Find a Job You Really Want In
If you’re fresh out of college, you probably don’t want to make any rash decisions about your career.
After all, where you start your career can be the difference between making bank and 3 roommates in a crummy apartment. But on the other hand, your parents’ nagging about you getting a job has gotten so bad that you need to find one now. Don’t worry; we’ve got your back.
Out of several hundred cities, we’ve found the cities with the biggest paychecks, lowest rent, and the most jobs.
The Top 10 Cities
- Fargo, North Dakota
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Lincoln, Nebraska
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Boise City, Idaho
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Nashville, Tennessee
Based on our research, you can get your career off on the right foot in any one of these cities. You can use this list to make smart decisions, not rash ones. If you’re looking for a more broad list of cities, or simply just looking for a specific city’s rank, be sure to check out the complete table below. Be sure to check out
HOW WE DETERMINED THE BEST CITIES TO START YOUR CAREER IN EACH STATE
We looked at over 200 cities and ranked them on the following areas:
- Median Income
- Average rent
We first examined the median income to find the cities where young professionals can expect to bring home the biggest paychecks. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy creature comforts and pay off hefty student loans which goes a long way.
However, big paychecks can come with big bills- so next we looked at average rent costs. For those just graduating college and moving to jump-start their careers, it can be a struggle to scrape together first month’s rent, last, and a security deposit. That first paycheck may not make it into their bank account for a month! The smaller the monthly rent, the better.
We then looked at average unemployment. If that first job doesn’t end up being a dream job, getting your next job is easier when you’re in a city with a strong labor market.
Finally, we identified the best city in each state according to these categories. All of our data came from the most recent Census ACS.
1. Fargo, North Dakota
Individual Median Income: $38,525
Not much has changed here. Fargo has been at the top of this list for a while, and for good reason, too. The city offers young persons a top-notch starting salary of $38,525 while keeping the rent prices low. In fact, the average $818 is one of the lowest rent averages in the U.S.
2. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Individual Median Income: $35,942
Sioux Falls isn’t far behind when it comes to finding the best cities in each state to start a career. Coming in at second is fitting as the city’s 2.1% unemployment rate and an average $811 rent are some of the lowest in the country. So not only are you less likely to be unemployed, but you also won’t have to worry much about paying rent. Shopping spree, anyone?
3. Salt Lake City, Utah
Individual Median Income: $43,458
Coming in at third, Salt Lake City has the seventh-lowest unemployment rate out of all the cities in the U.S. Sitting at 2%, the chances of you finding a career here are looking really good. The city’s average median salary of $43,458 sounds pretty good, too, until you look at those rental rates. With an average of $1,001, a good portion of your paycheck will go straight to your landlord.
4. Lincoln, Nebraska
Individual Median Income: $37,481
Nebraska makes the list at No. 4 with the city of Lincoln. The city boasts low average rent rates with $843, which is great because you probably won’t be making a whole lot of money here anyway. Despite only averaging a salary of $37,481, the career opportunities are plentiful in Lincoln. It’s definitely a place that’s worth considering a glance-over when starting your career.
5. Madison, Wisconsin
Individual Median Income: $45,382
Madison, Wisconsin tops the chart at No. 5, thanks to the plethora of career opportunities that are available there. With an unemployment rate of 1.4, Madison has the second-lowest rate compared to other cities in the U.S. Not only will it be super easy for you to find a job here, but you also won’t be laid off anytime soon.
6. Raleigh, North Carolina
Individual Median Income: $47,701
With a low unemployment rate and high average salary, young professionals should consider Raleigh, North Carolina, when they’re just starting out. The city is a great place to start a career with only 2.3% unemployed and most people averaging $47,701 a year. As a young professional, you’d probably be making more than your friends here.
7. Charleston, South Carolina
Individual Median Income: $56,121
Charleston, South Carolina, earns its title of being seventh on this list. Who knew you could live near a beach and earn a lot of money? With the average individual earning $56,121, Charleston is great for people who want to start a savings account right out of college. Imagine being able to contribute to a savings account while paying off your college loans. Life’s a breeze when you’re at the beach.
8. Boise City, Idaho
Individual Median Income: $38,078
The No. 8 spot is taken by none other than Boise City, Idaho. The city’s 2.2 unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the country. At that rate, you won’t need any luck finding your first job. It’ll be practically handed to you on a silver platter.
9. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Individual Median Income: $37,965
As one of the best cities to start your career, Oklahoma City keeps its unemployment rate and average rent rate down low. In fact, if those two rates could do the limbo they would beat out most of the competition with how low they could go. With only a 2.5% unemployment rate and $872 for rent, the city has plenty of career opportunities to go around while ensuring the residents don’t go broke.
10. Nashville, Tennessee
Individual Median Income: $48,807
Nashville is more than just a country singer’s dream, and that’s why it comes in the top 10 of being a great place to start your career. The average salary of $48,807 will leave you narrowing your search to careers in Nashville. On top of having one of the highest average salaries, the city also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S.
Summary of the Best Cities in Each State to Start a Career
There are several factors that you need to consider when you’re looking to start a career, including the average salary, unemployment rate and average monthly rent. You want to make sure you’re going to have enough money to pay for rent, while also being able to pay for groceries. Plus you need to make sure that there are plenty of career opportunities. These top 10 cities should give you a good idea of where you need to be at the beginning of your career.
DETAILED LIST OF THE BEST CITY TO START YOUR CAREER IN EACH STATE
|State||City||Individual Median Income||Unemployment||Rent|
|New Jersey||Jersey City||$54,666||3||$1,470|
|South Dakota||Sioux Falls||$35,942||2||$811|
|Utah||Salt Lake City||$43,458||2||$1,001|
Find The Best Job That Fits Your Career
Where do you want to work?