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Texas Salary Trends: Focusing on 2020

We sat down with the CareerBuilder team to dive into job trends and salary predictions for the Texas job market. What we found was truly eye-opening. From now until 2020, Texas is expected to add more than 1.2 million jobs, increasing the amount of jobs available in the state by 9 percent. That’s nearly double the expected national average.

You might assume this expected job growth is directly connected to the state’s energy sectors or perhaps tied strongly to technology jobs. When, in fact, CareerBuilder data indicates the largest growing fields for jobs will be in restaurants and food industry, education and—perhaps no surprise—healthcare and home health services.

That being said, jobs across the board will be expanding. And, while the population in Texas is expanding as well, the job market is expected to continue to outpace the availability of candidates, further driving up the salary in many fields.

We chose to take a closer look at three top areas important to The HT Group’s client base: engineering jobs, accounting jobs and software development jobs. Again, with the help of the CareerBuilder Team and their propriety mix of data sources and calculations, here’s what we found from now until the year 2020.


The race to hire engineers will pick up speed once more with an expected 9 percent increase in engineering jobs from now until 2020, both nationwide and in Texas. What types of engineers are in highest demand? Take a look at the percentage breakdown for 2015:

Percentage of Total Jobs in Industry (2015)

Civil Engineers


Mechanical Engineers


Civil Engineering Technicians


Architectural and Civil Drafters


Electrical Engineers



Civil engineers are at the top of the list and their salaries are notable as well, averaging $94K statewide. However, the actual compensation for civil engineers throughout the state varies widely.  More than one-third is paid less than $70K annually, with a typical civil engineer in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area receiving less than $68K annually. It appears to be Houston civil engineers who “throw off the curve,” averaging more than $99K annually.

Compare those numbers to Texas mechanical engineers who make a slightly lower $92K, on average. However, more Texas mechanical engineers make at or above the statewide average, especially in areas where oil and gas reign supreme like Houston, Beaumont-Port Arthur, and Corpus Christi.

For both civil engineers and mechanical engineers, the top paid positions in Texas appear to be commonly staffed by executive search firms. A trend toward using executive search firms for both civil engineers and mechanical engineers at or above the average salary may be linked to the high competition in filling these types of white collar engineering jobs in Texas.


From now until 2020, growth in Texas jobs for accountants and auditors is expected to notably outpace the national average (10 percent job growth compared to 6 percent), with employers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area leading the charge. These jobs include cost accountants, tax accountants, payroll accountants, tax preparers, staff accountants, internal auditors, information technology auditors (IT auditors), revenue tax specialist, internal audit directors and financial auditors.

As far as salary goes, Southeast Texas accountants join those in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as the big winners. Houston accountants are by far the best paid while Beaumont accountants and Port Arthur accountants receive nearly as much as their Dallas/Fort Worth colleagues. The statewide average is around $68K.

Here’s how the top five areas compare:

Average Salary for Accountants (2013-15)

Houston Area


Dallas/Fort Worth Area


Beaumont-Port Arthur Area


San Antonio Area


Austin Area



Software developers

It may come as no surprise that Texas is adding software development jobs at a higher rate than the national average. By 2020, Texas is expected to grow software development jobs by 14 percent while national growth is expected to be 12 percent.

Austin doesn’t often win on compensation for white collar jobs but, as expected, the capital city certainly does come out on top when it comes to compensating software developers. Average salaries for Austin software developers outpace the statewide average by more than $11K annually. Dallas/Fort Worth software developers are also compensated just slightly more than other Texas software developers, while Houston software developers receive compensation that’s right on target.

What may be most interesting when it comes to software developer salary trends is in how the trends relate to experience and education. In the data we analyzed with CareerBuilder, the top paid software developers have 3-5 years of experience. In fact, developers in this experience bracket earned more than their colleagues with 10, 15, even 20 years of experience.

Additionally, those with vocational degrees earn a markedly lower salary than even software developers with high school degrees alone. In fact, high school degreed software developers earn an average $72K while vocational degreed software developers earn an average $48K.

In digging deeper, we found that about 1 in 10 software developers have either a high school diploma alone or some college experience but no degree. Perhaps this is in line with what some experts have started touting, that “coders” don’t need a degree to prove coding ability, as The Wall Street Journal points out.

What Would You Like to Know?

We chose to shine a spotlight here on some of our more popular staffing and executive search jobs. However, we’re happy to cover others or help you investigate specific job and salary trends one-on-one. Let us know how we can help.


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