The best area for STEM professionals named (and it's not the one you think)

San Francisco didn't make the cut as one of the top metro areas for STEM employees. San Francisco didn't make the cut as one of the top metro areas for STEM employees. Bernard Spragg

If you're a STEM professional in the City by the Bay, you may be in for a shock as WalletHub ranks the best and worst metro areas for STEM professionals.

A STEM professional is typically a white-collared worker in the science, technology, engineering, or mathematics fields (or a combination thereof).  STEM positions typically pay much higher than non-STEM jobs, as WalletHub Communication Manager Diana Popa points out.

"STEM workers earning an average annual wage of $87,570, nearly double the average of $45,700 for all non-STEM jobs," she says.

So, where are the best and worst places to live with that nice paycheck coming your way?  WalletHub compared America's 100 biggest metro areas across 17 key metrics and came up with a list of the ten best and worst of the bunch.  Among other factors, they looked at data sets ranging from per-capita job openings for STEM graduates to annual median wage growth for workers.

Without further ado:

Best Metro Areas for STEM Professionals   Worst Metro Areas for STEM Professionals
1 Seattle, WA   91 Stockton, CA  
2 Boston, MA   92 Oxnard, CA  
3 Pittsburgh, PA   93 McAllen, TX  
4 Austin, TX   94 Lakeland, FL  
5 Minneapolis, MN   95 Deltona, FL  
6 Madison, WI   96 Little Rock, AR  
7 Salt Lake City, UT   97 Cape Coral, FL  
8 Springfield, MA   98 Memphis, TN  
9 Chicago, IL   99 North Port, FL  
10 Atlanta, GA   100 Jackson, MS  

For those wondering about the Bay Area and its infamous Silicon Valley, San Jose wound up with the highest share of all workers in STEM occupations.  Nearly 22 percent of the greater San Jose area work in STEM fields.  That's almost 13 times higher than the 1.7 percent found in McAllen, Texas, the metro area with the lowest percentage.  Furthermore, Washington state shows the highest projected number of STEM jobs needed per capita by 2020 at slightly less than 15 percent, which is nearly 14 times higher than Las Vegas.  Sin City's had the lowest projection with a paltry one percent of new STEM jobs being added by 2020.

To view the entire WalletHub report, click on over to their website and see the rest of the rankings.

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