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October 03, 2000
Job Location Affects Acceptance Rate As Well As Salary
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For higher pay, head for Chicago

BETHLEHEM, PA- It's no secret that job location can greatly affect salary levels, but a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) shows that it also can have an impact on whether or not a candidate accepts the position.

In an online poll conducted on NACE's student web site JobWeb (, nearly 52 percent of the respondents said geographic location is "extremely important" when they consider job opportunities. Another 30 percent rated job location as "important." Less than 8 percent said it wasn't a factor.

Salary tied to location

While job candidates say location is a factor in their decision to accept a job, employers' salary offers are also tied to location.

For example, according to NACE salary data, the average starting salary offer to a new accounting grad interviewing for a position in New York is $38,852, while the average offer to the same grad in Phoenix, Arizona, is $35,080. Chicago, for some reason offers the highest starting salaries for most of the jobs surveyed.

"Location is always a consideration," says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director. "In the current job market, many new college graduates can find opportunities in their preferred geographic area; they do need to understand, however, that there could be a trade-off between location and starting salary."

Selected Starting Salary Offers, by Location


New York, NY/Northern NJ $38,852

Chicago, IL. $40,747

Phoenix, AZ $35,080

Computer Science

New York, NY/Northern NJ $47,022

Chicago, IL $51,256

Phoenix, AZ $49,623

Electrical Engineering

Austin, TX $51,103

Chicago, IL $50,086

Denver/Boulder, CO $48,077

Liberal Arts

New York, NY/Northern NJ $32,555

Washington, DC/Baltimore, MD $30,305

Chicago, IL $33,305

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