Special Report

Ann Arbor, MI Has One of the Biggest High-Tech Industries in the Country

EvgeniyShkolenko / iStock via Getty Images

America’s high-tech sector has been a key driver of economic growth in recent years – and this will likely continue. STEM fields – those in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – are critical for the U.S. to remain competitive globally. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which refers to STEM careers as “tomorrow’s jobs,” employment in STEM occupations is projected to grow by 10.5% between 2020 and 2030, compared to 7.5% growth in non-STEM jobs.

Workers in high-tech industries also tend to be better compensated than those working in other sectors. The typical worker in a STEM occupation earned $95,420 in 2021, more than double the median wage of $40,120 in non-STEM jobs.

While demand for STEM workers is growing nationwide, high-tech jobs tend to be concentrated in some major cities. In the Ann Arbor metro area, located in Michigan, jobs in high-tech industries account for 10.8% of overall employment compared to 9.5% of all employment nationwide. The most concentrated high-tech occupation in the metro area, relative to the U.S. as a whole, is scientific research and development services.

Jobs in STEM fields are generally well-paying, and those in the Ann Arbor area are no exception. The average annual pay among occupations in STEM fields in the area stands at $142,542, about 2.1 times higher than the average pay across all occupations in the metro area.

All data used in this story is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Metro areas were ranked based on employment in industries defined as “high-tech” by the BLS as a percentage of total employment. The BLS defines high-tech industries as those with a concentration of STEM occupations at least 2.5 times greater than their average concentration nationwide in goods-producing and service-providing industries.


Rank Metro area Share of jobs in high-tech industries (%) Adult residents with a 4-yr. degree or higher (%) Average annual pay in STEM fields ($)
1 Boulder, CO 25.0 63.0 146,158
2 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 22.8 52.5 416,830
3 California-Lexington Park, MD 22.5 32.0 233,720
4 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 19.7 50.7 229,896
5 Huntsville, AL 17.6 39.8 190,484
6 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 17.1 43.6 381,524
7 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 16.4 30.9 106,139
8 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH 14.8 48.9 177,997
9 San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 14.8 39.5 136,494
10 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 14.1 44.7 141,713
11 Manchester-Nashua, NH 13.3 38.6 151,926
12 Austin-Round Rock, TX 13.2 46.0 156,335
13 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 12.8 42.7 131,741
14 Trenton, NJ 11.9 43.5 196,740
15 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 11.6 39.5 123,035
16 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 11.1 41.0 128,428
17 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 10.9 48.9 189,069
18 Pittsburgh, PA 10.8 35.9 147,225
19 Ann Arbor, MI 10.8 56.7 142,542
20 St. Louis, MO-IL 10.5 35.4 124,487


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