No. 2: San Francisco
This is another city surrounded by lots of big technology companies, including Facebook and cloud storage service Dropbox. “The work is challenging and interesting,” a Dropbox software engineer wrote in a review on Glassdoor’s online “Report Card.” He said every perk one might expect to see at a stereotypical Bay Area startup is available there, including a gym, masseuse, three five-star meals a day and a busy social calendar. One downside: Sky-high house prices. In San Francisco county, mortgage payments represent 70 percent of the median income, according to real estate data firm RealtyTrac.
No. 3: Washington, D.C.
Employees here left reviews for Glassdoor from George Mason University, the National Institutes of Health, financial advisory firm Motley Fool and National Public Radio, among others. “Employees in D.C. highly rated the city’s government agencies and education institutions,” Dobroski says. And while management might be tempted to leave a positive review for their company and skew the results, Dobroski says he didn’t include metro areas with fewer than 700 reviews. Another curious fact about D.C.: There are almost four women for every three men, according real estate website Trulia; good for single men — if not single women.
No. 4: Norfolk, Va.
While Norfolk, Va., might seem like an unusual city to make the top five, Glassdoor received hundreds of responses from U.S. Navy and Air Force staff. “There’s a strong military presence there,” he says. “And while many parts of the country have a military presence, they really do appear to be satisfied in their jobs.” Though many military personnel have trouble adjusting to corporate life, according to recent research from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and Pioneer Services, a division of MidCountry Bank in Bloomington, Minn., one U.S. Navy officer told Glassdoor’s survey: “Skills are easily transferred to private sector.”
No. 5: Salt Lake City
While the University of Utah and Intermountain Healthcare were rated highly by employees here, the Glassdoor report also credited an influx of technology companies like eBay, computer software company Adobe Systems and computer hardware and software company Fusion-io. “Silicon Valley-based companies are opening up offices there and hiring very aggressively in the Salt Lake City area,” Dobroski says. “Employees have a great work-life balance there, and talk about working hard during their day and getting out of work at a reasonable hour and able to enjoy the great outdoors.”
And those that didn’t quite make it into the top 5?
6. San Diego
8. Oklahoma City
9. San Antonio
This article originally appeared on MarketWatch.com and is reprinted by permission from Marketwatch.com, ©2014 Dow Jones & Co. Inc. All rights reserved.