Alaska is truly one of the most beautiful states in the country. Snow capped mountains and abundant wildlife are only a part of Alaska's appeal. Although short, cool summers result in a subarctic climate and very little sunlight for Alaska residents, many people feel that the landscape more than makes up for the weather. Anchorage, arguably the most popular city in Alaska, is home to over 40 percent of Alaska residents. Over 360,000 people live in Anchorage, and find many employment options in the city. Anchorage has the largest port in Alaska, with over 95 percent of all imports coming through the city, which results in many job opportunities. As the population in Alaska continues to increase, more people are researching the cost of living in Anchorage. To compare the cost of living in your area to the cost of living in Alaska, use PayScale’s Cost of Living Calculator.
The Cost of Living in Anchorage is 27 percent higher than the national average. Lower expenses for health care, at two percent above the national average, and utilities, at eight percent above the national average, help to even out the high cost of housing. Though the cost of transportation in Alaska is higher than the national average, Average Commute Times in Anchorage are not very long. The average commute in Anchorage is 18 minutes, a relatively short commute time compared to most cities. Average commute times in cities surrounding Anchorage range from 10 to 30 minutes.
The cost of living in Anchorage might seem high compared to other U.S. cities, but how does it compare to your city? Use PayScale’s Cost of Living Calculator to compare the cost of living in your city to the cost of living in Anchorage and other cities in Alaska.
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If you are considering relocating to Anchorage, salary research can help you make the decision. PayScale's chart on Median Salaries in Anchorage compares salaries for various job titles. For financial controllers, a median wage of $80,670 can be expected. Lawyers also have a competitive median salary of $78,496. Another popular field in which to work is construction. Project managers can expect a median salary of $76,985. Looking at Median Salaries in Anchorage by Years of Experience provides a general idea of what compensation to expect from both entry-level positions and long-term careers. Employees with less than one year of experience earn a median salary of $50,463. After 20 years of experience, the median salary increases to $73,679.