Utah ranks in top 10 best states for working in tech industry, new research says


Adobe employees walk through the Lehi office on March 23, 2016. Utah is the ninth best state to work in the tech industry, according to a new study by document management company SmallPDF. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY – Utah has a long history of making a name for itself in the technology industry, with Silicon Slopes boasting companies such as Adobe, Microsoft, Domo and Oracle.

Now it can add another accolade to its list: a place in the top 10 best states to work in technology.

Utah ranks #9 according to a new study by document management company SmallPDF.

According to a press release, it analyzed data such as salaries, employment rates and vacancies to create its list.

Utah gets its ranking due to a high concentration of existing tech jobs in the state, with 39.09 jobs per 1,000 tech positions, according to SmallPDF analysis. Additionally, there are 62.38 tech job openings per 100,000 people.

The company also found that the average annual salary in Utah tech jobs is $86,600, with 27.1% of that salary going toward rent. To determine that percentage, SmallPDF weighed the average annual salary against the state’s average annual rent, the press release said.

Utah’s technical prowess was showcased at last year’s Silicon Slopes Summit. Trent Kaufman, CEO of Cicero, presented data collected in collaboration with BYU showing that “what we have in Utah is a total talent war that’s going on”; while Apple CEO Tim Cook told Senator Mike Lee during a fireside chat that he sees in Utah’s tech companies people who want to change the world.

Just behind Utah in the ranking is Nebraska with an average tech job salary of $81,090, of which 17.55% goes to rent; 32.63 tech jobs per 1,000 jobs; and 52.4 tech job openings per 100,000 population.

At the top are Virginia at #1, Maryland at #2, and Washington at #3.

Virginia’s average annual salary for technicians, according to SmallPDF research, is $110,510, with 21.68% going toward rent. The state has 58.44 tech jobs per 1,000 jobs and 128.97 tech jobs per 100,000 people.

Maryland is $110,790, of which 19.97% is rent; and Washington is $124,000, with 21.24% going towards rent. Maryland has 54.35 tech jobs per 1,000 jobs and 116.27 open tech jobs per 100,000 people. Washington has 59.32 tech jobs per 1,000 people and 61.69 tech jobs per 100,000 people.

The other top 10 states, ranking fourth through eighth, are Colorado, Massachusetts, Delaware, Minnesota and New Jersey.

SmallPDF also noted that Mississippi is the worst state to work in the tech industry, with an average annual salary of $70,870, the press release said; 11,857 tech jobs per 1,000 jobs; and 16.03 tech job openings per 100,000 population.

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