Salaries & Compensation

Learn how employers use a combination of wages, deferred pay, and non-cash benefits like paid time off and insurance to attract and retain employees.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What salary puts you in the 1%?

    According to a study from the Economic Policy Institute, the top 1% earned average annual wages of over $823,000 in 2020. Average earnings of the top 0.1% were over $3.2 million. The share of income earned by the top 1% and top 0.1% has grown significantly in the last 40 years. The top 1% accounted for 7.3% of earnings in 1979 and 13.8% in 2020. The top 0.1% have tripled their share of earnings in the same period of time: 1.6% in 1979 to 5.4% in 2020.

  • How much does the average American make?

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income declined 2.9% from $69,560 in 2019 to $67,521 in 2020, the first statistically significant decrease since 2011. National statistics obscure many troubling disparities. Households headed by immigrants and individuals without a high school diploma each saw a 5.7% decrease in median income, the largest of any demographic. And median income among Black households was $45,870, well below the medians for Asian households ($94,903) and White households ($71,231).

  • What is the highest paying job in the U.S.?

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highest paid workers in the U.S. are cardiologists, whose mean annual wage is $353,970. Healthcare jobs consistently dominate the top of the BLS’s National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates report, an annual ranking of America’s highest paying professions. According to the May 2021 report, 23 of the 25 highest paying occupations are in healthcare—”chief executive” ranked 21st and “airline pilot, copilot, and flight engineer” ranked 24th.

  • How much do finance majors make?

    According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the projected average salary for business majors graduating in 2022 is $60,695. But business majors have plenty of careers they can pursue with higher average salaries than that. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, median income for personal financial advisors was $89,330 in 2020. Median income among financial analysts was $83,660, and $73,560 among accountants.

Key Terms

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