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.
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