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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm thinking about moving to the US (my wife's a US citizen, so the visa seems relatively easy to get)

If we do move, it must be an improvement over what we have at present, which ultimately means more disposable income. Simple pound to dollar conversions are meaningless, especially the way the exchange rate has swung about over the last year or so, so an idea of what salary I would need to have a standard of living at least as good as here in the UK would be very helpful.

I realise that location will have a big impact on that.

Also, any comments on whether the salary I would need is actually achievable would also be helpful.

I am currently a principal design engineer with 15 years experience working in electronics and optics earning 55k. I work for an industrial instrumentation manufacturer developing the next generation of products.

Thanks
 

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These days, I'm afraid, "any" salary is considered better than "no salary at all." One way to get a feel for the going rates for your profession is to scour the online ads on something like Monster or other employment sites. You might also check the "employment" section on the websites of large companies involved in the industries you'd be interested in working in.

It really does make an enormous difference whether you're looking at employment in New York City, Des Moines Iowa, Detroit Michigan or some small town in Arkansas.

There is also the matter of how you define "disposable income." In the US you are expected to provide privately for many insurances and services that are part of your taxes in the UK: health insurance, retirement savings, post-secondary education for your children, and most forms of social safety net (unemployment, housing subsidies, etc.).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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To me it sounds like you have not yet put a lot of effort into this. Visa is no issue. One less thing to worry about.
Government jobs are out. What connections have you built during the 15 years in your industry? Does your network encompass the US? What do you know about us US competitors?
What does your wife think about various geographic areas? With my Better Half's job skills we had choices - AL, WY, TX, DC. Not ten horses will move me to WY!
Using your figure of 55k which currently is around 90k US - enough for a family of three but not in a metropolitan area.
 

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I'm thinking about moving to the US (my wife's a US citizen, so the visa seems relatively easy to get)

If we do move, it must be an improvement over what we have at present, which ultimately means more disposable income. Simple pound to dollar conversions are meaningless, especially the way the exchange rate has swung about over the last year or so, so an idea of what salary I would need to have a standard of living at least as good as here in the UK would be very helpful.

I realise that location will have a big impact on that.

Also, any comments on whether the salary I would need is actually achievable would also be helpful.

I am currently a principal design engineer with 15 years experience working in electronics and optics earning 55k. I work for an industrial instrumentation manufacturer developing the next generation of products.

Thanks
With $90k annually in some areas of the US people would treat you like a king. In other areas, you would need a 2nd job merely to survive. Location is one of the best indicators.
 

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With $90k annually in some areas of the US people would treat you like a king. In other areas, you would need a 2nd job merely to survive. Location is one of the best indicators.
Keep in mind though, that in areas where $90K would put you on top of the salary chart, there are probably not openings in your field. In the major metropolitan areas where you could find a job in your field, you will need twice that. That is why so many americans have long commutes (2+ hours each way). Earn enough to survive in the metro area, but have to drive home in the far-away suburbs to be able to afford a house.
 
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