When considering a career change, or even when starting your first job, it’s important to consider the cost of living in your new city. Salaries are typically indicative of what an area’s cost of living is, and depending on the market, that might be higher or lower than the national average.

Based on a cost of living comparison, Pittsburgh is more affordable than most major metropolitan areas, and is starting to draw in the best and the brightest from a wide variety of industries. Couple that with its other attractive incentives, and you’ll find that no matter if you are a single household or a family, your paycheck will stretch further in the City of Champions. Looking for a great place to start a new career? You’ll definitely get more bang for your buck by moving to Pittsburgh.

Innovative Companies Attract Talented People

Low cost of living is one draw for attracting top talent to the many major companies that have set up an office in Pittsburgh (such as Google and Uber). According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, Pittsburgh’s costs on average are 1% lower than the national cost of living average. This means that for two adults to live modestly in Allegheny County, they will need to make $45,046 annually, while a family of four will need $79,486 to get by each year. When you consider that it takes $86,896 for a family for four to live in Fort Lauderdale, or $92,295 in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh is an attractive place to live, work, and start a family.

The cost of living is not the only thing to consider when you are looking to start a new job or move to a new city. Depending on the neighborhood you choose, you also want to consider the quality of the local schools and hospitals. Pittsburgh pays below the national average for access to healthcare, which includes the world-class center of excellence University of Pittsburgh Medical Center system. This is another major draw for people as healthcare costs have increased exponentially over the years, and are expected to continue absorbing a larger percentage of an employee’s paycheck. 

Over the past couple of years Pittsburgh has been going through a transformation, from a Rust Belt city to a leader in technology and innovation. Despite the transformation and influx of new industries, Pittsburgh has not seen the dramatic increase in everyday items that has afflicted much larger cities. Groceries, dining, and entertainment costs are all relatively affordable, and are reflective of the lower cost of living Pittsburgh enjoys. This means that more Pittsburghers are able to get out and enjoy the many amenities their city has to offer.


Rent and mortgages are lower too

In addition to an overall lower cost of living, Pittsburgh enjoys below average rent and mortgage rates. This is great news for young professionals or those transitioning to a new job in a new city. Given that rent or mortgage is often an individual’s or family’s biggest monthly expense, it’s comforting to know that Pittsburgh offers great housing options below the national average. A one bedroom apartment within the Pittsburgh metro area costs around $725, while the national average for the same space is $930. That’s a big difference when you’re looking for ways to make your paycheck stretch further.

Lower housing costs also mean that many Pittsburgh employers are able to offer better and more comprehensive health benefits. A lot of employees take advantage of the services their employers offer in addition to traditional benefits. New programs such as a health concierge, access to gym memberships, and telemedicine systems, which allow patients more access to their doctors via email and video conferencing, are being offered by more and more Pittsburgh employers as a means to keep their employees happy and healthy. 

While the decision to rent or buy depends on many factors, Pittsburghers are fortunate to have great options for both. Within close proximity to the downtown metro area, where many jobs are located, are affordable neighborhoods with access to amenities. The money people save from the lower housing costs leave more spending money for residents as well, which is great for the local economy. You’ll often find Pittsburghers opting to take public transportation, try out some new restaurants, or engage with all of the wonderful cultural opportunities Pittsburgh has to offer.

Livable, commutable, and comfortable

There is an extensive and established infrastructure for businesses in Pittsburgh, which tends to draw in people looking to land a great job and engage with others in their industry. Another draw is the potential for a very fulfilling work-life balance. Everyone wants to have a good balance, where you get your job done and still have time to enjoy friends, family, and hobbies. When employees are allowed the autonomy to achieve balance, they become more productive. Happy workers are more efficient and don’t switch from job to job, which creates and promotes a more stable working environment and overall work wellness.

In addition to an established and busy downtown business district, Pittsburgh has also been at the forefront of flexible office solutions that today’s tech and digital companies demand. There are several areas in the city that promote co-working spaces, where remote workers, freelancers, and all kinds of creative minds can work and collaborate on their various projects.

Workers can also take advantage of the beautiful greenspaces and parks across downtown, without leaving their wifi behind. The City of Pittsburgh offers two hours of free wifi access anywhere in the downtown area, for those times when employees just need to get out of the office and enjoy the sunshine. What more could you ask for during the work day?

One of the many benefits of the Steel City is its low cost of living, which gives natives and transfers alike an opportunity to start a new job, or just get a fresh beginning. With costs below the national average, perhaps consider a move to Pittsburgh when you’re ready for a change! Learn about other growing cities through One America Works, and follow us for more updates.