Salary Information in the United States

Each year the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) conducts a national compensation survey. The data shown here is from the BLS 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey published by BLS in April 2019 [1]. Table 1 shows the average annual salaries of all occupations across all industries in the United States. Table 2 compares the annual salaries of major occupation groups.

Table 1. Average annual wage in U.S. (2018 survey)

Percentile bracketAverage annual salary
10th Percentile Wage
$20,690
25th Percentile Wage
$25,740
50th Percentile Wage
$38,640
75th Percentile Wage
$62,510
90th Percentile Wage
$98,410

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for all occupations across all industries. The salary is shown in 5 percentile brackets. The median annual salary is $38,640. The average annual salary for the bottom 10% of earners is $20,690. Note that workers in the top 10% are paid nearly five times more than workers in the bottom 10% in the United States.

10th Percentile salary trend (2012 to 2018)

The table and chart below show the trend of the 10th Percentile salary of all occupations across all industries from 2012 to 2018.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth6-Year Growth
2018
$20,690
3.48% 12.57%
2017
$19,970
3.41% -
2016
$19,290
2.18% -
2015
$18,870
2.76% -
2014
$18,350
0.87% -
2013
$18,190
0.55% -
2012
$18,090
- -

Median salary trend (2012 to 2018)

The table and chart below show the trend of the median salary of all occupations across all industries from 2012 to 2018.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth6-Year Growth
2018
$38,640
2.46% 10.07%
2017
$37,690
1.72% -
2016
$37,040
2.27% -
2015
$36,200
1.82% -
2014
$35,540
1.29% -
2013
$35,080
0.94% -
2012
$34,750
- -

90th Percentile salary trend (2012 to 2018)

The table and chart below show the trend of the 90th Percentile salary of all occupations across all industries from 2012 to 2018.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth6-Year Growth
2018
$98,410
2.30% 11.79%
2017
$96,150
1.67% -
2016
$94,540
2.57% -
2015
$92,110
2.23% -
2014
$90,060
1.92% -
2013
$88,330
1.72% -
2012
$86,810
- -

Table 2. Compare Median Salaries of Major Occupational Groups (2018 Survey)

Table 2 shows the median annual salary of the major occupational groups in the United States. Note that the median annual salary ranges from $23,070 to $104,240. The highest paying occupational group is "management occupations" with a median annual salary of $104,240. The lowest paying occupation group in the United States is "food preparation and serving related occupations" with a median annual salary of $23,070. Click on the occupational group name to view salary information for all professions within that group.

Occupation GroupMedian Annual Salary
Management Occupations
$104,240
Computer and Mathematical Occupations
$86,340
Legal Occupations
$80,810
Architecture and Engineering Occupations
$80,170
Business and Financial Operations Occupations
$68,350
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations
$66,440
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations
$66,070
Education, Training, and Library Occupations
$49,700
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations
$49,290
Construction and Extraction Occupations
$46,010
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations
$45,540
Community and Social Service Occupations
$44,960
Protective Service Occupations
$40,640
Office and Administrative Support Occupations
$35,760
Production Occupations
$35,070
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations
$32,730
Healthcare Support Occupations
$29,740
Sales and Related Occupations
$28,180
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations
$26,840
Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations
$25,380
Personal Care and Service Occupations
$24,420
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations
$23,070

Also see The fastest growing jobs in U.S.