California enjoyed the fastest net gain in tech jobs among U.S. states, according to new data from CompTIA.
Between 2014 and 2015, the organization reported, California added 59,500 jobs. New York came in second, with 15,500 jobs gained during that period, followed by Texas with 13,800 jobs. Burgeoning tech economies also translate into higher salaries for in-demand professionals: in California (and nine other states) the average tech wage was more than double the average private-sector wage.
While many parts of the country have seen significant gains in their respective tech economies—thanks in part to local governments’ attempts to turn cities into tech hubs—not every state has gained tech workers. Hawaii, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Delaware all saw modest declines in tech-job growth between 2014 and 2015.
Although 24 states saw their tech economies expanded year-over-year by more than 3 percent, nine states grew less than 1 percent.
CompTIA’s results dovetail with those of the recent Dice Salary Survey, which broke down top tech salaries by state. California topped Dice’s list with an average tech salary of $109,488, a year-over-year change of 6.4 percent. New York came in second with $105,927 (a 15.5 percent increase), followed by Maryland with an average salary of $104,570 (a year-over-year gain of 11.5 percent).
Why are tech pros’ salaries increasing? Demand has a lot to do with it, but the strategies that individual professionals employ to increase their paychecks also has a broad-based effect on the tech industry as a whole. In the Salary Survey, some 38 percent of respondents reported that their most recent pay-bump was due to merit, while another 23 percent said that changing employers lifted their salaries.
Tech pros also benefitted from earning certifications, putting in more hours, billing more, and accepting counteroffers. And when it comes to earning money (and racking up job offers), living in a state with a burgeoning tech economy probably doesn’t hurt, either.