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Washington DC - District of Columbia Skyline Banner

What to Know Before Moving to D.C.

Historic monuments, national museums, and the White House…all characteristics of our nation’s capital.  Washington D.C. is a spectacular city with its many facets and features.  Not only is it a working federal city, but it is also a popular tourist destination, a cosmopolitan center of cultures and traditions, an international melting pot, and the nation’s deep wealth of historic memoirs and artifacts.  Washington D.C’s aesthetic beauty is due to the hundreds of outdoor sculptures, monuments, and statues that are scattered throughout various parks, gardens, buildings, cemeteries, and streets.  Its population brings beauty also as scores of nationalities and cultures are represented within the district’s limits and surrounding communities.  The influx of immigrant population, along with expanded public transportation, urban renewal, and the interest in the convenience of city living have led to the economic and populus growth of the city.  Distinct from many angles, the city skyline is shaped by strict development limits and defined neighborhoods.  The district is divided into four geographic quadrants, all deviating from the U.S. Capitol Building.  The sections, all unequal, follow boundary streets rather than straight lines.  The Northwest quadrant is the largest of the four, both in population and in area.  It encompasses the central business district, the Federal Triangle, The Smithsonian National Zoo, and museums along the northern side of the National Mall.  Residents in the Northwest quadrant live in neighborhoods such as Foggy Bottom, Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Embassy Row, Piney Branch, and Crestwood. Rock Creek Park divides the quadrant in two sections.  

The Northeast includes the neighborhoods of Ivy City, Michigan Park, Woodridge, Pleasant Hill, Marshall Heights, and many others.  Landmarks found here include the Supreme Court, Union Station, Providence Hospital, and the National Arboretum.  

The Southeast quadrant is divided by the Anacostia River.  It is a community rich with history and culture.  Beautiful waterfronts and historic venues capture the interest of those living in the Capitol Hill and Anacostia neighborhoods.  Catch a game at Nationals Park or a RFK Stadium.  Pay your respects to fallen heroes at the Congressional Cemetery or several Civil War-era forts.  

The Southwest quadrant is south of the National Mall and west of South Capitol Street, and is the smallest of the four quadrants.  Fort McNair and the National War College call this community home, as well as the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and many remodeled Federal office and apartment buildings.  

Washington D.C. is great because of the people of the past…people who put America’s interest above their own…patriots who dreamed of having a life like none other in the world could offer, and sacrificed so we could live that dream…Presidents who humbly led the nation, shouldering the pain, decisions, triumphs, and tragedies of millions of citizens.  This city holds the stories of people, patriots, and Presidents of the past.  It also holds the power and the possibility of the future.  Come be a part of America’s history.  Leave your everlasting mark in its federal office buildings, its dainty green parks, its charming neighborhoods, and its bustling streets and rails. 

DC Metro Moving Guides

Find All You Need to Know About Moving to District of Columbia

So you’re ready to move to the Captial?  We’ve created this resource to provide you with everything you need for your District of Columbia move, right at your fingertips.  Check out the links below for everything you need to know before, during, and after your move.  

Washington DC - District of Columbia Places to Live
Washington DC - District of Columbia Places to Live

Great Places to Live in District of Columbia:

Living in the nation’s Capital is definitely a decision to consider.  Living within city limits and close to work has its perks, but it also has a costly price tag.  D.C.’s growing economy and population boom have created a surge in housing demands.  The supply for this demand is not quickly being met due to high land prices, zoning restrictions, and space.  July 2019 posed a median home sale price at $592,000, a price that has risen 20% since 2013.  First time home buyers and long time residents struggle to manage a mortgage payment along with all of the other living costs of the current culture.   For this reason, many choose to live in neighboring regions both in Virginia and in Maryland.  Conveniently, paying a little more to travel into the city is far better than paying a lot to live in the city. 


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Washington DC - District of Columbia Careers and Opportunities
Washington DC - District of Columbia Careers and Opportunities

Career Opportunities & Industries in D.C.

Naturally, much of Washington D.C.’s workforce is government related, and zippia.com has gathered information to highlight the best government companies.  

Federal Deposit Insurance (FDIC) is a US government corporation that provides deposit insurance to depositors in US commercial banks and savings institutions.  Their force is 5,977 employees strong bringing in an annual revenue of $5.5 billion.  Similar competitors include the Federal Reserve System, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and KPMG.  The average employee makes $63,581 annually.  

Other well-established finance firms and institutions include The Carlyle Group, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Allied Capital, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States.  These organizations are key players in the finance industry and help to foster stability, integrity, and efficiency within our nation’s monetary systems.  Keeping the nation’s financial system strong provides positive macroeconomic and microeconomic performance, allows  investors to trade fairly and freely in international markets, and generates solid returns from diversified investments.  

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, regulating the transmission and wholesale sale of electricity and natural gas in interstate commerce and regulating the transportation of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce, contributes to the utilities industry with a workforce of 1,189 employees.  Annual revenue is $375 million and the average employee earns $75,577 annually.  

Helping to support the utilities industry is Edison Electric Institute.  This organization represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies and provides electricity for 220 million Americans through its 50-state operation.  Other utility companies include DC Water, WGL Holdings, and Nextility.  

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, leading the non-profits industry with 14,170 employees, proposes to ensure that all Americans are protected from significant risks in their living environment.  The agency’s annual revenue is a staggering $5.5 billion dollars.  Employs earn an average of $56,532.

General Services Administration is an independent agency established to help manage and support the basic workings of the federal government.  This team of 11,540 members helps to bring in an annual revenue of $5.5 billion. 

Several other comparable “best” companies to work for in the D.C. area include U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Park Service, U.S. Customs and Border Control, United States Department of Defense, Peace Corps, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, USDA, and the Federal Trade Commission.  

D.C.’s healthcare industry is strengthened by the medical professionals, researchers, scientists, and technicians of these fine institutions.  Danaher, with its 23,000 employees, brings in $18.3 billion annually.  Job opportunities in this company include Next Generation Sequences Technical Sales.  The diversified technology leader designs, manufactures, and markets innovative products and services to professional, medical, industrial, and commercial customers.  

Children’s National Medical Center currently employs 6,647 workers, has an annual revenue of $5.5 billion, and is a leader in the nation’s healthcare industry.  It is currently ranked among the top six children’s hospitals in the country.  The average employee earns approximately $56,804 annually.

The United States Department of Health & Human Services, commonly referred to as the Health Department, has 79,540 employees in its organization and often hires graduates from Howard University.  An annual revenue of $10.0 billion dollars gives this organization strength and establishment.   

Although several of the next companies are not as big as the previous listed, these companies have been ranked highly by Glassdoor.com, Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, and Best Companies to work for in Washington D.C.  Areas of consideration for any employee should include overall satisfaction, growth opportunities, benefits, charitable programs, leadership approval, and salary.  Based on these statistics and surveys, these following companies spanning the hospitality, real estate, financial, retail, and technology industries, these may prove to be the perfect fit for your career move in Washington D.C.  Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Deloitte, Camden Property Trust, Marriott International, Perkins Coie, SAS, Power Home Remodeling, Hilton, KPMG, Mars, Bain and Company, SAP, McKinsey & Company, Keller Williams, Salesforce, and Capital OneCustom Ink, Capital One, Social Tables, SAS, and Salesforce are listed as five of the best tech companies to work for in Washington D.C.

The D.C. area is dynamically growing and evolving.  Another new company making its way to the capital area is Amazon.  Northern Virginia’s Arlington County has been named its new headquarters.

Economy in D.C.

The Washington D.C. Metro area has a population of 6 million people.  The daytime population of Washington D.C. proper grows to 1 million people, proving that the economy and workforce are strong.  Fifty-seven percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree and thirty-four percent of the D.C. population have a graduate or professional degree.  The median household income in the metro area is $91,756; a needed income as the housing and living costs are quite high in the area.  Washington D.C. is a Top 10 Global Financial Center, and is home to fifteen Fortune 500 companies.  Popular and power industries include international hospitality, finance, engineering, defense, technology, leadership, and global policy makers.  Not only is Washington D.C. home to the nation’s government, it also reaches into the international realm by having 180 resident embassies and global economic and policy organizations.  

Ideas, inventions, and innovations spur on the D.C. economic marketplace.  More than 100 academic colleges and universities offer and operate programs and degrees attracting, educating, and retaining spectacular talent within the student body of each institution.  These ideas, inventions, and many other domestic and international projects are supported through organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  These main infrastructure businesses are the spear head for international conversations about the global economy, global politics, global and national peace, and the environment.  

The ideas, inventions, and innovations all have an impact on the Washington D.C. metro area’s economy.  It is often seen as an epicenter of both global and local impact.  According to wdcep.com, D.C. is the #1 city in the US for social enterprise, being successful in human capital, funding, quality of life, and regulation and receptivity.  It is one thing to make rules and regulations.  It is a far different thing to pose and present it to residents in a way that will be receptive!  Also, particular to D.C. is its nonprofits.  The metro area has the most nonprofits per capita in the US, with one non profit for every 86 residents.  These nonprofits and civic organizations account for over 55,000 jobs in the metro area.  The technology age has given start-up businesses a place in the race.  Forty-one percent of DC start-up businesses operate in the impact space.  Impact Companies choose Washington D.C. because of its high concentration of influences, its culture of entrepreneurship, its highly educated, socially conscious workforce, its access to impact investment, and its resources for impact economy.    

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, DC ranks the third highest employment cluster of educational institutions and the fifth highest cluster of health services in the nation. 

Big cities bring big names, and Washington D.C. has its fair share of big names in the metropolitan area boosting and bolstering the economy.  Danaher is ranked 162 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list, providing medical diagnostics and research.  Although not listed on a Fortune 500 list for companies that are headquartered or officiated in Washington D.C., these companies are powerhouses in their specified industries.  Lockheed Martin and Raytheon provide advanced technology in the aerospace and defense industry, while Booz Allen Hamilton provides the world with consulting, analytics, digital solutions, engineering, and cyber solutions  within defense, health, energy, and international development.  

Whether it be the financial field, health care industry, federal government system, or the technology department, Washington D.C. has a solid economic foundation and career industry.

Washington DC - District of Columbia Things to Do
Washington DC - District of Columbia Things to Do

Things to do in District of Columbia:

After a long day’s work, there is something refreshing about taking a walk through a park, visiting a quaint historic home, exploring the famous monuments, or breathing in the fresh air on the waterfront.  Monuments, museums, and must-see views, Washington D.C. has something for everyone!

Iconic and visible from miles away, the Washington Monument stands 555 feet tall commemorating George Washington.  Check out the Reflecting Pool just a short walk from the monument and consider seeing all of the monuments and memorials by taking a Segway tour.  An all time favorite is to visit the monuments and memorials at night time.  Not only do you avoid a lot of people and car traffic, but you get to see the amazing marble statues cast against a night sky and the yellow glow of spotlights.  

Of course the White House is always a must for a tourist or a local.  It’s just fascinating to tour the home of the President of the United States.  Dedicated to the Americans who served in the armed forces during WWII, the National World War II Memorial is located between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln MemorialThe Korean & Vietnam Veterans Memorial are not far from the Lincoln Memorial and are moving and inspiring to view.  Check out the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial.

When it comes to museums, there are probably enough of them in Washington D.C. to keep you occupied for months on end!  Some of the top spots are the National Air & Space Museum, the Spy Museum, The National Museum of Natural History, and the NewseumThe American Art Museum, Hirshhorn Museum, National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Museum of American History, and the National Gallery of Art are all free and open to the public.  Spend an afternoon or a couple of days exploring and learning in some of America’s finest museums.  Be sure to stop in at the Museum of the Bible.  Not only are the artifacts amazing, but the ceiling is breathtaking.  Visiting Ford’s Theater transports you back to a historic and significant night in American history.  

Free and fun for kids and parents is the National Zoo.  It is conveniently open 364 days a year.  Check out U Street…home to one of D.C.’s most delicious famer’s markets.  Arlington National Cemetery is sure to bring tears to your eyes as you consider and ponder the thousands of men and women that sacrificed their lives for the freedom we enjoy.  

Add the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Castle, and the US Capitol to your itinerary of fun and interesting attractions in the D.C. area.  Check out Mount Vernon.  The boat tour on the Potomac River is sure to be a memorable one.  Follow your detective dreams and check out the National Archives.  You might just see some documents and artifacts from popular movies!  Take in the architecture from the breathtaking Washington National Cathedral.  

Although there are thousands of tons of marble and stone within the city, there are plenty of gardens, park, and green spaces to enjoy the natural beauty of the city, as well.  Whether it is a walk after work, a picnic on the weekend, or a morning jog, here are some great natural places to enjoy.  Constitution Gardens, Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Gardens, US Botanical Garden, US National Arboretum, and Yards Park.  

Washington D.C. is quite the photographic place.  Check out the Georgetown Waterfront for some amazing views of the skyline and bridges, or come to the city during the cherry blossom festival.

Washington DC Sports
Washington DC Sports

Sports in Washington D.C. area:

What is more American than watching America’s sport in America’s capital?  Head over to the Nationals Park ballpark and watch the Nationals play. The stadium gives way to spectacular views of the Capitol dome and the Washington Monument.  

D.C. United is one of the most successful soccer teams in the country.  Playing at the historic RFK stadium, the United team shows off their skills and proves why they were winners of four MLS Cups.  

The Washington Football Team play over in nearby Maryland at the FedEX Field. One point to “note” is that the Washington Football Team are one of one two NFL teams to have a marching band!  

The Washington Wizards (NBA) play at the Capitol One Arena located in the Penn Quarter and Chinatown neighborhood.  Grab a ticket and watch the Wizards put up some basketball magic!  The Mystics (WNBA) are doing their own magic tricks on the basketball court.  

The Washington Capitals cool things off in the Capital One Arena.  There is not a bad seat in the house to watch this NHL team.

Following closely behind these professional teams, are the aspiring college teams.  DC College Sports include teams from American University, Catholic University, Georgetown University, George Mason University, and University of Maryland, College Park.

Transportation in Washington D.C. area:

Explore the nation’s capital conveniently and efficiently by using Washington’s world-class Metrorail system. Washington D.C. Metro System is one of the busiest public transportation systems in the country, as it combines a network of tunnels and above ground tracks that connect all four D.C. quadrants, suburban Virginia, and Maryland.  Many local commuters use the system as they travel to and from work.  Tourists from around the world find it to be a convenient and affordable way to view the city and its surrounding areas.  The Metro consists of six colored lines that connect or transfer at several stations.  Lines include Red, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Silver.  Popular sightseeing lines include Orange, Silver and Blue. 

Metro riders pay using a SmarTrip card.  This rechargeable fare card can be purchased by cash or credit at any Metro Station or online at wmata.comThe Metro Rail runs daily, but its hours of operation differ depending on the weekday or weekend schedule.   

The Metrobus is another transportation option to consider.  The Metrobus provides connections for locations that are not serviced by the Metrorail.  With more than 1,400 buses using compressed natural gas or a hybrid electric drive system, the Metrobus system helps to keep Washington D.C. eco-friendly.  The SmarTrip card is also used for payments aboard the Metrobus.  

Other transportation options throughout the city are taxis, rentals, and car services, like Lyft or Uber.  Downloading the DC Taxi Rider app allows you to choose your taxi, your fare, your route, and your time.  Payment is available either through the app or in the vehicle.  

The DC Circulator is free for all riders and travels along six specific routes that are designed for convenience and efficiency.  Traveling aboard this bus will give you access to exploring Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Woodley Park, U Street, and Capitol Hill.  The bus runs every ten minutes and even has a specific National Mall route that gives riders a tour of all the monuments and memorials.  

Walking and biking are popular modes of transportation throughout the city, especially those not fond of rush hour traffic or highway congestion.  With over 350 stations and more than 3,000 bikes, Capital Bikeshare gives riders across Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland options to travel by bicycle.  Daily options or yearly memberships are available for purchase.  

Check out the ParkWhiz and SpotHero to find convenient street or garage parking.  

Traveling to Washington D.C. by airplane has its options, as well.  There are several airports in the surrounding cities that are a part of the Washington D. C. Metro.  Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport serves Washington D.C.  Stafford Regional Airport is a public airport that serves Stafford, Virginia.  Washington Executive Airport is a public use airport near Clinton, Maryland.  Serving the Baltimore-Washington D.C. metropolitan area is the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia serves the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.   BWI, Dulles, and Reagan are all international airports.  Federal airports include Anacostia-Bolling AFB, Andrews AFB, Davison AAF, Phillips AAF, and Turner Field.

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