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Baltimore ranks No. 8 in U.S. for concentration of STEM workers

Nearly one in four jobs in the Baltimore area requires skills in science, technology, engineering and math, a concentration that ranks among the top 10 in the country and brings wealth to the region, according a report released Monday.

The Baltimore area ranks No. 8 on a list of metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of jobs requiring high-level knowledge in STEM, the acronym by which the fields are known. The nearly 282,000 STEM jobs in the region in 2011 made up 23.1 percent of all jobs, according to the Brookings Institution report, "The Hidden Stem Economy."

The STEM jobs pay handsomely, the report found. The average STEM job paid $75,133 in the Baltimore area in 2011, and STEM jobs requiring at least a bachelor's degree paid $87,857 on average. Non-STEM jobs paid an average of $43,075 in the Baltimore area in 2011, or $68,027 if they require a college degree.

Nationally, 26 million jobs, or 20 percent of all jobs, require a high level of knowledge in at least one STEM field. About 16 percent of jobs in the top 100 metropolitan regions require STEM skills, the report found. Half of all STEM jobs don't require a college degree and pay $53,000, on average.

The STEM job statistics include workers in field including architecture, engineering and life and physical sciences, as well as health care and the blue-collar installation, maintenance and repair field. The latter two categories have not previously been considered STEM, but when included make up a third of all STEM jobs, the report found.

The highest concentrations of STEM jobs were found in the San Jose, Calif., area; the Washington, D.C., area; and the Melbourne, Fla., area.

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