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Median weekly earnings $606 for high school dropouts, $1,559 for advanced degree holders

October 21, 2019

In the third quarter of 2019, full-time workers age 25 and older had median weekly earnings of $975. Those without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $606, compared with $749 for high school graduates (no college), and $874 for workers with some college or an associate degree. Workers with a bachelor's degree (and no additional degree) had median weekly earnings of $1,281. Workers with an advanced degree (master's, professional, and doctoral degrees) had median weekly earnings of $1,559 in the third quarter of 2019.

Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers age 25 years and older, by educational attainment, first quarter 2000–third quarter 2019, not seasonally adjusted
Quarter Total, all educational levels Less than a high school diploma High school graduates, no college Some college or associate degree Bachelor's degree only Advanced degree

Q1 2000

$603 $365 $503 $590 $825 $997

Q2 2000

606 368 506 592 811 1,044

Q3 2000

611 356 506 600 826 1,039

Q4 2000

614 357 506 600 840 1,020

Q1 2001

620 377 512 607 854 1,047

Q2 2001

624 387 519 614 846 1,062

Q3 2001

636 386 522 621 868 1,079

Q4 2001

642 380 531 628 863 1,060

Q1 2002

645 389 533 630 881 1,060

Q2 2002

643 390 532 634 868 1,105

Q3 2002

646 386 532 622 888 1,101

Q4 2002

651 388 542 631 869 1,125

Q1 2003

659 397 549 635 903 1,104

Q2 2003

659 394 547 638 902 1,137

Q3 2003

662 397 563 634 892 1,132

Q4 2003

667 397 556 648 901 1,124

Q1 2004

676 396 562 649 926 1,149

Q2 2004

684 404 576 664 902 1,142

Q3 2004

681 399 574 661 908 1,159

Q4 2004

692 404 581 667 925 1,161

Q1 2005

696 404 579 667 931 1,176

Q2 2005

688 412 584 661 920 1,174

Q3 2005

697 413 583 678 941 1,157

Q4 2005

704 407 585 674 958 1,200

Q1 2006

712 420 592 691 933 1,215

Q2 2006

705 420 591 676 968 1,217

Q3 2006

726 420 602 701 979 1,171

Q4 2006

726 415 597 700 966 1,217

Q1 2007

733 429 602 710 956 1,206

Q2 2007

735 440 597 704 1,014 1,220

Q3 2007

745 422 610 707 993 1,254

Q4 2007

741 424 610 697 994 1,259

Q1 2008

757 435 615 715 1,012 1,259

Q2 2008

760 449 620 727 999 1,298

Q3 2008

763 471 618 725 1,020 1,333

Q4 2008

764 459 619 719 1,016 1,272

Q1 2009

772 450 620 726 1,024 1,326

Q2 2009

770 465 630 719 1,031 1,332

Q3 2009

774 448 621 720 1,026 1,336

Q4 2009

780 449 638 735 1,020 1,309

Q1 2010

787 448 624 738 1,024 1,361

Q2 2010

774 440 629 737 1,032 1,341

Q3 2010

780 449 622 732 1,044 1,368

Q4 2010

788 438 633 727 1,049 1,334

Q1 2011

791 444 633 736 1,054 1,336

Q2 2011

794 458 643 743 1,043 1,344

Q3 2011

798 459 636 731 1,047 1,354

Q4 2011

805 444 641 744 1,071 1,351

Q1 2012

815 450 653 754 1,051 1,367

Q2 2012

821 483 659 754 1,070 1,368

Q3 2012

803 464 648 736 1,071 1,381

Q4 2012

823 478 647 752 1,071 1,379

Q1 2013

827 457 651 741 1,095 1,412

Q2 2013

828 477 647 751 1,101 1,387

Q3 2013

820 479 659 747 1,101 1,365

Q4 2013

835 468 648 752 1,131 1,394

Q1 2014

837 480 660 756 1,102 1,419

Q2 2014

831 492 666 757 1,098 1,377

Q3 2014

839 488 681 762 1,068 1,359

Q4 2014

847 491 664 771 1,131 1,401

Q1 2015

856 478 669 758 1,134 1,393

Q2 2015

852 499 678 757 1,130 1,377

Q3 2015

857 492 672 773 1,143 1,394

Q4 2015

872 502 690 757 1,143 1,445

Q1 2016

878 494 679 782 1,155 1,435

Q2 2016

880 499 690 767 1,155 1,425

Q3 2016

886 504 700 779 1,152 1,447

Q4 2016

896 519 698 790 1,161 1,476

Q1 2017

908 512 702 791 1,179 1,471

Q2 2017

909 515 718 799 1,189 1,451

Q3 2017

909 522 714 801 1,164 1,470

Q4 2017

902 531 714 800 1,170 1,487

Q1 2018

922 563 713 808 1,169 1,533

Q2 2018

928 554 726 825 1,187 1,512

Q3 2018

934 556 736 826 1,232 1,487

Q4 2018

946 543 746 853 1,205 1,544

Q1 2019

954 578 739 835 1,213 1,574

Q2 2019

960 588 751 848 1,236 1,561

Q3 2019

975 606 749 874 1,281 1,559

Workers without a high school diploma earned 62 percent of the earnings of all workers (regardless of educational attainment) in the third quarter of 2019. Over the past two decades, this ratio has ranged between 55 percent and 62 percent.

In the most recent quarter, the earnings of high school graduates (no college) were 77 percent of all-worker earnings. Since 2000, this measure has ranged between 77 percent and 85 percent.

Earnings of workers with some college or associate degree were 90 percent of the all-worker figure in the third quarter of 2019. This measure has ranged between 87 percent and 99 percent over the past two decades.

Workers with a bachelor's degree (without an advanced degree) earned 131 percent of all-worker earnings in the third quarter of 2019, while workers with an advanced degree earned 160 percent. Over the past two decades, the earnings of workers with a bachelor's degree have ranged between 127 percent and 138 percent of the earnings of all workers. The earnings of workers with an advanced degree have been between 159 percent and 175 percent of all-worker earnings.   

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are not seasonally adjusted. For more information, see "Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers: Third Quarter 2019." Also see more charts of usual weekly earnings data. Full-time workers usually work 35 hours or more per week at their sole or main job. The median is the midpoint in the earnings distribution; half of workers earn more than the median and half earn less.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Median weekly earnings $606 for high school dropouts, $1,559 for advanced degree holders on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/median-weekly-earnings-606-for-high-school-dropouts-1559-for-advanced-degree-holders.htm (visited October 31, 2020).

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