Who wins $ 200,000? Here are the industries in Pittsburgh with the highest incomes

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Pittsburgh’s top paying industries have changed a lot over the past 10 years.

Over the past decade, Pittsburgh has cemented its transition from an industrial, institution-centric city to a city with a diversity of economic drivers in tech, real estate, medicine and more. again, and the best employees in town are reflecting this change.

This is according to census data compiled by Technically define the industries producing the most workers earning at least $ 200,000 in several cities. See the full series here.

While we have reported on the influence of the tech industry on these income trends, well known for their higher entry incomes, the highest paying industries provide some insight into how this growth is shaping up. is produced and what may follow.

An important note about this data is that some of the companies that we generally think of as “tech” overlap with other industries. For example, a financial technology company might be listed under the banking category or the computer systems design category. Same deal for a biotechnology start-up: is it medical or technological? These are questions we don’t necessarily have the answers to, so it’s best to keep this context in mind.

We collected this data with the help of a data reporter and defined high earners as those who earn more than $ 200,000 in salary per year, which is the required threshold become an accredited angel investor. (Check out the methodology on GitHub.)

Here are the top industries in Pittsburgh for those earning salaries of $ 200,000 or more in 2009:

Top Profitable Industries in Pittsburgh in 2009. (Table from Technical.ly)

Medical hospitals were the most lucrative industry that year, thanks in large part to the multiple healthcare systems put in place here, such as UPMC, Allegheny Health Network and more. Topping the list were also higher education institutions and legal services – again, not surprisingly given the number of universities concentrated here and the generally higher salaries for lawyers.

Note the technology, or the design of computer systems and related services, in # 10.

Now here is the same data 10 years later:

Pittsburgh’s Top Profitable Industries in 2019 (Table from Technical.ly)

Industries related to medicine and education remain in the lead, but real estate has made its way into the top 10, as has oil and gas extraction, possibly due to the increased use of fracking. hydropower in the region over the past decade. The tech industry – that’s the design of computer systems – also rose in the rankings, becoming the seventh most likely place to find employees earning more than $ 200,000, from 2.47% in 2009 to 2.73% in 2019. This makes sense, given what we know about the massive growth in the industry and the arrival of big tech companies here in recent years.

When we spoke to members of the tech community about this increase earlier this year, they told us that these higher wages for tech workers are good news for the city’s economy, but the key to it. fair success is to ensure that the pathways to those high wages are open. to everyone from bootcamp graduates to career-changing people and more.

But beyond technology, a somewhat puzzling appearance in the top 10 is that of museums, art galleries, and historic sites, given that Pittsburgh hasn’t gained any major new entrants to the industry since 2009. However, if non-profit organizations like the Richard King Mellon Foundation are included in that, then that might offer an explanation, given the massive grants it has given over the past decade, suggesting the financial success of the organization (and leaders).

The pharmaceutical industry comes in 11th place in 2019, which makes sense given what we’ve seen in the life sciences field. Perhaps the company’s recent IPOs and other successes will be enough to place it in the top 10 for the next round of data.

Anything surprising for you from this data? Let us know so we can explore if for a future story: [email protected]


Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member of Report for America, an initiative of the Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.

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