AUTHOR
Abbey Gingras
Abbey Gingras
PUBLISHED
February 18, 2020
4 minute read
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11 Awesome Companies Located in Affordable Cities

You don’t have to move to New York or San Francisco to work somewhere great.

11 Awesome Companies Located in Affordable Cities

Sometimes it feels like everyone you know is working in a few big U.S. cities and there are no jobs anywhere else. While places like New York or San Francisco are great and have ample opportunities, the cost of living in those cities makes it impossible for some to live there—especially those who are younger, burdened with student debt, or raising a family. These companies offer the clout and opportunities of somewhere like NYC, but are based in places boasting a fraction of the living costs. Add these companies – and cities – to your list of options in your job search. 



1. PNC

Where it's headquartered: Pittsburgh, PA

Median 2-bedroom apartment rent: $1,227

Cost of living compared to San Francisco: 49% lower

Cost of living compared to New York City: 60% lower


Providing a differentiated experience for their customers and employees is central to PNC’s mission – and it shows. This financial services company prides itself on its open and inclusive culture, and believes in providing its employees with the support they need to not only grow professionally, but to thrive in their personal lives as well. The company’s talent-focused culture is designed to allow employees to go where they want to in their careers at PNC, and they offer a robust slate of career development resources like mentorship programs and educational courses. In addition to training and development opportunities, PNC offers competitive benefits like paid time off to volunteer, well-being centers, and family-oriented benefits like backup childcare and flexible work arrangements. 

 

2. Qualtrics

Where it's headquartered: Provo, UT

Median 2-bedroom apartment rent: $1,096

Cost of living compared to SF: 52% lower

Cost of living compared to NYC: 62% lower 

 

What makes Qualtrics an awesome place to work? In addition to being located right outside of bustling Salt Lake City—a thriving metro center with nearby access to hiking trails, world-class skiing, and more—Qualtrics is growing rapidly for a reason. Employees are treated with respect, transparency, and a general enthusiasm for their career growth and upward mobility. Students and recent grads are no exception, and Qualtrics emphasizes that early-career employees are empowered to make an impact on the business from day one. But even with this emphasis on career growth, employees don’t have to sacrifice work-life balance. Qualtrics believes employees should ‘Work hard, play harder,’ and offers generous time off, semi-annual bonuses, and more, allowing team members to pursue what makes them happy. 


3. McMaster-Carr

Where it's located: Cleveland, OH

Median 2-bedroom apartment rent: $1,150

Cost of living compared to SF: 52% lower

Cost of living compared to NYC: 62% lower


While McMaster-Carr has locations in several affordable cities (such as Atlanta, GA, Princeton, NJ and its headquarters in Elmhurst, IL) the company is actively hiring graduates for Management Development in Cleveland. What makes the opportunity with McMaster-Carr so awesome? Recent grads in Management Development have the opportunity to hone their management skills early on, leading teams as early as their first year at the company. On top of that, McMaster-Carr offers its employees robust opportunities for learning & development, including formal mentorship programs and full tuition benefits. Finally, the company believes its employees can do exceptional work without sacrificing work-life balance, and they encourage employees to lead fulfilling lives outside of work. If you're a student looking to jumpstart your career in management and take on impactful projects (while also minimizing your cost of living), McMaster-Carr could be the perfect place to launch your career.


4. Target

Where it's headquartered: Minneapolis, MN

Median 2-bedroom apartment rent: $1,189

Cost of living compared to SF: 47% lower

Cost of living compared to NYC: 58% lower


You already spend all your time shopping here, so why not work here? Target’s HQ in Minneapolis offers endless career growth opportunities and the company partners with national professional organizations to ensure inclusive hiring practices. Besides growth, the benefits here are great: wellness discounts, leadership development programs, and annual bonuses are just a few of the perks. 


5. Whole Foods

Where it's headquartered: Austin, TX

Median 2-bedroom apartment rent: $1,520

Cost of living compared to SF: 49% lower

Cost of living compared to NYC: 60% lower


Whole Foods is a millennial favorite grocer for a reason, and they’ve only gotten bigger and better since being bought by Amazon. The HQ in downtown Austin is as hip as you’d expect with a movie theater on campus, but employees here also get valuable add-ons like in-store discounts, Whole Foods-sponsored travel to volunteer, and the ability to transfer unused PTO to cash. Did we mention that team member growth and happiness is a core company value?


6. VF Corp

Where it's headquartered: Denver, CO

Median 2-bedroom apartment rent: $1,538

Cost of living compared to SF: 44% lower

Cost of living compared to NYC: 56% lower


If the Rockies are calling your name, consider working at VF Corp, which owns a ton of brands you know and love like The North Face and has a brand new HQ set to open in downtown Denver this spring. Employees who work at VF Corp get tuition assistance and 24/7 access to learning opportunities both online and in the classroom. There’s also the benefit of major discounts on all of VF Corp’s brands, so you can get out and do the activities that the company is all about.


7. FedEx

Where it's headquartered: Memphis, TN

Median 2-bedroom apartment rent: $793

Cost of living compared to SF: 59% lower

Cost of living compared to NYC: 68% lower


Memphis might be less flashy than Nashville, but the city’s art and food scenes rival any in the U.S. If you work at FedEx, which is moving into a historic space downtown this spring, you get flexible work-life balance benefits that can be used for everything from pet care to a mortgage. While every FedEx team is different in terms of structure and career growth opportunities, all offer competitive perks like travel discounts and a set raise system.


8. Ford

Where it's headquartered: Detroit, MI

Median 2-bedroom apartment rent: $1,139

Cost of living compared to SF: 50% lower

Cost of living compared to NYC: 61% lower


Ford is one of America’s most storied brands, and employees who work in their Detroit HQ get that history more than anywhere else. One way Ford stands out is its dedicated career hub for students and recent graduates—a great way for young professionals to get into the company early to jumpstart their careers. Ford also offers a re-entry program for those who have had to leave the workforce or have been underemployed, ensuring career growth is happening at any stage. But don’t take our word for it: listen to what employees have to say.


9. Abercrombie & Fitch

Where it's headquartered: Columbus, OH 

Median 2-bedroom apartment rent: $1,084

Cost of living compared to SF: 55% lower

Cost of living compared to NYC: 64% lower


Just outside of Columbus in New Albany, Ohio is Abercrombie & Fitch’s sprawling 500-acre headquarters fondly known as the Home Office. You can follow their Instagram for all the workplace fun, but this is a company with more to offer than just a cool building. Abercrombie is committed to diversity and inclusion, and employees are encouraged to get out and volunteer together with A&F Gives Back.


10. Hallmark

Where it's headquartered: Kansas City, MO

Median 2-bedroom apartment rent: $1,184

Cost of living compared to SF: 52% lower

Cost of living compared to NYC: 62% lower


A company built around making the rest of us feel good is sure to have a good work environment figured out. Hallmark has tons of unique employee perks like an on-site library and art gallery, financial assistance and education, and even ridesharing options. Beyond those, though, is a commitment to your career path and training and development to get you where you want to go. Hallmark was also named one of the best places for women to work in 2018.


11. Fidelity National Financial

Where it's headquartered:  Jacksonville, FL

Median 2 bedroom apartment rent: $1,259

Cost of living compared to SF: 55% lower

Cost of living compared to NYC: 64% lower


There’s a reason Fidelity is regularly named a great place to work. The office is right along the St. John’s River, creating ample opportunity to step away from the desk (and the beach isn’t much farther than that). Most employees say they approve of the CEO and leadership, and with benefits like profit-sharing and stock-bonuses, employees are set up for success and financial security for years to come.



These companies are just the beginning: more and more businesses are fleeing expensive coastal areas for cheaper operating costs throughout the country, and remote work continues to be an appealing option for workers of all ages seeking a flexible lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for an affordable place to settle down long-term or just a temporary home to build up your savings account, options like these around the country are well worth examining.

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