Software developers with the right mix of experience and skills can earn quite a bit in compensation, especially once you factor in stocks and bonuses. But compensation can also vary wildly, determined by such factors as the company you work for and even where you live.
In light of that, we thought it was worth exploring which states pay software developers and engineers the most. For that information, we turned to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country. As you can see in the chart below, states with the largest tech hubs—including California, New York, and Virginia—tend to offer the handsomest compensation.
While salaries in tech hubs is generally high (especially at the largest tech companies), it’s also worth noting that software developer/engineer salaries are elevated even in states without a major tech hub. That’s great news for developers and engineers who don’t particularly want to move and/or want to work remotely.
But that’s not all—we also wanted to examine which states have the highest demand for software developers and engineers at the moment. That data is also available via Burning Glass, which rates demand by the number of days it takes to fill an open position. It should come as no surprise that the states with the highest salaries also tended to have the highest demand:
U.S. News and World Report recently named software developer one of the “best jobs” in America. “Software developers are employed in a range of industries, including computer systems design, manufacturing and finance,” the report stated. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 21.5 percent employment growth for software developers between 2019 and 2029. In that period, an estimated 316,000 jobs should open up.”
In other words, becoming a software developer/engineer has a lot of upside to it—provided you can offer what employers actually want. Polish your basic skills, and keep an eye on those cutting-edge disciplines that can truly allow you to stand out from the competition, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (A.I.).