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Tuesday, October 2, 2012


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Occupational Employment and Wages for Computer Specialists in North Carolina's Metropolitan Areas – May 2011

Applications software developers and computer systems analysts each had lower wages in 11 of the 15 metropolitan areas in North Carolina in May 2011, while computer support specialists had lower wages in 10 areas. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that among applications software developers, only two metropolitan areas in the state, Wilmington and Asheville, reported wages significantly higher than the nation for this occupation. Nationwide, the average annual wage for computer support specialists was $51,820, while applications software developers earned $92,080, and computer systems analysts earned $82,320. (See table A. For comprehensive definitions of metropolitan areas in North Carolina, please see Technical Note.)

Table A. Average (mean) annual wages for selected computer specialists occupations in the United States and metropolitan areas in North Carolina, May 2011
Area Computer Support Specialists Software Developers, Applications Computer Systems Analysts

United States

$51,820 $92,080 $82,320

North Carolina

53,150* 89,520* 81,820*


40,750* 96,390* 63,480*


57,970* 79,400* 85,550*

Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill

55,970* 90,770* 88,070*

Durham-Chapel Hill

65,580* 87,780* 80,070*


48,500* 83,940* 68,240*


40,270* -- 82,560

Greensboro-High Point

48,200* 92,640 77,670*


47,190* 89,790* 67,830*


42,740* 85,250* 67,160*


51,570 80,890* 99,910*


53,710* 90,590* 81,890*

Rocky Mount

45,400* 62,050* 70,860*

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News

51,380* 76,830* 80,280*


39,700* 110,560* 72,450*


47,430* 85,680* 78,420*

(*) The mean annual wage for this area is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

-- Estimate not released.

Of the 15 metropolitan areas in North Carolina, Raleigh-Cary had nearly 25 percent of the state's computer support specialists (5,290), and 30 percent of the state's applications software developers (4,710). The Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill metropolitan area had 4,860 computer systems analysts, or 35-percent of the state's total for this occupation. Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill accounted for 28 percent (14,280) of the state's employment for these three occupations, while Raleigh-Cary accounted for 26 percent (13,080). Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News (8,900) and Durham-Chapel Hill (8,160) were the only other metropolitan areas where combined employment in the three selected occupations exceeded 8,000. (See table B.)

Table B. Employment for selected computer specialists occupations in the United States and metropolitan areas in North Carolina, May 2011
Area Computer Support Specialists Software Developers, Applications Computer Systems Analysts

United States

632,490 539,880 487,740

North Carolina

21,820 15,520 13,850


470 190 160


410 320 60

Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill

5,200 4,220 4,860

Durham-Chapel Hill

3,360 2,890 1,910


510 110 140


130 -- --

Greensboro-Hight Point

1,520 1,430 1,010


360 60 120


240 80 160


250 -- --


5,290 4,710 3,080

Rocky Mount

240 40 70

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News

3,350 2,330 3,220


530 70 170


810 400 720

-- Estimate not released.

Wages for computer support specialists in metropolitan areas in North Carolina

Durham-Chapel Hill was the highest-paying metropolitan area in North Carolina for computer support specialists at $65,580, significantly above the national average. Three other areas, Burlington, Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, and Raleigh-Cary had wages above the national average. Wilmington ($39,700) was among the lowest-paying areas in the state for this occupation, at about $12,000 below the national average. Three of the four highest paying metropolitan areas for computer support specialists were located near the capital city of Raleigh. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. Mean annual wages for computer support specialists, by area, North Carolina, May 2011

Wages for applications software developers in metropolitan areas in North Carolina

The Wilmington metropolitan area paid the highest annual wage ($110,560) in the state for applications software developers, about $18,000 higher than the national average. Four other areas had wages above $90,000. At the bottom end of the wage scale was Rocky Mount where applications software developers were paid $62,050 annually, roughly $30,000 below the national average. The metropolitan areas with above average wages for applications software developers were spread geographically throughout the state. (See chart 2.)

Chart 2. Mean annual wages for software developers, applications, by area, North Carolina, May 2011

Wages for computer systems analysts in metropolitan areas in North Carolina

At $99,910, Jacksonville was the highest-paying metropolitan area in North Carolina for computer systems analysts. Two other areas, Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill ($88,070), and Burlington ($85,550) had wages above the national average. Computer systems analysts in Asheville had one of the lowest wages for this occupation in the state at $63,480. The metropolitan areas with computer systems analysts recording wages below the national average were spread geographically throughout the state. (See chart 3.)

Chart 3. Mean annual wages for computer systems analysts, by area, North Carolina, May 2011

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between the BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the South Carolina Dept of Employment and Workforce, the North Carolina Labor Market Information Division, and the Virginia Employment Commission. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and nearly 800 non-military detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas.

OES wage and employment data for selected computer occupations in the state and metropolitan areas were compared to their respective national averages based on statistical significance testing. Only those occupations with wages or employment shares above or below the national wage or share after testing for significance at the 90-percent confidence level meet the criteria.

NOTE: A value that is statistically different from another does not necessarily mean that the difference has economic or practical significance. Statistical significance is concerned with the ability to make confident statements about a universe based on a sample. It is entirely possible that a large difference between values is not significantly different statistically, while a small difference is, since both the size and heterogeneity of the sample affect the relative error of the data being tested.

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual mail survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands also are surveyed, but their data are not included in the national estimates. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 establishments in May and November of each year for a 3-year period. The nationwide response rate for the May 2011 survey was 77.3 percent based on establishments and 73.3 percent based on employment. May 2011 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, November 2009, May 2009, and November 2008. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

Nearly all the occupations in this release are 2010 SOC occupations; however, some are not. The May 2012 OES data will reflect the full set ofdetailed occupations in the 2010 SOC. For a list of all occupations, including 2010 SOC occupations, and how data collectedon two structures were combined, see the OES Frequently AskedQuestions online at

OES data by state and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan area are available from and, respectively.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; TDD message referral phone number: 1-800-877-8339.

Metropolitan area definitions

The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Asheville, N.C. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, and Madison Counties in North Carolina.

Burlington, N.C. MSA includes Alamance County in North Carolina.

Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, N.C.-S.C. MSA includes Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Mecklenburg, and Union Counties in North Carolina, and York County in South Carolina.

Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. MSA includes Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Person Counties in North Carolina.

Fayetteville, N.C. MSA includes Cumberland and Hoke Counties in North Carolina.

Goldsboro, N.C. MSA includes Wayne County in North Carolina

Greensboro-High Point, N.C. MSA includes Guilford, Randolph, and Rockingham Counties in North Carolina.

Greenville, N.C. MSA includes Greene and Pitt Counties in North Carolina.

HIckory-Lenoir-Morgantown, N.C. MSA includes Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties in North Carolina.

Jacksonville, N.C. MSA includes Onslow County in North Carolina.

Raleigh-Cary, N.C. MSA includes Franklin, Johnston, and Wake Counties in North Carolina.

Rocky Mount, N.C. MSA includes Edgecombe and Nash Counties in North Carolina.

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-N.C. MSA includes Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Surry, and York Counties in Virginia, and Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg Cities of Virginia, and Currituck County in North Carolina.

Wilimington, N.C. MSA includes Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender Counties in North Carolina

Winston-Salem, N.C. MSA includes Davie, Forsyth, Stokes, and Yadkin North Carolina.

Last Modified Date: October 31, 2012