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You Could Make More Money Just by Moving

Your Guide to 2018 IT Salaries by State

If you’re worn out by daily road rage—how many middle fingers can you see in one day— or irked at the prospect of being taxed to death, maybe it’s time for a change. Future job opportunity, salary, cost of living and quality of life are a balancing act. We can’t tell you what to do, but we can let you know where IT professionals are making the highest average salaries in the U.S.

Whether you’re considering moving from Louisiana to Colorado to be closer to the ski slopes or maybe from Oregon to New Hampshire to be closer to family, we’ve compiled data from 6,269 U.S. respondents in the 2018 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report and calculated the average IT salary in each state. This gives you a sense of national trends if you’re thinking about moving for personal, professional or financial reasons.

But before you pack your bags and hire the movers, you can’t overlook differences in cost of living in each state or region ranging from housing values, state and local taxes and differences in food prices or commute costs among other things. Don’t forget that since we’re looking at averages, your individual results may vary.

Without further ado, here is your list of states (with the District of Columbia thrown in for good measure) and their average IT salaries for 2018:

 

Start Packing: States 1–10

These top 10 states (and yes, D.C., we know it’s a pain point you’re not a state) are the cream of the crop for both IT staff and decision-makers. These states represent the highest-reported average salaries from our pool of U.S. respondents. There’s a strong East Coast presence in this list, but this is a trend for top money-making states that’s continued over the years. It’s not breaking news. However, for those interested in warmer climates, take note of California in the number six slot. 

 

 2018 Rankings
1 Connecticut $105,327
2 Massachusetts $98,722
3 Maryland $98,268
4 New Jersey $98,028
5 Virginia $97,868
6 California $96,756
7 New Hampshire $95,496
8 Washington $94,136
9 District of Columbia $91,118
10 Utah $90,113

 

Still Impressive: States 11-20

The next 10 didn’t make the top money-making states but still consistent with the average salary reported by respondents. Colorado, No. 13 on the list, is the first state to average below the average U.S. IT salary of $87,333.

These states represent a diverse variety in geography spread throughout the country. So if you’re thinking of relocating in the hopes of a higher paycheck, the next state you move to might be closer than you think.

 

 2018 Rankings
11 Illinois $87,714
12 Texas $87,691
13 Colorado $87,323
14 Pennsylvania $87,312
15 Georgia $87,304
16 Rhode Island $86,757
17 New York $86,195
18 Michigan $85,802
19 North Carolina $85,662
20 Florida $84,975

 

Middle of the Pack: States 21-40

These states didn’t rank the highest in terms of average salary, but they didn’t rank the lowest. If you’re thinking of relocating or staying in one of these states, your earning could be below average for 2018 and possibly beyond. However, there are always extenuating circumstances to consider. Take Delaware for example. While it comes in at No. 34 on our list, you won’t pay sales tax as a consumer, so you might end up stretching your salary further than if you lived in Rhode Island (16th on our list), which has one of the second-highest statewide tax rates.

 

 2018 Rankings
21 Montana $84,135
22 South Carolina $83,945
23 Arizona $83,918
24 Nebraska $83,734
25 Minnesota $83,709
26 Kansas $82,753
27 Iowa $82,628
28 Indiana $82,391
29 Ohio $81,554
30 Vermont $80,672
31 Tennessee $79,182
32 Wisconsin $78,401
33 Kentucky $78,023
34 Delaware $76,499
35 Alabama $75,296
36 Maine $74,968
37 Missouri $73,716
38 Idaho $73,709
39 Oregon $73,124
40 Oklahoma $72,884

 

Back of the Pack: States 41-51

Although these states came in with the lowest average salary among respondents in 2018, it’s worth remembering the cost of living is lower in some of these areas. In that case, you’re likely to spend less of your hard-earned dollars on monthly bills, so you’ll have more cash to build savings or spend on something fun or frivolous if the spirit moves you. It’s also worth noting that Alaska, South Dakota, Nevada and Wyoming don’t collect income taxes.

 

 2018 Rankings
41 Louisiana $70,937
42 Hawaii $68,767
43 Nevada $68,621
44 Wyoming $68,275
45 Mississippi $67,451
46 North Dakota $64,147
47 West Virginia $63,392
48 New Mexico $62,907
49 Arkansas $62,907
50 South Dakota $58,876
51 Alaska $52,576

 

Although we can spot trends at this high level, it’s hard to judge what your potential earnings could be based on the state alone until you accept a position. If you’re considering locating to one of these states, find an online forum for professionals in your field and ask about state (or even city) average earnings.

 

Want to learn more?

To see additional data on demographics, job functions and other factors that impact salary, download the complete 11th annual IT Skills and Salary Report.