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Best Cities for Job-Seeking Veterans

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Finding a job in the civilian world can be stressful and chaotic. Whether you've spent two years serving or are about to retire, the civilian job market is exceptionally unstructured compared to the regimented lifestyle the U.S. military provides. Some will have a plan of action well before they leave, but many others will plunge in without clear direction. Even if your transition is well behind you, it's never too late to plan an effective way to advance your career, or simply find a bit of stability in a tumultuous job market.

One of the most important elements of a successful job hunt is the city you're living in. No matter what your career goals are or how much experience you have, your place of residence can make or break the search. One of the most immediate and prominent influences of a city is its cost of living. If home and rental prices are exorbitantly high, you'll have fewer resources available to handle the costs of finding a job. Unemployment rates should also be noted. While they aren't direct predictions of success, they do provide a glimpse into how hard it might be to make a living in that city.

Fortunately, there's plenty of information available to help you choose the city that best suits your post-transition needs. USAA partnered with Hiring Our Heroes to compile three distinct lists of the best cities for job-seeking veterans. They commissioned Sperling's BestPlaces and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University to compile and analyze data for over 379 cities in the U.S. They looked at over 30 variables to determine which cities are most suitable for veterans starting out, those midway in their career, and those who are retiring.

No matter where you are in your career, it's never too late to find a city that best suits your needs.

Starting Out

Mid-Career

Military Retirement

Starting Out

Top

  1. Pittsburgh, PA
    Median Home Price: $113,500
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $799
    Unemployment: 6.8%
  2. Austin, TX
    Median Home Price: $201,400
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $1,098
    Unemployment: 5.2%
  3. Oklahoma City, OK
    Median Home Price: $126,600
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $751
    Unemployment: 5.1%
  4. San Antonio, TX
    Median Home Price: $131,200
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $913
    Unemployment: 6.0%
  5. St. Louis, MO
    Median Home Price: $126,900
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $833
    Unemployment: 7.2%
  6. Columbus, OH
    Median Home Price: $136,200
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $826
    Unemployment: 6.2%
  7. State College, PA
    Median Home Price: $194,500
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $849
    Unemployment: 5.6%
  8. Cincinnati, OH
    Median Home Price: $129,200
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $781
    Unemployment: 7.1%
  9. College Station, TX
    Median Home Price: $128,900
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $888
    Unemployment: 5.1%
  10. Minneapolis, MN
    Median Home Price: $202,400
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $982
    Unemployment: 4.8%

Mid-Career

Top

  1. Houston, TX
    Median Home Price: $140,400
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $936
    Unemployment: 6.2%
  2. San Antonio, TX
    Median Home Price: $131,200
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $913
    Unemployment: 6.0%
  3. Santa Ana, CA
    Median Home Price: $590,500
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $1,761
    Unemployment: 6.2%
  4. Baltimore, MD
    Median Home Price: $228,100
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $1,207
    Unemployment: 6.8%
  5. Austin, TX
    Median Home Price: $201,400
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $1,098
    Unemployment: 5.2%
  6. Bethesda, MD
    Median Home Price: $374,700
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $1,572
    Unemployment: 5.2%
  7. Cincinnati, OH
    Median Home Price: $129,200
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $781
    Unemployment: 7.1%
  8. New York, NY
    Median Home Price: $525,400
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $1,451
    Unemployment: 8.3%
  9. Fort Worth, TX
    Median Home Price: $134,100
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $969
    Unemployment: 6.1%
  10. Pittsburgh, PA
    Median Home Price: $113,500
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $799
    Unemployment: 6.8%

Military Retirement

Top

  1. San Antonio, TX
    Median Home Price: $131,200
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $913
    Unemployment: 6.0%
  2. Austin, TX
    Median Home Price: $201,400
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $1,098
    Unemployment: 5.2%
  3. Madison, WI
    Median Home Price: $198,500
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $894
    Unemployment: 4.8%
  4. Harrisburg, PA
    Median Home Price: $154,100
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $842
    Unemployment: 6.5%
  5. Cincinnati, OH
    Median Home Price: $129,200
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $781
    Unemployment: 7.1%
  6. Orlando, FL
    Median Home Price: $149,500
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $1,010
    Unemployment: 6.9%
  7. Wichita, KS
    Median Home Price: $123,600
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $773
    Unemployment: 6.2%
  8. Gainesville, FL
    Median Home Price: $127,500
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $859
    Unemployment: 5.5%
  9. Albany, NY
    Median Home Price: $188,900
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $933
    Unemployment: 6.4%
  10. Nashville, TN
    Median Home Price: $170,100
    Median Rental Price 2BR: $883
    Unemployment: 6.5%

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