The Tri-Cities continues to be home to workers with above average wages and higher concentrations of engineers and architects when compared to the nation, thanks to the proximity of the Hanford nuclear reservation.
On average, Tri-City workers earned about $23.71 per hour in May 2013, about 6 percent above the national average, according to data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Tri-Cities also has the highest concentration of nuclear engineers nationwide, at nearly 4 per 1,000 jobs, according to the data. In total, there were 360 nuclear engineers, with the annual average wage at $109,420.
And not only do architects and engineers make up a larger portion of the Tri-City workforce -- at 5 percent of total local employment compared to 1.8 percent nationwide -- they earn 18 percent more than the national average.
Overall, most occupations are paid better in the Tri-Cities than in the nation as a whole.
For example, farming jobs came with about 9 percent higher wages than the national average, at an average of $23.26 per hour.
Construction jobs, at $25.21 per hour, paid about 15 percent more than the national average.