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If you're looking for a job in Palo Alto, this guide has everything you need to know about getting to work, wages, cost of living, coffee shops, lunch specials, happy hours, and coworking spaces.

Photo Credit: Robbie Shade

You might’ve heard that Northern California has a laid-back, wear-jeans-to-work vibe, but Palo Alto is not for slouches. Though the city is small, it is one of the most educated and affluent in the country. Of course, you would expect no less from a city founded by the man who also established Stanford University.

In addition to serving as the home city of the university, Palo Alto also houses the headquarters of some of the best-known tech companies. As the beating heart of Silicon Valley, it’s where Facebook and PayPal began, and where Tesla and Ideo still reside. 

All of this means that you can be assured of several things: a wide array of gourmet and college-ready lunch options, your pick of designer coffee destinations, and a Cal-Train station to transport you to and from this bubble of paradise. 

Whether you’re looking for work in research, medicine, software engineering or service, Palo Alto offers top-notch job opportunities in all these fields. So put on your nice jeans, and make the most of your work life in Palo Alto. 

Getting to Work

Commuting to work is never a treat and, because Palo Alto is a primarily residential area, getting to work there is easiest for its residents. Over 80% of people who work in Palo Alto drive to work—the traditional solo drive as well as car-shares and carpools— whereas only 4% take the bus and use the Palo Alto Cal-Train stop.

The rest of Palo Alto job employees are within biking or walking distance of their workplace. It’s fair to say that unless you’re in Palo Alto, you’ll have to make a bit of a trek to work, not to mention that traffic can be brutal during rush hour.

Curious about the cost of your commute? Calculate commute time and costs here.

Wages in Palo Alto

As of March 2017, the minimum wage in Palo Alto is $12.00 an hour. The city has set a goal to increase it to $15.00 an hour by 2018. Be sure to check the City of Palo Alto’s website for the most up-to-date minimum wage information!

The median household income in Palo Alto is $136,519, which is more than double the national average of $53,046. The median individual income is $67,920.

Cost of Living in Palo Alto

There’s no doubt about it, Palo Alto is an expensive place to live. As of March 2017, the median home sale price in Palo Alto is $2,205,000 and the median rent price is $5,380 per month.

Eating and Drinking in Palo Alto

Whether you need to get caffeinated in the morning or wind down after work, there’s no shortage of restaurants, bars, and cafes to try in Palo Alto.

Grab coffee before work at Coupa Café, Mayfield Bakery & Cafe, and Cafe Venetia. Stop for lunch at Evvia Estiatorio, Back A Yard Caribbean American Grill, and Oren’s Hummus Shop. Meet your friends after work for happy hour at Nola Restaurant, Pampas, and Rangoon Ruby.

Coworking Spaces in Palo Alto

Joining a coworking community can offer you work flexibility and conference space access, as well as a network of new co-workers with whom to share office supplies and great ideas. Here are few great options to choose from in Palo Alto:

  • HanaHaus—456 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301($3-$75/hour)
  • Pacific Workplaces—2225 East Bayshore Road Suite 100, Palo Alto, CA 94303 ($95-$350/month)
  • Sandbox Suites—3505 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306 ($75-$4375/month)
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