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Best States 2021: 10 States With The Lowest Tech Salaries (And 10 With The Highest)

Rick Whiting

For solution providers looking to hire low-cost tech talent, here’s a look at the 10 states that have the lowest average annual salary for tech workers – and the 10 states where tech workers come with the biggest price tags.

What It Costs To Hire A Tech Worker

As solution providers and strategic service providers ramp up business as the economy recovers from the 2020 downturn, finding and hiring tech talent to fill tech positions in development, sales engineering, customer support, and systems installation and maintenance is one of their biggest challenges. And a big part of that is finding qualified tech workers at affordable salaries.

As part of the 2021 Best States project, we take a look at the average salaries for tech workers in each of the 50 states, offering solution providers information they can use in making tech worker hiring decisions.

While some solution providers may prefer to hire tech employees to work in company offices – especially solution providers focused on specific geographic regions – the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that a distributed workforce with work-from-home employees can be productive. And increased use of cloud-based IT systems, by both solution providers and their customers, is enabling that trend.

Solution providers in high-cost states like Massachusetts and Washington, in interviews with CRN, said hiring tech workers in states with lower salaries is an increasingly feasible option. (There are even signs that increased hiring of remote workers is starting to push up salaries in low-wage states.)

Here we provide a ranking of the 10 states with the lowest average tech salaries, leading up to No. 1 – the state with the lowest average tech salary. We then list the 10 states with the highest average tech salaries.

(Keep in mind that this ranking is for solution providers looking to hire low-cost tech workers, so the No. 1 state has the lowest average annual salary while the state with the highest salary is No. 50. Tech workers looking for states where salaries are highest will, of course, see this list very differently: For them, the states ranked lowest are most beneficial because they pay the highest salaries.)

(Also keep in mind that the states with the lowest salaries are often far from the nation’s tech hubs and so may have downsides such as smaller pools of tech talent and lower levels of tech worker education and experience.)

The ranking is based on salary data from Visual Capitalist, which in August published the average salary for tech workers in each state. Visual Capitalist also calculated the average hourly wage for tech workers in each state.

To help solution providers gauge the relative size of the tech talent pool in each state, we’ve included statistics from the CompTIA Cyberstates 2021 report on tech jobs as a percent of each state’s total workforce.

This slide show is part of CRN’s 2021 Best States project that includes the Best States: The Challenge Of Finding Tech Talent In 2021 article, the state-by state ranking for finding tech talent, and a wide range of data about tech worker education, salaries and other statistics.

 
Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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