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The Best Cities for America’s Top Expanding Professions

Securing employment is one of the precursors to homeownership, and the good news is that several growing industries are brimming with opportunity. However, in some cases, the markets teeming with employment opportunities harbor competitive and high-priced housing markets.

A red-hot economy is churning out jobs left and right, but the most in-demand gigs aren't necessarily in the places where those professionals can afford to live,” said Lance Lambert, on Realtor.com, which revealed the “10 Most Affordable Cities for the Fastest-Growing Careers” on Monday.

Realtor.com data experts examined 10 of the professions with the highest forecasted growth through 2026 that offered salaries of at least $35,000. Then the experts determined where among the 200 largest U.S. metros employees in these growing professions would be able to find affordable housing.

"Solar panel installer" is the profession expected to increase the most by 2026 with a forecasted 105 percent growth. These professionals would be able to find attractive homeownership and employment opportunities in Wilmington, Delaware, which “has become a hotbed for people who work in solar,” according to Realtor.com. Solar panel installers earn a median salary of $39,200, and Wilmington’s median home price is $244,500, according to Realtor.com’s data.

Wind turbine technicians are anticipated to increase by 96 percent by 2026, and Duluth, Minnesota, is “one of the nation’s hubs for the components that go into the massive wind turbines that convert the wind’s kinetic energy into electricity,” Lambert said. These technicians earn a median $52,300 per year, and the median home in Duluth is priced at $175,000.

Third on Realtor.com’s list of growing professions are physician assistants, a field projected to increase by 37 percent over the next several years. Physician assistants can make a good living and afford the American Dream right where their profession got its start—North Carolina. Asheville, North Carolina, in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains is not far from Duke, the first university to offer an accredited physician assistant program. With median salaries of $101,500, these professionals would be able to afford a home at the city’s median list price of $353,100.

Statisticians, which are employed by a number of industries, may find Durham, North Carolina, a good place to settle down and purchase a home. With a median home value of $370,500, statisticians earning the median salary of $80,500 would not struggle to afford a home. Statisticians are projected to increase by 34 percent by 2026.

Physical therapists, a field anticipating 31 percent growth, can comfortably afford a median-priced home in Springfield, Missouri. These professionals earn a median $56,000 per year, and Springfield’s median list price is $187,500.

To read the rest of Realtor.com's breakdown, click here.


About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.

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