What is a good salary for a single person in Texas?

Among the popular states, Texas is one of the most affordable states to live in. With the low cost of living and economic opportunities, it’s an ideal place for single people. So if you’re planning to move here, you might ask, what constitutes a good salary for a single person in Texas?

The living wage for a single person in Texas is a net income of $29,399. So, a good salary for the same person will be double that – $58,732. But there are factors that one still has to consider to determine a good salary in Texas. They include the location, industry, & education, and experience.

It’s important to note that a living wage alone doesn’t constitute a good salary in Texas as it can only meet the basic expenses. Here, we discuss what amounts to a good salary for a single person in Texas.

Living Wage for Single Person in Texas

There are several standards to determine what amounts to a good income. These include the livable wage, which covers how much a person needs to live above the poverty line. The living wage is usually the best standard to determine a person’s minimum income to live and meet all their expenses.

Unlike the poverty line, which only considers the most basic expenses, a living wage covers all the daily living expenses such as healthcare and childcare. It also accounts for the geographical variations in the cost of living. Thus, it considers all the essentials that the poverty threshold doesn’t consider, including how taxes affect the minimum income necessary for a person to survive sufficiently.

According to estimates of the MIT Living Wage Calculation, the livable income of an individual in Texas is $34,127 and $29,366 after taxes. This breakdown shows how much the person will spend on each item annually. They include:

  • Food: $3,351
  • Medical: $2,549
  • Housing: $10,823
  • Transportation: $5,509
  • Civic duties: $2,503
  • Miscellaneous: $4,508
  • Annual taxes: $4,761

Is Living Wage a Good Salary?

A livable wage doesn’t exactly mean a good salary. It can only meet the basic expenses of most people and ensures that the person doesn’t fall into poverty. But anyone earning the living wage in Texas is not earning a good salary. Living wage doesn’t leave room for savings which is essential for anyone earning a good salary in Texas. However, the minimum wage in Texas is $15,080. Anyone earning a living wage is still in a good place.

What eventually determines a good salary for a single person in Texas is whether their salary is good if it can meet their living expenses comfortably. SmartAsset calculates that a comfortable salary should be double the living wage. This allows the person to spend 50% of their net salary, use 30% for discretionary expenses and save 20%. Since the living expenses of a single person in Texas are $29,366, a single person in the state earning $58,732 after tax should be able to live a comfortable life even in the most expensive parts of the state, such as the major cities.

Why You Need to Earn a Good Salary in Texas

One of the most important things to consider when getting a job is salary. Money is the primary reason people work, after all. But it’s very important to earn a good salary to meet all your expenses and still have enough for savings.

In the major cities such as Houston, Dallas, and Austin, living costs are above the state average. Since most people want to live in these areas and offer the best economic opportunities, it’s important to earn enough to afford them. A good salary also incentivizes you to work and makes you confident in your ability in that role.

What Factors Should You Consider In Determining A Good Salary?

Several factors come into play when you’re trying to determine whether a salary is good enough for you. They include:

1.  Location

According to the Tex Index, the average wage in Texas in 2018 was $57,382. This is slightly higher than the national average of $56,945. But even in Texas, the salary differs from one location to another. The Gulf Coast region of the state has the highest average salary at $66,086. Other regions such as the Metroplex Region, Capital Region, and West Texas Region also have average salaries above $60,000, with slight differences between them.

But some regions have incredibly low average salaries in the city. The Upper Rio Grande and South Texas regions have average wages below $40k. There are 12 regions in total in Texas. Thus, the region you’re living in the state will influence what amounts to a good salary for you. For example, a person earning around $50k in the upper Rio Grande region is getting a good salary. But it’s below average for a person living in the metroplex region.

2.  Industry

The job you’re doing and the industry you work in also matter. If you’re working in the highly technical and in-demand industries such as computer and technology, medicine, law, banking, finance, etc., what amounts to a good income for you will be different for those working in the traditionally low-paying industries. In Texas, the best-paying jobs include:

  • Petroleum engineers
  • Financial managers
  • Physicists
  • Computer and information systems manager
  • Podiatrist
  • Chemical engineer
  • Engineering and architectural managers
  • Athletes and sports personalities
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Medical physicians
  • Pilots and flight engineers
  • Surgeons
  • Psychiatrists
  • Orthodontists
  • Nurses
  • Pediatricians
  • Pathologists
  • Chief Executives
  • Radiologists
  • Neurologists
  • Gynecologists and obstetricians 
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Dermatologists
  • Cardiologists

So, you need to consider the industry standards for salary in your industry and even the employer you’re working for to determine if you’re making a good salary in Texas.

3.  Education and Experience

It’s also important to consider the level of education and experience a person has. Generally, the higher the level of education that a person has, the more they’re likely to make. So, you have to consider the degree level and the standard income for those with that degree. 

Experience also matters in how much you pay, and you can use it to determine whether you’re earning a good salary or not. For example, employees with less than five years’ experience earn about 32% less than those with five years or more experience. So, you can also compare your salary with those of similar education and experience.

In Conclusion

A salary of around $50k or more should be good for most single people living in Texas. It covers basic expenses while leaving room for discretionary spending and savings. But it’ll depend largely on the lifestyle of the person.