I lived in East Tn all my life until I joined the Navy. In fact, I was born an raised in Greeneville.
As far as COL is low. My 1st apt the rent was only $305/month. My parents have a 3 bd/2ba, 2 car gar. and 1 acre lot and there house payment is only $600 or so a month. ($90,000 house).
I know that when I was looking for jobs in Johson City with is 45 mins north of Greeneville, the starting wages were $16 or $17/hr. Johnson City has the only magnet hosptial in Tn. Johnson city Medical Center.
I hope that helps.
I know it sounds like the pay isn't very good. But you must take in to consideration the COL. So for the area its pretty good.
Also, East Tn is a great place to live. Its very beautiful area. I miss home(can you tell).