Maine is the largest New England state and cherished for our natural beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and unique culture. Maine has a diverse economy with industries ranging from healthcare and education to retail and manufacturing.
The history of work in Maine is closely tied to our geography and resources. The state's long coastline and abundance of natural resources, such as lumber and seafood, have long been important to the Maine economy. In the past, many Mainer's worked in industries related to these resources, such as fishing, lumbering, and shipbuilding. Today, our state's economy is more diverse, but these industries continue to play a role.
One of the major benefits of working in Maine is the state's work-life balance. Maine has a small population of around 1.3 million people, and our cities tend to be smaller and less densely populated compared to those in other parts of the country. This can provide a more laid-back pace of life and more opportunities for work-life balance. And again, as Maine is known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities, a sense of balance and enjoyment outside of work is very achievable.
Salaries in Maine can vary depending on the industry and specific job role. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for all occupations in Maine was $46,480 as of May 2020. This is lower than the national median wage of $53,490. However, it is worth noting that the cost of living in Maine is also lower compared to the national average, which may help to offset the lower wages.
According to data from the Council for Community and Economic Research, the cost of living in Maine is about 8% lower than the national average. However, it is worth noting that there can be significant variations within the state. For example, the cost of living in Portland, our state's largest city, is about 9% higher than the national average, while the cost of living in Bangor, our state's third-largest city, is about 2% lower than the national average.
Overall, working in Maine can be a positive experience for those who appreciate our state's natural beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and laid-back pace of life. Maine's lower cost of living may also be a benefit for those looking to save money or afford housing and other necessities. So, while salaries in Maine may be lower compared to the national average, the lower cost of living may be an offset.