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The lowdown: Best cities for STEM workers in the U.S. revealed

San Jose, California has the highest average monthly earnings for new employees in STEM industries standing at $12,872.

Lower Manhattan skyline and New York city. — © AFP
Lower Manhattan skyline and New York city. — © AFP

With science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs projected to grow in the U.S. economy by 10.5 percent between 2020 and 2030 (a significant rise compared to the 7.5 percent estimated for other occupations), the personal-finance website WalletHub has issued a report that contains an in-depth analysis of 2022’s “Best & Worst Metro Areas for STEM Professionals”.

From the research, a ranking list has been produced. For this, and to determine the best markets for STEM workers, WalletHub compared the 100 biggest metropolitan areas across 19 key metrics.

The data set for the drawing up of the metrics was multi-faceted, ranging from per-capita job openings for STEM graduates to the median annual wage growth for STEM workers.

The outcome is that the top ten locales for STEM works to head to are:

1. Seattle, WA

2. Austin, TX

3. Boston, MA

4. Madison, WI

5. Minneapolis, MN

6. Atlanta, GA

7. Pittsburgh, PA

8. San Francisco, CA

9. Salt Lake City, UT

10. Orlando, FL

Some of the above also figure in a list of the best cities for jobs in general, as well as being ideal for those who wish to specialise in a STEM profession.

In contrast, there are places that perhaps those with an aptitude for a STEM field should avoid. Here the worst metro areas for STEM Professionals were found to be:

  • Detroit, MI
  • Provo, UT
  • Bridgeport, CT
  • Toledo, OH
  • North Port, FL
  • Memphis, TN
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Cape Coral, FL
  • Deltona, FL
  • Jackson, MS

Behind the lists and with a more detailed assessment of the metrics are some interesting figures. For example, with vacancy rates Harrisburg, Pennsylvania had the most per-capita overall STEM job openings for STEM graduates. This stands at 232.62, which is 34.3 times higher than in Deltona, Florida, which is the metro area with the fewest, at 6.78.

Taking a different measure – wages, San Jose, California has the highest average monthly earnings for new employees in STEM industries standing at $12,872. This is 2.8 times higher than in Little Rock, Arkansas, which is the metro area with the lowest wage rates at $4,570.

With a different pay measure – the yearly salary, Palm Bay, Florida has the highest median annual wage for STEM workers (adjusted by cost of living) at $101,587. This salary is 2.4 times higher than in Honolulu, the metro area with the lowest at $42,120.

In terms of people actually in post, San Jose, California appears again. The city has the highest share of all workers in STEM occupations with 22 percent in some form of STEM -related employment. This is which is 14 times higher than in McAllen, Texas, which has the lowest proportion of professionals employed in a STEM field at 1.59 percent.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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