AI's rise in the workspace and popular culture has been equal parts fascinating and scary. For every funny clip of SpongeBob singing with Drake that's posted on social media, there's the growing threat of AI taking jobs away from creative writers, video-makers, artists, content writers, and more.

But as is the case with any new and fledgling field, there are job opportunities within that industry...depending on where you live. A new study from MoveBuddha examined the volume of artificial intelligence-related jobs in all 50 states. As it turns out, if you're seeking a career in AI, Iowa and Wisconsin are note exactly hotspots for that work. Yet.

Photo Credit: monsitj
Photo Credit: monsitj

MoveBuddha's Methodology:

In addition to looking at the volume of jobs per capita, MoveBuddha used Indeed to get a handle on how many AI jobs are in specific areas of the country:

Collected and counted AI-related job postings from Indeed in January 2024. The AI jobs counted for this analysis include searches for the following 12 jobs: AI engineer, AI developer, AI product manager, API integration specialist, Big data engineer, Human integration specialist, Machine learning engineer, Natural language processing engineer, Prompt engineer, AI data scientist, AI software engineer, and AI data engineer. - per MoveBuddha

Iowa is in the Bottom Half of States with AI Jobs:

Photo Credit: Arkadiusz Wargua
Photo Credit: Arkadiusz Wargua

At this time, AI is not a fast-growing field in the state of Iowa. It ranks #32 with only 0.3% of total AI jobs in the country.

Those that do work in AI in Iowa do have a median salary of a touch over $88,000/year, but keep in mind, that's the average. Not the norm, necessarily.

Wisconsin Doesn't Fair Much Better Than Iowa:

Wisconsin might come in ten spots ahead of Iowa, but that doesn't mean the percentage of jobs in said field improve much. Wisconsin ranks 22 on MoveBuddha's list with a total of 0.8% of AI jobs in the entire country. The media salary for AI workers in the state of Wisconsin is the highest of the three states at $95,770.

Photo Credit: MoveBuddha
Photo Credit: MoveBuddha

Illinois Just Misses the Top 10:

At #11, Illinois just missed the cut for top 10 best states with AI jobs/AI-related work. The state claims 2.5% of the all-encompassing list of AI jobs in the entire country. The salary for said workers is about the same as Iowa, at a little over $88,000. All three states have an average of just one AI job per 10,000 residents.

Other Key Findings:

Here are some other noteworthy bullet points from MoveBuddha's study:

  • #1 California has about 4 AI job postings for every 10,000 residents, equal to nearly a quarter of all listed on Indeed as of January 2024.
  • 5 Northeastern and East Coast states are in the top 10: #2 Virginia, #4 Maryland, #7 Massachusetts, #8 Pennsylvania, and #10 North Carolina. Together, with 21% of total US AI job opportunities, they almost match California’s 23%.
  • At #5, Texas is a growing force for AI job offerings, thanks to drawing in Tech companies and talent in recent years.
  • Washington offers the highest average salary for wage for AI engineers at $117K.
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View the full results of this study on MoveBuddha's website.

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