When you are looking at a job change there are lots of variables complicating your task. One of the challenges is getting an idea of how far your current salary would stretch in another state. Living costs can be quite different and the same dollar amount may translate into the equivalent of a nice raise — or an unwelcome pay cut.
Rasmussen College has a nice tool for comparing your options. Salary by State: Where Can You Really Earn The Most? is part of their Career Research Hub and this looks like it can be useful for more than a graduating senior.
Get An Idea Of Your Living Costs
The way the Salary by State tool works is simple. First, you select your occupation from the drop down menu at the top of the page. Then, you can choose up to 5 states to compare the average salaries in that career and the average salary adjusted for the cost of living. Here are the numbers for an executive in a random selection of states:
- Connecticut: $211,850 becomes $193,647 when adjusted for cost of living
- Pennsylvania: $180,950 becomes $183,333 when adjusted for cost of living
- Minnesota: $160,750 becomes $164,872 when adjusted for cost of living
- South Carolina: $141,290 becomes $155,777 when adjusted for cost of living
- West Virginia: $96,280 becomes $108,668 when adjusted for cost of living
Those are some big variations for the same basic position of an executive, and it makes relocating a bit more adventurous because of the changes. A tool like this calculator is a good way to get an idea about what you could expect. It’s important to include any benefits offered by a potential employer in your calculations, too. Before you change jobs, make sure you are looking at all the data, including adjustments for location.