Relocation Fee Compensation with New Job?


I am almost getting my 3rd job in Portland, OR, and I am currently preparing to move in from another city. The biggest part is selling the home we own now. 

I am curious if mid-size architecture companies (40 -50 people) may cover a part of the relocation fees such as moving cost, the fee to hire realtor to sell the house etc... Does anyone have experience?

I assume that this depends on my experience and new position. I have about 3 years of experience overseas, and another 3 years in the U.S. 

I would appreciate your advice. 

Jun 9, 19 12:10 pm

I've worked in some firms that will pay relocation expenses for fairly senior staff, especially in hard to fill positions.  What exactly they'll cover depends on the firm and the individual applicant - it's something you should try to negotiate.  

Be aware that in the new tax code you have to pay income taxes on any relocation expenses covered by your employer.

Jun 9, 19 12:22 pm

Thanks for your reply, eeayeeayo.

>I've worked in some firms that will pay relocation expenses for fairly senior staff, especially in hard to fill positions.

Sure, that is what I guessed... I think the position of my level could be easily substituted, but I will negotiate, at least as you advised.

And, I was not thinking about the tax report, at all. Thank you again for the important information!

Jun 9, 19 12:45 pm

You can always ask nicely.  Worst they would do is decline to offer.  I've asked and gotten a modest amount in the past in a mid-level position.

Jun 10, 19 5:42 pm


If they approached YOU, they'll probably pay.

If you approached THEM, you're on your own.


Jun 10, 19 7:42 pm

Hi 3tk,

Yes, sure...I should be definitely polite. I feel good to hear you had some stipend when you got mid-level position. Thank you, I appreciated your comments.

Hi SneakyPete,

... That make sense, but I won't give up! I will try at least. Thank you for your comments too!

Jun 10, 19 11:03 pm

ummm, no, not likely

Jun 11, 19 8:19 pm

I have very very seldom seen a mid-size architecture firm provide the kind of relocation package you envision.  It is more common with giant firms and usually for much more senior or in-demand (i.e. principal, high-level marketing or BIM Manager) positions.   A mid size USA firm may give you $1,500 bucks or so to rent a moving truck.

Know also that any firm with sense will make you agree to stay with them for X number of years, or require you to pay back some or all of the relocation money if you leave before the end of the commitment period.

Jun 13, 19 3:41 pm

At our mid-sized firm we typically contributed to relocation expenses only when a. the candidate possessed skills unusually well suited to our strategic needs; b. the candidate was relatively senior; and c. we had experienced unusual difficulty filling the position locally. Our approach was to offer a flat amount to assist in relocation - not cover whatever costs the candidate decided to submit for reimbursement.

We once had a candidate accept our offer, receive his relocation payment, then quit after about two months when a position opened in a local firm that he originally wanted to join. He just used us for help in getting to our city. We changed our policy after that to pay the relocation expenses in installments over a year.

Jun 18, 19 12:00 pm

More than 20 years ago, when I was applying for my first job after graduation, I got a flat $5000 for moving expenses from the firm whose offer I accepted.  There was a condition attached that if I left within a year then I would have to reimburse the firm, but I stayed longer than that.  I only had a few years of summer experience and part-time work during school at that point, so it wasn't the case that only very experienced/senior people got that benefit.  The firm was a large, well-known one, but the branch I was applying to was in a secondary city with a smaller pool of local candidates than some places.  $5000 wouldn't go very far if I were to move these days, with a house full of belongings and realtor fees, but at the time it more than covered my new-grad types of moving costs.

Jun 18, 19 10:51 pm

I received a 2k signing bonus moving across the country... 

Jun 18, 19 11:03 pm

Everyone, I appreciated your comments. Hearing your experiences, it would less likely to happen on my me because I am moving to Portland, OR! Funny add I found on Craig's List was a job in Bent, OR. They are advertising to pay 5k to a new employee as relocation fee. I can imagine filling a new position is harder there in this good economic situation, but not the same in Portalnd. 

However, I can still politely ask. Why not?

Thanks again to all.

Jun 22, 19 1:28 pm

There's no harm in asking. You would ask at the point that you're negotiating other terms and benefits - usually that would be no earlier than a 2nd interview - or at the point at which they bring up benefits or make you an offer. It's not something you want to bring up in advance of an interview, or before they raise the topic of benefits during an interview - that would be kind of like asking about vacation time early on in an interview - it's just not good to do that because it makes you seem more interested in what you can get from them than in what you can do for their firm.

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