U.S. tech workers by the numbers
Median earnings for computer and math jobs rose 2.8% between 2010 and 2011
Computerworld – Median earnings for computer and math jobs rose 2.8% between 2010 and 2011 to $70,594, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data includes salaries for occupations like math teachers and statisticians as well as those working in IT.
[Also see Computerworld's 2012 Salary Survey for additional data on IT wages by category, region and more]
Median earnings by job type
Job category 2010 2011 Change
Computer and math $68,672 $70,594 2.8%
Architecture and engineering $69,653 $70,504 1.2%
Life, physical, and social science $52,174 $53,069 1.7%
All computer, engineering and science $66,268 $67,402 1.7%
All civilian employed $31,728 $32,096 1.2%
Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2010 and 2011
While that may sound somewhat paltry, it’s a larger increase than the 1.7% for all computer, engineering and science occupations and 1.2% for U.S. jobs across all sectors.
Women holding computer and math jobs earned 85% of what their male counterparts did, with median earnings of $62,155 vs. $70,594. That’s down from 89% in 2010. However, it’s not clear from this data whether that’s because more women tend to hold lower-paying jobs within those fields; whether they have fewer average years in the workforce; or whether there is unequal pay for similar work.
2011 female and male median earnings
Job category Women Men Pct
Computer and math $62,155 $73,063 85.1%
Architecture and engineering $57,758 $71,945 80.3%
Life, physical, and social science $49,307 $59,773 82.5%
All computer, engineering and science $57,354 $71,421 80.3%
All civilian employed $27,225 $37,935 71.8%
Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey
The percent of tech workers in the American workforce stayed constant from 2010 to 2011 at 5.2%, with a margin of error at 0.1%. Unlike the census undertaken every 10 years, which aims to question every U.S. household, the yearly ACS surveys a sample of 50,000 or so and asks more detailed questions about demographics, occupation and earnings. Tech worker is defined as anyone in computer, engineering and science occupations.
Washington, D.C. had the highest proportion of techies in its workforce at 10.3%, followed by Maryland (8.6%) and Virginia (7.8%), all likely related to the federal government. Massachusetts had the highest percent of tech workers outside the D.C. area at 7.5%, followed by Washington state and Colorado, each at 7.4%.
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