Rewards for working in Boulder go beyond beautiful scenery and great places to hike and eat. (Photo: Pexels).

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Rewards for working in Boulder go beyond beautiful scenery and great places to hike and eat. Boulder’s home prices and cost of housing have been increasing, but workers in the Boulder Metropolitan Statistical Area had a higher wage than the rest of the nation, according to a recently released report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Boulder’s average (mean) hourly wage of $35.27 in May 2021 rose 26% above the nationwide average of $28.01, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recent report. The higher wages held across the nationwide average in 20 of the 22 major occupational groups, including sales; life, physical and social science; and legal, said BLS Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak.

Boulder-area employment proved to be more highly concentrated in the occupational groups of computer and mathematical, architecture and engineering, and business and financial operations.

Meanwhile, 11 Boulder-area occupational groups had employment shares significantly below the nation, including transportation and material moving, construction and extraction, and office and administrative support.

As one example for the 22 major occupational categories, the computer and mathematical group’s 14,170 jobs make up 7.8% of employment in the Boulder-area, significantly higher than the 3.3% share nationally. The average hourly wage for workers in this group was $52.78, above the national wage of $48.01.

Some of the larger occupations within the computer and mathematical group included software developers at 5,480, computer user support specialists at 2,040, and network and computer systems administrators at 1,210. In many occupations within this group, there are above-average concentrations of employment. For example, computer network architects are employed at 3.8 times the national rate in Boulder, and software quality assurance analysts and testers, at 3.2 times. Computer network architects and information security analysts are among the higher-paying jobs in this group, with mean hourly wages of $61.92 and $63.46, respectively.

In the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area, workers enjoy a similar advantage with a $32.09 mean hourly wage average compared to the nationwide average of $28.01.

Report statistics are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment. The survey is conducted over a rolling 6-panel 3-year cycle with approximately 1.1 million establishments sampled. In the May 2021 estimates, data collected for the May 2021 panel were combined with data collected for the November 2020, May 2020, November 2019, May 2019, and November 2018 panels.

A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Boulder, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.

Read the full statistical reports at:

By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, email Tom at [email protected],
call 303.441.5620, or visit

* The mean hourly wage or percent share of employment is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.