The 10 Best Cities For Accountants to Move to in 2018

In its multifaceted list of the Best Business Jobs for 2018, U.S. News and World Report ranked accountants seventh according to seven component measures such as median salary, employment rate, 10-year growth percentage, and work-life balance.

Earning high marks in work-life balance and job growth percentage, accountants are generally able to strike a pleasant balance between career, ambition, health, family and leisure activities while maintaining peace of mind from job security. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 140,300 new accounting and auditing jobs will open up by 2026, equating to a 10 percent job growth rate.

So, with accountants, especially CPAs, in high demand, what are the best cities for accountants to live and work right now?

SpareFoot teamed up with online employment marketplace ZipRecruiter to find the ten metro areas with the healthiest job markets for accountants. Using ZipRecruiter’s Opportunity Index, which measures the ratio of available jobs to job seekers in each city and ranks it against the median ratio across all cities, we were able to narrow down our list to ten cities. The higher the Opportunity Index number, the greater the number of available jobs per job seeker. ZipRecruiter also provided us with the average salary data for accountants in those markets.

We then ranked those cities by the following factors:

  • Average annual salary
  • Median home price
  • Median annual rent

Finally, we combined the rankings (giving double weight to available jobs per job seeker) to determine an overall ranking.

Median home prices and annual rent sourced from Zillow.

10. Portland, OR

With the sixth healthiest job market in the country for accountants according to ZipRecruiter’s Opportunity Index, you might want to think twice before choosing another “weird” city.

  • Opportunity Index: 0.643 (Ranked 6th)
  • Average annual salary: $53,000 (Rank 9th)
  • Median home price: $467,700
  • Salary as a percentage of home price: 11.3% (Rank 8th)
  • Median annual rent: $20,028
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 37.8% (Rank 8th)

9. Minneapolis, MN

Get yourself up to the land of Vikings, Timberwolves, and Twins and enjoy favorable opportunities to start your accounting career where the ratio of open jobs to job seekers is ever in your favor.

  • Opportunity Index: 0.754 (Rank 4th)
  • Average annual salary: $52,500 (Rank 10th)
  • Median home price: $365,175.50
  • Salary as a percentage of home price: 14.4% (Rank 7th)
  • Median annual rent: $19,668
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 37.5% (Rank 7th)

8. Denver, CO

denver life coach

Another city with above average accountant job openings compared to the rest of the country, Denver offers an abundance of leisure activities for a profession ranked high in work-life balance.

  • Opportunity Index: 0.733 (Rank 5th)
  • Average annual salary: $56,000 (Rank 3rd – tie)
  • Median home price: $542,445
  • Salary as a percentage of home price: 10.3% (Rank 10th)
  • Median annual rent: $24,564
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 43.9% (Rank 9th)

7. Seattle, WA

Yes, the Seattle housing market is expensive. But with one of the top three accounting job markets in the country and a beautiful city to boot, you’d be foolish not to consider Seattle for your accounting career.

  • Opportunity Index: 0.854 (Rank 3rd)
  • Average annual salary: $58,000 (Rank 1st – tie)
  • Median home price: $552,675
  • Salary as a percentage of home price: 10.5% (Rank 9th)
  • Median annual rent: $26,448
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 45.6% (Rank 10th)

6. Nashville, TN

Music City tunes up the second half of our list, but don’t sleep on these cities. Like the rest of the cities on our list, Nashville offers a thriving job market for accountants while offering urban conveniences.

  • Opportunity Index: 0.884 (Rank 2nd)
  • Average annual salary: $54,000 (Rank 7th – tie)
  • Median home price:  $360,586
  • Salary as a percentage of home price: 15.0% (Rank 6th)
  • Median annual rent: $17,964
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 33.3% (Rank 6th)

4. Indianapolis, IN (tie)

Indianapolis accountants might not command the highest salaries, but the city is relatively affordable when it comes to renting or buying a home.

  • Opportunity Index: 0.642 (Rank 7th)
  • Average annual salary: $54,000 (Rank 7th – tie)
  • Median home price: $238,750
  • Salary as a percentage of home price: 22.6% (Rank 3rd)
  • Median annual rent: $14,496
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 26.8% (Rank 3rd)

4. Kansas City, MO (tie)

Kansas City has a high average salary for accountants, and it is the fourth most affordable place to buy a home on our list.

  • Opportunity Index: 0.561 (Rank 9th)
  • Average annual salary: $56,000 (Rank 3rd – tie)
  • Median home price: $274,975
  • Salary as a percentage of home price: 20.4% (Rank 4th)
  • Median annual rent:  $12,660
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 27.5% (Rank 4th)

3. Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids comes in third place on the merits of its nation leading job market for accountants, in addition to affordable rent and housing payments, where it ranks in fifth on both measures.

  • Opportunity Index: 1.552 (Rank 1st)
  • Average annual salary: $54,500 (Rank 6th)
  • Median home price: $279,950
  • Salary as a percentage of home price: 19.5% (Rank 5th)
  • Median annual rent: $16,296
  • Rent as a percentage of income:  29.9% (Rank 5th)

2. Detroit, MI

Detroit is an all around strong choice for accountants, performing especially well on pay and housing affordability. The average salary here makes up about 25% percent of the median home price.

  • Opportunity Index: 0.542 (Rank 10th)
  • Average annual salary: $55,500 (Rank 5th)
  • Median home price: $222,550
  • Salary as a percentage of home price: 24.9% (Rank 2nd)
  • Median annual rent: $14,448
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 26.0% (Rank 2nd)

1. St. Louis, MO

This metro area not only has the highest-paying salary on the list ($58,000), but also the most affordable housing, coming in first place for both apartments and homes.

  • Opportunity Index: 0.567 (Rank 8th)
  • Average annual salary: $58,000 (Rank 1st – tie)
  • Median home price: $195,950
  • Salary as a percentage of home price: 29.6% (Rank 1st)
  • Median annual rent: $13,776
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 23.8% (Rank 1st)

Sources

ZipRecruiter: ZipRecruiter provided data from their Opportunity Index, the delta between the ratio of open jobs and to job seekers for each MSA versus the average ratio for all MSAs, and average annual salary numbers for each metro.

Zillow: Zillow provided data on sold homes, including median sale price for various housing types, sale counts, and a normalized view of sale volume. Zillow also provided median rent prices and median rent price per square foot by property type and bedroom count.

 

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