Computer scientists have a wide range of career options to choose from in their chosen field. They can become network support specialists or user support specialists, and a day’s work can range from detecting suspicious network activity to helping computer users with their hard drives.
But depending on where IT professionals live in the United States, their career prospects can vary widely, especially when it comes to salary. Perhaps most surprisingly, many of the states with the highest paid IT specialists are those with the lowest cost of living. This has the added benefit for those pursuing a career in IT in these states that their money will go further, making the career potentially all the more attractive. Many states with the highest paid IT specialists are also found outside of coastal and technology hubs where they may be more common, which means the supply of IT professionals may be low, driving up the wages.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also increased the need and demand for fully remote working, and a field like IT lends itself to remote working. This means workers can work across state lines if their companies and workers are comfortable with tax and labor laws that vary from state to state. This also extends to minimum wages, health care requirements, workers compensation, etc. Since IT specialists will have the opportunity to work for companies in different states, this can inevitably affect compensation state by state as the culture of remote work continues to become more popular across the country.
Twingate used Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from May 2020 to rank the highest-paying states for computer specialists based on estimated average annual salaries, including statistics on the estimated total employment of specialists in the ‘State. This data was drawn from two specific occupations as categorized by the BLS: computer network support specialists and computer user support specialists, which are the subcategories of computer support specialists, according to the codes of BLS profession. Nationally, the profession has 823,770 employees, with an average hourly wage of $28.73 and an average annual salary of $59,749.63.