Florida, also known as the Sunshine State, is one of the fastest-growing states in the US by population. There must be a good reason why so many people are relocating here, right? Well, with a tropical climate, plentiful world-class beaches, diverse wildlife, and picturesque landscapes, who wouldn’t want to live here? Florida is also one of the few states that don’t collect individual income tax, which is a huge draw for anyone moving here from other parts of the country or even from abroad. But before you book a one-way ticket to this promising land, let’s see whether you will be able to afford to live in it.
What is the average salary in Florida? Floridians typically earn about $103,000/year, $8,560 monthly, or 49 USD per hour for those working hourly jobs. These salaries are gross, meaning the take-home pay will be lower. These are just guides and you exact pay will vary depending on a number of things as discussed below.
Transitioning to a new state, let alone a new country can be quite stressful, to say the least. The good news is Florida is a cosmopolitan state with a very mixed population, meaning you will not have a hard time adjusting. The cost of living in is also relatively low (though not everywhere). If you’re still on the fence about whether or not relocating to Florida for work is a good decision, you have come to the right place. I’m here to give you a rundown of everything you need to know before your big move –from job prospects to salaries, to cost of living. Let’s get right into it.
Average Salary in Florida
Understanding the salaries offered in a particular place is beneficial to both job seekers and employers. Salaries here are some of the highest in the country at about 17% more than those of the US. They range from an average minimum gross of $13,900 to an average maximum gross of $455,000 a year. The median gross salary is $101,000/year, which means half of the working population in this state is making more than this amount while the other half is making less. Closely related to the median salary are the 25th and the 75th percentiles. 75% of the working population earns more than 51,600 USD a year while the remaining percentage earns less than that. Subsequently, only 25% are earning more than $272,000/year while the rest earn less than that.
Needless to say, there’s a significant wage gap in the state of Florida. While the average salary for Floridians seems attractive, it doesn’t paint the exact picture of what you could earn working in this state.
Salaries in Florida vary based on several things, starting with the location. For instance, the average annual gross salary for workers in Jacksonville is $100,000 a year while that of workers in Miami, Tampa, and Orlando are $85,700, $81,200 and $78,600, respectively. This is understandable as some cities have higher economic growth and cost of living than others.
Things get more specific when you look at the salaries offered for a particular occupation that you’re planning to join. In that case, here’s a look at the average annual gross salaries for specific occupations and job titles in Florida so you can have a better estimate of your possible earnings:
- Assistant accountant – $62,400
- Accounting manager – $133,000
- Internal auditor – $97,600
- Secretary – $54,600
- Office manager – $69,500
- Photographer – $66,900
- Graphic designer – $64,600
- Flight attendant – $80,800
- Architect – $87,500
- Mechanic – $53,500
- Engineer – $87,500
- Construction project manager – $117,000
- Teller – $68,300
- Bank branch manager – $146,000
- Nanny – $59,700
- Teacher – $75,000
- Police officer – $74,000
- Legal assistant – $71,200
- Attorney – $147,000
- General Manager – $180,000
- CEO – $229,000
- Waiter – $61,600
- Chef – $79,300
- Hotel manager – $150,000
- Nurse – $76,800
- Lab technician – $75,800
- Dentist – $228,000
- Computer technician – $73,200
- IT manager – $136,000
Other Factors Affecting One’s Pay
People in the same occupation will still earn differently depending on the employer, level of education, years of experience, gender, and level of seniority among other things.
Finding a Job in Florida
Finding a job is likely a top priority when relocating to another city, state, or country. Luckily, Florida’s economic outlook is strong. This is currently the top state for job creation in the Southeast with a 2.8% job growth in the last year. The rate of unemployment in this state remains below the national average at 3.4%, which puts Florida at number 20 out of the 50 states for the lowest unemployment rate. That being said, you’ll still need to put in some work to find a good job. A good place to start is in the state’s biggest industries, which include tourism, international trade, health sciences, aviation and aerospace, without forgetting the Walt Disney Corporation.
For those with entrepreneurial skills, Florida ranks as one of the states with the best conditions for starting a business.
Average Salary in Miami
Miami, FL sees thousands of local Americans and foreigners from across the globe relocate to its metropolitan areas and its environs every year. This is thanks to its nearly year-round warm and sunny weather, beautiful coastline, rapid economic growth, and cultural diversity. So, how is the job market in this city? While it’s not as competitive as what you would find in New York and Los Angeles, several international companies in the city of Miami offer great opportunities for locals and expat professionals. The tourism industry naturally provides the greatest employment opportunities, especially for those with bilingual skills.
Working in Miami is a great opportunity for many professionals because it offers some of the highest salaries in the state. Salaries here range from an average minimum of 11,600 USD to an average maximum of 380,000 USD a year. A person working in Miami can earn an average gross salary of 85,700 USD per year while the median wage is 89,200 USD per year. For those with hourly jobs, expect an average pay of 41 USD for every worked hour. All these figures are gross, meaning they include transport, housing, and other benefits. Although the take-home pay will be lower, you will be able to bring home more money since the state of Florida doesn’t collect state income tax.
The above figures are simply guidelines since one’s pay will vary depending on things such as their occupation, employer, years of experience, seniority, and so on.
Cost of Living in Florida
Florida is neither the most affordable nor the priciest state to reside in. Prices will, however, vary depending on where you live. Places like Miami Beach, Sunny Isles Beach, and Key West are considerably more costly to live in while Orlando, Gainesville, and Palm Bay are much more affordable. Here’s a more in-depth look at the living costs in Florida.
Housing, for starters, is not particularly cheap given that Florida is a popular destination for celebrities and families chasing the warm, sunny weather. The average home in this state is currently valued at about $299,000. If you don’t have funds to make a down payment or are planning to stay for a short while, renting is an option. Rental prices vary significantly between cities, for instance, a one-bedroom house in the city centre will average at $1,800/month in Miami as opposed to $1,050 in Gainesville. Energy prices are on the high side with residents paying an average of $126.44/month. This figure is about 3% higher than the national average of $111.67/month.
Food is generally low-cost in Florida than in other states. The average cost of common foods in Florida is as follows:
- A loaf of bread – $2.71
- A litre of milk – $1.01
- A dozen eggs – $2.51
- Tomatoes (1kg) – $4.64
- Onions (1kg) – $2.81
- Apples (1kg) – $5.32
- Boneless chicken breast (1kg) – $10.27
- Fast food combo meal – $7.68
- A basic meal in an inexpensive restaurant – $13.71
You will also pay 7.7% less for transportation, 13.9% less for childcare, 7.4% less for entertainment and sports, and 1.0% less for clothing in Florida compared to the overall living costs in the US.
Average Salary in Orlando
Orlando is another one of the most visited cities in Florida and the US at large. But a move to this city offers a lot more than just attractions and shows. It is one of the best places to in, especially for young professionals moving to central Florida.
If you move to Orlando without a job you’ll likely find one sooner rather than later. There’s no shortage of jobs at companies like Universal Studios, Disney, and the thousands of hotels in the city. That being said, most of the jobs are low-wage and are available in the service industry. So, how much can you expect to earn working in this city? The average gross salary in Orlando is $78,600 a year, $6,550/month, or 38 USD per hour. Since there’s no income tax in Orlando, you will have a significant amount to take home after other deductions.
Like anywhere else, salaries in Orlando vary depending on an individual’s occupation and job title, level of education, seniority, years, of experience, and the employer. Higher education equals a higher salary, so does having more years of working experience. Male employees in Orlando also tend to earn more than their female counterparts.
The city has seen the job market increase by 3.9% in the last year; however, the unemployment rate has recently been on the rise due to the impact of the coronavirus.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.