The Top Tech Salaries in the US in 2020

Which US metro areas offer the best salaries for tech workers? Business.org ranks 2020's best cities for tech employees.

So you’re pursuing a job in tech—nice! Better start looking for a place in Silicon Valley: I hear companies there pay the best. Or, wait, maybe that’s the Silicon Slopes in Utah . . . or is it the Silicon Hills in Texas? What about Portland’s Silicon Forest or Illinois’ Silicon Prairie?

Actually, based on Business.org’s 2020 data, the best US city for tech workers who want competitive salaries is (drum roll, please) Idaho Falls, Idaho, where tech workers make a little over $90,000 a year—which is 270% more than their non-tech counterparts in the area. That $90K is higher than the median tech pay in Visalia, Salinas, Bakersfield, and other California staples, and given Idaho’s substantially lower cost of living, tech workers are pocketing way more of that $90K than they would in the Golden State.

But the Silicon Spuds (we get the sense they’re still workshopping that one) are far from the only place for tech workers in 2020. Keep reading: below, Business.org ranks the best metro areas for tech salaries in 2020.

Interesting findings

Nationwide, Business.org found that tech workers make around 52% more than the rest of us. But depending on the area, tech wages could be anywhere from 121% to 270% higher than the average wage in their city. Here are a few other areas where tech stats stood out:

  • The first Bay Area city to show up on our list is San Francisco, which ranks 69th—much lower than you’d expect. Several other California areas rank higher on our list, including Visalia and Salinas, which both made our top 10. But tech workers in Visalia and Salinas make about the same or less than most of our other highly ranked cities (and have a much higher cost of living).
  • While the West remains a great place for tech workers (especially Idaho, Arizona, and Colorado), the South is clearly an up-and-coming player in the tech game: metro areas in Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, and Georgia hit our top 10.
  • Bloomington, Illinois, came in eighth in our list, and with good reason: the city saw a 100% increase in tech jobs per 1,000 residents over the last year. Tech workers in the area enjoyed a corresponding 15.7% salary increase over the same period.
  • At 15.7%, Bloomington also has the biggest year-over-year wage increase on our list. But our top-ranked area, Idaho Falls, had a 15.4% increase—just a few percentage points behind.
RankMetro AreaAverage salary of tech occupationsAverage salary of all occupationsTech salary v. all occupationsChange in tech salary since 2018Change in tech jobs per 1000 since 2018
1Idaho Falls, ID$91,740 $33,970 270%15.40%2.31%
2Brunswick, GA$82,270 $32,350 254%4.74%-39.83%
3Visalia-Porterville, CA$81,950 $32,470 252%3.45%10.08%
4Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ$90,780 $36,160 251%4.31%-16.53%
5Parkersburg-Vienna, WV$78,270 $31,490 249%0.00%-0.43%
6Columbus, GA-AL$79,770 $32,720 244%-2.21%32.73%
7Salinas, CA$90,210 $37,230 242%-2.49%-1.78%
8Bloomington, IL$97,690 $40,390 242%15.71%100.44%
9Lynchburg, VA$83,030 $34,470 241%2.49%22.37%
10Colorado Springs, CO$94,120 $39,750 237%0.54%1.50%
11Albany, GA$73,350 $31,320 234%6.47%24.25%
12Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL$87,520 $37,410 234%2.60%-4.63%
13Pittsfield, MA$92,750 $39,690 234%10.48%48.73%
14Burlington, NC$74,900 $32,110 233%2.86%2.42%
15Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL$81,880 $35,160 233%2.16%2.00%
16Panama City, FL$78,660 $33,840 232%0.52%21.22%
17Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ$82,670 $35,650 232%1.00%-14.08%
18Huntsville, AL$95,040 $41,090 231%1.60%3.28%
19Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA$123,340 $53,360 231%9.50%4.08%
20Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL$79,130 $34,320 231%1.95%1.37%
21Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA$92,990 $40,540 229%5.10%7.23%
22Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC$89,170 $39,230 227%-0.06%1.35%
23Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX$91,760 $40,430 227%0.58%2.43%
24Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX$91,190 $40,570 225%0.99%1.53%
25Richmond, VA$91,210 $40,590 225%2.95%-3.05%
26San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX$81,170 $36,130 225%1.44%0.76%
27Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC$72,940 $32,510 224%2.80%25.72%
28Ocean City, NJ$75,830 $33,800 224%-1.22%53.53%
29Bakersfield, CA$80,420 $35,960 224%-5.97%-5.98%
30Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA$90,950 $40,680 224%-0.57%-6.51%
31Montgomery, AL$76,430 $34,250 223%-3.81%4.21%
32Monroe, LA$68,520 $30,730 223%3.47%-27.96%
33Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA$89,150 $40,000 223%1.56%1.51%
34Hattiesburg, MS$65,770 $29,520 223%-0.98%21.51%
35Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL$83,280 $37,420 223%-0.06%-12.07%
36San Diego-Carlsbad, CA$100,020 $45,050 222%2.87%4.01%
37Fayetteville, NC$75,550 $34,110 221%5.11%0.21%
38Gadsden, AL$64,610 $29,210 221%-5.91%14.62%
39Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA$94,130 $42,680 221%2.12%-1.27%
40Yuma, AZ$67,950 $30,840 220%1.31%38.40%
41Killeen-Temple, TX$76,690 $34,830 220%4.44%5.56%
42Peoria, IL$86,270 $39,200 220%5.31%4.59%
43Tucson, AZ$81,160 $36,900 220%4.31%2.68%
44Provo-Orem, UT$79,060 $35,950 220%-1.96%-0.34%
45Greensboro-High Point, NC$78,880 $35,870 220%0.56%-0.24%
46Chattanooga, TN-GA$77,820 $35,420 220%1.09%-4.15%
47El Paso, TX$63,860 $29,120 219%4.84%12.07%
48Raleigh, NC$91,290 $41,640 219%2.21%9.60%
49Winchester, VA-WV$81,540 $37,270 219%1.34%2.07%
50Macon, GA$73,150$33,500218%0.79%1.34%

Methodology

To choose the top cities for tech salaries in 2020, we took the nearly 400 metro areas in the US, removed any that didn’t list tech occupations, and then examined the remaining 375. We then collected the most recent available data (primarily from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) on each area’s tech salaries, which we compared to each area’s median salary for all other occupations to generate our list.

Wondering what counts as a tech job? We considered salary data on any job the BLS considers a computer or mathematical occupation.

Tech’s future

If Silicon Valley has taught us anything, it’s that the tech world changes fast. Cutting-edge companies with disruptive ideas take off every day, so while we can reliably predict that tech workers will still be making more than most this time next year, we can’t say where they’ll be making the most—but we’re just as excited as you to find out.

Disclaimer
At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.