Technology salaries and technology job growth in Arizona are outpacing much of the nation, according to two new reports.

Metropolitan Phoenix is experiencing some of the fastest growth in the nation in tech wages, according to a new report, the Dice 2021 Tech Salary Report. In 2020, salaries increased 7.6 percent to an average $95,514, the data shows.

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That’s more than double the national average of 3.6 percent growth. It’s also not far behind the national average salary of $97,859.

As Phoenix jumped to seventh on the list of major cities with the fastest-growing tech salaries in 2020, the state also saw a 6.2 percent increase in technology job growth, according to a report by the Arizona Technology Council.

Steven G. Zylstra

Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the council, attributes much of the growth to the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for technology,” Zlystra said. “From digital tools and services designed to keep a remote workforce secure and connected, to medical devices critical to fighting the virus, the entire world has relied on technology to keep citizens safe and economies running over the past year.”

As a result, the industry is thriving globally, including in Arizona, he said.

“As our technology ecosystem continues to grow, there’s a greater demand for talent which drives salaries up,” Zylstra said.

Software leads the pack in contributing to higher pay 

Arizona’s software industry has been a key driver of the economy over the last few years, Zylstra said.

According to the most recent Greg’s List, a comprehensive list of software companies in major U.S. cities, Phoenix is now host to 698 software companies. That’s up 141 companies in less than a year.

Arizona has also succeeded in attracting a diverse array of industry leaders statewide including the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Nikola, Lucid Motors and Benchmark, Zylstra said.

Other tech industries fueling salary hikes in Arizona include:

• Advanced manufacturing

• Electric vehicles

• Aerospace and defense

• Health and bioscience

• Semiconductor

More jobs in manufacturing than in construction

As the tech industry has grown, there are now more jobs in manufacturing than in construction, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Last year, the state’s tech industry surpassed 2019 in a number of key growth metrics, according to the Arizona Technology Council’s recent fourth quarter 2020 Technology Impact Report.

Highlights from the report show:

• A 29 percent increase in STEM job postings

• A 6.2 percent increase in employment growth in technology

• A 4.3 percent rise year-over-year in the number of tech firms

Jobs, jobs and more jobs 

The impact report shows that the percentage increases in Arizona pushed the number of tech companies here up to 10,093 and tech jobs up to 201,740. In comparison, tech jobs in California only rose 2.1 percent in 2020.

For every 100 technology jobs created, 357 new jobs were created in other industries, Zylstra said.

“Significant headwinds associated with COVID-19 will continue to persist, but I am hopeful as I was last quarter the strength of Arizona’s tech industry will continue to grow,” Zylstra said. “That growth benefits employees, employers, and consumers in every industry in the state.”

What’s happening elsewhere 

The nation’s technologists in established and emerging tech hubs saw their salaries increase significantly during 2020, although the nation’s most prominent tech hubs are still the destination for workers seeking the highest salaries, according to the Dice report.

In New York City, the average technologist salary rose 11.6 percent between 2019 and 2020, hitting $114,274. Boston salaries have reached $111,069, while Silicon Valley’s average pay stands at $126,801, making it the highest-paying tech hub in the U.S.

Boston and Silicon Valley both achieved salary growth of 2.4 percent. In Austin, salaries rose 9.7 percent to $104,344 during the same period.

Emerging tech hubs also saw some of the highest growth during the year, including Charlotte with a 13.8 percent increase to $99,691, Orlando with a 13.4 percent increase to $88,598 and Detroit with a 7.7 percent increase to $90,110.

To view the Dice report on technology job salaries nationwide, go to: Dice 2021 Tech Salary Report.

To read more about the state of the technology industry in Arizona, visit: 2020 Technology Impact Report


This story was originally published at Chamber Business News.