Living and Working in Bend, Oregon

Bend Oregon Old Mill DistrictLocated in Central Oregon on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, Bend is famous for world-class recreation, a richly diverse cultural landscape, award-winning  dining and sipping opportunities and nearby Mt. Bachelor, which is ranked among the top-10-largest ski resorts in the country. Come to Bend, and you may just decide to stay.

Known for more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Bend’s climate consists of four distinct seasons: it can be triple-digit hot in the summer, and cold and snowy in the winter. Bend is the county seat of  Deschutes County, and at the time of the 2020 U.S. census, the population was 103,254, though as of summer 2023, it is estimated at 107,000 and is growing at a rate of more than 2.5% annually.

For detailed information about relocating to Bend, visit websites such as Visit Bend, City of Bend, Bend Chamber and Travel Oregon’s Bend page. If you are planning on moving to Bend and don’t yet have a job lined up, here is a helpful article with tips on how to start looking for work before you get here. It’s a good idea to try to set up informational interviews ahead of time too, and working with a recruiter can also help land that ideal position.

Bend Job Market and Economy

As Oregon’s largest city east of the Cascade Mountains, Bend is the heart of Central Oregon and is known for its growing economy and entrepreneurial spirit. Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) reports that the region’s expanding industries include software and high tech, bioscience, outdoor recreation products, aviation, manufacturing, craft brewing, and distilling.

In its annual list of Central Oregon’s top public and private employers, EDCO reports that as of 2023, Bend’s top 10 in terms of number of employees are St. Charles Health System with 3,506, Bend-La Pine School District with 2,300, Deschutes County with 1,284, Mt. Bachelor with 1,081, City of Bend with 71, the U.S. Forest Service/Deschutes National Forest with 615, Bend Park and Recreation District with 591, OSU-Cascades with 470, Lonza (formerly Bend Research) with 463, and Central Oregon Community College (COCC) with 450.

Central Oregon’s industry composition ranks as follows: Trade, Transportation and Utilities 18%; Education and Health Services 16%; Leisure and Hospitality 14%; Professional and Business Services 11%; Mining, Logging and Construction 11%; Manufacturing 8%; Financial Activities 4%; other services 4%; and Information 2%.

If remote working is your preference, you’ll be pleased to know that Bend leads the nation with 12.1% of its workforce telecommuting, according to

There are many paths to help you reach the career that is right for you in Oregon. The Oregon Employment Department offers useful tools to assist with this, including a guide outlining a variety of ways to gain education, training, skills, knowledge, and abilities on the pathway to a meaningful career. The guide is particularly helpful to students and recent graduates, but contains useful information for any job seeker. To view the Oregon Employment Department webpage, please click here. To view the Oregon Careers Magazine guide, click here.

Bend’s higher education institutions include Central Oregon Community College (COCC), offering professional-technical programs, transfer areas, continuing education, career pathways and study abroad options, and OSU-Cascades, a branch campus of Oregon State University that opened in 2016. COCC has a Career Services center, and hosts Job Fest, open to students, alumni and the community.

OSU-Cascades has a Career Development Center, where students and alumni can receive free assistance with career placement services. Students and alumni are encouraged to contact these career placement offices. The Deschutes County Library also offers a wealth of information to assist in any stage of a career or job search in Bend or elsewhere.

To view the Oregon Employment Department’s listing of Bend jobs, click here. WorkSource Oregon, a statewide partnership with the Oregon Employment Department and state, local, and nonprofit agencies, also has jobs listed by city. To view the Bend job listing, click here.

Bend Lifestyle and Culture

Bend is iconic for its blend of recreational and cultural opportunities, and lives large for a city of its size. While the cost of living in Bend isn’t especially low, it still falls well below larger cities in the west such as Seattle, Portland, San Francisco or Los Angeles. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average salary in Bend (2021) is $74,000, and the poverty rate is 10%.

Mt. Bachelor over Todd LakeAccording to Redfin, in July 2023, Bend home prices were up 8.3% compared to 2022, selling for a median price of $785K. The housing market has been strong in Bend for many years, particularly as people living in large cities flocked to the region during the pandemic.

Central Oregon’s Cascade Mountains provide the backdrop for scenery and every sport and activity imaginable. Summer and early fall are perfect for hiking and running, camping, road and mountain biking, ATVing, rock climbing, water sports such as stand-up paddling, swimming, kayaking/canoeing and water skiing, while winter brings a wonderland of alpine and Nordic skiing and snowshoeing opportunities.

The shoulder seasons can be great times to experience all of the above, but without as many tourists alongside. If sliding down a volcano isn’t your thing, the cultural options are nearly as endless in Bend as are the trails. Art galleries, great restaurants and watering holes, coffee and kombucha spots, and the High Desert Museum create options for every member of the family.

Need to Know When Moving to Bend

If you are new or planning a relocation to Bend, here are some resources that can help you.


The City of Bend is serviced by different providers depending upon where you live. Your address is what determines which company will take care of your power, gas, water, sewer and waste removal. has a helpful listing of utility providers, and interactive maps that will help you find the correct company for your address and city limits.

Here is a list of the local utilities:

Useful Links:

  • Job fairs and other job seeker events in Bend:
  • Events calendars that offer an array of options for the whole family:
  • More:

Bend Networking Opportunities

Whether you are a seasoned professional in the Bend area or new to the scene, networking is a great way to enhance your career and meet like-minded people. Here is a sampling of what’s available.

  • Bend Chamber of Commerce:  Hosts regular events and programs where members can connect and build relationships with other professionals in the area. Visit the event calendar for detailed listings.
  • The Bend Young Professionals (Bend YP): Provides networking opportunities, professional development, and social events to young professionals in the Bend area. Bend YP hosts regular events and programs for members to connect with other young professionals, offering the opportunity to build relationships across a variety of industries.
  • ConnectW: A professional organization that provides networking and professional development opportunities for women in the Bend area. The organization is committed to advancing women’s careers and empowering them to achieve their goals. View the ConnectW calendar for a listing of programs and events.
  • Central Oregon Association of Realtors (COAR): A professional organization that represents the real estate industry in the Bend area, providing resources and advocacy for its members, helping them to grow their businesses in the competitive real estate market. Additionally, COAR offers a variety of networking opportunities including events, committees, and councils where members can connect and build relationships with other industry professionals.
  • Bend Business Networking: A flourishing business referral network in Central Oregon. The group meets for coffee, networking, and a featured presenter every Wednesday at 7:30am.
  • Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) and PubTalk: A non-profit organization that supports economic growth and development in the Central Oregon region. EDCO provides a variety of services to its members, including access to capital, business resources, and networking opportunities. PubTalk is a happy hour aimed at bringing together different facets of the business community in one place to network, share ideas and further local businesses. View EDCO’s calendar for a listing of upcoming events.
  • Cultivate Bend: Works to create a vibrant ecosystem for the natural products CPG (consumer packaged goods) sector throughout Central Oregon. They respond to the specific needs of Central Oregon’s growing pool of entrepreneurs, operators, and leaders. Visit their calendar for a listing of upcoming events.
  • Opportunity Knocks (OK): A peer-to-peer mentorship organization that connects professionals in the Bend area with business leaders and entrepreneurs. OK provides a platform for professionals to exchange ideas and collaborate on projects, and provides access to resources and educational opportunities. OK hosts various events, such as quarterly mixers, that allow members to network and connect with local professionals.
  • City Club of Central Oregon: Fosters an informed community through dialogue and education that enhances responsible civic engagement. City Club hosts a variety of events that offer a great way to meet like-minded people.
  • Meetup: Offers a selection of networking opportunities for professionals in Central Oregon.
  • Eventbrite: Offers a selection of networking opportunities for professionals in Central Oregon.

Resources for Mental Health, Addiction and Homelessness in Central Oregon

  • Deschutes County Behavioral Health – Behavioral Health helps county residents facing serious mental health and addiction issues. Staff and contracted agencies also help people with developmental disabilities and their families. Priority populations include Oregon Health Plan members, uninsured county residents with nowhere else to turn and people in crisis, who are often in unstable situations or are a danger to themselves or others. Call Behavioral Health at (541) 322-7500 to be directed to the appropriate service.
  • Deschutes County Crisis Line and Stabilization Center – If you or someone you know is in crisis, you should contact the crisis line by dialing 988 or (541) 322-7500 x9, or call (800) 875-7364 (toll free) or walk into the Stabilization Center located at 63311 NE Jamison St., Bend, OR, 97703, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) of Central Oregon – The Mission of NAMI Central Oregon is to improve the quality of life for persons living with mental health issues and their families through support, education, and advocacy. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Call (541) 316-0167 or email to In an emergency, call or text 988. Chat at
  • Best Care – Offers four levels of alcohol and substance abuse rehab programs, depending on the desired recovery goals. Counselors are trained to help create change from within through a participant’s own motivation and commitment to recovery. To reach the Bend outpatient treatment center, call 541-617-7365. To reach the Brooks Respite and Recovery Center in Redmond, call 541-316-7520. For general information, call 541-504-9577.
  • Central Oregon Behavioral Health Consortium – A training and educational program supported by collaborative members across Central Oregon. Its website has a very thorough listing of available services in Central Oregon on the Resources page, including behavioral health, addiction recovery, counseling and therapy, youth facing challenges and much more. COBHC is located at 334 NE Hawthorne Ave., Bend, Oregon 97701.
  • Central Oregon Resource Directory – This website has a thorough listing of resources available in Central Oregon, including help for those struggling with food and housing insecurity, in need of legal assistance, help with transportation, small-business supports, and resources for veterans, older adults, differently-abled and more. The Central Oregon Health Council operates this directory at the request of the local Incident Command Team.
  • Volunteers In Medicine Clinic of The Cascades – A non-profit organization that provides medical care, prescription medications, and mental health care to low-income, working adults who live in Central Oregon and have no medical insurance or means to pay for care. Call 541-330-9001 or email to
  • Oregon Youthline is a free, confidential teen-to-teen crisis and help line. Teens can text Teen2Teen to 839863 to instantly text with another person or call 877-968-8491.

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