The average yearly U.S. salary for a full-time worker is $45,812.

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 $881 per week in the first quarter of 2018.

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 $50,180 vs. $40,716 for women. (Women make roughly 81% of men’s salaries.)
  • Median annual salary for whites: $47,372. For African-Americans: $36,192. For Hispanics: $35,100. For Asians: $55,432.
  • Median annual salary for college graduates: $66,872. High school graduates, no college: $37,076. No high school diploma: $29,276.
  • Workers aged 45 to 54 have the highest median salary, at $52,208, with those 35 to 44 close behind, at $51,272, and those 55-64 at $50,440. Workers aged 25-34 have a much lower median salary: $41,236.
  • Jobs traditionally thought of as “white collar,” described as “management, professional, and related occupations” in the BLS statistics, have the highest median salary, at $63,908. Service jobs pay the worst, with a median salary of $29,484.
  • To be in the highest-earning 10% of the population, a worker would need to be making $112,060 or more. Those making $21,996 or less would be in the lowest 10%.

Previous Average Salary Numbers:

  • Third Quarter 2017: $44,668