How Paychecks Stack Up Across 5 Major Metropolitan Areas ~
When it comes to paychecks, not all cities are created equal. Companies in a city with a higher cost of living and a low supply of workers, for example, will likely pay more than a city with a lower cost of living and a surplus labor pool. But how exactly does pay vary from city to city?
To find out this answer, our Glassdoor research team looked at median base pay and year-over-year pay growth across a variety of positions throughout five major metropolitan areas in our Local Pay Reports. Thinking of moving cities, or just want to see how your pay compares to those across the country? Check out the full results of the most recent local pay reports below.
Median Base Pay: $54,278
YoY Pay Growth: 2.4%
While Houston has the lowest median base pay of the five major metros studied, it’s still about $3k over the nationwide median of $51,272. And, of course, plenty of positions land above the national average. Physicians, Attorneys and Tax Managers in Houston, for example, can expect to pull in about $257k, $123k and $103k respectively — all higher than the national averages for these positions. Wage growth is a bit sluggish, falling .5% under the nationwide 2.9% year-over-year growth, but don’t count Space City out just yet — for a major urban area, Houston has a relatively low cost of living.
Median Base Pay: $56,277
YoY Pay Growth: 4.0%
Again, Chicago falls on the lower end of the totem pole when comparing median base pay in these five metros, but living in the Windy City will still net you an extra $5k in your pocket. And if you’re looking for a raise, you’ve come to the right place — pay growth in Chicago is strong at 4 percent. The most likely to see a pay increase? Warehouse Associates (8.7 percent), Recruiters (7.5 percent) and Customer Service Managers (6.9 percent).
Median Base Pay: $59,068
YoY Pay Growth: 4.0%
You might expect salaries in the land of the rich and famous to be sky high, but at $59,068, LA’s wages are solidly middle-of-the-road compared to the other cities on this list — although at nearly $8k above the nationwide median base pay. Something that probably won’t surprise you, though, is that those in the media and entertainment industry have a higher pay in LA compared to the national average. In LA, Technical Editors and Producers can expect to earn $60,303 and $77,956, respectively — both tens of thousands more than the nationwide averages of $48,274 and $52,344.
Median Base Pay: $60,346
YoY Pay Growth: 2.8%
With the second-highest median base pay of the five metros studied, it’s safe to say that in the Big Apple, you can expect big paychecks (hopefully enough to make up the difference for that sky-high rent!). And if you’ve come to New York to live out your Wall Street dreams, good news — the median base pay of the Banking and Finance industry ($59,221) is almost $9k above the nationwide median base pay of $50,469.
Median Base Pay: $65,818
YoY Pay Growth: 2.5%
Ah, San Francisco — the land of the Golden Gate Bridge, eternal fog and, of course, Silicon Valley. As the tech capital of the country, San Francisco offers a significantly higher median base pay than all of the other metropolitan areas studied. But what you might not expect is that the tech industry isn’t where you should head to find the highest paycheck — at $65,124, tech’s median base pay is eclipsed by that of energy & utilities at $71,512. Did someone call for an electrical engineer?