Top 10 cities for tech workers
Forget the typical tech hubs—a new study shines a light on the best job markets for tech workers, and the results may surprise you.
Looking for a job in tech? Who isn’t, TBH.
And for good reason, too. According to estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), tech jobs are projected to grow by 13% through 2026—faster than the average for all occupations—which comes out to about 557,100 new jobs expected to be created within the upcoming years.
Of course, with tech touching virtually every industry nowadays, you’ll find plenty of good tech jobs just about anywhere you look. But if you really want to pinpoint exactly where the best cities for tech workers are, you’ve come to the right place.
SmartAsset recently released its annual analysis of the best American cities to work in tech based on the following factors: average salary, average cost of living, tech employment concentration, unemployment rate, and ratio of average pay-to-tech pay.
Before you roll your eyes, note that the San Francisco Bay Area is nowhere near the top of the list. Neither is New York City. Why? The typical tech hubs happen to be located in the cities with the highest cost of living—a comparison of the local cost of living against the national average, which is represented by a score of 100. The high cost of living in those big cities can effectively knock the luster off of them faster than you can say “Silicon Valley startup.”
So if you prefer to work in a job that enables you to afford, you know, your life, check out the list below for the top 10 American cities for tech workers.
1. Columbus, OH
Percent of the workforce in tech: 4.24%
Average salary: $91,110
Cost of Living Index: 89.7
Unemployment rate*: 2.57%
2. Des Moines, IA
Percent of the workforce in tech: 4.08%
Average salary: $83,090
Cost of Living Index: 89.5
Unemployment rate: 2.28%
Percent of the workforce in tech: 4.87%
Average salary: $92,930
Cost of Living Index: 93.9
Unemployment rate: 3.11%
4. Cedar Rapids, IA
Percent of the workforce in tech: 4.28%
Average salary: $81,420
Cost of Living Index: 95
Unemployment rate: 1.78%
5. Colorado Springs, CO
Percent of the workforce in tech: 5.09%
Average salary: $94,400
Cost of Living Index: 95.7
Unemployment rate: 3.19%
6. Sierra Vista, AZ
Percent of the workforce in tech: 5.53%
Average salary: $86,770
Cost of Living Index: 93.7
Unemployment rate: 3.13%
7. Omaha, NE
Percent of the workforce in tech: 4.16%
Average salary: $79,210
Cost of Living Index: 92.1
Unemployment rate: 2.09%
8. San Antonio, TX
Percent of the workforce in tech: 2.87%
Average salary: $88,260
Cost of Living Index: 88.1
Unemployment rate: 3.53%
9. Raleigh, NC
Percent of the workforce in tech: 5.41%
Average salary: $90,920
Cost of Living Index: 96.4
Unemployment rate: 3.06%
Percent of the workforce in tech: 2.75%
Average salary: $94,200
Cost of Living Index: 86.7
Unemployment rate: 3.59%
*The unemployment rate is for residents with a bachelor's degree.
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