Average Salary Information for US Workers

How much is the average US worker's salary? Salaries vary based on gender, education, occupation, industry, geographical location, ethnicity, and other factors. Here is information about average salaries in a variety of categories and calculators to use to determine the salary for specific occupations.

Average Salary Information for US Workers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median wage for workers in the United States in the first quarter of 2019 was $905 per week or $47,060 per year for a 40-hour workweek. Wages were 2.7% higher than on the same date for the previous year.

However, salaries can vary significantly based on both occupation and location. What's considered a good salary in one location may not be somewhere else. For example, people working in professional, management, and related occupations earned an average of $66,820 annually, while those working in service occupations earned an average of $30,524 annually. Jobs in large metropolitan cities, which have higher costs of living, also tend to pay more than jobs in more rural areas. Read below for more information about average salaries based on factors such as gender, education, and more.

Average Salaries for US Men and Women

The BLS reports that,in the first quarter of 2019, men earned a median salary of $52,208 annually, while women earned only $41,912 or 80.3% of what males earned.

Race and ethnicity also play a role in salaries for men and women. For example, white women earned 80.0% as much as their white male counterparts, while black women earned 91.8% of their black male counterparts.

However, black men earned a median salary of $40,144, which is only 74.7% of what white men earned ($53,716). The difference for women was a bit less; black women’s median earnings were 85.8% ($36,868) of white women’s median earnings ($42,952). The BLS also provides information on Hispanic and Asian wage earners, who earned a median salary of $36,192 and $60,164, respectively.

Average Salary by Age

Salaries also varied by age, but the numbers are different for men and women. For example, men aged 55 to 64 had the highest annual earnings ($61,048). Women, on the other hand, earned the highest wages between ages 35 and 44 ($47,996).

Average Salary Based on Education

The BLS data clearly reveals that completing more education pays off. Workers aged 25 and over without a high school degree had median annual earnings of $30,056 over the first quarter of 2019 compared to $38,428 for high school graduates without a college degree. College graduates with at least a bachelor's degree earned $70,200 annually.

College graduates with advanced degrees (a professional or master’s degree or higher) earned a median salary of $81,848. Here's an overview of how much more you can earn during your career if you have a college or advanced degree.

How to Find the Average Salary for a Job

When you are evaluating careers or job searching, it can be useful to know what you can expect to make. It can also be a good bargaining tool when you are negotiating a salary with a new employer or negotiating a pay raise with a current boss.

TIP: If you know the average salary of others with your job title in your geographical region, you can use this to show why you deserve a raise or higher salary. Check out this comparative data on income in various states and cities.

Review this list of salary profiles for a variety of occupations plus links to salary calculators and tools for comparing salaries and discovering how much you can earn.

How Does Your Salary Compare?

Zippia has an interactive tool you can use to see how your earnings compare to other people with the same age, sex, and education level.

Salary and Cost-of-Living Calculators

There are a variety of calculators you can use to find out what the average salary is for a job in your occupation and location of interest. In addition, you can use a cost-of-living calculator to determine how much it actually costs to live in a specific location.

Understanding the average salaries in your profession and the cost of living in any given area will provide you with the facts you need whenever you are considering applying for a new job or moving to a different geographical region. Here are a few of the most-used online calculators:

Glassdoor.com Know Your Worth Tool
Glassdoor's Know Your Worth tool provides a free, personalized salary estimate based on the current job market. Provide information about your company, job title, location, and years of experience. The tool will then tell you if you are being paid below or above your market value.

You can also use their Salary Explorer to see how much different jobs would pay based on company, location, years of experience, and more.

Indeed Salary Search
Search salaries by job title and compare salaries for similar jobs at different companies and different locations. Also check out relevant job listings.

LinkedIn Salary
LinkedIn’s salary calculator provides the median salary for jobs in specific locations throughout the US. It shows the median base salary as well as the median total compensation (including benefits, bonuses, and more). You can narrow your search by location, industry, years of experience, and more.

PayScale.com Cost-of-Living Calculator
This cost-of-living calculator allows you to compare your salary in your current location to average salaries in other locations. The calculator will show you the difference in cost of living as well as the amount you would need to make in the new location to maintain your current standard of living.

PayScale.com Salary Survey
PayScale’s “pay reports” will give you the average salary for just about every occupation. You can narrow your search by location, years of experience, and more. You can also get information about average benefits.

Salary.com Benefits Wizard
This tool allows you to calculate your total compensation package (salary plus bonuses and benefits). You can then compare your package to industry averages.

Salary.com Salary Survey
Explore average salaries by location, years of experience, and more. You can also get information about average benefits and the requirements of the job. Salary.com also lists job openings related to your search.