Average U.S. Salary Report – Third Quarter 2017

The average yearly U.S. salary for a full-time worker is $44,668.

Technically, that number is the median salary, meaning half the population makes more and half makes less. This is a more accurate picture of the labor market than an “average” salary estimate, as a true “average” salary would be skewed higher by the very few who earn tens of millions (or more) per year.

We base this average/median off of Bureau of Labor Statistics data that report a median wage/salary of $859 per week in the third quarter of 2017.

That number represents workers across all ages, sexes, education levels, professions, etc.

Other Averages/Medians:

We can find plenty of other interesting information when we break the data down further:

  • Men earn $48,724 vs. $39,884 for women. (Women make roughly 82% of men’s salaries.)
  • Median annual salary for whites: $46,124. For African-Americans: $36,192. For Hispanics: $34,060. For Asians: $52,520.
  • Median annual salary for college graduates: $66,092. High school graduates, no college: $37,128. No high school diploma: $27,144.
  • Workers aged 55 to 64 have the highest median salary, at $51,324, with those 35 to 44 close behind, at $50,440. Workers aged 25-34 have a much lower median salary: $40,456.
  • Jobs traditionally thought of as “white collar,” described as “management, professional, and related occupations” in the BLS statistics, have the highest median salary, at $62,868. Service jobs pay the worst, with a median salary of $28,080.
  • To be in the highest-earning 10% of the population, a worker would need to be making $105,248 or more. Those making $21,476 or less would be in the lowest 10%.