College grads and mid-career professionals alike may find themselves in search of a city that offers the best of both worlds: great job opportunities and a healthy work-life balance.
Using those measures, as well as the cost of living and job satisfaction, employment site Glassdoor has crunched the numbers and come up with the top U.S. cities offering the best opportunities for workers. While some of the biggest American cities made the list, many of those top-rated are midsize metropolitan areas that are transforming their economies with tech and health care jobs.
That may provide some relief to job seekers who worry that opportunities exist only in expensive cities such as New York, which didn't make the cut in Glassdoor's rankings because of its high cost of living and so-so job satisfaction and work-life balance.
Those on the hunt for new career opportunities may want to consider some of the smaller cities that rose to the top of the rankings because they're places where typical workers can afford to buy homes and get a foothold on the economic ladder.
"These are smaller, midsize cities that have really great job markets that are growing," said Allison Berry, a spokeswoman with Glassdoor. "The thing that's standing out for us in the list is that bigger doesn't necessarily mean better."
Two cities famous for their high cost of living are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 on the list, primarily because their high scores for work-life balance and job satisfaction outweighed the pain of their sky-high real estate prices.
Read on to learn about the top 11 cities ranked by Glassdoor for jobs.
11. St. Louis, Missouri
The gateway to the West is also the gateway to finding a good job, according to Glassdoor. The city of about 317,000 residents has almost 50,000 job openings, while the median base salary in St. Louis is roughly $57,000.
That may not make workers rich, but given that the median home value is $141,900, it's possible to buy a home on a typical worker's salary. Three hot jobs identified by Glassdoor in the St. Louis area are software developer, office manager and attorney.
10. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, once dominated by the energy industry, has diversified its employment base in recent years. The city of about 1.3 million people has about 20,600 job openings, with a median base salary of $50,000.
While the pay may be lower than in some other cities, Oklahoma City is known for its affordability. Bloomberg ranks it as one of the cities where millennials can afford to buy a home. The median home value is $132,500.
Hot jobs in Oklahoma City include delivery driver, accountant and account executive, according to Glassdoor.
9. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
The Twin Cities may be known for its cold climate, but it has a hot job market. The metropolitan region of 4.1 million residents has more than 65,000 job openings, with a median base salary of $65,000.
Minnesota is home to 17 Fortune 500 companies, including Target and Land O' Lakes. The Atlantic magazine last year lauded the city's combination of "affordability, opportunity, and wealth."
The median home value is $219,400, making a home purchase affordable for many workers. Locals also rank the city high for work-life balance and job satisfaction. Glassdoor says three hot jobs in the city are Web designer, sales manager and business development manager.
8. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Raleigh-Durham benefits from its location in the so-called Research Triangle, where universities such as Duke and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are located.
Not surprisingly, Glassdoor says the area's three hot jobs are registered nurse, research associate and software engineer.
The region of roughly 2 million residents has almost 35,000 job openings, with a median base salary of $62,000. The median home value is $209,400.
7. Salt Lake City, Utah
Utah's largest city is home base for a number of big corporations such as Zions Bank, but it has also grown into a popular location for corporate call centers. On top of that, Salt Lake City also has a growing tech industry.
The city of about 200,000 residents has roughly 23,000 job openings with a median base salary of $58,700. It's a relatively affordable place to live, with a median home value of $234,400.
Three hot jobs identified by Glassdoor are technical support engineer, outside sales representative and marketing coordinator.
6. Austin, Texas
The capital of Texas is a growing tech hub, but it offers a lower cost of living than some other tech-heavy cities on the West Coast.
The city of about 890,000 residents has more than 45,000 job openings, with a median base salary of $61,000. The median home value stands at $247,000.
Austin's three hot jobs are creative director, finance manager and solutions architect, according to Glassdoor.
5. Washington, D.C.
The nation's capital may be more expensive than some other cities, but there are plenty of job openings: more than 163,000, according to Glassdoor.
The median base salary is $70,000, while the median home value is $364,100. Three hot jobs in the D.C. area are director of development, business office manager and data scientist.
Massachusetts' biggest city is one of the hottest places for jobs. With a population of about 645,000, the city has about 121,500 job openings, while the median base salary is $67,500.
Still, while jobs may be plentiful, real estate is expensive in Boston, given that the median home value is almost $390,000. Three hot jobs in the city are nurse practitioner, applications developer and sales development representative.
Known for companies like Amazon and Starbucks, Seattle scores as the third-best city for jobs, with more than 103,000 openings. The median base salary is $85,000, and the median home value is $382,700, or higher than the national average.
The city of about 3.7 million residents is known for its tech sector, so it's no surprise that the three hot jobs identified by Glassdoor are UI-UX (user interface, user experience) designer, data scientist and engagement manager.
2. San Francisco
With more than 800,000 residents, San Francisco is the land of job opportunities, given its more than 121,000 openings at the moment.
But while the jobs may be plentiful, the cost of living in the Northern California city has grown to astronomical levels. The median base pay is $88,000, but the median home value is more than $806,000, putting home ownership out of reach for many.
Three hot jobs identified by Glassdoor are data scientist, engagement manager and junior graphic designer.
1. San Jose, California
With a population of almost 1 million, San Jose stands in the center of Silicon Valley. That's creating a good news/bad news situation for workers: Jobs are plentiful -- especially for tech-savvy workers -- but the cost of living is sky-high.
The median base salary is $112,000, which sounds great, until one learns that the median home value is almost $957,000. As a result, fewer than 25 percent of workers can rent or buy the city's average-priced homes, according to the Mercury News.
The city's three hot jobs identified by Glassdoor are solutions architect, HR manager and data scientist.
The best of the rest
The rest of the top 25
Glassdoor ranked a total of 25 cities on job opportunities. Below are the cities ranked 12th through 25th:
13. Kansas City, Missouri
14. Columbus, Ohio
15. Cleveland, Ohio
16. Indianapolis, Indiana
17. Baltimore, Maryland
18. Louisville, Kentucky
19. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
20. San Antonio, Texas
21. San Diego, California
23. Cincinnati, Ohio
25. Hartford, Connecticut