The 10 Best and Worst STEM Job Markets

Two young scientists in the lab

A recent study from WalletHub offered a look at the best markets for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) professionals throughout the United States. The survey compared the top 100 metro areas across 20 metrics that included factors such as the number of job openings for those with STEM-based training, median salaries for such positions, the quantity and quality of engineering educational outlets, and lifestyle factors such as housing costs and availability.

According to the study, the top 10 metro areas for STEM professionals are as follows:

  1. Seattle, Washington
  2. Boston, Massachusetts
  3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. San Francisco, California
  6. Madison, Wisconsin
  7. Atlanta, Georgia
  8. Salt Lake City, Utah
  9. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  10. Cincinnati, Ohio

At the bottom end of the list were:

  • Toledo, Ohio
  • McAllen, Texas
  • Augusta, Georgia
  • Stockton, California
  • Deltona, Florida
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Jackson, Mississippi
  • North Port, Florida

Some other key findings included:

  • Atlanta has the most per-capita job openings for STEM graduates.
  • San Jose, California has the highest share of total STEM workers. 
  • The state of Washington has the highest number of projected STEM jobs by 2020, while the Provo-Orem, Utah, area is currently experiencing the strongest rate of STEM employment.
  • Houston has the highest annual median wage (adjusted for cost of living differences) for STEM workers, at $98,750. 
  • The Worcester, Massachusetts-Connecticut metro area was recognized as having the highest math scores.
  • The San Francisco Bay Area was shown to have the highest number of quality engineering schools.


Image credit: stefanolunardi /

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