Your salary goes furthest in this US city

Money

Written by:

Big city equals big bucks, right? You want a major tech payday, you seek employment in San Francisco. You want to cash your MBA chips, you move to NYC. Right?

In absolute terms, yes. San Francisco has the highest average tech and cross-sector pay in the US. And one in three New Yorkers has a six-figure salary.

But in real terms, the answer is no. When you search for housing, shop for groceries or file your taxes, you may find yourself wishing you’d looked past the digits on your job offer. Adjusted for cost of living, the average tech industry paycheck in San Francisco doesn’t even rank among the top 30 cities in America.

CashNetUSA wants to give you a clear picture of what that starting salary really means. We grabbed city salary data from Payscale and adjusted it using cost-of-living data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. We used the same method for a cross-sector survey and also for a detailed look at the tech, business and banking industries.

______________________

SPONSORED: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

1. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes.

2. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals get started now.

______________________

 

 

 

Methodology

We pulled lists of metropolitan areas, along with cost of living data, from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, including regional price parity values by metro. Then we pulled city salary data per sector from Payscale and adjusted salaries according to the cost of living data.

You can find a full list of sources here.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Cost of Living & Wage Gaps

This scatter graph demonstrates wage disparity when cost of living is factored in for cities of different sizes. It takes all sectors into account. The blue icons indicate the average salary in each city size, while the red icons show the figure adjusted for cost of living.

The cost of living rises in tandem with a city’s population, so your money goes further in small cities. However, big cities usually have higher wages, partly to compensate for the additional costs. This chart shows how the average worker in a city with fewer than 250k inhabitants effectively earns a near $5,000 bonus when their living costs are factored in.

The gap gets smaller and smaller as the cities get bigger. In the biggest cities, the effective average wage is reduced by the high cost of living. As a result, the average adjusted salary in the smallest cities is only $3k less than that in the largest, as opposed to an $8k disparity using unadjusted figures.

Below, find the top 20 cities where your salary will go the furthest.

Image Credit: CashNetUSA.com / Neomam.

20. Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, Connecticut

  • Adjusted salary: $66,214
  • Unadjusted salary: $67,869

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

19. Bloomington, Illinois

  • Adjusted salary: $66,316
  • Unadjusted salary: $60,746

Image Credit: IanDikhtiar.

18. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana

  • Adjusted salary: $66,543
  • Unadjusted salary: $60,621

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

17. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

  • Adjusted salary: $66,728
  • Unadjusted salary: $67,529

Image Credit: typhoonski.

16. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, Georgia

  • Adjusted salary: $66,758
  • Unadjusted salary: $65,356

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

15. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina

  • Adjusted salary: $66,788
  • Unadjusted salary: $64,183

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

14. Morgantown, West Virginia

  • Adjusted salary: $67,046
  • Unadjusted salary: $60,207

Image Credit: BackyardProduction / istockphoto.

13. Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama

  • Adjusted salary: $67,418
  • Unadjusted salary: $59,530

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

12. Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana

  • Adjusted salary: $68,510
  • Unadjusted salary: $60,837

Image Credit: William Reagan / iStock.

11. Rochester, Minnesota

  • Adjusted salary: $68,746
  • Unadjusted salary: $63,865

Image Credit: leightrail/istockphoto.

10. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, North Carolina

  • Adjusted salary: $69,265
  • Unadjusted salary: $65,386

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

9. Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

  • Adjusted salary: $69,624
  • Unadjusted salary: $61,130

Image Credit: Kevin Pawlak / iStock.

8. Columbus, Indiana

  • Adjusted salary:  $69,625
  • Unadjusted salary: $61,758

Image Credit: Kirkikis / iStock.

7. St Louis

  • Adjusted salary: $69,833
  • Unadjusted salary: $62,920

Image Credit: Nicolas Henderson / Flickr.

6. Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina

  • Adjusted salary: $70,725
  • Unadjusted salary: $67,048

Image Credit: Sean Pavone / istockphoto.

5. Huntsville, Alabama

  • Adjusted salary: $71,194
  • Unadjusted salary: $63,363

Image Credit: Sean Pavone / istockphoto.

4. Columbus, Georgia

  • Adjusted salary: $73,033
  • Unadjusted salary: $64,708

Image Credit: PghPhxNfk / Wiki Commons.

3. Santa Fe, New Mexico

  • Adjusted salary: $74,567
  • Unadjusted salary: $72,330

Image Credit: Pixabay.com.

2. Kokomo, Indiana

  • Adjusted salary: $76,862
  • Unadjusted salary: $65,640

Image Credit: Cameronloyd03 / WikiMedia Commons.

1. Alexandria, Virginia

  • Adjusted salary: $83,809
  • Unadjusted salary: $71,572

Related:

This article
originally appeared on 
Cashnetusa.com and was
syndicated by
MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: AlbertPego / istockphoto.

More from MediaFeed

The one small town worth visiting in every state

Image Credit: MNStudio / istockphoto.

AlertMe