According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021 the national average wage will be $58,260. There are many things that determine if you make a good salary. What does a decent salary look like? This can depend on factors such as your location, age, and occupation. You should, however, have an understanding of the […]

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021 the national average wage will be $58,260.

There are many things that determine if you make a good salary.

What does a decent salary look like? This can depend on factors such as your location, age, and occupation. You should, however, have an understanding of the salary ranges to improve your career prospects and help you choose a good career.

Knowing the salary range for your job will make you more confident and prepared to negotiate with employers.

You’ll learn some basic information that will help you determine your pay and what range you should be in.

The factors that determine the salary of a person

Here are some things to look at when determining whether or not a wage is competitive.


Even though education does not guarantee career success, having at least a high-school diploma can often give you more opportunities to find a job. Earning a degree in your chosen field from a reputable program can also increase your chance of getting recruited by leading companies.

Experience level

The more you experience, the higher your pay will be. Many companies struggle to find candidates who are both experienced and meet job requirements.

Salary increases for advanced jobs are a direct result.

You may have noticed that the salaries of entry-level positions are lower than those for more experienced workers. When you start your first job after college, it’s normal to expect a lower wage. As you progress in your career you will likely see an increase to your income.


Your earning potential is influenced by the industry in which you work. High-tech fields, which require more education and training or an apprenticeship are usually paid higher.

High-earning fields include engineering, healthcare, finance, entertainment and legal. Consider a career that is lucrative and interesting to you if you are looking to increase your earnings potential.


Salary levels can differ across the United States, even when you have the same job title, level of experience, and education.

The main reason for this salary gap is the different levels of job demand in each location, as well as cost of living. In San Jose, California for example, the annual average income of software engineers in 2021 will be around $167,000. In Chicago, however, the average annual salary of a software engineer is $114,000 per year.

How much money do you need to survive?

Sometimes it can be hard to come up with a common understanding of what constitutes a decent salary. A salary that is acceptable to one person may not be for someone else. Spending habits, debt, and financial goals can influence the ideal salary you receive.

Takeaway:The salary that is considered to be a fair wage depends on many factors, including location, the cost of living in a particular area and your career.

Use our calculator to find the amount of income required to be able to afford to live in each state.

How much does the average American earn?

According to May 2021 National Occupational Employment and Wages Estimates, the BLS estimates that the average wage in the United States is $58,260 with an hourly average of $28.01.

In 2021, women are expected to earn 83 cents per dollar earned by men in the U.S. This is an increase from the 77 cents earned a decade ago.


Image: average-US-salary

What women will earn weekly at different ages, based on BLS statistics from the 4th quarter of 2022.

  • 16-19: 602 dollars ($31,304 per year)
  • From 20-24: $706 (36,712 dollars annually).
  • From 25-34: $955 (49,660 dollars annually).
  • From 35-44: $1,099 (57,148 dollars annually).
  • From 45 to 54 years old: $1,042 (54,184 dollars annually).
  • From 55-64: $1,017 (52,884 dollars annually).
  • 65+: $873 ($45,396 annually)

Based on the same information, how much do men make on a weekly base at different ages?

  • 16-19: $644 (annually $33,488)
  • From 20-24: $771 (40,092 dollars annually).
  • From 25-34: $1091, or $56,732 per year
  • From 35-44: $1,305 (67,860 dollars annually).
  • From 45 to 54 years old: $1.355 (annually $70,460)
  • Age 55-64: $1,329 (69,108 dollars annually).
  • 65+: $1,205 ($62,660 annually)
  • Six hundred and twenty six dollars ($32,552 per year) for a diploma less than high school
  • The cost of a high school diploma is $809 (42,068 dollars per year).
  • Some college, no degree: $899 ($46,748 annually)
  • Associate degree: $963 ($50,076 annually)
  • Bachelor’s degree: $1,334 ($69,368 annually)
  • Master’s degree: $1,574 ($81,848 annually)
  • Professional degree: $ 1,924 (annually $100,048)
  • Doctorate degree: $1.909 (99.268 dollars annually).

Please note: The numbers shown are based on the data of 2021.

Salary Averages in the U.S., by Industry

  • Food preparation: $29,450
  • Healthcare support: $33,330
  • Personal Care and Service: $33,620
  • Agriculture, fishing and forestry : $34,730
  • Construction and extraction of a mine: $55,900
  • Education: $62,140
  • Arts, design, entertainment and sports: $66100
  • Financial and business operations: $84 2,610
  • Architectural and Engineering: $91,740
  • Computing and mathematics: $98,860

What is the average percentage raise?

A raise will improve your income. The percentage of a raise can vary depending on factors such as the job title, the inflation rate, and the amount your company is able to afford.

In the United States, wages increased by 4% between 2021 and 2022. Willis Towers Watson and Payscale, among others, report that the average wage increase in 2023 is expected to be between 4%-5%.

Some of the reasons someone might receive a raise in pay include

  • Cost of living increases
  • Retention
  • Merit-based
  • Service length
  • Work performance
  • The New Job Responsibilities

Get a well-paying Job

Here are a few tips that will help you get a high-paying position in the competitive job market of today.

Future-proof your skills

The nature of the work continues to change with the advent of sophisticated technology and artificial intelligence. It is important that you keep abreast of the latest trends, and learn skills which will prove valuable in the near future.

Data scientists and security analysts, for example, are highly in demand. Professionals in these fields are rewarded generously for their efforts.

By acquiring new skill sets, you can future-proof yourself and your career.

Ask a career mentor for advice

Mentors can help accelerate your professional journey. They will guide you and provide valuable insight to achieve success.

Mentors can also provide career guidance, motivation, and accountability.

Ask your mentor about the growth potentials within your company if your employer offers a mentoring program.

Expertise in Your Field

Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that in January 2022 there were nearly 11,000,000 jobs available in the United States. However, the number of people hired was only 6.4 millions. Businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to fill positions for highly-skilled workers due to the increasing skill gap.

Investing in ways to improve your knowledge can give you a competitive edge in the workplace. Attending webinars, returning to school, or taking courses can help you increase your knowledge and boost your career.

Attending networking events

You can learn the latest information about trends in your industry and expand your professional network. Networking events are also a good way to build new opportunities. Be sure to bring your resume or business cards to these events and to be prepared to effectively sell yourself.

Never know when someone might help you get a well-paid career.

Next: How to maximize your salary

When you are deciding what salary you should earn, think about how much money you will need to manage your finances wisely and live comfortably. Credit Karma allows you to monitor your credit score and build your savings through Credit Karma MoneyTM Save.