Best Places for Engineers? Kern County of Course!

Best Places for EngineeringAccording to NerdWallet, computer programmers flock to Silicon Valley, financial professionals to New York and entertainers to Los Angeles. But if you’re an engineer looking for a new job, head to Kern County.

NerdWallet ranked the best metropolitan areas in the country for engineers, and Kern’s Bakersfield MSA ranked second in California, just behind San Jose. Kern also ranked high for mean salary and engineers per 1,000 employees.

The following factors were analyzed in 350 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas:

  1. Size of the engineering industry: We looked at the number of engineers per 1,000 employees in each metro area, using 2013 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  1. Income levels for engineering jobs: We looked at the annual mean salary for engineering jobs in each area. We also considered the median gross rent as a cost of living metric to see how far the average income goes in each place.

Kern County

19

Overall Rank in U.S.

$106,337

Mean Salary

16.2

Engineers per 1,000 Employees


Best Places for Engineers

Rank Metro Area State Engineers per 1,000 Employees Mean Engineering Salary Median Gross Rent Overall Score
1 Huntsville AL 60.771 102,766.07 725 85.06
2 Warner Robins GA 38.947 86,386.73 805 60.36
3 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville FL 33.874 93,725.15 876 56.57
4 Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills MI 34.038 87,001.51 829 55.89
5 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA 44.877 119,709.53 1640 55.53
6 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown TX 21.859 122,970.20 886 54.6
7 Midland TX 20.441 141,628.76 1088 54.05
8 Decatur AL 20.249 96,229.35 589 52.52
9 Kennewick-Pasco-Richland WA 23.334 103,604.13 833 51.57
10 Dayton OH 21.298 91,479.78 733 48.74
11 Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin FL 27.435 91,842.71 966 48.6
12 Wichita KS 20.264 88,884.22 705 47.78
13 Boulder CO 27.49 103,956.35 1168 47.42
14 Augusta-Richmond County GA-SC 19.763 91,317.06 774 46.47
15 Greenville-Mauldin-Easley SC 19.437 84,884.96 715 45.73
16 Fort Collins-Loveland CO 22.946 95,661.27 986 45.47
17 Baton Rouge LA 16.629 96,510.02 777 45.25
18 Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford MA-NH 27.676 98,716.18 1207 45.2
19 Bakersfield-Delano CA 16.239 106,337.52 894 45.02
20 Beaumont-Port Arthur TX 12.206 102,826.63 716 44.75

All 20 locations have larger engineering industries than the national average of 12 engineers for every 1,000 employees. Engineers in 13 of our top 20 places earn more than the national mean engineering salary, which is $92,170, and 14 places have lower median rents than the average U.S. metro area, which is $905 a month.

For more information on affordability in each of these places, check out NerdWallet’s cost of living calculator. For similar studies and more, visit NerdWallet Cities.

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