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Texas Salary Trends Now

Jobs are bigger in Texas right now, that’s for sure. Over the past year, Texas added jobs in all of the 11 major industries, including professional and business services, trade, transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality, education and health services, construction, mining and logging, government, financial activities, information and manufacturing. But what about salaries? Are they growing, too? We revisit data from WANTED Analytics™ and compare our findings from last year’s 2013 Texas Salary Trends article. The data—collected by measuring conditions in local job markets and compiling the data based on online job postings aggregated from more than 2,000 sites—shows some interesting changes.

 

The Big Picture

The Texas job marketing continues to outpace the national average. For now, salaries remain relatively affordable. But the gap may soon be closing. Senior positions in demand throughout the state include project managers, Java developers and software engineers, with a median salary for these positions averaging about $80k (roughly only $4k less than the national median). Let’s take a look at some of our state’s top jobs for a better view.

 

Finance and Accounting: Raking It In

If you’re in the business of hiring finance and accounting staff in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you already know it pays to be a DFW accountant. Since our 2013 report, Fort Worth-Arlington ranked third place on Forbes’ Cities Winning the Battle for Finance Jobs. What you may find surprising are the rankings of other Texas metro areas. Swooping in at number four is San Antonio-New Braunfels with a nearly 10 percent finance-related job growth since 2009. The Alamo City and its “sleepy” college town side kick even knocked Dallas-Plano-Irving to number six. In all, this is good news for the Texas economy. Between 2007 and 2012, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco lost a combined 40,000 finance jobs to the Lone Star State and other emerging financial hubs.

So how does this affect finance and accounting salaries in Texas? Since we last reported in February 2013, DFW accounting salaries have remained quite steady with a median of $80,450. The Houston metro is in the same boat, with a slightly higher median at $86,150. However, these two cities also rank high on accounting jobs that are harder to fill (including senior accountants), so competition remains high. Accountants with a CPA certification remain the most in-demand finance professionals in the state. The hiring scale in the San Antonio-New Braunfels area is rising, while the salary range remains quite low at $52k–88k. This, perhaps, will need to change as jobs pick up speed and outpace talent. One example of this is the Texas city that appears to outrank all others on accounting salaries: Laredo, where the median CPA salary is $98k with a range of $84k-112k. Of course, that’s based on just a few dozen position compared to thousands in the other metros.

Here’s a “heat map” data chart from WANTED Analytics showing how the rest of the region stacks up against the DFW accounting market:

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A Tale of Two Engineering Fields

Recruiting engineers in Texas right now is no picnic. Of course, the field is extremely broad and is dominated (in Texas, at least) by two major industries: technology and energy. From software and systems engineers to project, process, and mechanical engineers, let’s take a look at how some of these jobs and their salaries are shaking out.

Software engineers remain in high demand. Highest on the wish list for those hiring? Candidates certified in Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TSSCI). These professionals have some of the highest salaries among software engineers with the Texas-wide salary range of $52k-118k. While Austin, ranks extremely high on demand for software engineers, its salary range remains quite low compared to Texas and, certainly, nationwide numbers. Salary range for a software engineer in Austin is $59k-110k, with a median of $84,600. However, employers in Austin aren’t necessarily looking for TSSCI certified candidates. Instead, Project Management Professionals (PMPs) are scoring some of the highest salaries in Austin.

Turning to an entirely different engineering field, Southeast Texas still remains the epicenter for project, mechanical, electrical and process engineer hiring. Once again, thanks to the energy boom in Texas, engineering is one of the only fields we reviewed in which the salary requirements in Texas surpass those nationally. In the Houston-Sugarland-Baytown area, engineers are paid about $20k more than the national average, as shown below:

Hiring engineers in Beaumont remains big business. Process engineers are highest in demand here, with a median salary of $97,600. That’s an increase of about $7k since we last reported in 2013.

Improve Your Focus

With such nuanced shifts in competition for job candidates both statewide and nationwide, it’s important to dive deep into salary specifics, whether it’s for recruiting or retention. Staffing specialists can offer in-depth salary analysis to help ensure what you’re offering will:

  1. Attract the right candidates
  2. Get your job offer accepted
  3. Keep top talent on board long term

Have you seen a shift in candidate attitudes toward salaries in certain positions? How confident are you that your salary offers are, and will remain, relevant as Texas rolls through another year at the top of the job market?

 

Main Image Copyright: semmickphoto / 123RF Stock Photo

Data charts courtesy of WANTED Analytics

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