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News Release Information

Monday, July 15, 2024

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (312) 353-1138

Occupational Employment and Wages in Dubuque — May 2023

Workers in the Dubuque, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $27.44 in May 2023, compared to the nationwide average of $31.48, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Jason Palmer noted that higher paying major occupational groups included management ($53.06), architecture and engineering ($44.44), and computer and mathematical ($42.60). Lower paying occupations included food preparation and serving related ($14.86), personal care and service ($16.49), and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance ($17.71). (See table A.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Dubuque metropolitan area, May 2023
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage ($)
United States Dubuque United States Dubuque

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 31.48 27.44


6.9 7.0 66.23 53.06

Business and financial operations

6.6 6.3 43.55 35.97

Computer and mathematical

3.4 2.4 54.39 42.60

Architecture and engineering

1.7 3.5 47.64 44.44

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.5 42.24 32.71

Community and social service

1.6 1.2 28.36 23.82


0.8 0.3 64.34 39.54

Educational instruction and library

5.8 6.4 31.92 24.46

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.4 36.31 25.12

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.1 6.0 49.07 40.99

Healthcare support

4.7 4.0 18.37 19.29

Protective service

2.3 1.1 27.74 26.21

Food preparation and serving related

8.7 8.3 16.58 14.86

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 2.3 18.43 17.71

Personal care and service

2.0 1.8 18.48 16.49

Sales and related

8.8 8.4 25.62 22.71

Office and administrative support

12.2 12.6 23.05 21.96

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2 19.22 24.97

Construction and extraction

4.1 3.9 29.57 27.34

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.9 28.13 26.27


5.8 8.9 22.90 23.09

Transportation and material moving

9.1 9.7 22.45 21.85

Occupational groups with the highest employment in the Dubuque area included office and administrative support (12.6 percent), transportation and material moving (9.7 percent), and production (8.9 percent). Major occupational groups on the lower end of local employment included legal (0.3 percent); life, physical, and social science (0.5 percent); and protective service (1.1 percent). (See table A.)

One occupational group—architecture and engineering—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Dubuque had 2,030 jobs in architecture and engineering, accounting for 3.5 percent of local area employment, compared to the 1.7-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $44.44, compared to the national wage of $47.64.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the architecture and engineering group included industrial engineers (320), civil engineers (130), and architectural and civil drafters (120). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were electrical engineers and industrial engineers, with mean hourly wages of $54.52 and $47.24, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were mechanical engineering technologists and technicians ($27.15) and architectural and civil drafters ($28.88). (Detailed data for the architecture and engineering 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 Dubuque area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the architecture and engineering group. For instance, architectural and civil drafters were employed at 2.8 times the national rate in Dubuque, and industrial engineers, at 2.5 times the U.S. average. Civil engineers had a location quotient of 1.0 in Dubuque, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

The statistics in this release are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support. State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data: in this case, Iowa Workforce Development.

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OEWS 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. Full OEWS data tables are available online.

Additional information about the OEWS estimates and methodology are available in the national Technical Notes. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 65.8 percent based on establishments and 64.3 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Dubuque, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area included 984 establishments with a response rate of 72 percent.

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 Dubuque, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Dubuque County.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OEWS data, as well as general program documentation, are available on the OEWS website.

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Employment and wage data for architecture and engineering occupations, Dubuque metropolitan area, May 2023
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages ($)
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Architecture and engineering occupations

2,030 2.1 44.44 92,440

Architects, except landscape and naval

30 0.8 44.34 92,230

Civil engineers

130 1.0 44.44 92,430

Electrical engineers

40 0.6 54.52 113,390

Industrial engineers

320 2.5 47.24 98,250

Architectural and civil drafters

120 2.8 28.88 60,070

Civil engineering technologists and technicians

70 2.8 29.76 61,890

Industrial engineering technologists and technicians

70 2.6 29.66 61,680

Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians

60 4.3 27.15 56,470

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Dubuque, IA 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.


Last Modified Date: Monday, July 15, 2024