Charlotte was one of the surprises of this year’s edition of the Dice Salary Survey, with average tech pro salaries rising a notable 3.7 percent year-over-year (to $92.507). But as Dice’s data demonstrates, it’s just one of two success stories in North Carolina: Raleigh saw an equal percentage gain between 2016 and 2017, with average tech salaries hitting $86,563.
Raleigh’s growth isn’t a surprise. The city has long harbored a reputation for welcoming businesses of all sizes, including startups. Local industries such as healthcare have a steady hunger for highly specialized tech pros, including data analysts and software engineers.
Raleigh’s tech scene is boosted by Research Triangle, known to some locals as “The Triangle,” which hosts some 250 tech and scientific businesses. Although this 7,000-acre incubator is famous for its startup scene, it has also helped pull larger companies to North Carolina, including IBM, Cisco, and Lenovo. If that wasn’t enough, a collection of local universities—including University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University and Duke University—form a pipeline of young talent and cutting-edge technology.
Speaking of cutting-edge tech: in recent years, clean technology companies (a.k.a. “cleantech”) have become bright spots in North Carolina’s tech scene, powering (so to speak) the need for researchers. “We’ll make it work if they’re not from the area, but we do start locally,” Suzan Noser, a human resources partner at Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, told Dice last year. “We focus on creating relationships at the universities, as well as professional associations to source qualified candidates.”
The Dice Salary Survey isn’t the only analysis showing significant growth for Raleigh. According to CompTIA, the city has the fourth-highest concentration of tech industry workers. Moreover, that growth has been long-term; according to Brookings’ MetroMonitor, which ranks the nation’s 100 largest metro areas based on their economic performance, jobs grew by 16.2 percent in Raleigh between 2010 and 2015.