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What is the average salary in the USA and how much is the most I can earn in my job?

It has been 13 years since the last increase in the federal minimum wage in the United States. We share what is the average salary in the country.

El estado de Illinois tendrá un nuevo salario mínimo a partir del próximo año. Conoce a cuánto aumenta y cuándo entra en vigor.
Mohamed Abd El GhanyREUTERS

Thirteen years have passed since the last increase in the federal minimum wage in the United States, marking the longest period without a bump since the base salary was created in 1938.

What is the average salary in the USA?

A worker’s salary depends on several factors, including the area in which they work, ethnicity, gender, age, education, and the work they do.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary of workers in the United States in the second quarter of 2022 was approximately $1,041 per week or $54,132 per year, taking into account 52 weeks of work.

As for gender, the BLS notes that in the second quarter of 2022, men earned a median annual salary of $59,488, while women earned a median annual salary of $49,036, or 82.4% of men's earnings.

Looking at demographic groups, Black men earn a median annual salary of $49,556, compared to $55,536 for White men. For women, Black women’s median annual earnings were 87.9% ($43,680) of white women’s median annual earnings ($49,712).

As for Hispanic and Asian wage earners, they earned median annual salaries of $42,224 and $69,472, respectively.

Across educational levels, those without a high school diploma ($689):

  • High school graduates (no college): $838
  • Bachelor’s degree: $1,547
  • Advanced degrees (master’s, professional, and doctoral degrees): $4,527 or more per week, compared with $3,039 or more for their female counterparts.

These are the averages, meaning that there is still room for growth; the median implies that half the population earns more, and half earns less.

The minimum wage in the USA

The current reference salary in the USA is $7.25, but it is not the same throughout the country since states and local governments can establish their own minimum wages. Nationwide, 30 states and the District of Columbia have adopted wages above the federal rate or tied their increases to inflation.

Washington DC and California have the highest minimum wages sitting at $15.00, followed by Washington ($14.49). For those interested in identifying the minimum wage in their state can check out this website.

In most states, $15 does not even represent a living wage. In the years since the movement to increase the minimum wage to fifteen bucks an hour, the cost of living has continued to increase rise rapidly.

The purpose of increasing the minimum wage is not only to assist households at the lowest income levels, who may rely on government assistance for food and medical care, but it can also increase wages overall. If lower-income workers see their wages surpassed by the lowest possible wages, employers are often encouraged to raise wages overall.