These Are The 10 Highest Programmer Salaries By State

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 6 months ago
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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do programmers get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you, specifically, can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for programmers by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

To better understand how salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for programmers by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

The state with the best salary for programmers after this adjustment? That would be Computer Programmers.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for salaries:

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

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

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

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How we determined pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for programmers from the 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their ‘Occupational Employment Statistics.’

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $92380, so our index value would be:

$92,380 * (100 / 135.9) = $67,976

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for programmers.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Programmer Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 Washington $110,427 $116,170 105.2
2 Georgia $97,188 $88,830 91.4
3 North Carolina $93,951 $88,220 93.9
4 Texas $93,947 $85,210 90.7
5 Virginia $93,928 $94,680 100.8
6 Colorado $92,225 $95,730 103.8
7 Alabama $91,502 $83,450 91.2
8 Missouri $88,285 $79,810 90.4
9 Illinois $88,107 $83,350 94.6
10 Minnesota $87,380 $88,080 100.8
11 Oklahoma $85,044 $75,860 89.2
12 Delaware $85,009 $86,200 101.4
13 Utah $84,096 $78,210 93.0
14 Mississippi $84,062 $72,210 85.9
15 Michigan $83,966 $74,730 89.0
16 South Carolina $83,114 $82,450 99.2
17 New Mexico $83,098 $80,190 96.5
18 Arkansas $82,709 $72,040 87.1
19 Nebraska $82,532 $75,600 91.6
20 Arizona $81,602 $79,970 98.0
21 Tennessee $80,827 $72,260 89.4
22 Kentucky $80,254 $72,630 90.5
23 Kansas $80,222 $72,120 89.9
24 Pennsylvania $80,000 $81,120 101.4
25 Indiana $79,932 $71,540 89.5
26 Nevada $77,241 $79,790 103.3
27 Wisconsin $77,210 $74,740 96.8
28 Florida $77,009 $75,700 98.3
29 Idaho $76,992 $70,910 92.1
30 Iowa $76,560 $69,670 91.0
31 Ohio $76,087 $71,370 93.8
32 Louisiana $72,921 $69,130 94.8
33 West Virginia $72,794 $67,990 93.4
34 Massachusetts $71,596 $95,510 133.4
35 Maryland $71,354 $89,550 125.5
36 New Jersey $69,811 $85,100 121.9
37 Alaska $69,138 $90,640 131.1
38 California $67,976 $92,380 135.9
39 New York $67,572 $88,520 131.0
40 Oregon $67,283 $77,780 115.6
41 Wyoming $66,067 $60,650 91.8
42 Connecticut $64,377 $82,210 127.7
43 Rhode Island $63,951 $77,190 120.7
44 New Hampshire $63,341 $74,110 117.0
45 North Dakota $62,766 $62,390 99.4
46 Maine $61,227 $67,840 110.8
47 Vermont $57,374 $69,480 121.1
48 South Dakota $51,176 $53,070 103.7
49 Hawaii $44,365 $74,490 167.9

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