Where Are IT Professionals in the United States Making the Most?

Exploring IT Job Growth in United States

Key Takeaways

  • The San Jose Metro Area and Cedar Rapids, IA have the most IT jobs per 10K residents.
  • The transportation and warehousing industry is the fastest-growing employer for IT roles, experiencing a 54% increase in the number of jobs since 2015.
  • IT salaries are growing the fastest in the retail and trade industry, by 48% since 2015.

Where Are IT Professionals Making the Most?

For many industries, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a ferocious downturn that may take years to fully recover from. In complete contrast, some other sectors were largely unfazed by the economic effects of the virus and have continued to thrive. By some estimations, software and IT jobs are expected to boom in 2021 and double within the next decade. Along with jobs in the health care space, technology remains one of the fastest-growing sectors across the U.S.

For people already in the IT space, or looking to make a career switch to capitalize on the growth, it helps to know not just where the IT jobs will be in the future, but where IT professionals are earning the highest incomes. Utilizing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), we compiled a report assessing IT job growth in America.

Read on as we explore which sectors of the IT industry are growing the fastest, which cities and states in the U.S. have the highest concentration of IT jobs, and how much average salaries have increased across various IT sectors since 2015.

Which IT Jobs Are Growing?

The list of technology- or IT-related jobs is very broad. In general, IT is defined as being the “development and maintenance of computer systems and software in order to process data ” with job responsibilities ranging from network administration and software development to the installation and management of an organization’s technology stack.

Computer and IT Jobs in America

And while IT jobs in general are growing at an above-average pace, it’s helpful to narrow down exactly which sectors of the IT space are booming and to understand how salaries can fluctuate based on more specific roles and expertise. According to the BLS, software developers, quality assurance analysts and software testers are the most common IT job in 2020.

There seem to be some trends among IT jobs that pay the least: customer service or support. Jobs containing “support” in their titles paid significantly less than the rest of the IT ecosystem, while those with the role of Computer and Information scientist made the highest average salary at $129K per year.

Which Cities and States Have the Most IT Jobs?

The states with the most IT jobs per 10,000 residents might surprise you. Beyond the shining beacon of technology and innovation that is California’s Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C., has the highest concentration of IT jobs anywhere in America, with over 581 IT positions for every 10,000 residents.

Where the IT Jobs Are

Similarly, Washington state (252), Virginia (240), Colorado (211), and Maryland (204) were also among the top five locations for IT jobs in the U.S. Despite being home to Silicon Valley, the long-time central hub for tech in America, California had just 156 IT jobs for every 10,000 residents in 2020. Below is an interactive map of IT jobs per 10K residents so you can hover over and explore each state’s IT job market for yourself.

Map | List of All States (courtesy of VPNOverview.com)

California may not have been at the top of the list of the best states for IT jobs, but San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara took first place on the list of best metropolitan statistical areas for information technology jobs. Home to the massive headquarters of companies like Apple and Hewlett Packard, Silicon Valley has 706 IT jobs for every 10,000 residents.

Top 10 Metros for IT jobs

Other metropolitan areas with high numbers of IT jobs included Cedar Rapids, Iowa (526), Bloomington, Illinois (503), Grand Rapids, Wyoming (450), and Boulder, Colorado (443). In 2018, Cedar Rapids was named the Large Technology Community of the Year by the Tech Association of Iowa and is home to Collins Aerospace along with other Fortune 500 companies in IT, renewable energy, and aerospace. You can explore other cities in the interactive map below.

Map | List of All MSAs (courtesy of VPNOverview.com)

IT Sectors That Are Booming

With an increased reliance on technology, including cloud-based data and software solutions, comes an increased demand for cybersecurity. By some estimations, the cybersecurity market could be worth up to $400 billion as early as 2026. Between 2015 and 2020, information security jobs saw the highest amount of growth, increasing by over 183%. Following information security, we also found explosive growth among software developers, testers, and QA assurance (102%), database administrators (100%), and computer and information research scientists (99%).

IT Growth by Industry

IT also exists across various industries outside technology, and IT salaries are currently growing the fastest in retail trade, having increased by $32,000 (48%), on average, between 2015 and 2020. Booming e-commerce has also led to a 40% increase in IT jobs with an average salary of $99,000, making retail trade the top industry for IT jobs.

Fastest growing IT salaries

The Future of Tech in America

The demand for IT support is growing, and jobs and salaries in IT are rising to meet it. Across the U.S., IT jobs are some of the fastest growing and highest paid positions. And while California and Silicon Valley might be the locations that come to mind when you think about IT and tech jobs, positions are also booming in Washington, Virginia, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., among others. And a role that we will definitely be seeing more of in the future, information security, signal the growing trend of companies across all industries taking their security more seriously.

At VPNOverview.com, we take your online privacy and security just as seriously. By giving you the ability to compare the best VPN providers and other security software, we’ll help you find a solution for your business that’s safe, trustworthy, and fast, to meet the growing need for security at home or at work. For internet safety, private web browsing, and bypassing internet censorship, we aim to provide the most fitting software solutions, reviews, information, and setup details all in one place.

Methodology

We analyzed BLS occupational data, specifically in the Computer and Information Technology Occupations category, in order to track how computer and IT professions have changed over time and where the highest paying jobs are. We combined jobs in this category with state-level and metropolitan-level population data in order to analyze jobs per 10K residents and create rankings and calculate percentage change. We compared data from 2015 to 2020 in order to explore job growth and see how salaries have changed over time.

Fair Use Statement

Are your readers interested in the growing tech industry? We encourage the sharing of this study and its graphics for any noncommercial use with the inclusion of a link back to this page as credit to our team of creators who made these findings possible.

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Cybersecurity analyst
David is a cybersecurity analyst and one of the founders of VPNoverview.com. Since 2014 he has been gaining international experience working with governments, NGOs, and the private sector as a cybersecurity and VPN expert and advisor.