What Salary Do You Need to Live in Raleigh NC?

Full article 14 min read

Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina and is the second-largest city in the state. It is in Wake County, and its population is estimated at 488,334. Raleigh is a part of the Research Triangle metropolitan area, and it is also known as the “City of Oaks” for its many oak trees. Raleigh’s economy is primarily based on government and education. The city is home to several major universities, including North Carolina State University, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke University. In addition, Raleigh is a major center for research and development, thanks to its proximity to the Research Triangle Park. As a result, Raleigh is often considered one of the best places to live in the United States.

If you’re thinking about moving to the Raleigh area, you’ll want to know what the cost of living is like. This blog post will break down how much money you need to make to live comfortably in Raleigh, NC. Keep reading for all the details.

Where Does Your Salary Go Living in Raleigh?

For many people, the cost of living in Raleigh is a major factor in deciding whether or not to move to the area. While the cost of living can vary depending on your lifestyle and where you live within the city, some general trends can give you an idea of how much it will cost to live in Raleigh. Most of your salary will go into necessary food, transportation, and housing. That leaves room for other expenses like healthcare, childcare, and utilities.


Costs of Real Estate

Raleigh is known for its beautiful homes and friendly neighborhoods. The city’s real estate market is extremely competitive, but great deals are still to be found. Raleigh is the perfect place to live for families, young professionals, and retirees alike. The cost of living is relatively low, 30% lower than the national average, and the city offers a wide variety of amenities. In recent years, Raleigh has experienced a boom in population growth, which has led to an increase in demand for housing. As a result, prices have begun to rise, but they are still far below the national average. For those looking to purchase a home in Raleigh, now is a great time.

Some of the best neighborhoods in the city are Five Points, Raleigh Heights, and Oakwood. These neighborhoods offer a variety of housing options at different price points. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, consider moving to one of Raleigh’s suburbs. There are many great communities located just outside the city limits, and you’ll be able to find a more affordable home there.

  • Median 1 Bedroom Apartment Rent: $1,506/ month
  • Median 2 Bedroom Apartment Rent: $1,705/month
  • Median 3 Bedroom Apartment Rent: $1,949/month
  • Median Home Price: $448,197

Transportation Costs

The cost of transportation is 8% lower than the national average. Raleigh is a very spread-out city, making getting around without a car difficult. One gallon of gas costs $2.39 in Raleigh.

However, the city is served by a reliable public transportation system, and many of the city’s residents use it to get around. The GoRaleigh bus system offers affordable and convenient transportation throughout Raleigh. The system runs on 27 fixed routes through the city’s municipal area and five regional/express lines in collaboration with GoTriangle, the local provider. A one-way ticket on the bus costs $1.25, and a daily pass is available for $2.50. In addition, the city has a light rail system, which makes getting around the downtown area easy. 

See Also: Best Moving Companies In Raleigh, NC



Raleigh’s tax structure is designed to be both stable and predictable, focusing on keeping taxes low for residents and businesses. The city’s major sources of revenue are property taxes, sales taxes, and income tax. Still, taxes are a burden for some people, especially those on fixed incomes.

If you are considering moving to Raleigh, be sure to factor in the cost of taxes when budgeting for your new home. While the tax burden can be a bit hefty, it is important to remember that Raleigh is a great place to live and work. The city offers an excellent quality of life, and the taxes help support important services.

  • Property tax: 0.95%
  • Sales tax: 7.25%
  • Income tax: 0-5.25%

Cost of Utilities

There are several utilities that residents in Raleigh can take advantage of. These include water, sewer, electricity, gas, and trash services.

The cost of utilities in Raleigh is 4% lower than the national average. The average monthly utility bill in Raleigh is $152.

Several private companies provide trash service. Water and sewer services are provided by the City of Raleigh, while electricity and gas are provided by Progress Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas, respectively. In addition, several other utility companies provide services to Raleigh residents, including AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. These companies provide a vital service to the city, and they all work together to keep Raleigh running smoothly.



Raleigh is home to several excellent healthcare facilities, including Wake Med Health & Hospitals and Rex Hospital. Wake Med is a not-for-profit health system that offers a full range of medical services, from primary care to specialized care. It is also home to the largest birthing center in North Carolina and the only level 1 trauma center in Wake County. Rex Hospital is a private, not-for-profit hospital that provides a broad range of services, including cancer care, heart and vascular care, and orthopedic care. In addition to these two larger hospitals, Raleigh is also served by several smaller community hospitals and numerous clinics and private practices. As a result, residents of Raleigh have access to high-quality healthcare at every level.

The cost of healthcare in Raleigh is 3% higher than the national average.

  • A routine doctor’s visit: $113.92
  • Dentist: $97.87
  • Veterinary: $54.82

Childcare in Raleigh

The cost of childcare in Raleigh is 4% lower than the national average. The typical hourly charge for a childcare provider in Raleigh, NC, is $14.13. You can anticipate paying between $7.25 and $20 per hour, with an average cost of $14.13 per hour. The hourly rate of a child care provider might differ based on their place of business, responsibilities, education requirements, and type of care.

There are several excellent childcare options available in Raleigh. Some of the most popular include The Little Gym, KinderCare, and Primrose School of Raleigh. These facilities offer a variety of programs and services for children, from infants to school-age kids. In addition, there are several private childcare providers in the area. Whatever your needs, you will find a great childcare option in Raleigh.

Cost of Food

According to payscale.com, the cost of food in Raleigh is significantly higher than the national average. In Raleigh, the cost of food is 13% higher than the national average. This might be a burden for some families who are on a budget. But, Raleigh has a wide variety of grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and restaurants that offer affordable options for eating out.

The cost of food depends on a number of factors, including where you shop and what you eat. The best way to save money on food is to cook at home using fresh ingredients from the grocery store. But, if you want to eat out, there are many affordable options available in Raleigh.

  • A meal at a mid-range restaurant: $60 for 2 People
  • McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal): $8
  • A loaf of bread: $3.77
  • A gallon of milk: $2.2
  • A dozen eggs: $2.05


Miscellaneous Costs in Raleigh

Raleigh is a great place to live, work, and play. However, some miscellaneous costs are important to consider when budgeting for life in Raleigh. Movies tend to be a bit more expensive than in other parts of the state, but there are still plenty of free recreational facilities and concerts to enjoy. Personal care items such as haircuts and manicures are also a bit pricier than average, but this is offset by the fact that gyms and fitness classes are relatively affordable. Overall, Raleigh is a very livable city with a low cost of living.

  • Avg. cost of movie: $12 for a single person
  • Avg. cost of haircut: $24-$72 for a single person
  • Avg. cost of the gym: $41.62/month
  • Tennis Court Rent: $6.75/hour

Understanding the Job Market in Raleigh

Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina and is part of the Research Triangle, along with Durham and Chapel Hill. As a result, Raleigh has a diverse and booming economy, with opportunities in various industries. Many technology firms and several healthcare and educational businesses are based in Raleigh. The city’s robust job market is one of the reasons that Raleigh was recently ranked as one of the best places to live in the United States. In addition to its strong economic prospects, Raleigh also offers a high quality of life, with plenty of green space and a vibrant cultural scene. Raleigh is an excellent place to start or continue your career for all these reasons.

Top employers in the city are:

  • Duke University and Duke Health Systems
  • State of North Carolina 
  • Wake County Public School System 
  • Wal-Mart 
  • University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill 
  • WakeMed Health & Hospitals  
  • North Carolina State University  
  • Food Lion  
  • Target Stores  
  • IBM (International Business Machines)   
  • UNC Rex Healthcare System  
  • SAS Institute, Inc. 
  • Harris Teeter  
  • Cisco Systems  
  • IQVIA  
  • Wake County Government  
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield North Carolina  
  • City of Raleigh  
  • Sensus (a Xylem Brand)  
  • Pfizer  
  • Fidelity Investments


How Much Should You Earn to Live Comfortably Well In Raleigh?

The cost of living in Raleigh is relatively affordable, but it is still important to consider your budget when looking for a job. To live comfortably in Raleigh, you should aim to earn a salary of at least $56,904. With this salary, you will be able to afford a modest apartment, groceries, and other necessary expenses. If you are looking to live a bit more extravagantly, you will need to earn a salary of at least $80,000 per year. This salary will allow you to afford a nicer apartment or home, eat out more often and enjoy some of Raleigh’s many leisure activities. Raleigh is a great place to call home, no matter your budget.

According to the US Department of Labor, a single person living without dependents must earn $18.36 per hour to live comfortably in Raleigh. If only one adult is employed, then the required hourly compensation for two adults with one child is $32.15. The cost of living for a family of four is $26.02 if they’re both working.

See Also: 8 Best Raleigh NC Neighborhoods to Live In


Raleigh is a great place to live for people of all ages and stages of life. The city offers a high quality of life, a strong job market, and a low cost of living. Raleigh is an excellent choice whether you are looking to start your career or raise a family. With a little bit of planning and budgeting, you can enjoy all that Raleigh offers. Happy moving!


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to live in Raleigh?

The cost of living in Raleigh is relatively low and is 5% lower than the national average.

How much should you earn to live comfortably in Raleigh?

What is the cost of living for a single person in Raleigh?

The cost of living for a single person in Raleigh is $888 per month without rent.


What is the cost of living for a family of four in Raleigh?

The cost of living for a family of four in Raleigh is $3,181 per month without rent.

What is the minimum wage in Raleigh?

The minimum wage in Raleigh is $7.25 per hour.

What is the Unemployment rate in Raleigh?

The unemployment rate in Raleigh is 3.1%.


What are things to do in Raleigh?

There are many things to do in Raleigh. Some popular attractions include the NC Museum of Art, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and Pullen Park. Other activities include hiking,biking, and exploring the many restaurants and shops downtown.

Written by

Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.