NCS: Wages by job
complexity and responsibility level
The National Compensation Survey (NCS)
often publishes earnings data for fewer locations and
occupations than the OES survey
does, but it offers additional detail. For example, data
from this survey show how earnings change with workers’
levels of responsibility and expertise.
For each occupation, earnings are given by
work level, which takes into account factors such as the
knowledge required to do the job, the degree of required
supervision, and the job’s complexity. According to the
survey, for example, a carpenter in Atlanta, Georgia, at
the highest work level (level 9) made $27.75 per hour, on
average, in July 2004, more than twice the $11.33 per hour
for a carpenter at the lowest work level (level 1).
The NCS shows hourly
and weekly mean, median, and percentile earnings. It
offers national and regional data and data by local
metropolitan area and county.
The survey also gives earnings data by
major industry division and by the size of the employing
establishment. And the survey gives separate earnings
figures for workers who are full time and those who are
part time, for those who belong to unions and those who
don’t, for workers’ time and incentive pay status, and
for workers employed by State and local governments and
those employed by private establishments.
Limitations. The NCS
publishes data on fewer occupations and industries than
some other BLS programs because it
surveys fewer establishments each year. Recent data are
not always available for every occupation and work level.
Data are not available for all occupations in all
geographic areas, either. For example, although data are
available for carpenters in Atlanta, Georgia, data are not
available for carpenters in Savannah. And there are no
data on self-employed workers.
Get the data. Survey results are
available in printed and online bulletins and from a
form-based query system. Users can also download FTP files
for use in statistical programs.
For more information, contact:
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Office of Compensation and Working
Survey Publications, Suite 4175
2 Massachusetts Ave. NE.
Washington, DC 20212
Download the PDF
(766K) of the entire article.