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For recent graduates, young professionals or folks considering career changes, housing affordability could be the deciding factor when it comes to searching for a job. A recent study out of BusinessStudent.com examined just this.

Hosts of the site—dedicated to students and professionals seeking careers, courses, degrees and jobs in business, technology and healthcare—wanted to see which parts of the country and specific cities give business professionals the biggest bang for their housing buck.

Writer Jennifer L. Gaskin reports that BusinessStudent.com researchers compared the highest-quoted salaries from over 100 business-related jobs on Indeed.com to RentJungle.com’s average rent for a two-bedroom apartment across America.

They came up with these five most affordable cities to live and work: Tulsa, Okla.; Lexington, Ky.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and Memphis, Tenn.

Some other key points from the study are:

  • The average salary among the top 25 most affordable cities is $72,230, and the overall average income remaining after rent is about 81 percent.
  • Texas, the nation’s second most-populous state, is by far the overall leader, with five cities in the top 25. The highest-rated is Fort Worth, where the average worker has more than 80 percent of their income left after rent.
  • The Midwest placed eight cities, including three in Ohio.
  • Anyone considering relocating for career purposes should strongly consider Oklahoma—The Sooner State boasts two of the top three cities, including No. 1 Tulsa.
  • The cheapest average monthly rent, $863, was also in Tulsa, while the highest average rent was in Dallas, at $1,422.
  • Dallas, on the other hand, had the highest average salary at $82,609, while just two hours south, College Station, had the lowest average salary of the top 25, at $55,086.

According to Gaskin, a career in “business” is broad enough that it can mean just about anything. So the site created an index of 127 business careers, tracking the average salaries and how they vary by location. The highest-paying job paid $187,000 on average in the U.S. (Medical Director), while the lowest (Security Supervisor) pays $31,000 per year. The average business job the site tracks pays $75,000 per year.

John Voket is a contributing editor to RISMedia.

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