By their very nature, engineers look for the most efficient solution to any problem. So why not apply the same principle to choosing which city to move to?

SpareFoot crunched the numbers to find the best city for engineers to move to based on the following factors: job availability, median salary, median home price and median annual rent.

To determine job availability, we turned to Indeed, the world’s largest job site by users. Indeed provided the ten cities with the most job listings for engineers, along with average salary data.

We then ranked each city by its percentage share of job listings among the top ten cities. We also ranked each of the cities by median salary, salary as a percentage of home prices, and rent as a percentage of salary. Finally, we added up the rankings (giving double weight to job availability) to determine an overall ranking.

Below are the results:

 General Atomics campus in San Diego (credit: General Atomics)
General Atomics campus in San Diego.

10. San Diego, CA

Percent share of top ten (rounded): 8%
Average annual salary: $91,000
Median home price: $402,100
Salary as a percentage of home price: 23%
Median annual rent: $15,600
Rent as a percentage of income: 17%
Major employers: Intuit, General Atomics, General Dynamics, Kyocera, Qualcomm, Hitachi Data Systems, SpaceDev, ViaSat, Northrop Grumman.

If you’re considering a move to San Diego, check out our San Diego Moving Guide

 Part of Lockheed Martin's headquarters in Bethesda, MD.
Part of Lockheed Martin’s headquarters in Bethesda, MD.

9. Washington, DC

Percent share of top ten (rounded): 7%
Average annual salary: $93,000
Median home price: $373,100
Salary as a percentage of home price: 25%
Median annual rent: $17,268
Rent as a percentage of income: 19%
Major employers: Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin Corp., General Dynamics, Deloitte, Raytheon, BAE Systems, Siemens, Intelsat.

 Dell is a major employer in the Austin, TX-metro area.
Dell is a major employer in the Austin metro area.

8. Austin, TX

Percent share of top ten (rounded): 7%
Average annual salary: $85,000
Median home price: $192,000
Salary as a percentage of home price: 44%
Median annual rent: $11,856
Rent as a percentage of income: 14%
Major employers: 3M, Apple Inc., Google, Dell, Cisco Systems, Cirrus Logic, National Instruments, Silicon Laboratories, Oracle Corporation, Intel Corporation, AT&T, Facebook, AMD, Applied Materials.

 A rendering of Apple's planned campus in Cupertino, CA, which is part of the San Jose MSA.
A rendering of Apple’s planned campus in Cupertino, CA, which is part of the San Jose MSA.

7. San Jose, CA

Percent share of top ten (rounded): 7%
Average annual salary: $128,000
Median home price: $636,900
Salary as a percentage of home price: 20%
Median annual rent: $18,696
Rent as a percentage of income: 15%
Major employers: Google, Apple, Cisco Systems, eBay, IBM, Hitachi, Adobe Systems, Intel, Microsoft, NASA, Ericsson, SuperMicro, Cadence Design Systems, Texas Instruments.

 Texas Instruments headquarters in Dallas.
Texas Instruments headquarters in Dallas.

6. Dallas, TX

Percent share of top ten (rounded): 7 percent
Average annual salary: $92,000
Median home price: $150,000
Salary as a percentage of home price: 61%
Median annual rent: $10,848
Rent as a percentage of income: 12%
Major employers: American Airlines, Raytheon, AT&T, Lockheed Martin, Texas Instruments, Fluor Corporation, Exxon Mobil, Atmos Energy, Verizon, McAfee

If you’re considering a move to Dallas, check out our Dallas Moving Guide

 A statue in San Francisco pays homage to Joseph Strauss, chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge.
A statue in San Francisco pays homage to Joseph Strauss, chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge.

5. San Francisco, CA

Percent share of top ten (rounded): 13 percent
Average annual salary: $122,000
Median home price: $579,000
Salary as a percentage of home price: 21 percent
Median annual rent: $16,908
Rent as a percentage of income: 14%
Major employers: Bechtel, Intel, VMWare, Electronic Arts, Facebook, Oracle, Yahoo, Intuit, Uber, Dolby Laboratories, AutoDesk, Yelp, Adobe Systems, Google

 Google's New York City headquarters.
Google’s New York City headquarters.

4. New York, NY

Percent share of top ten (rounded): 13%
Average annual salary: $109,000
Median home price: $406,700
Salary as a percentage of home price: 27%
Median annual rent: $14,604
Rent as a percentage of income: 13%
Major employers: L-3 Communications, Rockstar Games, Verizon, Consolidated Edison, Metropolitan Transit Authority, IBM, Google, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase

 Aerospace company's corporate headquarters is in Chicago.
Aerospace company Boeing has its corporate headquarters in Chicago.

3. Chicago, IL

Percent share of top ten (rounded): 10%
Average annual salary: $108,000
Median home price: $225,000
Salary as a percentage of home price: 48%
Median annual rent: $11,568
Rent as a percentage of income: 11%
Major employers: United, AT&T, Exelon, Orbitz, Motorola, USRobotics, Midway Games, Boeing

 A shuttle is ferried from NASA's Johnson Space Center, with Houston in the background.
A shuttle is ferried from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, with Houston in the background.

2. Houston, TX

Percent share of top ten (rounded): 14%
Average annual salary: $102,000
Median home price: $141,400
Salary as a percentage of home price: 72%
Median annual rent: $10,728
Rent as a percentage of income: 11%
Major employers: Shell Oil, ExxonMobil, HP, Chevron, Halliburton, KBR, Quanta Services, NASA

If you’re considering a move to Houston, check out our Houston Moving Guide

atlanta engineers
High salaries and reasonable housing prices make Atlanta a top choice for engineers of all kinds.

1. Atlanta, GA

Percent share of top ten (rounded): 9%
Average annual salary: $113,000
Median home price: $170,400
Salary as a percentage of home price: 66%
Median annual rent: $11,484
Rent as a percentage of income: 10%
Major employers: Delta Air Lines, AT&T, Cox Enterprises, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Turner Broadcasting Systems, EarthLink, BlueLinx, Coca-Cola, Georgia Tech Research Institute, General Electric

Want to take a deeper dive into industry statistics? Click here to check out more job trend data from Indeed.com. And if you’re moving to one of these cities and need storage, SpareFoot can help you compare by amenity, location, price, and more. 

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Alexander Harris
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  • Tim Ereneta

    I don’t know how old the census data is you used but the median rent in San Francisco is currently three times what you cite, and the median home price is now $1 million.

  • jessegreathouse

    Yes, the cost of living in San Francisco has been artificially inflated dramatically in very short years; Unfortunately wages have not proportionately increased as well, it is quite outrageous. There are quite a few stories of developers making $160k a year and barely making ends meet because of rapid inflation.

  • Pingback: Dallas lands on the list of best cities for engineering jobs | Marie Sells Dallas()

  • sugarntasty

    Inaccuracy with statistics especially,L.A and San Francisco entry level,determined by experience “innovative concepts. Networking not academics essentials obtaining ideal,jobs furthermore different ways finding ideal jobs. Myself Nordic yes employed…now Austrian firm yes hired many “Americans explain process. Credentials and soft skills oppose pretentious “Bay area” alumni,nationalism,sexuality and preferential firms simply. If have required “companies resume” entrance so called status positions. Geographically USA, South belt looking for engineers,IT and Data Science Bay area,Silicon Beach,Seattle,San Diego and Boston paying well! Yes,Nordic,Polish,Australian,BENELUX,Korean,Thai,New Zealand,French,Singapore,German,Canadian,British and Italian firms. Located major tech
    metropolitan regions paying 4 times criticism…pay is dismal national markets monopoly of
    retaining “prominence” of new engineering concepts. Admit great time STEM reminds of
    90’s business finance and new media where top choices of high earn salaries. Ordeal is
    gentrification global firms desire to expand “American cities” failed protect housing policies!

  • All Time Tech

    FYI I used to live in new york. There are barely any engineers there. It is mostly a manufacturing city rather than a city with high engineer counts.