White House.

What it’s like to live in Washington DC as a recent college graduate?

College years were the best period in your life. And now, when it is all over, and you have decided to live in DC, should you do it or not? Should you live in Washington DC as a recent college graduate and what is it like to live there now?

The job market is DC

As a young professional and a recent college grad, a career is probably one of the most important things right now for you. To start your career after graduating from college you need first to explore the job market and what DC has to offer you. What jobs and where?

If you want to work in Government/Military and Business/Finance, DC is one of the best options for you. Also, you should know that D.C. boasts high to pay for a highly educated workforce. Besides jobs in the federal and state governments, there are open jobs in education and health services too. It has a lot of hospitals and some of the best schools in the USA.

A girl looking for a job and to live in Washington DC as a recent college graduate.
Find your dream job in DC after college

The average salary in DC is around $70,900 per year. That is more than the national average of $51,950. The unemployment rate is still low, 3.1% (lower than the national average).

The real estate market

Housing is also a problem you need to solve after college. You cannot live in a college dorm anymore. Those years are over, so you need to find an apartment where you will live.

DC real estate market is staying strong. The rent is not cheap here, so many younger people need a roommate to split the costs. Finding a roommate after college is not an unusual thing. Not only in DC, but also in other cities. Especially if those cities are expensive. Such as NYC, San Francisco, LA, DC, Seattle, etc.

The average rent is $1,700 for a studio apartment. For a one-bedroom, you need to pay about $2,690. But, rent prices have decreased compared to last year. For about 7,5%. Southwest Employment Area is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in DC, while Glover Park is one of the least expensive.

Buying a house in DC as a recent grad is usually not the case. The median home price is $675,000 and prices are going up every year. But, the number of sold homes is higher.

Some of the best neighborhoods here for young professionals are:

  • Adams Morgan
  • Capitol Hill
  • Cleveland Park
  • Logan Circle
  • Cardozo
  • Penn Quarter

If you already live in Washington DC and you want to relocate to a new neighborhood with ease, first of course explore the neighborhood and then plan the whole plan for relocation.

Move and live in Washington DC as a recent college graduate

If you have decided to live in Washington DC as a recent college graduate, you need to prepare for moving. As a recent graduate, find your first apartment and organize relocation. The best and easiest way to relocate all your items (from a dorm room and your family home) is to hire professionals to do it.

A man, carrying moving boxes.
Find a professional help for moving to a new apartment in DC after college

An experienced and reliable moving company will help you with this process and moving won’t be so stressful. According to Excalibur Moving and Storage, if your first apartment here is small for all your possessions, keep in mind that you can rent a storage unit. This option is much cheaper than renting a bigger place since rent is high in DC.

Pros and cons of living in Washington DC

What are the pros and cons of living in DC and what this city has to offer you? You better explore all the things before making this big step. This way, you will adjust faster and you will know what to expect – good things and bad too.


  • Strong job market and a lot of employment opportunities. It is the main reason why so many young people want to live in Washington DC as a recent college graduate.
  • Salaries are high, higher than the national average.
  • DC is a very diverse place, so even if you are coming from another state or country, you should not have a problem adjusting to life here.
  • A mild climate, summer is nice and hot, while winters are cold, but not that cold. January is the coldest month, with an average low of -1.9℃.
  • DC has a lot of beautiful green spaces and amazing nature. It is a city, but it does not have only concrete buildings.
  • Entertainment options are great, which is important for you as a young person. DC is not boring. It has a lot of clubs, restaurants, bars, museums, and other attractions


  • High costs of living are one of the problems people in DC have. If you are moving into your first apartment after college, expect high rent.
  • Traffic can be crazy and terrible. Around 700,000 residents commute to work every day, which makes traffic jams and stress.
  • Many employees work long hours at work. So, it is difficult to have a balance sometimes.
A recent grad.
For recent grads, DC can be a great option

Things to do in DC

To live in Washington DC as a recent college graduate, you need to explore this amazing city. It has a long history and many interesting attractions to see. Some of the places you should see are the Museum of the Bible, Insomnia Escape Room, National Geographic Museum, The JFK Center for Performing Art, The Renovated Marthing Luther King Jr’s library, Planet Word, Washington Auto Show, etc. Besides these amenities, you can always spend time in nature or just walking through the city. You will always find something interesting to see.