San Diego, which has a population of 1.4 million, annually attracts many individuals to its districts.  From families and couples to singles and young professionals, San Diego has a way of influencing everyone who calls it home.  There are plenty of open green spaces, tight-knit communities, lots of recreational possibilities, and proximity to lovely beaches available.

The question is, can you afford to live here?  If you can, how much money do you need to live comfortably in this Pacific Coast city?  Let’s get started.

Factors to Consider When Making $100k

Making $100,000 a year puts you in the top tier of earners in the United States.  It’s critical to match or exceed the national average wage for all jobs.

However, depending on where you live, that $100,000 salary might seem to be less than six figures.  Income taxes, housing costs, and other important expenditures can reduce $100,000 by a significant amount, and these factors vary greatly across the country’s major cities.

The West Coast dominated the list of cities where earning $100,000 didn’t go far.  In reality, only two cities on the list are not located on the West Coast: Boston and Washington, D.C.

Because many West Coast cities have high taxes on high incomes and pricey living expenses, little income is left over after all expenses are paid.  Seattle is an exception to this, as it has no state income tax but is disadvantaged by expensive living costs across the board.

San Diego is regarded as having the finest weather in the United States, which can help to soothe the sting of costs when taking away a typical $100,000 salary.  State income taxes are the most harmful offender here, but transportation expenses also play a role.

The cost of living in San Diego will affect your pay, as will your leisure expenses and housing situation.  Obviously, if you spend a lot of time dining at inexpensive restaurants and checking out trendy cocktail bars, you’ll need a higher salary to live in San Diego than someone who lives a more frugal lifestyle.

Another factor to consider is whether you have already begun or are planning to begin a family.  If that’s the case, your housing costs will be higher and you’ll need to include childcare and schooling in your long-term budget.

How to Determine a Good Salary

In San Diego, the average hourly salary is $25.00.  That comes out to a good weekly wage of $1,000 each week and a decent monthly compensation of $4,333 every month. However, using the median income as a guide is just one method to calculate a reasonable wage in San Diego.

Another method to determine an adequate wage in San Diego is to look at the cost of housing and use that to calculate a respectable salary.  According to experts, you should keep your home price-to-income ratio at around 5:1.

Finally, we may infer a decent wage in San Diego by comparing the city’s cost of living to that of other cities.  The cost of living in San Diego is 51% greater than the national average.  The national average salary is above $56,000, so a good wage in San Diego is anything above $85,000 according to this criterion.

Popular Occupations in San Diego

Software Engineers, Project Managers, and Mechanical Engineers are the most in-demand jobs in San Diego, CA, paying between $50k and $140k per year. Northrop Grumman Corporation, Solar Turbines, and Illumina Inc. are the most popular employers in San Diego.

Highest Paying Jobs in San Diego

  • Cardiologists
  • Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Physicians
  • Pediatricians
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Podiatrists
  • Family Medicine Physicians
  • Chief Executives
  • Natural Sciences Manager

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a liveable salary in San Diego?

To put things into perspective, the median salary in San Diego is $80,000.  This is a reasonable wage to shoot for if you’re considering relocating to San Diego.  To provide you with a better idea of how much of this income will go towards various living costs, divide it by two.

Trends in wages increased by 0.5 percent in Q1 2022.  The cost of living in San Diego, CA is 44 percent higher than the national average. 

Q: What is the upper-class salary in San Diego?

To assess a family’s income, researchers examined incomes in the city’s top 20% and then compared them to hourly wage employment.

To be considered a wealthy person, you’ll need to make more than $157,252 per year in the city’s top 20% of 1.4 million people.

The top 5% of earners in San Diego make an average of $479,743 a year.

Q: How much does the average person make in San Diego?

San Diego County’s median household income of around $77,000 for one person, $89,000 for a two-person family, and just slightly above $100,000 for a three-person family is proof that it offers an affordable quality of life.


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