Engineers are in high demand in many areas of the country. But if you’re looking for the best places to live as an engineer, the job availability and salary in these cities could make it worth relocating.
Military and aerospace engineering have both been on the rise when it comes to job opportunities. Hence, it’s no surprise that in Huntsville, where you’ll find both an Army arsenal and a NASA flight center, engineering jobs are positively booming. In this Alabama city, high pay matched with low housing costs make for a winning combination. The mean engineering salary is over $102,700, while the median monthly rent is only $725.
San Jose, California
High-tech jobs in engineering continue to be on the rise. And if you want to find big tech, you won’t find better opportunities than in Silicon Valley. While the job opportunities are concentrated in San Jose, engineers can also find work in the greater San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area. They won’t be alone, either. Engineers account for 4 percent of the working population in this region. Pay is about as good as it gets with an average salary of nearly $120,000 for engineers. The median rent is significantly higher at around $1,640 a month, but higher pay helps accommodate for the increased cost.
Most of the engineering hot spots are in the south or west, making Warren, Michigan, a unique entry on the list. This actually includes the greater Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills area, where a significant number of engineers are employed in the auto industry. The proximity to Detroit along with facilities for GM, Chrysler, Nissan, and Hitachi Automotive Systems America ensure a healthy availability of auto engineering jobs. Meanwhile, the pay isn’t too shabby with an average of around $87,000 for engineers. Plus, the median monthly rent is only $829.
Palm Bay, Florida
Engineers who want to work in the electrical or communications industries will have plenty of opportunities in sunny Palm Bay, Florida. Home to a worldwide telecommunications company (Harris Corporation) and a semiconductor manufacturer (Intersil Corporation), these two major headquarters employ thousands of locals, many of whom are engineers. The mean rent is an affordable $876 a month, and with a generous average salary of over $93,700, engineers fare well in this southern city.
Midland has a great mix of opportunities for engineers. Aerospace jobs are available in the area, as well as jobs in oil and gas — two of the highest-paying industries for engineering. That’s clear from the high average salary for engineers in this area, which is more than $141,600 a year. Costs of living are somewhere in the middle with a mean monthly rent of $1,088. But thanks to one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, engineers in Midland don’t spend much time worrying about making rent.
Several other cities came close to making this list, including Houston, Texas; Decatur, Alabama; Warner Robins, Georgia; and Dayton, Ohio. If you’re interested in an engineering career, consider relocating to live in one of these prime places for engineers.