Which cities offer engineers the greatest combined opportunities and compensation?

To determine the best cities for engineers, personal finance site NerdWallet looked at 350 of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., analysing the size of the engineering industry therein using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as annual mean salary for engineers, and media gross rent.

“All 20 locations have larger engineering industries than the national average of 12 engineers for every 1,000 employees,” states the report. “Engineers in 13 of our top 20 places earn more than the national mean engineering salary, which is $92,170, and 14 places have lower median rents than the average U.S. metro area, which is $905 per month.”

Many of these cities are concentrated in warmer climes. Six of the top 10 and 11 of the top 20 cities on this ranking are in the south, with northern locales in Michigan, Ohio, and Washington also joining the top 10.

At the top of the list is “The Rocket City” Huntsville, Alabama. The city is home to a NASA flight centre and an Army arsenal, and scores big with the trifecta of a high concentration of engineers, a high average salary of $102,766.07, and low median gross rent of $725 per month.

No. 1 Huntsville, Alabama Engineers per 1,000 employees: 60.771 Mean engineering salary: $102,766.07 Median gross rent: $725

No. 1 Huntsville, Alabama
Engineers per 1,000 employees: 60.771
Mean engineering salary: $102,766.07
Median gross rent: $725

Number two is Warner Robbins, Georgia. Engineers make up 4% of the working population in Warner Robins, though they earn the lowest mean salary, $86,000, of those in any city on this list.

No. 2 Warner Robins, Georgia Engineers per 1,000 employees: 38.947 Mean engineering salary: $86,386.73 Median gross rent: $805

No. 2 Warner Robins, Georgia
Engineers per 1,000 employees: 38.947
Mean engineering salary: $86,386.73
Median gross rent: $805

In third place is the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville area of Florida. Telecommunications company Harris Corporation and semiconductor manufacturer Intersil Corporation are both headquartered in the region, employing thousands locally. Engineers in this part of the Sunshine State earn nearly $94,000 annually, paying median gross rent of $876.

No. 3 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida Engineers per 1,000 employees: 33.874 Mean engineering salary: $93,725.15 Median gross rent: $876

No. 3 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida
Engineers per 1,000 employees: 33.874
Mean engineering salary: $93,725.15
Median gross rent: $876

Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Michigan is one of the few northern metros in the top 10, landing on the list due mainly to its proximity to Detroit and the auto industry. GM and Chrysler claim facilities in Warren, while Nissan and Hitachi Automotive Systems America have plants in Farmington Hills.

No. 4 Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Michigan Engineers per 1,000 employees: 34.038 Mean engineering salary: $87,001.51 Median gross rent: $829

No. 4 Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Michigan
Engineers per 1,000 employees: 34.038
Mean engineering salary: $87,001.51
Median gross rent: $829

The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area of California rounds out the top five. Engineers in this region account for 4% of the working population and earn nearly $120,000 per year. The area also claims the highest rent of any city on the top 10, with residents paying median gross rent of $1,640 each month.

No. 5 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California Engineers per 1,000 employees: 44.877 Mean engineering salary: $119,709.53 Median gross rent: $1,640

No. 5 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
Engineers per 1,000 employees: 44.877
Mean engineering salary: $119,709.53
Median gross rent: $1,640

The following are the cities on the lower half of the list.

No. 6 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas Engineers per 1,000 employees: 21.859 Mean engineering salary: $122,970.20 Median gross rent: $886

No. 6 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas
Engineers per 1,000 employees: 21.859
Mean engineering salary: $122,970.20
Median gross rent: $886

No. 7 Midland, Texas Engineers per 1,000 employees: 20.441 Mean engineering salary: $141,628.76 Median gross rent: $1,088

No. 7 Midland, Texas
Engineers per 1,000 employees: 20.441
Mean engineering salary: $141,628.76
Median gross rent: $1,088

No. 8 Decatur, Alabama Engineers per 1,000 employees: 20.249 Mean engineering salary: $96,229.35 Median gross rent: $589

No. 8 Decatur, Alabama
Engineers per 1,000 employees: 20.249
Mean engineering salary: $96,229.35
Median gross rent: $589

No. 9 Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Washington Engineers per 1,000 employees: 23.334 Mean engineering salary: $103,604.13 Median gross rent: $833

No. 9 Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Washington
Engineers per 1,000 employees: 23.334
Mean engineering salary: $103,604.13
Median gross rent: $833

No. 10 Dayton, Ohio Engineers per 1,000 employees: 21.298 Mean engineering salary: $91,479.78 Median gross rent: $733

No. 10 Dayton, Ohio
Engineers per 1,000 employees: 21.298
Mean engineering salary: $91,479.78
Median gross rent: $733

 

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This article originally appeared in Forbes.




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