Whether you’re seeking a Montessori teacher, a college professor with tenure, or a librarian, they need a place to live. And if they’re renting, some cities are better than others. How do the job opportunities and salaries in the education industry in your area measure up against housing costs?
“At ABODO, it’s our job to help people find great apartments. Over the years, we’ve found that one of the most important aspects in a lot of city-to-city moves is employment opportunity,” explains Sam Radbil, senior communications manager for ABODO—an apartment search website. “With this in mind, we set out to uncover where people can find the best jobs in one of the most important industries—education—while still being able to afford to live in the city that they choose. In short, what cities are home to the best jobs in this industry, but also offer affordable rent prices.” A new study, released by ABODO, seeks to answer these questions.
Job density metrics for education naturally favor college towns with more centralized economies. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to sheer job opportunities, two cities are well above the rest: Rochester, New York; and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Almost 91 jobs out of every 1,000 in the Chapel Hill-Durham area—home to both the University of North Carolina and Duke—are in education. Rochester, which hosts the University of Rochester as well as campuses for SUNY-Brockport and Monroe Community College, has a similarly high figure of 88.
“Our study shows that while Rochester, New York is the top area for education opportunities, other cities such as Durham, Newark, Philadelphia and Fresno all landed in the top-10. Whether you’re a high school teacher, a college professor or another type of educator, these are some of the best cities to look at for an abundance of job opportunities, solid earning potential, and an affordable lifestyle,” adds Radbil.
No other city on the ABODO list breached the 80 jobs per thousand benchmark, although Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (78 jobs per thousand); Newark, New Jersey (77); Honolulu, Hawaii (76); and Buffalo, New York (74), came closest.
But access to job opportunities isn’t the only factor to consider when a job seeker is relocating for a career—they also need to balance potential earnings with their potential housing costs. To make this easier, ABODO created a formula to score 76 metropolitan statistical areas nationwide on a weighted balance of median one-bedroom rent, median educator salary, and job density.
Taking income, rent, and density into account, Rochester and Chapel Hill again lead the way, with scores of 8.8 and 8.5 (out of a perfect 10)—but their positions are reversed. That’s mostly due to Rochester’s extremely favorable income-to-rent ratio. Educators in both cities make similar salaries ($51,360 in Rochester and $51,870 in Chapel Hill), but the median rent for a one-bedroom in Rochester is only $650 per month, compared to $1,094 in Chapel Hill.
Other cities with high composite scores are Newark (6.8), Philadelphia (6.6), and Fresno, California (6.5). Two Texas cities, El Paso and Lubbock, are in the top 10 largely on the backs of excellent income-to-rent ratios—5.8 and 6.5, respectively. At 5.9, Lubbock may have only the 10th-highest composite score on the list, but the city—a small city in the panhandle home to Texas Tech—has the second-best ratio of income ($45,920) to rent ($588) on the list.
Despite low rents ($652), a low job concentration of 42 educator jobs per thousand keeps Indianapolis, Indiana, on the other end of the list, with the third-worst composite score. Only Las Vegas, Nevada, with just under 38 teaching jobs per thousand, has a lower concentration of jobs, earning the worst composite score. As for San Francisco? The biggest contributor to its score of 1.2, second-worst on the list, is the rent. Not many teachers can afford a rent of $3,415 per month on their $56,390 salary.