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Cost of Living – Why Michigan?

When considering career choices, it’s important to consider location. Students and young professionals may like the idea of living in California – beaches, sun, and warm weather – however, they need to consider the cost of living and the lifestyle they want to maintain. The median salary for an engineer in Detroit is $94,525 and $110,694 in Los Angeles. After factoring in the cost of living, an engineer would need to make 65% more to maintain their same lifestyle in LA as in the Detroit region. Additionally, the average apartment rent per month is over $1500 more in LA than Detroit. Health care, gas and groceries are also more expensive in LA, as shown in the chart below.

In 2019, there were 7,676 more engineers in LA than Detroit, however, there is a higher concentration in Detroit (LQ 3.05) than LA (LQ 0.97) as evident by their respective location quotients measuring concentration. In fact, engineers are less concentrated in LA than the rest of the nation on average (LQ <1). Therefore, students and young professionals who are looking for employment as an engineer will be able to tap into the talent pool in Detroit, where engineers are employed at a greater rate than a typical region. In addition, based on the cost of living they will be able to maintain a higher standard of living.