These are the top cities for expat job opportunities

Caiaimage | Agnieszka Olek | Getty

If you're looking to take your career to the next level, the U.S. or the U.K. could be the place to do it, according to a new study.

Major cities in Britain and the U.S. account for four of the five top locations for expat job opportunities, HSBC's latest Expat Explorer survey found.

Based on feedback from 27,587 expats across the globe, the survey takes into account factors such as work-life balance, cost of living and average salary. As a guide, the global average for expat income is $99,903.

Here are the top 5 cities for expat job opportunities: 

5. Birmingham

The canals of Birmingham, U.K.
Fiona McAllister Photography | Getty

Average expat earnings: $61,950

Securing fifth place in the ranking is Birmingham in the U.K. The city has enjoyed a period of regeneration in recent years, with the British government's efforts to encourage business outside of the country's capital.

Though expats working in Birmingham earn well below the global average, more than half (51 percent) praised the city's affordable cost of living, saying they enjoy a higher level of disposable income now than they did in their home city.

4. Dublin

View of Ha'penny bridge on bright sunny day in Dublin, Ireland.

Average expat earnings: $91,419

Ireland's capital Dublin was in fourth place. Home to the European headquarters of major companies such as Google and Facebook, Dublin has become something of a tech hub, accounting for the highest proportion of expats working in technology globally (39 percent).

While Dublin is known for its high cost of living, expats rated the city's social scene. Two-thirds of expats living in the capital said their work-life balance had improved since moving there.

3. New York

One57 building in the skyline of New York City as seen from the Rockefeller Center Observation Deck.
Roberto Machado Noa | LightRocket | Getty Images

Average expat earnings: $182,240

A regular in the rankings for top expat cities, New York took third place this year. The home of Wall Street, New York's thriving financial center makes it a huge draw for bankers and other finance professionals.

Though expat earnings in New York are among the highest in the world, respondents noted that came at the expense of their physical health. Just 40 percent of expats said they had become more active in New York than they were in their home city.

2. London

vladimir zakharov | Moment Open | Getty Images

Average expat earnings: $107,836

Despite concerns about the impact of Brexit on the U.K. economy, London was ranked second place for expat job opportunities. Nearly half (49 percent) cited excellent job opportunities in the British capital.

The average expat salary is almost 10 percent above the global average, which is especially impressive given that the city has the second highest proportion of millennial expats (52 percent). However, the city is still criticized for its high cost of living.

1. San Francisco

The Painted Ladies, Victorian-style houses with downtown at dusk in the background,
DeAgostini | Getty Images

Average expat earnings: $207,227

With a booming economy and leading position in the tech world, San Francisco secured prime position this year. The majority of expats in San Francisco (57 percent) rated the city as having fantastic job opportunities — well above the global average of 25 percent.

Though the city has a high cost of living, it is also home to the second highest average expat salary globally, and many respondents said they enjoyed a better home and car in San Francisco than in their home city.

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