Life shouldn’t begin and end at the office. That’s part of the reasoning behind how Glassdoor ranked the top 25 U.S. cities for jobs in 2017. According to Thrillist, the career website used metrics like available job openings, cost of living, and employee satisfaction to decide which of the nation’s 50 most populated metro areas make the best home base.
Pittsburgh topped the list with a thriving job market (95,399 estimated openings), a livable median base salary ($44,000), and an affordable housing market (the median home value is $137,400). Workers—who, on average, ranked their job satisfaction as 3.2 out of 5—had a good chance of snagging occupations ranging from civil engineer to project manager or registered nurse.
Following the City of Bridges, the list’s remaining top 10 cities were either in the Midwest or the South. Indianapolis came in second, with an estimated 80,561 job openings, an average base salary of $43,000, and a median home value of $138,100. Job satisfaction levels were pegged at 3.3 out of 5, and promising career opportunities included gigs as a marketing manager, a machine operator, or a DevOps engineer.
Coming in third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively, were Kansas City, Missouri; Raleigh, North Carolina; St. Louis, Missouri; and Memphis, Tennessee. Cities in Ohio—including Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland—filled positions seven, eight, and nine, respectively, followed by Louisville, Kentucky, which rounded out the list at number 10. As for popular cities like San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, they didn’t even make the cut.
The main takeaway, according to Glassdoor’s chief economist, Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, is to consider positions in cities that aren’t necessarily big coastal behemoths—especially if you’re looking for strong quality of life.
“This list isn’t necessarily designed for extremely career-driven individuals looking for the best jobs in major cities with the best brand names, workplace culture, or benefits,” concluded Chamberlain, according to Refinery29. “This report is for people who want to find a job they will be satisfied in relatively easily, as well as be able to afford living in their city. It illustrates to job seekers and employees who may be looking for a new job that it may be worth broadening your horizons beyond famous U.S. cities—you may find a few surprising opportunities that fit your life.”
Curious which other urban areas made the cut? Glassdoor’s full list is available here.