For many people, the idea of living in Los Angeles conjures up the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood. However, there’s a lot more that this brilliant city has to offer, such as the beach, desert, and mountains. Also, there’s incredible diversity in terms of culture and jobs. Before you make the big move, though, you need to equip yourself with some vital information.

It’s important to know what you can expect in terms of earnings and expenses, which is why you need to know what the average salary in Los Angeles is for your particular job. Read on for five reasons why you really should take the time to understand what your peers might be earning.


Don’t make the mistake of accepting the wrong job

You’ve received an offer for a great job. It seems like the perfect position for you and the pay seems to be pretty good too. You accept the offer and you’re incredibly excited about starting your new life in Los Angeles. Then you get there.

You quickly discover that renting a one-bedroom apartment will set you back around $2,400 per month, utilities will cost you $110, and public transportation will set you back another $100. Yes, you’ve just discovered that the cost of living in L.A. is 43% higher than the national average, and the job you’ve accepted will barely cover the bare necessities.

Had you been aware that the average salary in Los Angeles is $62,704, as per PayScale, you might have made a different decision.


Save time on your job hunt

man sitting at a table wearing a suit and tie is looking for a job at a newspaper page

Job hunting is a pretty time-consuming endeavor, and the more time you waste, the more difficult life becomes. This is especially true if you’ve already moved to Los Angeles and are living on your savings.

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However, if you know exactly what the average salary in Los Angeles is, then you will be able to narrow down your options much faster.

For example, an executive assistant makes an average of $55,449 per year, so you can eliminate any executive assistant jobs paying less than that.

While it’s definitely a subjective decision, you have to ask yourself if earning less than the average is something you are willing to accept, especially if that means you’ll only be able to cover your basic necessities.  


Avoid living paycheck to paycheck

Living in Los Angeles isn’t cheap. In fact, according to a GoBankingRates study, you need to earn $87,260 per year to live comfortably, with 30 percent of that representing disposable income and 20 percent representing savings.

So, just to cover the cost of basic necessities such as shelter, food, utilities, and health insurance, you would need to earn $43,630. But is that really how you want to live? Probably not. Or, at least, not for long.

If you know the average salary in Los Angeles for your position or for your field, then you can avoid taking a job that would only pay you enough to cover the bare minimum.

Even if it means waiting longer before you are able to move to Los Angeles, it’s certainly a better strategy than ending up hating this great city because you’re forced to live paycheck to paycheck.


Increase your chances of getting paid what you’re worth

You’re a software engineer and you’ve been offered what seems like a great job here. The offer is for $85,000, which means you could live pretty comfortably and even set aside some cash in savings. So, you accept without negotiating.

Only then do you discover that the average salary in Los Angeles for a software engineer is $100,614 per year! So, that means you’ve accepted a job with a salary that’s closer to what an entry-level software engineer would earn on average, despite the fact that you are far more experienced. 

Clearly, if you had been aware of the average salary in Los Angeles for your position ahead of time, you would have either negotiated or moved on to a different offer.

This data is also vital for the actual negotiation process. After all, how can you argue that you’re worth more if you don’t have any concrete data to back up your conclusions? Negotiating successfully is all about knowing your real value and standing your ground, but also about having facts to back up your assertions.

If you’ve already made the mistake of accepting a job that’s offering you less than your worth, it will be far more difficult to renegotiate your salary. In many cases, your best option will be to find a job with a different company. The good news is that it’s always easier to find a job while currently employed so don’t get discouraged if you find yourself once again sending out resumes. 


Make the right long-term choice

Being aware of the average salary in Los Angeles, and knowing how much you need to earn in order to live comfortably in this city will allow you to make fully informed decisions that will affect you for the long-term.

Own your work experience, know your worth and don’t accept anything less, all within reason of course. If you’re struggling to provide or keep food on the table for example, it’s best to get a job for the time being so you can get paid while looking for other options. 

When it comes to living comfortably, consider renting from a company like Blueground. They offer fully-furnished and equipped apartments all over Los Angeles.

Every property is move-in ready so you can focus on finding a job in your new city, rather than moving furniture or setting up utilities. Also, Blueground tenants have the luxury of flexible lease terms, so you can keep changing apartments and neighborhoods until you find your favorite.

a Blueground apartment in Los Angeles with an olive green accent wall a large white bed in a wooden frame and a small wooden nightstand with a lamp on top next to the bed

If you find that the job market isn’t quite right for you at the moment in L.A. you might decide to postpone your move or even look at another city. Keep in mind that there are other ways to increase income such as getting part-time work or starting to work as a freelancer, allowing you to work from anywhere. You never know, you might even start working as a freelancer with an L.A. based company and then relocate here permanently to become a full-time employee. 

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