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Top 10 American Cities for Mid-Career Professionals

Updated on September 10, 2014

Kansas City - #1 for Success in Mid-Level Careers


Optimum Conditions for Creative Endeavors and Arts

Among the leading five of the Top 10 Best Cities for Mid-Career Professionals, three of the top cities show optimal conditions for work in creative jobs, the arts, and cultural diversity.

These three economically successful major metropolitan areas are

  1. Kansas City, Missouri;
  2. Portland, Maine; and
  3. Huntsville, Alabama.

Details the top five major American cities and labor markets that are best for people that have been working at least a few years are discussed below. This particular Hub is the third installment of a Hub Series that includes the following materials:

  1. Best 25 Cities in the USA for Jobs - The 25 top-rated American cities featuring the most job and career opportunities & affordable housing. Data is based on the US Dept. of Labor Stats, Kiplinger Magazine, AT&T, Forbes, and major Employment Pros.
  2. Best American Cities for Young Adult Professionals
  3. Top 10 American Cities for Mid-Career Professionals
  4. Best American Cities for Retirement Jobs

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Near Boise, IdahoPortland Headlight in MaineParachuting in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Near Boise, Idaho
Near Boise, Idaho | Source
Portland Headlight in Maine
Portland Headlight in Maine | Source
Parachuting in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Parachuting in Fayetteville, North Carolina. | Source

Cities Number 1 - 5 for Mid-Level Career Success

1) Kansas City, Missouri

I have long enjoyed Missouri for its scenic beauty, the St. Louis Arch and surrounding park, its World's Fair history and the museums located on that site today, fascinating caverns, and smooth roads onward to the west that I have discovered. St. Louis was a McDonald's test market in the late 1970s and 1980s and the McChicken Sandwich was test marketed in its major cities and did well, followed by McRib.

Kansas City is a good place to advance a blossoming career and enjoy life while building a strong employment foundation. It can also be a productive as well as safe locale for raising a family, if that is your wish. It includes attractions from singles nightlife to family amusements; sports, churches and parks; shopping; and a number of growing business concerns.

Kansas City is seen at a top center in which to grow a successful long-term career in America by sources such as Forbes, Kiplinger, US Dept. of Labor Statistics, and others.

Compiled Indexes

  • Population: About 2 million
  • Cost-of-Living Index: 94, compared to 100 as US Average Kansas City has a lower-than-average cost of living.
  • Percentage of Labor Pool employed in Creative Endeavors 32% NOTE: creative fields include sciences, engineering of all kinds, architecture, education and training [E&T], writing, fine arts, graphic arts, performance artists, and all actors/entertainers.
  • 21st Century Creative Endeavors Salary Growth: 20%
  • Bohemian Indicator: 97 out of 100 as a US Average. NOTE: This factor represents the concentration in a city of its Authors, Designers, Musicians & Vocalists, Actors, Fine Artists, and the extent of its Diversity and Cultural Awareness or Cultural Competency and related Cultural Events. Kansas City is just below average.

2) Boise, Idaho

Top Idaho jobs include Medicine and Healthcare, Information Technology (IT), Engineering, Green Industries, Sales, and Management.

Compiled Indexes

  • Population: Over Half a Million
  • Cost-of-Living Index: 96, a bit lower than average.
  • Percentage of Labor pool employed in Creative Endeavors: 35%
  • 21st Century Creative Endeavors Salary Growth: 16%
  • Bohemian Indicator: 115, above average.

3) Portland, Maine

Some fast-growing Portland occupations include Medicine and Healthcare, Personal and Business Finance, Management, Personal and Social Services, and Computer Sciences and Mathematics.

Compiled Indexes

  • Population: Over Half a Million
  • Cost-of-Living Index: 100 [Average]
  • Percentage of Workforce in Creative Class: 32%
  • 21st Century Creative Endeavors Salary Growth: 40% -- This is a significant amount.
  • Bohemian Indicator: 123, farthest above average of the Top 5 in arts and cultural diversity.

4) Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville is part of the American Space Coast region, were the US Space Program and privates corporations in the Space Industry are succeeding in the 21st Century. With renewed interest in Lunar Exploration with an eye to both Mars Exploration and harvesting space bound resources and raw materials from the asteroid belt lying between Earth and Mars, Huntsville is a lucrative site for business and career opportunities.

Aerospace Medicine is growing as an Industry as well, with possibilities of medical and pharmaceutical labs in space between Earth and Mars to provide facilities for 0-gravity medical compound combining not feasible on our planet. The US Space Shuttle Program has laid the groundwork for these miracle possibilities.

Huntsville is located in a rather temperate year-round climate and is home to SPACE CAMP and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Career abound in Medicine, Aerospace Sciences, Bioengineering, Information Technology (IT) and several other lucrative fields.

Compiled Indexes

  • Population: About 400,000
  • Cost-of-Living Index: 92, below average; lowest of the Top 5 Cities.
  • Percentage of Labor pool employed in Creative Endeavors: 38% -- This is a significant amount.
  • 21st Century Creative Endeavors Salary Growth: 18%
  • Bohemian Indicator: 113, above average.

5) Fayetteville, North Carolina

The Carolinas are beautiful states, set in the Great Smokey Mountains and home to many cultural influences, including Celtic, Appalachian, and Native American as well as European- and African American.

Compiled Indexes

  • Population: Over 300,000
  • Cost-of-Living Index: 96, a bit below average.
  • Percentage of Labor pool employed in Creative Endeavors: 28%
  • 21st Century Creative Endeavors Salary Growth: 16%
  • Bohemian Indicator: 49, far below average. This may indicate a more conservative social and political environment, especially in light of a lower percent of workers in Creative Endeavors than other cities in the Top 5.

US Space Shuttle at Huntsville

Kansas City Light Rail for Business Growth

Great American Cities and Business

Cities Number 6 - 10 for Mid-Level Career Success

The second Top 5 Cities for this category of Mid-Career Professionals or Mid-Level Careers are also rated the best American Cities for Working Parents Raising Children in the opinions of professionals at Kplinger's, US News and World Reports, and other relevant business agencies.

These additional top cities include:

Additional cities recommended for Mid-Career Professionals, generally between the ages of areound 30 - 44 are:

Transitioning Your Talents to a Mid-Career Change

Success Affirmations for Career Change


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Good News! City and county records report violent crimes way down from 2001 and especially from 2005, One large agency especiqlly is targeting that and it will appear in my Hub on Bridgeport coming up tomorrow! Lots about urban renewal and green industries too.

      Thanks for your comments, amy jane.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Reportedly, crime staching programs are in place and some ads are attempting to get people to move there. I'll need to do a Hub on Bridgeport and we'll see. :)

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Great hub, Patty! I was really surprised to see Bridgeport CT anywhere on the list! I am about 30 minutes away from that city, and it is not known for having much of anything -but crime. I hope that it's changing! Thanks for the interesting read :)