Today app developers in Montana earn an enviable salary, are estimated to have strong growth going forward into the future, and help to drive the state’s economy.
That is why business and government leaders support Montana’s mobile app industry, which is estimated to generate $8 million each year by the wireless industry trade group CTIA. To spur the growth of this field, the Governor recently introduced the Mobile App Challenge, a contest for schools across the state to create a mobile application that would do one of six things:
- Provide better access to government services and departments
- Alert the state or local government to road and other needed infrastructure repairs
- Provide information about local monuments and historical sites
- Identify recreation trails throughout the state
- Publish daily sunrise and sunset times for specific counties to assist hunters
- Publish information about current, local air quality
Likewise Montana businesses are also hiring app developers to make their products similarly accessible. Between the government and private sectors, Montana’s app developers are busy. This helps to explain why the average statewide salary for these professionals is $78,740. It also explains why the Montana Department of Labor and Industry projects that app developer jobs will grow by 30.8 percent – more than double the average statewide job growth rate of 14.8 percent – over the decade leading up to 2022.
Behind the Curtain of Montana’s App Industry
Internet providers, especially wireless internet providers, have paved the way for the growth of smartphones and other mobile devices in Montana, as well as the apps these use. In 2009 there were only 305,000 residential internet connections in the entire state. By the beginning of 2014, internet companies had increased their services to account for 728,000 residential internet connections. With the growth of residents who have an internet connection has also come the growth of faster networks.
The FCC reported in 2015 that by its most recent accounting 72.1 percent of Montanans access the internet with a broadband connection. 75.5 percent of all state residents have a connection speed that is at least 10 Mbps, and up to 20 percent of rural residents have access to speeds of at least 25 Mbps.
These developments illustrate why the most recent figures from the US Census show that more than 30 percent of Montana residents who are at least three years of age have an internet connection at home and somewhere else, an indication that this is the amount of residents who use smartphones and other wireless devices.