This article was originally published in AQUILA’s 2Q 2021 Austin Office Market Report. This article will not be updated, but please contact us if you have specific questions regarding the information in this article.

Austin continues to rank as one of the best places to live and work each year. A quick look at our growing population and the strong Austin job market confirms that a lot of people agree.

In 2020, Austin had the highest net migration rate (according to LinkedIn) and was named America’s Best Job Market by the Wall Street Journal. To explore Austin’s job market and reputation further, we’ve taken a look at the Austin employment market at both a macro and micro level.

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With the help of employment data provided by Emsi, in this special report we take a deep dive into Austin’s employment environment and look into:

  • Top jobs in Austin today
  • Where employees live and work
  • Job postings and hiring trends


Top Jobs in Austin Today

If you had to guess what the most common occupation in Austin is today, what would you say? If you said something in the technology sector, you’d be correct.

According to Emsi’s data on five-digit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes, the occupation with the most total employees

with a bachelor’s degree in the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown MSA is Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers. That’s a long, official-sounding name that encompasses more common job titles like software developer, software engineer, applications developer, and systems analyst.

Below is a summary of the top 10 occupations in Austin today that require a bachelor’s degree.

Top 10 Occupations in Austin Today That Require a Bachelor’s Degree

Occupation 2019 Jobs 2020 Jobs Change (2019 to 2020) % Change
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers 22,371 23,720 1,349 6%
General and Operations Managers 22,052 22,833 781 4%
Project Management Specialists and Business Operations Specialists, All Other 14,614 16,226 1,612 11%
Registered Nurses 14,344 14,155 (189) -1%
Accountants and Auditors 10,752 10,559 (193) -2%
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 9,210 9,104 (106) -1%
Computer Systems Analysts 8,263 7,884 (379) -5%
Substitute Teachers, Short-Term 7,087 6,642 (445) -6%
Management Analysts 5,766 6,379 613 11%
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 5,745 6,082 337  6%

As for the jobs that have been growing the fastest, the software developer occupation mentioned above ranks at the top of the list again. Between 2010 and 2020 there were 11,405 roles filled that fall under that SOC code, a 93% increase. To put that growth into perspective, between 2001 and 2010 there were only 3,287 new jobs added under that SOC code, which still made it the fastest-growing occupation during that time period but was less than 30% of the growth seen in the last 10 years.

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Below is a summary of the top 10 growing occupations in Austin today that require a bachelor’s degree.

Top 10 Growing Occupations in Austin Today That Require a Bachelor’s Degree

Occupation 2010 Jobs 2020 Jobs Change (2010 to 2020) % Change
Sales Engineers 846 3,648 2,802 331%
Substitute Teachers, Short-Term 1,864 6,642 4,778 256%
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 2,182 6,082 3,900 179%
Project Management Specialists and Business Operations Specialists, All Other 6,128 16,226 10,098 165%
Computer and Information Systems Managers 2,037 4,703 2,666 131%
Human Resources Specialists 2,487 5,273 2,786 112%
Management Analysts 3,077 6,379 3,302 107%
General and Operations Managers 11,535 22,833 11,298 98%
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers 12,315 23,720 11,405 93%
Registered Nurses 9,178 14,155 4,977 54%

Though the growth of technology-focused jobs should come as no surprise, it is interesting to see that roles in the medical and teaching fields have ranked highly on these lists. This is a good reminder that Austin’s growing workforce creates many secondary jobs needed to support the increased number of families moving to our city.


Where Employees Live and Work in the Austin Area

After digging into the top occupations at the MSA level, we now zoom in to take an even more granular look at the zip code level to see where the employees in those roles live and work.

For the sake of this analysis, we’ve combined the top 10 occupations in Austin today from the table above.

The map below shows the concentration of resident workers in each zip code based on where the employee lives. The darker zip codes have a higher concentration of people living in the area than the lighter zip codes.

Concentration of Resident Workers Based on Where the Employee Lives

Commuters | Austin Job Market

As you can see, there is a relatively higher concentration of employees in these occupations living in the north and northwest regions of the MSA, with a high concentration around Pflugerville, Cedar Park, and Leander. There is also a decent concentration in South Austin.

However, this map only tells half of the story. Although we now know where the employees live, we don’t know where they work. That’s where our next map comes in.

Net Commuters From Each Zip Code in the Austin Area

Net Migration | Austin Job Market

The map above shows the “net commuters” from each zip code. Blue areas indicate more employees are traveling to the area than live there, and red areas show zip codes where a majority of employees are leaving the area each day to work elsewhere. While our previous map showed us that a majority of employees in these occupations live in the north and northwest regions of the MSA, this map shows that most of those employees are driving to work elsewhere. Employees living in the zip codes surrounding Cedar Park, Leander and Pflugerville appear to primarily be driving to work in zip codes around Austin’s downtown, southwest, and the Domain.

This trend does make sense, as most of Austin’s large tech companies are located in the downtown and Domain areas. However, this analysis does help confirm what you might have already assumed and presents an interesting argument for a need for more office space in North and Northwest Austin.



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Job Postings and Hiring Trends in Austin

Now we know the top existing jobs in Austin, where those employees live and where they travel to work every day. But what might the job market look like moving forward? To answer that, we look at current job postings and hiring trends.

As of May 2021, there were 41,425 unique job postings in the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown MSA posted in the last 30 days (non-remote), with a median advertised salary of $21.62 per hour (roughly $45,000 per year) according to Emsi. This volume of postings is above the volume seen in early 2020, prior to COVID-19.

Job Postings Over Time (2017 to 2021)

Job Postings | Austin Job Market

Limiting the search to full-time jobs only, the volume of postings decreases slightly to 37,861, and the median salary increases slightly to $23.72 per hour. One caveat to note is that many employers do not publicly advertise salary information on their full-time job postings, so this hourly wage is likely skewed low since job postings with salary information tend to be entry-level positions.

Unsurprisingly, the occupation with the most job postings is our familiar SOC code that has made an appearance throughout this article, Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers. This occupation accounts for 2,938 unique postings, or 7% of the total full-time positions being advertised. Of course, 2,938 postings doesn’t necessarily mean there will be 2,938 new software developers in the next few months; but, this number does give a good indication of where hiring trends might be headed.

The other top occupations being hired for, regardless of required education level, can be seen below.

Top Occupations Being Hired For, Regardless of Required Education Level

Occupation Unique Postings (May 2021) Median Posting Duration (Days)
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers 2,938 9
Registered Nurses 1,940 7
Computer Occupations, All Other 1,395 9
Marketing Managers 1,265 10
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 1,241 8
Customer Service Representatives 784 8
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 631 10
Management Analysts 584 11
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 574 8
Computer User Support Specialists 565 9

So, which firms are responsible for all of these job postings you might be asking? In short, tech companies.

Dell currently leads with 359 postings for full-time jobs in the MSA (non-remote) in the last 30 days, with job titles ranging from software developer to product management consultant. The other big tech companies aren’t far behind, with IBM, Amazon, Facebook, and Oracle all ranking high on the list.

Company Unique Postings (May 2021) Median Posting Duration (Days)
Dell 359 6
IBM 325 12
Oracle Corporation 256 14
Amazon 222 9
Facebook 212 16
HCA Holdings 195 11
Deloitte 191 13
Accenture 190 9
Baylor Scott & White Health 186 12
Ascension 163 12

It’s interesting to note that three healthcare companies, HCA Holdings (partner of St. David’s HealthCare), Baylor Scott & White Health, and Ascension, also made the top 10. The companies are hiring for roles like patient care technicians, registered nurses, pharmacy technicians, and registered respiratory therapists. It seems Austin is not only a good city to find a tech job, but a healthcare job as well.



With a job market like this, Austin is clearly on an upward trajectory and is quickly breaking through the temporary lull in activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although unemployment is still sitting at 4.5% as of April 2021 (compared to a low of 2.3% in April 2019), we are nowhere near the high of 11.8% experienced in April 2020.

If unemployment continues to stay low, job postings continue to be filled and companies continue to choose our city to locate their offices, warehouses, and stores, we are hopeful that the best is yet to come for Austin, Texas.

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