The cost of living can vary greatly from city to city. So if you’re thinking of relocating, your current salary might not cut it in a different metro area.
To help you figure out the cost of living in a new city, GOBankingRates used Sperling’s Best Places’ salary comparison tool to calculate how much you need to make to maintain the same standard of living in the destination city.
Click through to see how much money you need to make in the biggest cities in America to maintain your standard of living.
If You’re Moving to Atlanta
From Dallas: $50,518 salary needed
From Orlando: $49,432 salary needed
From Philadelphia: $40,689 salary needed
Atlanta is one of the best cities for a successful 2018, a previous GOBankingRates study found. The city has experienced a large increase in employment, with one of the highest number of job openings in the U.S. Additionally, weekly income in the city has been increasing.
If You’re Moving to Austin
From Dallas: $58,260 salary needed
From Houston: $54,847 salary needed
From San Antonio: $62,061 salary needed
Austin is one of the cities where income is rising the fastest, according to a separate GOBankingRates study. The increase in average wages is due to a large increase in finance jobs.
If You’re Moving to Chicago
From Atlanta: $53,814 salary needed
From Detroit: $39,932 salary needed
From St. Louis: $47,912 salary needed
Chicago is one of the best cities to score your dream job. A previous GOBankingRates study found that Chicago is the top-paying city for sales managers and school psychiatrists, with median salaries at $75,500 and $71,000, respectively.
If You’re Moving to Dallas
From Kansas City: $51,965 salary needed
From Oklahoma City: $54,664 salary needed
From San Antonio: $50,325 salary needed
Dallas ranked No. 9 for cities where income is rising the fastest. It’s also the top-paying city for dentists, with the median salary for oral healthcare professionals at $127,500.
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If You’re Moving to Denver
From Chicago: $57,983 salary needed
From Dallas: $63,272 salary needed
From Phoenix: $66,780 salary needed
Incomes are on the rise in Denver, where the mean hourly wage is now almost $27 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A major boom in tech jobs and development has led to a rise in higher-paying jobs in the metro area.
If You’re Moving to Houston
From Dallas: $50,766 salary needed
From New Orleans: $39,782 salary needed
From San Antonio: $54,079 salary needed
If your dream job is nurse practitioner, Houston is where you want to be, according to a previous GOBankingRates study. The Texas city offers the highest median salary for nurse practitioner jobs at $101,500.
If You’re Moving to Los Angeles
From Chicago: $75,583 salary needed
From Las Vegas: $80,924 salary needed
From Riverside: $82,128 salary needed
A previous GOBankingRates study found that Los Angeles is the top-paying city for both civil engineers and computer systems analysts. Among cities that pay civil engineers the most, Los Angeles has the most job openings for the position.
If You’re Moving to Miami
From Atlanta: $59,588 salary needed
From Orlando: $59,629 salary needed
From Tampa: $59,865 salary needed
A 2017 Indeed study on the best cities for job seekers rated Miami highly on many of its metrics, including perfect scores for work-life balance and job security and advancement. Trade, transportation and utilities industries are the biggest employers in Miami, followed by professional and business services, according to the BLS.
If You’re Moving to New York City
From Boston: $61,995 salary needed
From Miami: $51,158 salary needed
From Philadelphia: $71,946 salary needed
New York City is the top-paying city for middle school teachers, occupational therapists, operations research analysts and public relations specialists, according to a separate GOBankingRates study. It’s a good place to live for anyone who aspires to work in the teaching field: New York state has the second-highest teachers’ salaries in the U.S., another GOBankingRates study found.
If You’re Moving to Portland
From Dallas: $69,723 salary needed
From Phoenix: $67,356 salary needed
From Salem: $63,791 salary needed
Portland is the best city in Oregon for a successful 2018, a previous GOBankingRates study found. The city has a low unemployment rate, a high rate of employment increase, and a relatively high average weekly income compared to the rest of the state.
If You’re Moving to San Diego
From Phoenix: $86,945 salary needed
From Riverside: $82,029 salary needed
From Washington, D.C.: $57,940 salary needed
San Diego is the top-paying city for elementary school teachers and translators, a separate GOBankingRates study found. The SoCal city’s median salary for elementary school teachers is $44,000, while the median salary for translators is $64,000.
If You’re Moving to San Francisco
From Los Angeles: $89,279 salary needed
From New York City: $88,725 salary needed
From San Jose: $110,786 salary needed
San Francisco is one of the American cities where income is growing the fastest, a previous GOBankingRates study found. It’s also one of the U.S. cities that have the most job openings, according to a different GOBankingRates study. It’s an especially lucrative city for statisticians: It’s the top-paying place for the analysts, with the median salary at $112,500.
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If You’re Moving to San Jose
From Los Angeles: $72,773 salary needed
From New York City: $72,321 salary needed
From San Diego: $95,681 salary needed
San Jose is the best city in California for a successful 2018, a separate GOBankingRates study found. Even though employment is decreasing in San Jose, income is on the rise. In fact, another GOBankingRates study found that San Jose is one of the cities where income is growing the fastest.
If You’re Moving to Seattle
From Los Angeles: $57,805 salary needed
From Phoenix: $92,444 salary needed
From Portland: $73,393 salary needed
Seattle is a good city for job-seekers. The metro area is the best city in Washington for a successful 2018, and has one of the fastest income growth rates in the country, according to two separate GOBankingRates studies. Seattle is also the highest-paying city for IT managers, with the median salary at $93,000.
If You’re Moving to Washington, D.C.
From Baltimore: $77,950 salary needed
From Philadelphia: $63,352 salary needed
From Virginia Beach: $97,400 salary needed
Unsurprisingly, government is the biggest employment industry in the U.S. capital, according to the BLS. Washington, D.C.’s average hourly wage is just under $40, and the mean annual wage is $82,950.
Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the salary increase you need to maintain your standard of living in 15 major cities, using U.S. Census Bureau data to select the most populated cities with the greatest estimated flow of population in from other areas. We also looked at the median household incomes in the three cities that send the greatest population flow into each of the cities. To determine the equivalent median household income in the destination city, GOBankingRates used Sperling’s Best Places salary comparison tool, which calculates how to maintain the same standard of living in the destination city based on food, housing, utilities, transportation and health costs.
About the Author
Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert.