BISMARCK, N.D (KXNET) — When pursuing a career, many are concerned with not only whether or not the job will be a good fit. Thankfully, it would seem that the newest members of North Dakota’s workforce are optimistic about their futures — both financially and spiritually.

A study performed by the online course platform Teachable surveyed 18 to 24-year-olds around the United States to determine how much they expect to earn in the future — and as it turns out, the new generation dreams big when it comes to income.

The top 10 states that are the most optimistic about their future earnings are as follows, as well as the amount they expect to earn and how it compares to the average median income there.

RankStateAverage Income Expectation (18-24-year-olds)Increase From Median State Income
1Massachusetts$97, 050$38, 513
2Hawaii$84, 442$36, 742
3New Hampshire$82,180$35, 220
4North Dakota$82,180$35, 220
5New York$80, 610$31, 810
6Virginia$77, 438$30, 238
7Connecticut$76, 633$27, 913
8California$75, 822$27, 902
9New Jersey$75, 201$27, 001
10Washington$72, 118$21, 668

As it turns out, young fresh-faced workers here in North Dakota expect to earn a huge amount every year — a high of $82,180, which is 75% more than the average salary in the state. This very optimistic outlook could be brought on by the increasing number of high-paying jobs becoming available in North Dakota.

It’s important to remember, though, that not every first job is your ideal one. A high salary is extremely important for many of the young adults surveyed, to the point where many will consider taking a less-than-ideal position if it means more pay.

The study indicated that two-thirds of 18 to 24-year-olds across the U.S. would be willing to settle for a job that isn’t in their preferred career path if it meant a higher salary — a trend that is no doubt related to the increasing financial pressures in modern times (including inflation and paying off debt) as well as desires to support oneself and their family. Some even believe that this higher salary gained from working a different job can help them earn the funds and experience they need to continue on to what they actually want to do.

Despite this enthusiasm, there are limits when it comes to where people believe that they can earn these high wages. 48% of all individuals surveyed stated that they could not see making their expected salary in small towns — thus expressing a need to move to larger cities. This is not only because of the abundance of jobs there but also due to a higher pay ceiling: according to a study done by the Economic Policy Institute, there was an hourly wage gap of 15.3% between urban and rural workers in 2019, with urban employees frequently making more.

“Young people are, no doubt, navigating challenging economic conditions right now,” stated Teachable’s Vera Hanson, “but the survey’s overall finding of long-term optimism among 18 to 24-year-olds rings true to other trends we’ve witnessed in the last few months — particularly a continued rise in the number of new U.S. business applications.”

To view the full study, including an interactive map of the results of each state, visit this page on Teachable’s website.