Zippia Advice

These Are The 10 Best States For Computer Programmers

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 10 months ago
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Programmers are one of the most common jobs in America. Additionally, a significant number of people work as programmers in every state in the union — it’s not like they are all just concentrated in California or the South.

Since programmers are such a prominent occupation, we at Zippia wanted to look at where programmers have it the best: where there are plenty of jobs to go around and people get paid what they deserve during every phase of their career.

To that end, we dove into the numbers from the BLS to figure out which states have the best opportunities for programmers.

After all the numbers had been crunched, we were left with this list of the best of best for America’s programmers:

  1. Washington
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. Virginia
  5. Missouri
  6. Minnesota
  7. North Carolina
  8. Texas
  9. Delaware
  10. Arkansas

So there you have it — Computer Programmers is the best of the best when it comes to being a programmer.

How did Computer Programmers end up here and does it really deserve this ranking? Read on to see how we completed our research on the best states for programmers and for more on the top ten states.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:

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How we determined the best states to be a programmer

Here at Zippia, we talk to a lot of people of all different backgrounds looking for jobs. Our research has concluded that there are two common things people want in a job:

  • Availability of jobs
  • Higher Pay

So in order to find out the best states for programmers in America we needed to figure out where the jobs are and how well programmers get paid. This led to the following criteria taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Employment Statistics for 2016:

  • Location quotient. A measure of how common a job is a given state.
  • Average annual salary.
  • Average annual salary for entry level work.
  • Average annual salary for experienced professionals.

To make all the salary numbers more apples to apples across states, we compared the salary data relative to the state’s cost of living.

Applying this standardization allows us to account for that fact that it costs more to live in certain in states. For example, the average salary for programmers in California is $92,380 and the average salary in Illinois is $83,350, but the Illinois salary actually goes further in paying for life’s essentials.

In order to develop and overall ranking, we ranked each state for each criteria from 1 to 50 where 1 was the best.

We then averaged all the rankings for a state into a Job Score with the state having the lowest overall Job Score earning the distinction of being the best state for programmers in America.

So without further ado, let’s get into just what made each state so great for programmers.

1. Washington

Best States For Programmers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 10,280
Average Annual Salary: $116,170
Average Entry Level Salary: $66,640
Average Experienced Salary: $160,760
Location Quotient: 1.73

2. Alabama

Best States For Programmers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 6,590
Average Annual Salary: $83,450
Average Entry Level Salary: $46,880
Average Experienced Salary: $127,310
Location Quotient: 1.78

3. Georgia

Best States For Programmers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 8,820
Average Annual Salary: $88,830
Average Entry Level Salary: $50,660
Average Experienced Salary: $130,960
Location Quotient: 1.08

4. Virginia

Best States For Programmers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 8,780
Average Annual Salary: $94,680
Average Entry Level Salary: $51,250
Average Experienced Salary: $144,810
Location Quotient: 1.21

5. Missouri

Best States For Programmers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 7,240
Average Annual Salary: $79,810
Average Entry Level Salary: $45,260
Average Experienced Salary: $118,530
Location Quotient: 1.36

6. Minnesota

Best States For Programmers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 7,180
Average Annual Salary: $88,080
Average Entry Level Salary: $51,610
Average Experienced Salary: $124,920
Location Quotient: 1.32

7. North Carolina

Best States For Programmers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 6,760
Average Annual Salary: $88,220
Average Entry Level Salary: $49,690
Average Experienced Salary: $131,140
Location Quotient: 0.83

8. Texas

Best States For Programmers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 20,430
Average Annual Salary: $85,210
Average Entry Level Salary: $41,970
Average Experienced Salary: $129,800
Location Quotient: 0.9

9. Delaware

Best States For Programmers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 900
Average Annual Salary: $86,200
Average Entry Level Salary: $55,260
Average Experienced Salary: $120,120
Location Quotient: 1.06

10. Arkansas

Best States For Programmers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 3,540
Average Annual Salary: $72,040
Average Entry Level Salary: $47,130
Average Experienced Salary: $100,110
Location Quotient: 1.54

There You Have It – The Best States To Be A Programmer

If you’re looking to start out your career as a programmer these are the states that should be at the top of your list. You’ll find high pay, available jobs, and chances for career advancement.

If you’re curious, here are the worst states to be a programmer in America:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Wyoming
  3. Maine

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best States For programmers

Rank State Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 Washington $116,170 $66,640 10,280
2 Alabama $83,450 $46,880 6,590
3 Georgia $88,830 $50,660 8,820
4 Virginia $94,680 $51,250 8,780
5 Missouri $79,810 $45,260 7,240
6 Minnesota $88,080 $51,610 7,180
7 North Carolina $88,220 $49,690 6,760
8 Texas $85,210 $41,970 20,430
9 Delaware $86,200 $55,260 900
10 Arkansas $72,040 $47,130 3,540
11 Nebraska $75,600 $42,470 2,850
12 Colorado $95,730 $54,400 2,930
13 Utah $78,210 $38,350 4,210
14 Illinois $83,350 $37,310 13,350
15 Pennsylvania $81,120 $46,160 13,030
16 New Mexico $80,190 $53,430 610
17 South Carolina $82,450 $44,710 3,320
18 Arizona $79,970 $42,340 4,700
19 Indiana $71,540 $42,490 4,340
20 Michigan $74,730 $43,280 3,730
21 Oklahoma $75,860 $38,970 1,610
22 Mississippi $72,210 $42,170 700
23 Tennessee $72,260 $41,240 4,110
24 Kansas $72,120 $40,680 1,910
25 Nevada $79,790 $44,880 1,880
26 Wisconsin $74,740 $42,060 5,660
27 Florida $75,700 $40,940 11,690
28 Massachusetts $95,510 $56,900 6,880
29 New Jersey $85,100 $45,820 13,080
30 Maryland $89,550 $52,510 5,300
31 Idaho $70,910 $42,360 660
32 Kentucky $72,630 $40,440 1,260
33 Connecticut $82,210 $52,240 5,850
34 Iowa $69,670 $42,330 1,330
35 Louisiana $69,130 $41,130 2,430
36 West Virginia $67,990 $37,900 630
37 Ohio $71,370 $39,600 5,460
38 California $92,380 $48,140 37,570
39 New York $88,520 $45,140 17,790
40 Oregon $77,780 $47,260 3,330
41 Alaska $90,640 $52,830 570
42 Rhode Island $77,190 $43,980 1,150
43 New Hampshire $74,110 $43,750 1,490
44 North Dakota $62,390 $41,580 570
45 South Dakota $53,070 $40,740 740
46 Vermont $69,480 $36,020 420
47 Maine $67,840 $39,460 810
48 Wyoming $60,650 $34,070 210
49 Hawaii $74,490 $50,860 510