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Average Salary in Utah: Can You Afford the Cost of Living in Utah?

You should consider the cost of living in Utah before packing your bags to move there. Even though Utah is known for its low crime rate, breathtaking landscape, and high quality of life, you need to compare the cost of living with the average salary in Utah. 

The Cost of Living Data Series published by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center in 2021 shows that Utah is the 33rd most expensive state in the United States. This article highlights the cost of living in Utah, the average salary in Utah, a salary comparison by city, and the average rent in Utah to give you a clearer idea of how much it costs to live there.

What to Know Before Moving to Utah

As of May 2022, Utah’s unemployment rate was 2.0 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Utah, along with Nebraska, has the lowest unemployment rate in the United States. Due to the after-effects of the pandemic, the rate increased to just below five percent in 2020. By 2021, it had fallen back down to around three percent. 

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Private sector employment in Utah has seen 3.5 percent growth over the last year, according to Utah’s Department of Workforce Services. The utility, transport, and trade sectors were responsible for most of the growth, adding around 17,800 jobs in Salt Lake City and other heavily populated areas.

What Is the Cost of Living in Utah? 

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average cost of living in Utah is $37,369 per year. The average salary in Utah is $57,462 according to ZipRecruiter, well above the cost of living in Utah. PayScale also reports that the cost of living in Utah’s biggest city is two percent higher than the national average. 

How Is Cost of Living Calculated?

The cost of living is the sum of money you need to pay for your basic expenses. It is also the amount of money you need to maintain your standard of living. These basic expenses include mortgage payments, rent, clothing, food, healthcare, education, taxes, and transportation. They don’t include child care or other personal expenses.

When you calculate the cost of living, it is easiest to compare your current location to your future location. You need to ensure that your monthly costs will not exceed your monthly wage if you end up moving to a different state.

What Contributes to the Cost of Living in Utah?

Average Rent in Utah

The average rent in Utah costs between $835 and $1,580 per month, according to Zillow. The monthly rent depends on the type of apartment you choose. The median rent for studio apartments is $835, while a one-bedroom apartment costs around $922 per month. You can expect to spend $1,055 to rent a two-bedroom apartment and $1,237 for a three-bedroom. The median rent for a four-bedroom home is $1,580.

Average Transportation Costs in Utah

The average transportation cost in Utah can range from $4,264 to $14,613 per year, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator. The lowest cost reflects the transportation expenses for one person, and this cost increases with the addition of family members. Gas prices are sitting at $5.04 per gallon, just above the national average. This has caused many to begin using public transportation.

Average Food Costs in Utah

The average food costs in Utah are slightly higher than the national average. According to MIT’s Cost of Living Calculator, you can spend around $340 per person each month. Your annual food cost per person will be $4,080. A family of four will spend about $1,360 per month and $16,320 per year. 

This cost includes groceries and home-cooked meals, not eating out. Food prices vary from city to city, and eating out can significantly increase your monthly expenses.

Average Healthcare Costs in Utah

Healthcare in Utah is more affordable than in states like Tennessee and Texas. The average cost of healthcare in Utah is $421 per month and $5,055 per year. The Bureau of Economic Analysis Personal Consumption Expenditures report places this amount around the yearly average nationwide. 

However, the cost will vary depending on your health insurance. Bear in mind that people with medical issues or injuries will spend more than those who don’t have health issues.

Average Utility Costs in Utah

The average utility costs in Utah are $268 per month, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Utility costs vary by city, but generally, you can expect to pay an average of approximately $80 on electricity bills, $52 on gas, $98 on cable and Internet, and $38 on water.

Other Expenses to Consider in Utah

Other expenses to consider in Utah are miscellaneous costs like entertainment and tax rates. The sales tax rate in Utah is 4.95 percent. To put things into perspective, the tax rate in California is 13.3 percent, and the state uses a graduated rate income tax system. Moving to Utah could give you some respite in this regard.

Other expenses you may need to consider are child care, pet care, savings, recreation, and gym memberships. If you have children, you may need to look at how much it costs to send your kids to the most prestigious universities in Utah. 

Should I Buy or Rent in Utah?

If you’re thinking about whether to buy or rent in Utah, it helps to know that it has some of the most expensive houses in the country. According to Zillow, the home value in Utah for typical properties is $543,774. 

This seasonally adjusted figure indicates a sharp rise over the past year. If you want to live in Utah over the long term, buying property could be the wisest option. Renting is a good short-term option and will cost you between $835 and $1,580 per month.

What Is the Average Salary in Utah? 

The average salary in Utah is $57,462 per year, according to ZipRecruiter. Utahans make approximately $28 per hour, $1,100 per week, and $4,800 per month.

Salary Comparison by City in Utah

City Average Salary
Salt Lake City $67,285
West Jordan $63,051
West Valley City $60,432
Provo $59,322
Orem $55,301

What Is a Good Salary?

A good salary in Utah would be about $60,000, which would be enough to cover your basic needs plus a little extra for miscellaneous expenses. The highest-paying cities in Utah are Layton, Sandy, and West Jordan. Salt Lake City is home to the four largest companies in Utah.

The three most in-demand occupations in Utah are veterinary technician, operations analyst, and software developer. The average income for the highest-paying software jobs is more than $100,000 per year. Factors like the state of the economy, the cost of living, and the demand for workers in your area will play a role in determining a good salary. 

Can You Afford the Average Cost of Living in Utah?

You can afford the average cost of living in Utah if you make more than $37,369 per year. It is important to note that this only covers a single person. Annual healthcare costs are lower than in states like Tennessee, while housing prices are higher. Rent is affordable, coming in at a median cost of $13,176 per year.

Cost of Living in Utah FAQ

Is Utah expensive to live in?

Utah is expensive to live in. The state is about average when it comes to the cost of living, but transportation costs and food costs are higher than average. Healthcare costs are high but still more affordable than in many other states. The average salary in Utah is $57,462 per year.

How much does it cost to live comfortably in Utah?

To live comfortably in Utah, you will need to earn between $43,000 and $66,000 per year. This figure covers your basic needs, including food, transportation, healthcare, and rent. It also includes taxes and other miscellaneous expenses you may need to cover during the month. The average cost of living in Utah is $37,369 per year. 

Is it better to live in Utah or California?

It is better to live in Utah than in California because Utah is more affordable. It also has a low unemployment rate so you stand a better chance of securing a job.

Is it worth moving to Utah?

It is worth moving to Utah if you want to live in a low-crime region with a low unemployment rate. Utah is an excellent place to move to if you love nature as it has five national parks. Avid hikers will find many trails to hike. You can ski in the winter, and visit the famous hot springs year-round.

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