It's a real estate maxim that also applies to those who work in science and technology: Location, location, location.
Where you work, geographically speaking, can have a significant impact on the amount of your pay increases. Bloomberg Rankings examined U.S. metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 professionals working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM. It looked at their pay since 2008 and came up with the list below of the places with the biggest increases, based on the latest available data.
U.S. Metro Areas With the Biggest Pay Increases for STEM Jobs
- Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA -- $14,930, 18.8%
- Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX -- $13,017, 18.3%
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA -- $12,129, 12.4%
- San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA -- $11,602, 13.4%
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV -- $11,017, 12.9%
- Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ -- $9,548, 15.2%
- San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA -- $9,323, 12.8%
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA -- $9,250, 12.4%
- New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ -- $8,230, 10.9%
- Philadelphia, PA -- $7,681, 11.1%
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA -- $7,562, 11.2%
- Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO -- $5,615, 7.6%
- Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX -- $4,558, 6.3%
- Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL -- $4,462, 6.3%
- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI -- $4,257, 6.1%
- Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA -- $4,238, 5.4%
If you delve deeper into the data, you'll see that not all STEM jobs have benefited equally since 2008. For example, in the Seattle area, which saw the biggest gain in overall pay for STEM jobs, it was great to be employed in the computer and mathematics industries. Techies in that region saw their median pay grow about $17,000. But if you were working in the life, physical and social science fields, the median pay actually fell $30 to $64,570 in 2013. Let's hope those jobs were rewarding in other ways.
Here's a closer look at the pay of certain STEM occupations in several metro areas.