Located 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%.
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%.
According 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. MovingToBend.com 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:
- Power – Central Electric Co-Op, 541-389-1980; Mid-State Electric, 541-536-2126; Pacific Power, 888-221-7070
- Natural Gas – Cascade Natural Gas, 888-522-1130
- Water and Sewer – Avion Water Company, 541-382-5342; Agate Water, 541-382-2855; Cimarron City Water Company, 541-389-7480; City of Bend Water & Sewer, 541-388-5515; Roats Water System, 541-382-3029
- Waste Removal – Bend Garbage & Recycling (Republic Services), 541-382-2263; Cascade Disposal, 541-382-6660; Deschutes Recycling, 541-388-1910
- Telephone – TDS, 1-844-355-6837; BendTel Inc, 541-389-4020; CenturyLink, 855-707-4993
- Cable and Internet – TDS, 541-388-5816; BendTel Inc, 541-389-4020; DirecTV, 877-798-6070; HughesNet, 877-871-9237; Yellowknife Wireless Company, 541-385-0111
- Job fairs and other job seeker events in Bend:
- Events calendars that offer an array of options for the whole family: