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News Release Information

Monday, August 24, 2020


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Pittsburgh – May 2019

Workers in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $24.79 in May 2019, 4 percent below the nationwide average of $25.72, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in 4 of the 22 major occupational groups, including educational instruction and library, construction and extraction, and production. Thirteen groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including healthcare practitioners and technical; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; and computer and mathematical.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Pittsburgh area employment was more highly concentrated in 9 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, healthcare support, and office and administrative support. Conversely, eleven groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production, transportation and material moving, and management. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2019
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Pittsburgh United States Pittsburgh Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $25.72 $24.79* -4


5.5 4.8* 58.88 58.65 0

Business and financial operations

5.6 5.2* 37.56 35.98* -4

Computer and mathematical

3.1 3.3* 45.08 39.69* -12

Architecture and engineering

1.8 2.2* 42.69 38.68* -9

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.8 37.28 32.36* -13

Community and social service

1.5 1.8* 24.27 22.25* -8


0.8 0.8 52.71 49.68 -6

Educational instruction and library

6.1 5.4* 27.75 31.31* 13

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.1* 29.79 24.32* -18

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 7.6* 40.21 33.39* -17

Healthcare support

4.4 5.5* 14.91 14.37* -4

Protective service

2.4 2.1* 23.98 21.56* -10

Food preparation and serving related

9.2 9.0* 12.82 12.19* -5

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.0 2.6* 15.03 14.46* -4

Personal care and service

2.2 2.6* 15.03 13.32* -11

Sales and related

9.8 9.3* 20.70 20.22 -2

Office and administrative support

13.3 14.3* 19.73 19.11* -3

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 15.07 17.82* 18

Construction and extraction

4.2 4.7* 25.28 26.58* 5

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.1* 24.10 24.62 2


6.2 5.2* 19.30 20.40* 6

Transportation and material moving

8.5 7.6* 18.23 18.07 -1

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* The mean hourly wage or percent share of employment is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

One occupational group—healthcare practitioners and technical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Pittsburgh had 88,140 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 7.6 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $33.39, significantly below the national wage of $40.21.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group included registered nurses (33,600), licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (5,870), and physicians, all other; and ophthalmologists, except pediatric (4,900). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were psychiatrists and surgeons, except ophthalmologists, with mean hourly wages of $123.72 and $120.27, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were pharmacy technicians ($14.76) and psychiatric technicians ($15.37). (Detailed data for the healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to .)

Location quotients allow us to explore the occupational make-up of a metropolitan area by comparing the composition of jobs in an area relative to the national average. (See table 1.) For example, a location quotient of 2.0 indicates that an occupation accounts for twice the share of employment in the area than it does nationally. In the Pittsburgh area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, cardiovascular technologists and technicians were employed at 1.9 times the national rate in Pittsburgh, and physician assistants, at 1.8 times the U.S. average. Dental hygienists had a location quotient of 1.1 in Pittsburgh, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Changes to the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Data

With the May 2019 estimates, the OES program has begun implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Each set of OES estimates is calculated from six panels of survey data collected over three years. Because the May 2019 estimates are based on a combination of survey data collected using the 2010 SOC and survey data collected using the 2018 SOC, these estimates use a hybrid of the two classification systems that contains some combinations of occupations that are not found in either the 2010 or 2018 SOC. These combinations may include occupations from more than one 2018 SOC minor group or broad occupation. Therefore, OES will not publish data for some 2018 SOC minor groups and broad occupations in the May 2019 estimates. The May 2021 estimates, to be published in Spring 2022, will be the first OES estimates based entirely on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC.

In addition, the OES program has replaced some 2018 SOC detailed occupations with SOC broad occupations or OES-specific aggregations. These include home health aides and personal care aides, for which OES will publish only the 2018 SOC broad occupation 31-1120 Home Health and Personal Care Aides.

For more information on the occupational classification system used in the May 2019 OES estimates, please see and

The May 2019 OES estimates use the metropolitan area definitions delineated in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin 17-01, which add a new Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) for Twin Falls, Idaho. For more information on the area definitions used in the May 2019 estimates, please see

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OES data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 580 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-digit, most 4-digit, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels, and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OES data are available at

The OES survey is a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support, while the State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.1 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 180,000 to 200,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by mail, Internet or other electronic means, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2019 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2019, November 2018, May 2018, November 2017, May 2017, and November 2016. The unweighted sample employment of 83 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57 percent of total national employment. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 71 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area included 5,574 establishments with a response rate of 60 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

A value that is statistically different from another does not necessarily mean that the difference has economic or practical significance. Statistical significance is concerned with the ability to make confident statements about a universe based on a sample. It is entirely possible that a large difference between two values is not significantly different statistically, while a small difference is, since both the size and heterogeneity of the sample affect the relative error of the data being tested.

The May 2019 OES estimates are the first set of OES estimates to be based in part on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC. These estimates use a hybrid of the 2010 and 2018 SOC systems. More information on the hybrid classification system is available at

The May 2019 OES estimates are based on the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). More information about the 2017 NAICS is available at

Metropolitan area definitions

The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed information about the OES program is available at

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2019
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

88,140 1.3 $33.39 $69,450


430 1.6 34.04 70,800

Dentists, general

480 0.6 65.49 136,220

Dentists, all other specialists

(5) (5) 56.88 118,320

Dietitians and nutritionists

760 1.4 23.88 49,680


700 2.3 52.68 109,570


3,220 1.3 51.20 106,500

Physician assistants

1,700 1.8 46.41 96,530


100 1.3 54.10 112,520

Occupational therapists

1,670 1.6 37.04 77,040

Physical therapists

3,040 1.7 39.93 83,060

Radiation therapists

150 1.1 36.62 76,160

Recreational therapists

170 1.2 25.44 52,920

Respiratory therapists

1,370 1.3 26.71 55,550

Speech-language pathologists

1,110 0.9 37.22 77,410

Exercise physiologists

90 1.7 25.35 52,720


530 0.9 52.86 109,950

Registered nurses

33,600 1.4 32.63 67,870

Nurse anesthetists

150 0.5 89.46 186,080

Nurse midwives

30 0.6 43.93 91,370

Nurse practitioners

2,070 1.3 47.66 99,130


130 1.2 36.72 76,370

Family medicine physicians

(5) (5) 88.94 184,990

Pediatricians, general

(5) (5) 95.94 199,560


80 0.4 123.72 257,350

Physicians, all other; and ophthalmologists, except pediatric

4,900 1.6 65.66 136,580

Surgeons, except ophthalmologists

(5) (5) 120.27 250,160

Dental hygienists

1,840 1.1 29.17 60,680

Acupuncturists and healthcare diagnosing or treating practitioners, all other

260 0.9 36.15 75,200

Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians

3,610 1.4 24.29 50,520

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians

850 1.9 26.62 55,380

Diagnostic medical sonographers

580 1.0 29.44 61,240

Nuclear medicine technologists

200 1.4 30.62 63,690

Radiologic technologists and technicians

2,540 1.6 24.95 51,890

Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

270 0.9 28.38 59,040

Emergency medical technicians and paramedics

2,720 1.3 15.59 32,440

Dietetic technicians

(5) (5) 15.85 32,960

Pharmacy technicians

4,060 1.2 14.76 30,700

Psychiatric technicians

570 0.9 15.37 31,970

Surgical technologists

990 1.2 21.75 45,250

Veterinary technologists and technicians

1,420 1.6 16.18 33,660

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

5,870 1.1 21.92 45,590

Opticians, dispensing

450 0.8 16.09 33,460

Orthotists and prosthetists

150 1.9 30.88 64,240

Medical dosimetrists, medical records specialists, and health technologists and technicians, all other

2,790 1.1 20.60 42,850

Athletic trainers

310 1.4 (6) 46,680

Health information technologists, medical registrars, surgical assistants, and healthcare practitioners and technical workers, all other

220 0.5 32.33 67,240

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, see
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations may not sum to the totals due to rounding, and because the totals may include occupations that are not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
(3) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.
(4) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.
(5) Estimate not released.
(6) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.


Last Modified Date: Monday, August 24, 2020