Tucson, Phoenix Rank In 2018 Top 100 Metro Areas For STEM Professionals

With the accelerated advance of technology and health care STEM workers are in fierce demand and not just in the global epicenter of high tech known as Silicon Valley. According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis, STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) professions grew at over twice the rate as non-STEM workers did between 2009 and 2015. And most types of STEM jobs will expand faster than all occupations until at least 2024.

Given the growing demand, STEM careers today comprise some of the most lucrative employment, paying higher salaries and boasting far fewer threats of unemployment compared with other types of jobs. STEM workers in 2015 earned an average annual wage of $87,570, nearly double the national average of $45,700 for all non-STEM jobs, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

WalletHub has attempted to identify the best markets for STEM professionals, WalletHub compared the 100 largest metro areas across 17 key metrics. The data set ranged from per-capita job openings for STEM graduates to annual median wage growth for STEM jobs to projected demand for STEM workers by 2020.  Some highlights of the analysis are offered below:

Arizona  landed it’s two top Metro areas in the top 1/3:

Rank  City/Metro Area Score Opportunity Friendly Quality of Life
28 Tucson, AZ 52.76 57 35 30
33 Phoenix, AZ 51.18 62 31 36


Best Metro Areas for STEM Professionals Worst Metro Areas for STEM Professionals
1 Seattle, WA 91 Stockton, CA
2 Boston, MA 92 Oxnard, CA
3 Pittsburgh, PA 93 McAllen, TX
4 Austin, TX 94 Lakeland, FL
5 Minneapolis, MN 95 Deltona, FL
6 Madison, WI 96 Little Rock, AR
7 Salt Lake City, UT 97 Cape Coral, FL
8 Springfield, MA 98 Memphis, TN
9 Chicago, IL 99 North Port, FL
10 Atlanta, GA 100 Jackson, MS

Best vs. Worst

  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has the most per-capita job openings for STEM graduates, 108.56, which is 40.4 times higher than in Deltona, Florida, the metro area with the fewest at 2.69.
  • San Jose, California, has the highest share of all workers in STEM occupations, 21.9 percent, which is 12.9 times higher than in McAllen, Texas, the metro area with the lowest at 1.7 percent.
  • Washington has the highest projected number of STEM jobs per capita needed by 2020, 14.86 percent, which is 13.8 times higher than in Las Vegas, the metro area with the lowest at 1.08 percent.
  • Houston has the highest annual median wage for STEM workers (adjusted by cost of living), $95,187, which is 2.3 times higher than in Honolulu, the metro area with the lowest at $41,249.
  • Dayton, Ohio, has the highest housing-affordability index for STEM professionals, 11.40 percent, which is 2.1 times higher than in Honolulu, the metro area with the lowest at 24.24 percent.

To view the full report and your metro area’s rank, please visit WalletHub.