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How to Get Paid to Move to Maine in (2024)

Are you yearning for a fresh start in a scenic city but worried about the financial burden of moving?

Several cities and states in the U.S. are rolling out enticing incentives to remote workers to invigorate local economies.

One such state leading the charge is Maine. Tucked away in the country’s northeast corner, Maine is famous for its quaint towns, breathtaking landscapes, and delicious lobster.

What’s more, it’s one of the cheapest states in the New England region.

Find out how to get paid to move to Maine and discover opportunities to turn your dream life into a reality.

Can You Get Paid to Move to Maine?

Maine continues to grapple with an aging population. Its median age is 45.1, six years older than the national average.

Although the state has seen some population growth since 2020, it still lags behind the rest of New England and the whole United States.

With more baby boomers aging out of the workforce, Maine offers incentives and programs to attract younger workers and new residents.

These initiatives aim to revitalize communities and spur economic growth.

How Much Can You Make by Moving to Maine?

If you need more convincing about relocating to Maine, how about student debt relief to sweeten the deal?

The table below presents the benchmark for the monthly loan payment you can claim in tax credits:

Year GraduatedAssociate DegreeBachelor’s DegreeGraduate Degree
2021$71$347$324
2020$77$367$341
2019$77$367$338
2018$74$377$328
2017$68$364$317
2016$70$373$325
2015$70$373N/A
2014$66$363N/A
2013$65$356N/A
2012$65$356N/A
2011$68$344N/A
2010$72$343N/A
2009**N/A
2008**N/A

 * If you completed your studies in 2008 or 2009, the benchmark loan payment should be the amount in the contract you signed with your college or university. You can ask for the amount from your school’s financial aid office if you don’t have a copy.

Now, having a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) degree is even better. If your student loan payments are more than your income tax liability for the year, you can refund the difference from the state.

For example, a nurse who paid $2,500 in student loans but owed only $1,500 in state income taxes would get a check worth $1,000 from Maine.

Are There Tax Benefits to Moving to Maine?

Maine reimburses paid student loans through tax credits under the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit (EOTC).

Enacted by a 2007 Maine Legislature, the program initially targeted residents who obtained a degree to stay in the state. It has now expanded to include graduates from any college in the U.S. who completed their degrees after 2015.

In return for the tax credit, you must move to Maine, work within the state, and pay your taxes there.

An employer who paid the lender your student loans during your employment can also qualify for the tax credit.

How Does the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit Work?

The specifics of the EOTC initiative vary based on the year of graduation and whether the individual is from Maine or elsewhere.

Generally, eligible participants can subtract their total student loan payments from their state income tax liability.

For instance, if you owe $2,000 in state income taxes and have paid $1,500 in student loans, your remaining tax owed would only be $500.

Is it your first time claiming the tax credit? Then, you must submit the following documents together with your tax return and EOTC worksheet:

  • Transcript of records
  • Loan payment schedule
  • Loan payment history during that tax year

Places in Maine That Pay You To Move

Here are some beautiful locations in Maine that’ll welcome you with open arms and exciting perks:

1. Augusta, Maine

Augusta, the capital city of Maine and the seat of Kennebec County, lies in the heart of the state.

The charming city is the economic hub for most Central Maine towns and cities. It’s also the home to the Maine State House, Maine State Chamber of Commerce, and Old Fort Western.

How Much You Can Make

Moving to Augusta comes with tax credits worth up to $377 per month applied to your student loan payments. That means you’re looking forward to a maximum credit of $4,524.

You won’t pocket cash from the tax program, but it will reduce your state income tax liability. Any remaining non-refundable tax credit will roll over for up to ten years.

The other option where you’ll likely make extra money is if you’re a STEM major moving to Augusta.

If your student loan payments exceed your income tax liability, the state will issue you a check for the difference.

What Makes This Option Great

If you have a sizable student loan, long-term tax relief makes moving to Augusta an irresistible prospect.

What’s fantastic about this credit is that it has no income or time limit. In other words, you can apply for this aid regardless if you have a well-paying job and no student loan deductions.

2. Portland, Maine

Known for its stunning waterfront and historic architecture, Portland exudes old-world charm and modern energy. The coastal city offers a bustling urban atmosphere with small-town hospitality.

Portland has no city-level incentives for remote workers. Instead, it leverages the state’s educational tax credit program to entice new residents to take on in-demand jobs in the city.

How Much You Can Make

The amount of tax credit you’ll be eligible for depends on your degree and the year you graduated.

Let’s say you completed an associate degree in San Francisco in 2018. If you’re a program participant, you can get a maximum credit of $74 a month or $888 by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, a bachelor’s or graduate degree can save you between $3,804 and $4,524 annually until you fully pay your student loan debt.

What Makes This Option Great

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting in the rat race, the tax benefit is accessible to all.

Don’t worry if you have no previous knowledge of the tax credit. This benefit is retroactive, and you can amend your tax returns all the way back through 2016 if you qualify.

The application process is straightforward. You only need to submit your supporting documents once, and Maine Revenue Services will keep them on file.

For the succeeding years, you have to prove you’re still paying off your student loan debt.

3. Bangor, Maine

Bangor is a vibrant destination for young professionals seeking exciting opportunities and a breath of fresh air. Notably, the town is one of the cleanest places in the United States.

No matter where you come from, you can take advantage of the statewide tax credit when you decide to make Bangor your new home.

How Much You Can Make

The tax credits you can earn here are on par with those available in Augusta or Portland.

With tax relief of up to $4,524 a year, you’ll have plenty of disposable income to cover your monthly living expenses.

What Makes This Option Great

The tax credit can be applied against your income tax liability dollar for dollar. Any unused portion carries over for up to ten years.

For STEM graduates, the extra credit is refundable. In short, you pay your tax obligations and refund the rest of it.

Jobs That Pay You to Relocate to Maine

Maine offers various opportunities with competitive salaries and attractive perks for remote workers.

According to ZipRecruiter, the state pays $16 per hour in relocation packages, which falls on the national average.

Let’s explore some professions that provide financial benefits for relocating to Pine Tree State.

1. Medical Practitioners

With the largest monthly employment figures, MaineHealth takes the lead as the foremost private employer in the state.

The company gives healthcare workers across the country ample reasons to move to Maine and pursue a career with them.

At present, MaineHealth is actively seeking professionals to fill the following positions:

  • Physicians
  • Psychiatrists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Medical Lab Technicians
  • Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Child Care Specialists

How Much You Can Make

Depending on the role, you can snag anywhere from $7,500 to $50,000 in sign-on bonus when you get hired at MaineHealth.

Not to mention, there are other benefits in undisclosed values to support your move to the state.

What Makes This Option Great

For physicians, the compensation package also includes the following perks:

  • Relocation assistance and temporary housing (if applicable)
  • Student loan repayment
  • Continuing medical education reimbursement
  • Medical malpractice insurance
  • Retirement plan

The relocation package is either a reimbursement or bonus to cover your moving expenses and help you settle in.

Other benefits include medical leave, paid leave, and health and dental insurance.

2. Veterinarian

Veterinarians at animal hospitals in Maine are in for a rewarding career.

But first, you must secure a Maine veterinary license from the Board of Veterinary Medicine. The application process involves a $95 licensing fee and an additional $21 for a criminal background check.

How Much You Can Make

The base salary for veterinarians in Maine falls between $63,000 to $100,000. Meanwhile, a board-certified veterinary oncologist can stand to make $198 hourly.

You’ll also get a relocation package and comprehensive health coverage.

The signing bonuses are hard to resist, ranging from $10,000 to $15,000. But one facility stands out in this regard. The Gray Animal Hospital in Southwest Maine is taking it to the next level, offering an eye-popping $250,000 sign-on bonus.

As if that wasn’t enough, employers contribute $437.50 toward your monthly student loan repayment for five years. This translates to $5,250 annually, for a total assistance of $26,250.

What Makes This Option Great

Beyond the financial incentives, moving to Maine to work as a veterinarian comes with other benefits.

For instance, companies nurture your mental well-being by hosting regular mindfulness and stress reduction meetings.

Plus, you’ll have access to financial wellness classes. You’ll receive valuable guidance on budgeting, managing student debt, improving credit scores, navigating mortgages, and exploring refinancing options.

3. Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)

In this full-time role, you’ll assess, diagnose, and treat speech disorders in K–12 students. Clinical fellows and experienced SLPs are both welcome to apply.

You must hold a valid Maine SLP license and have a master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology or Communication and Sciences Disorders.

How Much You Can Make

You can expect to receive an hourly rate ranging from $38 to $52, based on your experience and qualifications.

If you’re out of state, you’ll receive a travel contract, including relocation reimbursements, food allowances, and housing stipends.

What Makes This Option Great

On top of a competitive salary and relocation benefits, you’ll enjoy ongoing support for credentialing.

You’ll also receive reimbursement for continued education to help you stay current in your field.

Why You Should Consider Moving to Maine

Apart from the tax credit incentives for students, here are some reasons that’ll convince you to move to Maine:

1. Low Crime Rate

Maine consistently ranks as one of the safest places in the United States.

FBI reports that violent crimes in Maine are at a ten-year low, with 108 cases per 100,000 of the population.

In comparison, the national average for violent crimes is 395.7 per capita.

2. Scenic Beauty

Maine is predominantly rural, with a few urban centers. The state is a nature lover’s dream, with its picturesque lighthouses, serene lakes, and verdant mountains.

The state also boasts breathtaking coastlines stretching from the New Hampshire border to New Brunswick, Canada.

Here are some of the best places to visit in Maine to immerse yourself in its natural wonders:

  • Acadia National Park
  • Baxter State Park
  • Rangeley Lake
  • Screw Auger Falls
  • Portland Head Light

3. Light Traffic

Maine people only spend 24 minutes daily commuting to and from work. That’s a quick 12-minute drive from home to the office if you can believe it!

Sure, Saturdays in the summer are busier, but overall, the traffic is not that terrible. For the locals used to smooth rides most of the year, their version of terrible is anything that slows them down by 15 minutes.

You’ll encounter those bottlenecks in the scenic drives through small towns and neighborhoods.

Despite the state of its infrastructure, Maine has the lightest traffic conditions in the United States.

The White House is bringing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Maine; you can look forward to better roads and bridges soon.

4. Driving in Maine

Maine has one interstate highway (I-95), two U.S.-numbered highways, and three business routes. The state doesn’t have signed county roads; instead, town ways comprise most of its highways.

There’s one toll road—the Maine Turnpike—that runs the stretch of I-95 from Augusta, Maine to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Toll fees range from $1 to $8 for cash payers and $0.50 to $6.70 for EZ Pass-holders.

Because of the less extensive commutes across the state, driving in Maine is a breeze.

If you desire a change in scenery, it only takes a day’s drive to reach New York City. Boston and Montreal are also close by.

5. Clean Air

The Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry estimates 23 billion trees on the state’s soils.

With all those trees covering 80% of its land, it’s no wonder Maine is a haven for fresh, clean air.

Supporting this claim, the U.S. News and World Report ranks Maine as one of the least polluted states, with low industrial toxins and pollution health risks.

6. Focus on Healthy Living

According to America’s Health Rankings Annual Report, Maine is one of the healthiest states in the United States.

The Pine Tree State offers a wealth of outdoor activities and fresh, healthy food options.

What’s more, the Maine Department of Health provides free resiliency and stress management programs to promote the mental well-being of its residents.

Is it Cheap to Live in Maine?

Maine is the cheapest New England state to settle down in. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average cost of living in Maine is $50,559 annually.

Before you start packing, let’s break down the living expenses in Pine Tree State:

1. Housing Costs

The average housing costs in Maine range between $673 and $1,398 per month.

As of June 2023, data from Zillow values a typical home in Maine at $383,137. Comparatively, the national median sales price is $416,100.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remains steady at 6.67%, which is 42 basis points below the national average rate of 6.99%.

Below are the counties with the most affordable real estate in Maine:

CountyAverage Listing Price
Aroostook County$182,983
Washington County$213,177
Somerset County$231,274
Piscataquis County$274,200
Penobscot County$312,895

2. Food and Groceries

Among the New England states, Maine falls in the middle of food affordability.

On average, Maine residents spend $372.21 on groceries per person per month.

3. Transportation

Ranging from $$4,470 to $$12,675, annual transportation costs in Maine are some of the lowest in the United States.

On top of that, Maine is the second cheapest state to buy car insurance.

4. Healthcare

Depending on the household size, Maine residents shell out between $3,107 and $9,469 yearly in medical expenses.

5. Child Care

The average annual cost to raise a child in Maine is $9,314. This amount varies depending on the child’s age and the type of child care.

6. Taxes

As per the Maine Revenue Service, income tax rates range from 5.18% to 7.15%.

The state sales tax is 5.5%, while the average effective property taxes vary from 1.03% to 1.65%, depending on the county.

If you’re looking to buy a home in Maine, here are some counties with the lowest property taxes:

  • Hancock County: 1.03%
  • Lincoln County: 1.06%
  • Franklin County: 1.25%
  • Pistaquis County: 1.26%
  • Washington County: 1.29%

What Is a Livable Salary in Maine?

Single, childless Maine residents working full-time must earn at least $34,382 to cover basic living expenses. As per MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, this translates to a living wage of $16.53 per hour.

For a family of four with two working adults, the living wage is $85,899, which is slightly lower than the national average of $86,011.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Moving to Maine a Good Idea?

Moving to Maine can be a fantastic idea if you love a laid-back lifestyle and the great outdoors.

Its low crime rate and focus on healthy living make it a safe place to call home.

As for affordability, Maine is cheaper than other New England states. Of course, affordability is relative, and everyone’s financial situation and priorities differ.

Why is Maine So Cheap?

Most of Maine is cheap except for Southern Maine and the coastal towns.

Because the state is mainly rural, there are limited economic opportunities. Living and housing costs decrease as you venture farther away from the urban centers.

But as more people work remotely, Maine residents can enjoy the lower living expenses off the grid.

Similar Locations to Consider

Check out these other attractive locations that’ll pay you to move there:

Wrapping Up

What are you waiting for? Seize the opportunity of a lifetime and get paid to move to Maine.

If you’re a graduate looking to reduce your student debt, you can apply for tax benefits through Maine’s Educational Opportunity Tax Credit program.

Sound off in the comments below if you can see yourself moving to Pine Tree State. While you’re at it, would you care to share this article with your friends and loved ones?

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