Mention the city of Detroit, and the first thing that comes to many people’s minds, unfortunately, is the economic decline caused by the loss of manufacturing jobs. Detroit was hit hard by the recession and the outsourcing of automotive jobs, among other factors, and recovery has been a struggle – but what many people might not know is that Detroit is also the top city for CAD designers, according to a recent study conducted by IT and engineering staffing agency Modis.
The agency looked at wage and location data for designers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as cost of living and state-level investment in technology, to put together a list of the top ten cities in the United States for CAD designers to live and work. Detroit came out on top, in another example of a declining Rust Belt region seeing revitalization from the tech industry. The average wage for CAD designers in Detroit, according to Modis’ findings, is a very comfortable $83,990, and the city was given a location quotient (a number assigned to a Metropolitan Statistical Area based on concentration of a particular profession compared to the rest of the country) of 11, far outpacing the other cities on the list. Finally, Detroit’s cost of living was found to be four percent lower than the national average.
“With the highest concentration of jobs in the country and an average wage a full 17% over the national average for designers, Detroit is the undisputed number one choice for commercial and industrial designers,” Modis states. “In addition to its exciting job market, Detroit’s endless list of things to do and see really puts the city on the map. Plus, it has a cost of living 4% less than the national average, so you’ll have plenty of money left over to socialize too.”
Stories of economic misery often eclipse the stories of the new startups and young industries that grow from the ashes in a city hit hard by recession, and Detroit is no exception – the Motor City was building several promising tech startups even as it filed for bankruptcy in 2013. Cost of living is certainly a factor, as young people choose to make their homes – and build their businesses – in a city where they can actually afford the rent. In fact, I expect that young, tech-savvy people will be the least surprised to hear that Detroit ranks #1 for CAD designers – and another Michigan city, Niles, comes in at second. In fact, according to Modis, Michigan has 7 of the top 10 most concentrated areas for CAD designers in the country.
The full top 10 are:
- Detroit, MI
- Niles, MI
- Greenville, SC
- Bloomington, IL
- Greensboro, NC
- New Orleans, LA
- Rochester, NY
- San Francisco, CA
- New York City, NY
- Newark, NJ
“It’s a good time to be a CAD designer,” said Matthew Ripaldi, Senior Vice President at Modis. “Over the next few years, we’re anticipating job creation above the national average in both the IT and engineering industries, so highly skilled talent, like CAD designers, are positioned to take advantage of competitive opportunities. Our current best cities ranking is a great starting point for today’s CAD job seekers, and we look forward to seeing continued demand for this niche across the country.”
Those of us working, or hoping to work, in the 3D printing industry look forward to it, too – as do those of us living and working in cities currently building new tech industries after suffering the loss of a more traditional manufacturing-based economy. Discuss in the CAD Designers forum at 3DPB.com.