Balancing Priorities

If you work in a hot job field, these cities are the best places to live

Attractive salaries often go hand-in-hand with a high cost of living, but if you're in a hot job field, some metros are a better deal than others.

LinkedIn and Zillow crunched the numbers to see where workers in finance, health care or tech can find a prime combination of ample (and well-paid) job opportunities and housing costs that let them keep a bigger chunk of their paycheck. To come up with the rankings, the sites used a combination of housing and employment data including hiring trends, median wages, income tax rates and median monthly housing costs.

Relocating for a job isn't a decision to make lightly. On the financial side, consider how your salary, taxes and cost of living (not just housing) in that new city compare to your current locale, said certified financial planner Mark LaSpisa, president of Vermillion Financial Advisors in South Barrington, Illinois.

Seattle, Washington.
Michael Riffle | Getty Images

Don't forget to consider nonfinancial factors, like schools, weather and proximity to family. One of LaSpisa's clients nixed a planned cross-country relocation after finding out his new city didn't have great health care nearby.

"You never know what's going to be the deciding factor," he said.

If you decide to move, start by renting. You'll be able to make smarter home buying choices after living in — rather than just visiting — a city, he said. Renting also lets you make a faster exit should you decide that new city isn't for you.

"The nice thing is, there's quite a bit of overlap between these two lists as a renter and an owner," said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. Workers who relocate won't necessarily find themselves priced out.

Based on the LinkedIn-Zillow findings, these cities are the best bets depending on your field and whether you want to buy or rent. (See the full lists for finance, health-care and tech workers.)