Help wanted: These 25 cities are tops for jobs

If you think you need to head to a big city on the East or West Coast to find a great job, you might want to think again.

Midwestern cities like Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Louisville were among the top cities in the U.S. for finding a job, feeling good after you get it, and being able to enjoy an affordable quality of life, according to a new study compiled by job search site Glassdoor. 

"If you weigh (those criteria) equally, these are some of the surprising cities that come to the top,'' says Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor's chief economist.

Pittsburgh was No. 1 in Glassdoor's rankings, with the median value of a home costing roughly three times the area's median base salary of $44,000. Civil engineers, nurses and project managers were in particular demand in the one-time manufacturing hub.

Indianapolis and Kansas City, Mo. ranked second and third, with openings plentiful in job categories ranging from machine operator to software engineer and audit manager.

Meanwhile, the tech and finance capitals of San Francisco, New York and Boston didn’t even crack the top 25.

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 "When many people think about moving for work, especially young people, they think about big cities with flashy brand names like New York and San Francisco,'' he says. But "while those cities have many jobs, they're also very expensive and competitive.''

A key driver of job growth in many mid-sized U.S. cities is the rising need for tech expertise in a variety of industries, including retail and financial services, Chamberlain says. As a result, well-known tech centers like Seattle and San Jose, in the heart of northern California's Silicon Valley, are No. 17 and 22 respectively on Glassdoor's list, while Detroit comes in at No. 12.

“You might not work in San Jose or Seattle if you're  a software engineer,'' Chamberlain says. "You might end up in Kansas City or Salt Lake.''

Health care is another robust field. There are nearly 1 million health care jobs currently open in the U.S., Chamberlain says.  

With the nation's jobless rate hovering at 4.4%, many job seekers may not need to relocate in order to find work. In June, a record 6.2 million positions were waiting to be filled according to the U.S. Labor Department, and many companies have said that they are having difficulty finding employees.

But workers with a steady job who want to see their paychecks go further may be interested in exploring their options, Chamberlain says.

"There might be some deals to be had if they're willing to pick up and start their career somewhere else,'' he says.

1. Pittsburgh

  • Glassdoor City Score (out of 5): 4.4
  • Job Openings: 95,399
  • Median Base Salary: $44,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.2
  • Median Home Value: $137,400
  • Hot Jobs: Civil Engineer, Project Manager, Registered Nurse

2.  Indianapolis

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.4
  • Job Openings: 80,561
  • Median Base Salary: $43,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $138,100
  • Hot Jobs: DevOps Engineer, Marketing Manager, Machine Operator

3.  Kansas City

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.4
  • Job Openings: 90,649
  • Median Base Salary: $45,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $159,400
  • Hot Jobs: Software Engineer, Research Associate, Audit Manager

4.  Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.4
  • Job Openings: 65,810
  • Median Base Salary: $50,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $228,200
  • Hot Jobs: Mobile Developer, Physician, Civil Engineer

5.  St. Louis

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.4
  • Job Openings: 104,725
  • Median Base Salary: $45,600
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $148,600
  • Hot Jobs: Electrical Engineer, Communications Manager, Recruiter

6.  Memphis

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.4
  • Job Openings: 42,347
  • Median Base Salary: $41,200
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $119,700
  • Hot Jobs: Physical Therapist, Software Engineer, Maintenance Technician

7.  Columbus

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.3
  • Job Openings: 78,370
  • Median Base Salary: $45,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $162,500
  • Hot Jobs: Office Manager, Database Administrator, Restaurant Manager,

8. Cincinnati

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.3
  • Job Openings: 79,554
  • Median Base Salary: $44,637
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $152,600
  • Hot Jobs: Data Engineer, Medical Assistant, Account Executive

9. Cleveland

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.3
  • Job Openings: 66,410
  • Median Base Salary: $43,000  
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $134,600
  • Hot Jobs: DevOps Engineer, Consultant, Sales Associate

10. Louisville

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.2
  • Job Openings: 49,213
  • Median Base Salary: $40,138   
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $148,600
  • Hot Jobs: Mechanical Engineer, Nurse Manager, Warehouse Associate

11. Birmingham, Ala.

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.2
  • Job Openings: 40,123  
  • Median Base Salary: $38,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3  
  • Median Home Value: $133,400
  • Hot Jobs: Marketing Manager, Insurance Agent, Truck Driver

12. Detroit

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.2
  • Job Openings: 119,567
  • Median Base Salary: $46,344  
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $141,000
  • Hot Jobs: Business Operations Manager, Software Engineer, Auto Technician

13. Minneapolis-St. Paul

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 151,656
  • Median Base Salary: $52,000  
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $247,400
  • Hot Jobs: Manufacturing Engineer, Graphic Designer, Sales Associate

14. Hartford, Conn.

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 46,274  
  • Median Base Salary: $55,000   
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $223,100
  • Hot Jobs: Physician Assistant, Professor, Mechanical Engineer

15. Oklahoma City, Okla.

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 43,898  
  • Median Base Salary: $36,000    
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $134,900
  • Hot Jobs: Compliance Manager, Medical Assistant, Restaurant Manager

16. Washington, D.C.

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 293,481
  • Median Base Salary: $62,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.5
  • Median Home Value: $382,600
  • Hot Jobs: Systems Engineer, Financial Analyst, Risk Consultant

17. Seattle

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 187,741
  • Median Base Salary: $65,000   
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.5
  • Median Home Value: $447,100
  • Hot Jobs: Software Development Engineer, Technical Program Manager, Barista

18. Atlanta

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 195,021  
  • Median Base Salary: $46,000   
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $179,900  
  • Hot Jobs: Mechanical Engineer, Physical Therapist, Marketing Manager

19. Baltimore

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 123,370
  • Median Base Salary: $48,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $261,000
  • Hot Jobs: Project Manager, Controls Engineer, Executive Assistant

20. Nashville

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 80,192
  • Median Base Salary: $42,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $220,100
  • Hot Jobs: Professor, Licensed Practical Nurse, Restaurant Server

21. Milwaukee, WI

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.0
  • Job Openings: 63,772
  • Median Base Salary: $46,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.2
  • Median Home Value: $215,500
  • Hot Jobs: Civil Engineer, Medical Assistant, Sales Consultant

22. San Jose, Calif.

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.0
  • Job Openings: 106,809
  • Median Base Salary: $100,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.5
  • Median Home Value: $1,013,700
  • Hot Jobs: Software Development Engineer, Marketing Manager, Test Engineer

23. Chicago

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.0
  • Job Openings: 332,546
  • Median Base Salary: $50,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $211,200
  • Hot Jobs: Occupational Therapist, Manufacturing Engineer, Account Executive

24. Charlotte, N.C.

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.0
  • Job Openings: 78,285
  • Median Base Salary: $45,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $174,800
  • Hot Jobs: Business Analyst, Sales Consultant, Clinical Nurse

25. Dallas-Fort Worth

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.0
  • Job Openings: 249,235
  • Median Base Salary: $49,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $211,000
  • Hot Jobs: Software Engineer, Financial Analyst, Server