The average yearly U.S. salary for a full-time worker is $47,788.

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 $919 per week in the third quarter of 2019.

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 $52,520 vs. $43,004 for women. (Women make roughly 82% of men’s salaries.)
  • Median annual salary for whites: $49,036. For African-Americans: $37,804. For Hispanics: $37,336. For Asians: $64,844.
  • Median annual salary for college graduates: $71,916. High school graduates, no college: $38,948. No high school diploma: $31,512.
  • Workers aged 45 to 54 have the highest median salary, at $55,016, with those 35 to 44 close behind, at $54,028, and those 55-64 at $51,948. Workers aged 25-34 have a much lower median salary: $44,616.
  • Jobs traditionally thought of as “white collar,” described as “management, professional, and related occupations” in the BLS statistics, have the highest median salary, at $68,744. Jobs in “farming, fishing, and forestry occupations pay the worst, with a median salary of $29,952. Service jobs also have a similarly low median salary, at $30,940.
  • To be in the highest-earning 10% of the population, a worker would need to be making $118,300 or more. Those making $23,972 or less would be in the lowest 10%.

Previous Average Salary Numbers:

  • First Quarter 2018: $45,812
  • Third Quarter 2017: $44,668