64083%
3North Carolina$44.19$91,92080%
4Texas$45.04$93,69079%
5Virginia$51.50$107,13078%
6California$56.16$116,82078%
7Georgia$44.00$91,51076%
8Delaware$47.76$99,34075%
9Mississippi$34.48$71,72072%
10Ohio$41.48$86,27067%
11Idaho$37.65$78,32067%
12New Hampshire$45.50$94,65067%
13South Carolina$37.06$77,08067%
14Iowa$39.34$81,82066%
15Florida$39.81$82,81066%
16Maryland$50.55$105,15065%
17Colorado$48.33$100,52065%
18Arkansas$35.28$73,39064%
19Kentucky$36.21$75,33064%
20Missouri$39.44$82,04064%
21New Jersey$50.04$104,09063%
22Pennsylvania$42.29$87,97063%
23Arizona$41.84$87,03063%
24Oregon$44.25$92,04062%
25West Virginia$35.29$73,41062%
26Kansas$37.70$78,42061%
27Tennessee$36.86$76,66061%
28Utah$39.82$82,83061%
29Minnesota$45.47$94,57061%
30Indiana$37.66$78,34061%
31Nebraska$38.83$80,77061%
32Illinois$44.87$93,32061%
33Wisconsin$39.55$82,27061%
34Oklahoma$36.33$75,56060%
35New Mexico$38.06$79,16059%
36Louisiana$35.50$73,84059%
37Nevada$38.29$79,65058%
38Maine$38.48$80,03056%
39South Dakota$33.65$70,00056%
40Rhode Island$44.43$92,41053%
41Michigan$39.32$81,78053%
42New York$49.65$103,28052%
43Montana$34.40$71,54051%
44Massachusetts$50.67$105,40051%
45Vermont$38.55$80,18050%
46Connecticut$45.94$95,55046%
47Hawaii$40.32$83,87044%
48North Dakota$34.53$71,82037%
49Alaska$40.02$83,25035%
50Wyoming$32.52$67,64032%
51District of Columbia$54.78$113,93020%

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.

Top Tech Salaries

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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Misc

Where Unemployment Benefits are the Highest, in OECD Countries

Ranking countries and their unemployment benefits, measured by the percentage of previous employed income received after a year out of work.

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This chart ranks OECD countries by their level of unemployment benefits.

Ranked: Unemployment Benefits in OECD Countries

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

This graphic ranks OECD countries by their level of unemployment benefits offered. This is measured by the percentage of previous in-work income a person would earn after being unemployed for one year.

Calculations reference a single person without children, whose previous in-work earnings were 67% of the average wage in each country. Data for this graphic and article can be accessed at OECD.org.

ℹ️ As of 2024, the OECD has 38 member countries plus several accession candidates.

OECD Countries by Unemployment Support

Luxembourg tops the rankings of OECD countries by unemployment benefits. Workers in the country can receive 87% of their previous employed income for up to a full year out of work.

RankCountry% of previous in-work
income received
after 1 year
1🇱🇺 Luxembourg87
2🇧🇪 Belgium78
3🇩🇰 Denmark78
4🇧🇬 Bulgaria*77
5🇵🇹 Portugal75
6🇨🇭 Switzerland72
7🇳🇴 Norway67
8🇫🇷 France66
9🇪🇸 Spain66
10🇳🇱 Netherlands64
11🇸🇪 Sweden64
12🇮🇹 Italy62
13🇮🇸 Iceland61
14🇩🇪 Germany60
15🇫🇮 Finland58
16🇦🇹 Austria51
17🇲🇹 Malta*49
18🇬🇷 Greece47
19🇪🇪 Estonia45
20🇸🇮 Slovenia44
21🇳🇿 New Zealand42
22🇭🇷 Croatia*41
23🇨🇾 Cyprus*38
24🇯🇵 Japan38
25🇷🇴 Romania*38
26🇮🇪 Ireland35
27🇦🇺 Australia32
28🇵🇱 Poland31
29🇰🇷 South Korea23
30🇨🇦 Canada22
31🇮🇱 Israel22
32🇱🇹 Lithuania21
33🇨🇿 Czechia20
34🇬🇧 UK16
35🇱🇻 Latvia14
36🇸🇰 Slovakia10
37🇹🇷 Türkiye10
38🇭🇺 Hungary9
39🇺🇸 U.S.9

*Not formally in the OECD. Data unavailable for Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. Figures current up to 2023.

However, there are stipulations to receiving this money. This includes being fit and willing to work as well as already registered in the National Employment Agency.

After a 10 percentage point gap, Belgium and Denmark all but tie at second place at 78%.

Bulgaria, Portugal, and Switzerland round out the top six, all supporting their unemployed with more than 70% of their previous incomes.

It’s worth pointing out here that five of these top six countries have some of the highest personal income taxes in the world.

On the other end of the rankings, the workers in the U.S. and Hungary only receive 9% of their earlier incomes after a year out of work.

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