While New York City is a great place to live, it’s a well-known fact that it’s expensive. It might not be the most expensive city in the United States (the cost of living in San Francisco is far higher) but it’s still right up there near the top of the list. If you’ve been offered a job here, it definitely pays to know not only the average salary in NYC beforehand but also how much life will cost you, so you can make informed decisions about your budget. 


A quick look at the average salary in NYC

According to Payscale, the average salary in the Big Apple is slightly above $69,000. This figure is based on all industries, as well as levels of education and experience, which means some jobs will pay more while others will pay less.  

2 business men wearing suits and 1 business woman wearing a white shirt and a grey skirt are sitting down in chairs. The woman has a black briefcase sitting on the floor in front of her. Everyone has their hands on their lap as they wait for their turn in an interview.

For example, according to Glassdoor, the average salary for someone in sales is $62,000 per year, which is 19% above the national average, while an industrial engineer can expect to make close to $70,000 per year, which is only 4% above the national average.

However, according to Hired, someone in the tech industry can expect to make an average of $129,000, which is far above the average salary in NYC.


Understand the cost of living in NYC

While knowing the average salary in NYC is a great starting point when it comes to analyzing job offers, it’s also vital that you are aware of what it costs just to live here. Everyone knows New York is expensive, but having only an abstract idea is not going to be very helpful for planning your future reality. Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities. So, according to Payscale, the cost of living in New York is 129% higher than the national average. When you break this down into individual categories, NYC is far more expensive in certain areas, and not quite as shocking in others. For example, rent is a major factor. This city is the second most expensive in the United States for renters, with the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment being as much as $2,750.

Plus, you often have to pay a broker’s fee that can be as much as 15% of the annual rent. To actually get the apartment, in most cases you have to show that you earn as much as 45 times the monthly rent per year, which can be problematic because you’d have to earn $123,750 per year just to secure the aforementioned one-bedroom apartment.

A furnished apartment in New York City with a dark grey leather couch and a small white round table and in the corner there is an armchair. There is a blanket tossed onto the couch and another one tossed onto the armchair. Above the leather chair is a large black light fixture

No need to panic! The good news is that there are ways you can get around these kinds of requirements. For example, Blueground offers apartments that only require a security deposit, which you’ll get back when you move out. There’s no broker’s fee either, which saves you as much as $5,000. All of their properties are beautifully decorated, fully-furnished, completely equipped and available to rent for a minimum of 30 days. Located in the most sought after areas of the city, these spaces come with flexible lease terms. Meaning, during your stay you can change apartments and neighborhoods until you find what suits you best. 


Analyze the job offer

Being aware of the average salary and cost of living for New York helps determine whether the job offer you received is really as attractive as you first thought it was. Of course, you can always negotiate the salary but when you’re armed with data, you’re in a far more powerful negotiating position.

So, before you say yes or no, closely analyze the offer being made. If you’re being offered much less than the average salary in NYC for that position, you might want to reconsider. If you really need the job, though, at least make sure that you can live and get around the city on the amount you’re being offered.


Use a paycheck calculator

Before you get all excited about the amount you’re being offered, make sure to use a paycheck calculator. After deducting taxes and other obligations, the amount you’re left with in hand might be surprising. 

For example, the average salary in NYC is $69,000, which translates into a monthly gross of $5,750. However, you’ll only be taking home $4,036 per month, after paying all your taxes. Unfortunately, that’s not even enough to pay the average rent.

This is also why it’s not a good idea to agree right away if you’re only told the proposed salary during the interview. It might seem great at first, but when you get home and run the calculations, you might discover the opposite is true.


Consider any other perks

When analyzing the job you’ve been offered, make sure to take a good look at the benefits as well. Even if the salary is not as high as you’d like it to be, if you’re being offered healthcare, flexible hours, and plenty of vacation time, for example, it might be worth it.

A doctor with a blue shirt and a white coat weather a stethoscope is checking out a patient who is sitting across from him with brown hair and a pink shirt. In the background there is a coffee cup and small potted plant.

After all, healthcare is not cheap, and flexible hours could save you both time and money.

If you find that the employer isn’t willing to offer you the pay rise you want, try to come to an agreement in terms of benefits. If they’ll agree to let you work from home two days a week, for example, it might be worth it when you consider the time and money saved with your commute.

The average salary in NYC is $69,000 and the cost of living is 129% higher than the United States average. Compare that to an average salary in Los Angeles which is over $65,500, and yet the cost of living in Los Angeles is only 43% higher than the national average.

Data like this is important to remember because it will help you when it comes to negotiating your salary and benefits. After all, if you know what you should be earning (based on your role or industry), and you’re aware of how much it will cost you to live in New York, you are in a far better position to get what you want out of that interview. 

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