Categories > Guides and Tips

What’s the average salary in Portland

What’s the average salary in Portland?

According to the Average Salary Survey and Payscale, a person working in Portland, Oregon typically earns around $73,000 to $75,687 per year. For certain types of jobs, the annual average hits about $82,021 annually.

Salaries will, of course, vary depending on your occupation, experience, and a variety of other factors. Naturally, other industries tend to pay more, and wages often grow depending on your credentials and education.

If you’re moving to Portland anytime soon, this guide will help you find a potential career to switch to. Moreover, you can explore which industries pay the best so you can secure a solid future for yourself and your family.

Average Salary in Portland By Industry

Average Salary in Portland By Industry

Portland’s job market is fueled by a variety of industries, which is why the city is a haven for young professionals looking to start their careers. Most of these industries are the biggest employers of young talent, making it ideal even for fresh graduates.

We sourced the information below from the most recent update of the Average Salary Survey to provide you with accurate data on the annual average salary in Portland by career group.

Feel free to check it out if something floats your boat!

IndustryAnnual Average Salary
Health Care & Medical $115,330 USD
Management & Business$106,228 USD
Engineers & Technicians $104,828 USD
Finance & Banking$103,027 USD
IT & Programming$94,325 USD
Salesman & Saleswomen$93,124 USD
Law$80,621 USD
Construction & Labor Workers$77,420 USD
Marketing, Sales, Purchase$76,820 USD
Architect Constructions$76,220 USD
Military$75,020 USD
Agriculture & Fishing$74,019 USD
Education & University$73,919 USD
Insurance$70,018 USD
Public Sector$61,816 USD
Properties & Real Estates$60,016 USD
Media$58,815 USD
Human Resources$58,715 USD
Organization & Coordination$54,414 USD
Security & Fireguard$53,514 USD
Logistics, Road, Railway$52,213 USD
Manufacturing & Labor Workers$49,813 USD
Accounting & Administration$46,212 USD
Arts, Culture, Performance$45,012 USD
Customer Services$44,311 USD
Restaurants, Inns, Pubs$39,010 USD
Automobile$35,009 USD
Hotels & Tourism$31,008 USD

What’s considered a good salary in Portland?

What’s considered a good salary in Portland

A good salary in Portland is any figure that allows you to have at least 10% left over after paying for all your expenses. Still, individual financial circumstances still come into play and you might even be comfortable even by just living paycheck to paycheck.

In our financial judgment, you’ll need at least an annual salary of $60,000 if you belong to a family of four. This is because the monthly expenses you can expect start at $4,075.51 excluding rent. 

If you’re single, your estimated monthly expenses are $1,140.11 excluding rent. In this case, you need at least $13,680 per year to cover basic needs (don’t forget to add your monthly rent to the computation!).

So what might be a good salary in Portland using these calculations?

Overall, a good salary is at least $60,000 annually for a family of four and at least $30,480 annually for singles (for singles, this already includes the computation for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center priced at $1,400 monthly).

Family that is baking

Of course, an even better salary in Portland, OR is anything over $73, 000 since that is the median income in the city today, based on the most recent data from Data USA. This means if you earn more than that you’re earning more than 50% of the people living in Portland. 

One way to determine how good your salary is is to compare it to the median income. However, if you earn more than the average salary in Portland ($75,687 USD), which is not far above the median income, you should be able to live comfortably.

Looking at the cost of housing and using that to calculate a good salary in Portland is another method. According to experts, you should aim to keep your home price-to-income ratio at around 5 to 1.

Finally, you can determine a good salary in Portland by examining the cost of living and comparing it to the average salary in the United States. According to Payscale, the cost of living in Portland, Oregon is 30% higher than the national average.

Now, we also took the opportunity to research the top-paying jobs in the city, in case you want to live comfortably in the city.

High-paying Jobs in Portland

Before delving into the best-paying jobs in Portland, it’s useful to understand what makes a job in Portland a high-paying one.

A person would need to earn well over $100,000 per year to live very comfortably in Portland and afford the city’s cost of living. Actually, that’s already a really good salary to have and might set you pretty much well in the future!

What Is the highest-paying Job in Portland?

What Is the highest-paying Job in Portland

Surgeons in Portland generally enjoy the highest wages in the city. The average yearly salary for surgeons in Portland is $285,020 –  more than four times the yearly salary for Portland residents. 

Their starting pay is also quite high, coming in at $191,280 annually. But of course, it’s the type of job that demands heavy investments in education as well.

Curious about what other professions pay a six-digit salary? See the table below.

ProfessionAverage Salary Per Year
Chief Executive Officers$252,770 
Obstetricians and Gynecologists$245,960 
General Internal Medicine Physicians$239,170
Nurse Anesthetists$224,950 
General Dentists$223,210 
General Pediatricians$181,010 
Postsecondary Health Specialties Teachers$176,930 
Other Physicians and Ophthalmologists$174,860 
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers$161,900 
Computer and Information Research Scientists$150,090 
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates$148,100 
Architectural and Engineering Managers$143,340
Computer and Information Systems Managers$142,630 
Natural Sciences Managers$137,960

Top 5 High-Paying Jobs in Portland for Recent Grads

Top 5 High-Paying Jobs in Portland for Recent Grads

Actually, Portland is also a great place for blooming professionals. If you live close to the city, you might want to tap into the following careers for some insight. 

It’s also useful to know about the highest-paying jobs in Portland for recent graduates if you want to start out on a high income. But of course, as we reminded you of already, these jobs come with large education investments as well!

1. Surgeon 

If you’re young and living in Portland, you should think about a career in medicine, particularly as a surgeon. It makes sense that surgeons would have some of the highest starting salaries in the region given that they are the highest-paid professionals in the entire city of Portland.

Sure, becoming a surgeon requires a lot of time and effort. A four-year bachelor’s degree, four years of medical school, and at least three years of residency are required. 

It will take some time before you can begin working and earning that high salary. But once you can, it will almost certainly be worthwhile.

2. Obstetrician and Gynecologist (OB-GYN)

Due to their critical role in the healthcare system and the high demand for their skills, obstetricians and gynecologists also make a lot of money at the entry-level.

Like a surgeon, it takes four years of college, four years of medical school, and between three and seven years of residency to become an OB-GYN. Once all of those are over, you can expect to start out with a high starting salary of, on average, $174,160.

3. Nurse Anesthetist

Since they are so crucial to surgeries, nurse anesthetists are compensated very well. They are in charge of giving anesthesia and keeping an eye on the patients while the procedure is being done.

In addition to earning above-average salaries, nurse anesthetists can begin their careers earlier than many other medical specialists. Their median starting pay is $153,790.

4. Power Distributor and Dispatcher

Controlling the flow of electricity from generating stations to users and substations is the job of a power distributor and dispatcher.

A power distributor and dispatcher can earn a high starting salary of $92,000 annually, which is significantly more than the typical Portlander. The good news is that this job doesn’t necessarily require a college degree.

5. Airline Pilot

It takes much less time to obtain your certifications because you only need a bachelor’s degree, a private pilot’s license, and a commercial pilot’s license to become an airline pilot.

This is a great job for recent graduates who want to start out with an above-average salary. An airline pilot in Portland can expect to make an average starting salary of $83,920 annually. 

However, with time and experience, they could almost double that sum and make $161,900 annually (on average).

Related topics