Living and Working in Vancouver, Washington

The I-5 Interstate Bridge in Vancouver, WA at sunrise with purple and pink cloudsVancouver, Washington, is often called “the gateway to the gorge” with its breathtaking mountain and Columbia River views. Vancouver’s residents take pride in the city’s friendly atmosphere and strong sense of community, making it a compelling destination for those seeking a blend of nature, culture, and close-knit connections in the Pacific Northwest.

City Overview

Situated in the southwestern part of Washington, Vancouver is located at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Willamette River, just across the border from Portland, Oregon. As of the latest available census data from 2022, Vancouver had a population of more than 190,000 people, making it the fourth-largest city in Washington state.

Vancouver enjoys a climate characterized by mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers, allowing residents to experience the full spectrum of seasons. The city is surrounded by a diverse range of outdoor activities, from hiking in nearby forests to exploring the waters of the Columbia River.

Resources such as Visit Vancouver, the City of Vancouver’s website, and the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce offer comprehensive information about living in Vancouver.

Vancouver’s Job Market and Economy

Vancouver shares in the economic opportunities of the larger Portland metropolitan area. Key sectors in the region include healthcare, technology and manufacturing, education, and trade and commerce.

In its list of top employers, the Columbia River Economic Development Council lists PeaceHealth with 4,415 employees, Vancouver Public Schools with 3,178, Evergreen Public Schools with 2,698, Vancouver Clinic with 1,526, ilani with 1,500, Bonneville Power Administration with 1,124, the City of Vancouver with 1,091, Kaiser Permanente with 1,088, HP with 1050, and SEH America with 1,050.

If remote working is your preference, you’ll be pleased to know that more than 23% of people in the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metro area worked from home last year, per the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey (ACS).

Vancouver offers educational opportunities at institutions like Washington State University Vancouver, known for its strong business and engineering programs, and Clark College, a two-year community college providing various degree and certificate programs.

Vancouver job seekers can explore employment opportunities through the Washington Employment Security Department’s job listings, Workforce Southwest Washington, and WorkSourceWA, which connects job seekers with local resources and workforce development programs.

Lifestyle and Culture

Vancouver’s lifestyle and culture are defined by a strong sense of community, an emphasis on sustainability, a burgeoning arts scene, and abundant outdoor activities. While Vancouver Washington across the Columbia river.the cost of living in Vancouver has risen, it remains more affordable than larger West Coast cities like Seattle and San Francisco. In 2022, the median household income in Vancouver was $73,626, and the poverty rate was approximately 12.3%, as the U.S. Census Bureau reported.

The housing market in Vancouver is dynamic, with homes receiving multiple offers and selling relatively quickly. As of late 2023, the median sale price of a home in Vancouver was $460,000, with a median sale price per square foot of $292.

Vancouver offers a variety of cultural experiences, including art galleries, local eateries, and breweries. Residents and visitors can explore attractions such as Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Pearson Field, historic Officers Row, and Vancouver Waterfront Park.

Need to Know When Moving to Vancouver

If you’re considering a move to Vancouver, there are essential resources to help you get started. The city is served by various utility providers, depending on your location. Be sure to contact the following for essential services:

Utilities: The city is served by various utility providers. Contact the following for essential services:

Transportation: Vancouver offers a comprehensive public transportation system through C-Tran, including buses and express routes. The city encourages cycling with dedicated bike lanes and bike-sharing programs.

Government: For government services, permits, and local regulations, the official website of the City of Vancouver is a valuable resource.

Job fairs and other job seeker events in Vancouver: Job seekers can explore opportunities at local job fairs and events hosted by organizations like the Columbia River Economic Development Council, WorkSource Washington, and the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.

Events calendars that offer an array of options for the whole family:

As you venture into this vibrant city, you’ll find a community that cherishes its history, fosters innovation, and exudes a strong sense of camaraderie. Vancouver’s blend of scenic landscapes, including the picturesque waterfront and lush parks, creates an inviting backdrop for residents and visitors.

Whether you’re captivated by the historical charm of Officer’s Row, the lively downtown atmosphere, or the numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, Vancouver, Washington, offers an exciting and welcoming place to build a life.

Vancouver Networking Opportunities

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to the Vancouver area, networking offers invaluable opportunities to enrich your career and connect with fellow professionals. Here is a roundup of opportunities.

  • Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce: This organization hosts networking events, mixers, and luncheons where local businesses and professionals can meet and exchange contacts. Visit the events page for more information.
  • Vancouver Business Journal: Organizes various networking events throughout the year, including breakfast meetings, seminars, and industry-specific gatherings.
  • SCORE Vancouver: Offers free mentoring and workshops to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Attending SCORE workshops and events can provide networking opportunities with other local business owners and mentors.
  • Southwest Washington Contractors Association: Champions a thriving construction industry in Southwest Washington through advocacy, education, and partnerships. Throughout the year, SWCA offers many opportunities for you to network and engage your organization.
  • Empowering Professionals in Clark County: Meets the first Wednesday of every month at 5 p.m. at a locally owned establishment. There is no membership fee. 
  • Southwest Washington Society for Human Resource Management (SWWA SHRM): Hosts networking events and educational seminars for their members.
  • The Women Entrepreneurs Organization (WEO): A women-led organization committed to supporting, educating, and inspiring women entrepreneurs. WEO is a members-only organization, offering multiple programs to grow your business, from intimate book clubs to large networking events.
  • B Local PDX: B Local PDX is a group of Certified B Corporations from Oregon and Southwest Washington working to foster and deepen connections among organizations in the region that share its purpose and passion for using business as a force for good.
  • Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington’s Corporate Exchange (previously the Corporate Volunteer Council): A coalition of businesses and business professionals committed to corporate volunteerism in local communities. The organization gathers professionals focused on corporate community engagement and provides a space for best practice sharing, professional development, and networking. If you want to learn more about Corporate Exchange, please email
  • Meetup Groups: Numerous meetup groups in the Vancouver area focus on business networking. These groups often cater to specific industries or interests, providing a platform for professionals to connect in a more informal setting.
  • Eventbrite: Offers a selection of networking opportunities for professionals in Vancouver.

Resources for Mental Health and Homelessness in Vancouver

  • Council for the Homeless: If you are struggling to remain in your home, sleeping in your car or outside, call the Council for the Homeless Housing Hotline at 360-695-9677 to learn about available shelter and housing assistance in Clark County, Wash.
  • Share provides various services — from shelters to a hot meal program. Contact the organization at 360-448-2121.

These Vancouver Jobs are Available Now: