Cost of Living factored into potential new job/relocation


I saw a posting for an open position at a firm in Boston that I’d be interested in. Career-wise, it’d essentially be a lateral move for me, which is fine, because working in Boston is part of the appeal to me, having gone to school there. I’ve lived and worked in Albany for the last 7 years or so. 

Assuming a good case scenario: interview process goes well, and I was close to being offered the position. What could I expect relative to the difference in cost of living factoring into salary negotiation? Obviously COL is much higher in Boston compared to a smaller city like Albany.

My hunch, unfortunately, is little to no effect? I’d assume one of the reasons a firm might prefer to hire a local candidate is for the very reason of not having to consider paying extra. Mind you, I’m not suggesting that the difference be completely covered and accounted for, but rather just trying to get a sense of what could be realistically expected, if I entertained a big move. 

Any insight would be appreciated.

Feb 4, 23 3:09 pm

NY state isn't a low CoL location either so I think the only big difference is going to be rent and commuting. Take a look what kind of apartments are available in places you could get to work from and see how that compares.

salary has everything to do with what other employees in the city with similar skills are paid and nothing to do with what you need to live. but obviously plenty people in boston are making it work. do you have classmates in the city who could give you some comparison on what kind of living situation architects that level can afford in boston?

Feb 5, 23 8:59 am  · 
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Thanks for the response. 

Yes, rent specifically is the biggest question mark for me. It may as well be dirt cheap in Albany compared to Boston, which isn't shocking, as I've kept an eye on opportunities over the years. Realistically, I'd do a full review over my budget/finances before making a move, of course, And while I have little doubt its technically doable, I don't want to fall into a situation where budget gets too tight over time. (PS: yes, student loans are ever present, too). 

Feb 5, 23 1:51 pm  · 

Yes, do the review of your finances.  You can also easily research a lot of cost of living info for Boston online.  If home ownership is something you eventually want, maybe also look ahead and see if buying in Boston is doable on an architect's salary at some point in your future.

Feb 5, 23 4:43 pm  · 

I would also recommend doing the financial review before any interview as well. What their number is may always be in flux but it would be a good idea to research and pinpoint what your baseline number is for the quality of life you expect/want. 

Feb 6, 23 12:57 pm  · 
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