15 cities hiring the most high-tech workers… and the Top 5 Are…

As the world increasingly relies on advanced technology – in computing, manufacturing, health care, and more – science and technology are becoming inextricably linked in the U.S. job market. More and more, the jobs with better pay and job security are in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – fields.Some areas – most notably California’s Silicon Valley – have become known across the country and the world for their output of high-tech products and services. There are 15 U.S. major metropolitan areas in which at least 9 percent of the workforce is employed in a STEM field. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed U.S. cities’ labor forces to determine the cities with the most high-tech jobs.

STEM jobs typically pay significantly better than jobs in non-STEM industries. Regardless of education level, those in STEM fields have a median annual income that greatly exceeds that of non-STEM jobs, according to a study from Pew Research Center.

Here are the Top 5:

5. Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
• Percentage of workers in STEM fields: 12.3 percent
• Most common STEM job: Natural sciences managers
• Avg. STEM median wage: $81,911
• Total employment: 298,540

The Durham-Chapel Hill region of North Carolina is part of what is known as the Research Triangle. This area’s three major universities churn out thousands of STEM program graduates each year who, in turn, attract businesses looking to employ these workers. The area’s most common STEM job is natural sciences manager, or someone who supervises and manages scientific research and development. The region has hundreds of research companies specializing in fields such as life sciences, clean energy, and agriculture.

4. Boulder, Colorado
• Percentage of workers in STEM fields: 15.7 percent
• Most common STEM job: Physicists
• Avg. STEM median wage: $86,609
• Total employment: 178,460

The Boulder metro area – home to the University of Colorado – is another college town with a bustling tech sector. Among the companies driving employment in the industry are Google and Amazon, both of which have large satellite offices there. While the median salary for a STEM worker in the region is more than $86,600 per year, the median home value is $504,800 – more than double the median value for the entire country.

3. Huntsville, Alabama
• Percentage of workers in STEM fields: 15.7 percent
• Most common STEM job: Aerospace engineers
• Avg. STEM median wage: $80,483
• Total employment: 222,080

There are nearly 4,000 aerospace engineers working in Huntsville, Alabama, more than any other major metro area in the United States. Aerospace and aviation companies like Boeing and Blue Origin employ thousands of those workers and have plans for expansion in the near future. Huntsville has a rich history in aerospace engineering, as NASA’s Saturn V rockets were constructed there in 1960s.

2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
• Percentage of workers in STEM fields: 20.1 percent
• Most common STEM job: Computer hardware engineers
• Avg. STEM median wage: $99,422
• Total employment: 1,089,070

It should come as no surprise that the San Jose area, which includes Silicon Valley, ranks as one of the areas with the highest share of high-tech jobs. Over one in five workers in the metro area are employed in science, math, engineering, and tech. Nearly 10,000 residents work as computer hardware engineers, the most common STEM job in the area. Many of the most well-known tech companies, like Google and Apple, are located in the region. More than half of the San Jose area’s workforce holds a college degree, making them more qualified for better-paying positions

1. California-Lexington Park, Maryland
• Percentage of workers in STEM fields: 24.8 percent
• Most common STEM job: Aerospace engineers
• Avg. STEM median wage: $102,826
• Total employment: 45,460

California-Lexington Park is the city with the highest share of high-tech jobs. Nearly a quarter of the area’s entire workforce is employed in STEM fields, well ahead of any other U.S. metro area. California-Lexington Park also has the highest median STEM wage in the country at $102,826 – making it the only metro area where most STEM employees make six figures. The metro area is near Washington D.C. and a high concentration of defense contractors. BAE Systems, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin are some of the area’s biggest employers, and not surprisingly, aerospace engineers is the most common STEM job.

Credit:  USAToday – see the full report HERE