A Jobseeker’s Guide to Moving to San Francisco in 2022

Thinking about living and working in San Francisco? San Francisco may be popular for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, hilly geography, cable cars, and year-round perfect weather. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

San Francisco is one of the most sought-after U.S. cities for job seekers looking to move away from their current city. According to the job search site Glassdoor, out of 5,548,118 U.S. open jobs in November 2020, more than 119,507 were for positions located in San Francisco.  And not much has changed.

The City by the Bay seems to continue bursting with job opportunities. From the technology industry and biotechnology to tourism and education, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to high-paying jobs.

If you’re a job seeker planning to move to San Francisco, you’ll probably need a guide.

Learn how to start moving, choose the perfect housing, see the cost of living, and discover more with our ultimate job seeker’s guide to moving to San Francisco in 2022.

San Francisco: The Basics

San Francisco is a 7×7 or 49-square miles city with a population of about 805,000. The San Francisco Bay area extends across nine counties, including the North Bay, South Bay/Peninsula, and East Bay. The metro area has a total population of about 7.75 million.

San Francisco is home to several distinct cultural groups. There are Chinese, Japanese, Italians, and Latinos among others. Top-notch cuisines reflect this cultural blend. And so, you’ll find your favorite cuisine to cure your taste buds.

For entertainment lovers in the house, there’s something to smile about. San Francisco boasts the Museum of Modern Art and the DeYoung Museum. These attract world-class rotating exhibits and there are also traveling Broadway shows, outdoor street festivals, and a hearty mix of live music and plays.

Preparing for the Big San Francisco Move

Moving to San Francisco is a lot easier if you have less stuff to pack and load. Whether you’re moving into an itsy-bitsy apartment or a bigger condo, you don’t have to take all your belongings with you. Use the move to declutter your life.  

The thing is, shipping old furniture, appliances and sports equipment is expensive. Instead of taking these items with you, donate some to friends or family members. Start by going through your stuff and decide what you really need.

Have a fancy mixer but haven’t made cake in a while? Ditch it. Haven’t used that linen for a year? Chuck it. You might also want to hop on the handy website Craigslist and see if you can sell some items there. You could be lucky to find someone looking for the exact thing you’re trying to dispose of.

Map Out Your San Francisco Route

Before you start moving to San Francisco, plot out your route. The City by the Bay is home to 48 hills ranging from 200-1,000 feet. While almost every neighborhood is walkable, steep hills can be a death trap for big trucks.

In fact, chances of trucks bottoming out and getting stuck on the crests of the steepest hills are high. Try to steer clear of steep hills if possible. Also, be aware of tolls. The San Francisco Bay Area has three toll bridges: the Golden Gate Bridge, the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, and the Bay Bridge.

If you try crossing these bridges, you may need to fork over some money. For example, if you rent a truck from U-Haul, they’ll pay your tolls and charge you later. So plan your route carefully to avoid spending more.

Apartment Living in San Francisco

There’s a bit of a housing crisis in San Francisco. The city has outdone New York City to become the most expensive city to live in in the United States. This crisis has forced many families to squeeze themselves into studio apartments.

In San Francisco, a 1-bedroom apartment average rent is around $3,400 while a 2-bedroom one will set you back at around $4,484.

That said, there are pockets of the city that are relatively more affordable than others, but that means you need to do a bit of digging to locate good homes.

The competition is even fiercer for furnished apartments in San Francisco. Your speed and persistence will make the difference in your rental application getting approved. Be mentally prepared knowing that finding a rental property in the city is going to be a challenge.

You might need to narrow down your search using Neighborhood Explorer for San Francisco. Padmapper is another great resource for finding an apartment based on several criteria, such as restaurants nearby, good public schools, or a short commute to work.

Ready to Move?

If you’ve decided to relocate to San Francisco, this guide should make your San Francisco move a smooth one. Regardless of which neighborhood you choose to live in, San Francisco is a land of opportunities for anyone looking to build a lucrative and intellectually fulfilling career.

And while there, don’t forget to explore the coffee shops, restaurant scene and nightlife. Before long, you’ll be grateful that you found a place to call home.