St. Louis might be the gateway to higher tech pay — but not by much, according to a new nationwide snapshot analysis of tech industry jobs.
The Kansas City metro logged an average tech wage of $90,940 in 2017, falling slightly behind the St. Louis metro at $96,370, based on data released in the Cyberstates 2018 report from tech advocate CompTIA. The average industry wage for the State of Missouri was lower than both at $88,560. (Kansas was even further behind on tech pay with $81,840.)
Nationwide, the average annual wage for tech jobs is $112,890 — closest to Denver’s average pay at $112,780.
AVERAGE TECH • Dallas — $113,600 Across the Midwest and South, average tech industry wages tended to be $30,000 to $40,000 higher than the overall average local wage, according to Cyberstates 2018. Explore an interactive map here.
• Denver — $112,780
• Chicago — $102,570
• Minneapolis — $100,100
• St. Louis — $96,370
• Detroit — $96,060
• Kansas City — $90,940
• Milwaukee — $88,260
• Indianapolis — $85,490
• Cincinnati — $83,990
• Cleveland — $79,860
• Oklahoma City — $70,590
• Dallas — $113,600
Across the Midwest and South, average tech industry wages tended to be $30,000 to $40,000 higher than the overall average local wage, according to Cyberstates 2018. Explore an interactive map here.
Cyberstates 2018 is based on CompTIA’s analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, EMSI, Burning Glass Technologies Labor Insights, and other sources, CompTia said. Estimates for 2017 are subject to change as government data is revised and updated. To read the full report, click here.
While Kansas City’s average tech wages are less than those of its Show-Me State neighbor, the City of Fountains falls squarely in the middle among other non-coastal tech hubs. Fellow up-and-comer Memphis, for example, notched average tech pay of $72,490.
In stark contrast, San Francisco’s tech industry pay is nearly twice that of Kansas City’s at $179,620, according to the report, likely reflecting the Bay Area’s more advanced tech ecosystem as well as a higher cost of living. (San Francisco added 18,450 tech jobs in 2017 for a total of 375,700, the report said.)
On the incomparable Silicon Valley scene, tech pay averages even higher at $232,990, according to the report.
While daunting in terms of scale, not all talent is headed to the coasts, the Cyberstates 2018 analysis indicates. With a total of 99,300 Kansas City tech jobs, according to the report, the metro added 40 local positions from 2016 to 2017 (suggesting a possible slight self-correction of a trend noted in the recent KC Rising report, which showed a net loss of jobs between between 2015 and 2016).
St. Louis added 330 jobs in 2017 for a total of 103,700 across its metro area, the analysis states.
A recent Startland News Innovation Exchange event saw six panelists pondering how Midwestern cities like Kansas City can stop the exodus of talent to the coasts. Ideas frequently fell on the affordability and ease of travel in such “flyover” tech hubs.
“[In Kansas City,] we actually have a greater opportunity to develop our skills, better our talents, and really flex our muscles career-wise because of being a small market, but still having a large enough platform to be known nationally or globally,” said Spencer Hardwick, the founder of the Wire KC and chief of staff at Teach for America Kansas City.
That platform locally is substantial, according to CompTia, which found the Kansas City tech sector amounts to 9.2 percent of the city’s $10.8 billion economy.