If you’re looking for a bright future in your career, check out what Florida has to offer. Not only has Florida seen a big population boost in the past few years (about 211,196 people moved to Florida from July 2020 to July 2021), but it has the salaries to match.1 The top 10 cities in Florida with the highest average salaries are beautiful places to live and also have some of the largest employers.
A move to the Sunshine State could be your golden ticket if you’re thinking about growing in your career. The average salary for the average job in Florida is about $53,911, although typical salaries can range from as low as $17,478 to as much as $127,340.2
With so many opportunities to increase your earning over time (and enjoy the perks of a seaside lifestyle), Florida is a great option to consider. Let’s look at the top 10 cities in Florida with the highest average salaries so you can find a city and company that support your talents, passions, mission and budget.
Florida Cities With the Highest Average Salaries
Depending on your professional goals, you could find your next job opportunity at a company in Florida. While the higher-than-average salaries for the following 10 Florida cities depend on the company, job position and your experience, these businesses are good starting points to explore—especially if you’re new to Florida or a resident who’s ready for a career change.
Located in Central Florida, Lakeland is known for its early 1900s architecture and many lakes. Some of Lakeland’s attractions include buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the Polk Museum of Art—so if you’re looking for a mix of fancy outdoor living with a thriving downtown, consider Lakeland. With an average salary of $62,338, Lakeland residents earn about $8,427 more than the state’s average. Lakeland is a hot spot for medical companies, but there’s plenty of variety for this city’s top five largest employers.
- Publix: Publix Supermarkets, Inc. is an American supermarket chain headquartered in Lakeland.
- Lakeland Regional Medical Center: This is a not-for-profit regional health system that provides inpatient and outpatient diagnostic and treatment services.
- OMNIA: OMNIA is a private medical equipment and supplies company.
- Watson Clinic: Watson Clinic provides health care services in Central Florida and specializes in acupuncture, anticoagulation, and arts in medicine, spa and more.
- Saddle Creek Logistics Services: Saddle Creek is an integrated logistics company that provides warehousing, transportation, packaging and omnichannel fulfillment.
Sarasota is located on the Gulf Coast just below Tampa. Ranking number nine for the highest average salaried cities in Florida, Sarasota has a strong science and technology presence. The average salary in Sarasota comes in at $64,003, which is $10,092 more than Florida’s average. Let’s look at a few of Sarasota’s largest employers:
- Roper Technologies: This technology company operates businesses that design and develop software and engineering products for specific markets across the globe.
- Intertape Polymer Group (IPG): IPG is a leader in the development, manufacturing and sale of paper and film products and packaging for industrial and retail use.
- Sun Hydraulics: Sun Hydraulics provides hydraulics and testing for machines and other equipment.
- Dental Care Alliance: This dental support system is a network of doctors, specialists, hygienists, receptionists and office staff that work to advance the dental industry.
- Correctional Services Corporation: This company develops and operates correctional and detention facilities for adult offenders.
8. St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is a beautiful coastal city just north of Sarasota. It’s home to award-winning beaches and the famous Salvador Dalí Museum. But surreal art and the St. Pete Pier aren’t the only things you’ll want to explore here. St. Petersburg is also the site of several large professional firms in media, finance and retail. And with an average salary of $64,087, you’ll get a $10,176 jump on Florida’s average annual salary. Sound appealing? Check out the five largest employers in St. Petersburg:
- Jabil: This company provides manufacturing and supply chain solutions for defense organizations and military supply chains.
- First Advantage (FADV Holdings): FADV Holdings provides background screenings to employers and housing providers.
- Raymond James: Raymond James is a financial services firm that provides banking, investment and advisory services.
- Nepal Telecom: Nepal Telecom (Nepal Doorsanchar Company Ltd.) is a state-owned telecommunication service provider.
- Home Shopping Network (HSN): HSN is a retail television network that lets viewers shop thousands of products from home.
7. Miami Beach
Yep, the city of Miami Beach is different than Miami—and it has a higher average salary too. At $64,194 per year, this beachy and luxurious resort city out earns Florida’s average by $10,283 on average. If you’re looking for a job in hospitality or home-based medical care, Miami Beach is the place to go. Here are a few of the largest companies in Miami Beach:
- Fountainebleau Miami Beach: Fountainebleau is a luxury hotel set against the iconic Miami Beach coastline. This 1,500-room property is perfect for hospitality professionals.
- EDITION Hotels: The Miami Beach EDITION is a boutique beachfront hotel complete with a spa, cinema, nightclub and pools. For luxury travel enthusiasts, this property offers plenty of professional opportunity.
- Miami Beach Medical Group: These medical centers provide preventative, team-based care to patients.
- Estefan Enterprises: This multimedia entertainment company provides songwriting, record production, talent management, television and movie production and more.
- Integrated Home Care Services (IHCS): IHCS is a leading home care company providing in-home medical services.
6. Pembroke Pines
Pembroke Pines is in Broward County, just 22 miles north of Miami. While it’s a short commute from the hustle and bustle of Miami, Pembroke Pines offers plenty of professional growth (and pays well for it). With an average salary of $65,799, Pembroke Pines beats out Florida’s average salary by $11,888. If you’re looking to grow your career in beauty, business development or consulting, check out these top companies:
- Elizabeth Arden: This mega-beauty brand has a corporate global headquarter based in Pembroke Pines.
- Professional Course Management (PCM): PCM is a full-service management company that helps golf properties hit their business goals.
- Decorator Industries: This business manufactures window treatments, bedding and accessories for the health care and hospitality industries.
- Pines Lincoln: This family-owned car dealership serves Broward County and the surrounding areas.
- Miller Legg: Miller Legg is an award-winning consulting firm that blends engineering, landscape architecture and design.
Okay, we’re halfway through our list. Gainesville, one of Florida’s larger university towns, is an inland city with multiple education networks—perfect for teaching, mentoring and administrative jobs. The average salary in Gainesville is $66,989 which comes in at $13,078 more than Florida’s overall average salary. Not surprisingly, Gainesville’s largest employers are mostly public schools and colleges:
- University of Florida: This public research university is ranked #5 for Top Public University and #28 for National University.
- Charles Perry Partners, Inc. (CPPI): CPPI is a professional general contracting, design-build and construction management firm.
- CPAmerica: This accounting association provides advice, training and resources to CPA firms.
- Santa Fe College: This public college offers associate and bachelor’s degrees at its Gainesville and satellite campuses.
- Alachua County Public Schools: Serving Alachua County in North Central Florida, this school district represents nearly 30,000 students across 64 schools and education centers.
4. Winter Haven
In fourth place, we have Winter Haven. Don’t be fooled by its location on the map—this landlocked city in central Florida is known for its lakes, canals and Legoland. Winter Haven is home to several water parks, wetlands and colleges. You can expect an average salary of $66,997 here, which is $13,086 more than Florida’s average overall. Not only is there plenty of recreation to enjoy, but there are many professional firms to explore if you’re ready for a career change.
- CNP: This is an award-winning marketing agency that focuses on brand development, digital marketing, web development and SEO.
- SouthState Bank: SouthState Bank is a full-service financial company that specializes in personal and commercial banking services.
- Carpenter Contractors of America, Inc.: What began as a small family business has expanded to a full-service trade organization of carpenter contractors, materials suppliers and housing component manufacturers.
- Polk State College: This college serves over 20,000 students on its multiple campuses and operates three charter high schools.
- Palm Garden of Winter Haven: Palm Garden of Winter Haven provides short-term and long-term nursing care and rehabilitation services to patients and residents.
3. West Palm Beach
Just a few minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean, West Palm Beach borders 47 miles of coastline.3 Ranking number three for Florida’s cities with the highest salaries, West Palm Beach comes in with an average salary of $67,215. That’s $13,304 more than the state average. Not only is West Palm Beach fantastic to visit for vacation, but it offers vibrant retail and entertainment, perfect for a lively, professional lifestyle. Here are five of the top employers in West Palm Beach:
- Ocwen Financial: Ocwen is a leading non-bank mortgage service company with 1.3 million customers.
- Element Solutions: Element Solutions provides industrial organic chemicals to electronics, graphic arts, metal and other high-tech markets.
- Affiliate Managers Group: This is a global asset management company that invests in boutique investment management firms.
- Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO): PBSO is the largest law enforcement agency in Palm Beach County.
- Fanjul Group: Fanjul Group is a large sugar and real estate company in the United States and Dominican Republic.
Welcome to Florida’s state capital, Tallahassee. This northern city feels a bit unlike Florida because it’s got such a southern look and feel. With seasons, green hills and college campuses, Tallahassee might not be the beachy scene you think of when you hear “Florida,” but it pays competitive salaries that upstage some of Florida’s oceanside towns. The average salary in Tallahassee is $67,842, which is $13,931 more than Florida’s average. And with government positions, communications firms and a university, there’s a variety of industries you can explore for your career. Here are some of Tallahassee’s largest employers:
- Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare: This is a private, not-for-profit community health care and hospital system.
- Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV): FLHSMV provides highway safety and security, driver’s licensing and other automotive services.
- Florida A&M University: Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is a public university with several satellite campuses and nearly 10,000 students.
- City of Tallahassee: Working for the City of Tallahassee offers job opportunities in government, public service, police and fire departments, parks and recreation and more.
- Williams Communications: Williams Communications is a communications company that creates products for law enforcement, utilities, transportation and other industrial markets.
1. Bonita Springs
Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for . . . The city in Florida with the highest average salary is (drumroll, please) beautiful Bonita Springs, a southwestern coastal town paying an average salary of $68,218. That’s $14,307 more than Florida’s average salary. But the highest average salary for a Florida city isn’t the only thing to enjoy about Bonita Springs. This city is known for its beaches, parks, sand dunes and barrier islands in Lovers Key State Park. What’s not to love? If living in Bonita Springs sounds more like play than work, here are some of companies you’ll want to learn more about:
- Herc Rentals: Herc is a full-service equipment rental firm that serves multiple markets, including construction and manufacturing plants, refineries, government agencies, infrastructure and more.
- Integrated Living Communities, Inc. (ILC): ILC provides assisted living services to a private elderly market.
- Brooks Integrated Marketing: This marketing firm specializes in customer database services and discovering client target markets.
- WCI Communities: WCI is a home design firm that creates homes and condos with exciting architecture and luxury designs.
- Source Interlink Companies: This is a leading media, publishing and merchandise and distribution company for books and magazines.
Boost Your Career by Moving to Florida
No matter your career field, there’s a good chance you’ll find job opportunities in Florida that match your skills and pay well. So, are you ready to move to Florida? If you’ve crunched the numbers and you’re able to afford it based on Florida’s average salaries, congrats! The next step on your relocation journey is handling your housing.
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