A view looking down a tree-lined street with shops in Burlington, Vermont.

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

Vermont, the Green Mountain State, is one of the best places to move to. The cost of living in Vermont is not as high as its neighboring New England states, and it’s also one of the safest states. Vermont is an excellent place for a change of scenery, with appreciable communities, landscapes, and world-famous craft beers.

However, before moving to any place, you should always consider various data such as the average everyday costs and average salary in Vermont. The average rent in Vermont or housing costs are also vital factors to consider. To help you, we cover most of the information you need to know before moving to Vermont, including a salary comparison by city.

What to Know Before Moving to Vermont

Before moving to Vermont, there are some important things to note about living in the state. The statewide average employment rate in Vermont is high compared to the national average. There are also a large number of industries to choose from for work, with the most prominent ones being manufacturing-related. Top manufacturers in Vermont are breweries, logging, ice cream, and frozen dessert manufacturing.

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Another notable thing about Vermont is its weather. Winter in Vermont can last almost half a year, and their snowy winters mean lots of ski resorts. However, the weather can also cause problems for people as the winters can also be considered brutal.

What Is the Cost of Living in Vermont? 

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average annual cost of living in Vermont was around $47,397 in 2021. This is a lower cost of living when compared to the national average of $61,334 as reported by Statista. This makes Vermont a more affordable choice to move to for those who wish to transfer to the New England region.

How Is Cost of Living Calculated?

The cost of living is typically calculated by gathering data on the average price of various goods and services that residents spend money on. These goods and services include housing, utilities, groceries, and healthcare. Data is compared from one area to another and used to determine the average living wage.

What Contributes to the Cost of Living in Vermont?

Average Rent in Vermont

The average rent in Vermont ranges from $786 to $1,531 per month, according to the 2022 Fair Market Rent price data. The prices can depend on the type of apartment, such as a one-bedroom apartment or a three-bedroom apartment. Monthly rents also range higher in major cities and counties, such as Chittenden County, Franklin County, and Grand Isle County.

Average Transportation Costs in Vermont

Most residents have personal cars. As of March 10, 2022, the gas prices in Vermont average $4.34 per gallon, nearly the same as the national average. Public transportation fees, or bus fares, can range from $1 for a one-way ticket and same-city travel to $3-$49 for intercity travel. 

Average Food Costs in Vermont

A single adult in Vermont has annual food expenses averaging $3,864, according to the Vermont Basic Needs Budgets and Livable Wage report for 2019 by the Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office. The same report also states that a family of four in Vermont can expect to spend about $12,048 annually. 

In comparison, the average annual food cost across all family types was $8,169 nationally in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Average Healthcare Costs in Vermont

The average annual healthcare cost in Vermont for 2019 was $6,515 for a single adult, a 4.1% increase from 2018, according to the Vermont Green Mountain Care Board. It is expected to continue to grow for the next few years. These average healthcare costs include out-of-pocket spending and costs covered by the government or Medicare and Medicaid. 

Average Utility Costs in Vermont

The average utility costs in Vermont are mostly higher than the average across the US. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), part of the US government, Vermont ranks ninth in the US in the cost of electricity, and 28th in the price of natural gas. The EIA reports that the cost of electricity in Vermont is over 37% higher than the national average across all US states.

Other Expenses to Consider in Vermont

One of the other top financial considerations about moving to Vermont is the high tax rates. According to TaxFoundation.org, Vermont ranked second in the US in 2020 for the highest amount of tax collected from its residents, with $5,318 per capita. The national average in the US is $3,217 per capita. 

Income taxes, property taxes, and sales tax in Vermont are some of the highest in the country. This can significantly add to everyday costs.

Should I Buy or Rent in Vermont?

If you intend to stay for quite a while, buying a property in Vermont is a good choice. On the other hand, renting is a good option if you intend to stay for a short period. However, deciding whether to buy or rent in Vermont depends on several factors, such as whether the move is permanent and individual financial situations.

Purchasing a home can be expensive, so you should ensure that your annual income is enough to meet the cost commitments of owning property that comes with house maintenance and property tax. Renters can enjoy significantly lower expenses in the short run but have less control over their homes.

What Is the Average Salary in Vermont?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary in Vermont is $76,439. This is much higher than the national average annual income of $45,760, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Annual salaries in Vermont can range from $20,356 to $135,046.

Salary Comparison by City in Vermont

City Average Salary
Essex Junction $67,000
South Burlington $63,000
Rutland $63,356
Burlington $62,000
Bennington $36,067

What Is a Good Salary?

According to the information we gathered in this article, Vermont’s average salary of $76,439 is a good salary compared to the state‚Äôs average cost of living. Of course, each person’s situation and factors can vary. Those living in a prime area such as Chittenden County will likely encounter an above-average cost for their expenses.

Additional expenses can also factor into the annual income ideal for your situation. Simple, unnecessary everyday costs can add up to a significant addition to the cost of living. Thus, an annual income that’s a bit higher than the average salary would be a very good salary for living in Vermont.

Can You Afford the Average Cost of Living in Vermont?

Yes, if you earn at least $50,000 a year, you can afford the average cost of living in Vermont. However, you might have to limit your additional expenses if your salary is in this range. Unexpected factors such as house maintenance during brutal winters should also be taken into consideration. 

All in all, though, Vermont’s cost of living isn’t too high compared to its neighboring states. As long as your salary is within the range of the average salary in the nation, you should be able to afford to live in Vermont. All things considered, the annual total housing costs, monthly utilities, and other miscellaneous expenses are not too high.

Cost of Living in Vermont FAQ

Is the cost-of-living difference between Vermont and the national average big?

Yes, Vermont’s cost of living is about 22 percent lower than the national average, according to statistics provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Statista. Vermont is also a state with one of the highest annual salaries in the country. High salaries and a lower cost of living means people who live here have more disposable income and can live comfortably.

Is there a cheap and safe town to move to in Vermont?

Yes, Vermont is generally a very safe place to live, so there are several safe towns to move to that offer a lower-than-average cost of living. Some of these notable towns are Hinesburg, Northfield, and Castleton.

What are winters like in Vermont, and how expensive is maintenance?

Winters in Vermont can be brutal, but this generally means fewer utility costs for air conditioning. Maintenance costs can rise, but as long as your house is built on a good foundation, the added expenses should be kept to a minimum. Labor such as snow removal and gutter cleaning and drainage are the most common expenses in winter.

Are there many job opportunities to help deal with the cost of living in Vermont?

Yes, there are many job opportunities in Vermont. According to research and the Lensa Index, in 2022, Vermont’s job availability per person is one of the highest in the nation, despite having fewer job listings as a whole. It is because the state has a smaller-than-average population. If you have an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree, you chances of landing a job are high.

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