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Old 01-11-2014, 09:24 AM
1 posts, read 1,018 times
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Hello All,

I'm currently living in Norfolk, Va. and I am trying to figure out what a realistic cost of living adjustment would be between Seattle and Norfolk? I've done some research on various websites, and come up with a huge gap in suggested percentages of difference between the two cities. The range has been anywhere from +13% to +42%!?!? (although most information would lead me to believe it's around +15%) Does anyone have a reliable resource for what a "true cost of living" calculator might be? I'm mostly concerned about this in terms of salary negotiations. I'm currently employed in the Air/Hydronic Test and Balance industry, within commercial HVAC. My line of work is very specialized and not much information is out there on the web for salaries in my field, regardless of location. Also, the Seattle area has unions related to my line of work, which we do not have here in Norfolk. If anyone knows anything about the Sheetmetal Workers Union Local 66, that would be helpful as well.

Thanks in advance for any advice ...
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:44 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
36,249 posts, read 65,968,051 times
Reputation: 41918
The cost of living is indeed much higher here, but so are wages, and we have no state income tax. Rather than trusting the cost of living calculators, I would suggest looking at rents on Craigslist and other internet sites. While other things may cost more, housing costs has the biggest impact on people moving here from other states.

Local 66 is based in Everett. All but the smallest sheet metal/HVAC companies use union workers. I think our organization has a total of about 8 unions represented in the various crafts at our maintenance department.

There are some big companies here such as McKinstry and MacDonald-Miller that are union and seem to be doing a lot of work. We use them both at times on projects. With so many government agencies in the area, union contractors get most of the bids since they require prevailing wages for contracts. If you prefer to avoid the union you will be more limited to residential at smaller companies.
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