Where the STEM Jobs Are

Texas is the land of opportunity for science, technology and math nerds

Texas is the land of opportunity for science, tech and math nerds

Kid Scientists for TEDxSMU
Young scientists have a bright future in Dallas and other Texas cities. Photo courtesy of Akitv I Oslo.no/Flickr

Math and science nerds may not have been the most popular in high school, but their passions are paying off. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) job is almost $80,000 — nearly 71 percent higher than the national annual average wage across all occupations and industries.

So where are these STEM graduates finding jobs? In Texas, of course.

According to a new survey from fellow nerds at Nerdwallet.com, Austin, Houston and Dallas are among the top places in the nation for science and technology job seekers. To determine the rankings, the number crunchers looked at annual mean wage for STEM occupations, median gross rent and STEM occupations as a percentage of all jobs in 75 metro areas across the country.

Houston ranked No. 4 on the list, while Austin landed at No. 6. Dallas fell just outside the top 10 at No. 11. Although our fair city clocked in lower than its Lone Star State counterparts, Dallas did best Austin in two out of three categories: salary and rent.

In Austin, STEM grads can expect to make about $79,433, and rent costs $978 a month. Meanwhile in Dallas, the mean salary is $81, 215 and pay just $877 a month for rent. Houston has the best of both worlds with a mean STEM salary of $94,766 and average rent of $873.

It's harder to find a STEM job in the Bayou City, however, as they make up just 7 percent of all occupations. Dallas fares slightly better at 7.5 percent, while Austin offers the most chances for tech employment with 9.8 percent of all jobs classified as STEM.

The only state better than Texas for STEM graduates is California, which had four cities in the top 20: San Jose (No. 1), San Francisco (No. 5), Sacramento (No. 15) and San Diego (No. 20).