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

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  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

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  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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