What is the average salary in Illinois?

1 min readLast updated November 10, 2023by Kate Morgan

Find out about the average salary in Illinois, the average salaries by city and county, and the highest-paying jobs. Plus, get the answers to salary FAQs.


  • The average salary in Illinois is $38.24 per hour & $68,870.24 per year.

  • The average salary by city doesn’t indicate jobs done to earn above or below average.

  • An average salary of $90,000 per year is considered good in Illinois.

  • Householders aged 24 to 44 years old have a $77,903 median income.

  • The average starting salary in Illinois is $12.65 per hour or $22,783 per year.

How much money do I need to live in Illinois?

Illinois is the sixth most populous state in the US, and its financial landscape can vary depending on where you live. The cost of living can be high in some areas, while other regions offer more affordable living options. It can be helpful to understand the average salary in Illinois as well as the state’s highest-paying counties, whether you currently reside there or are considering a move to the state.

You can also check out our complete guide to the cost of living in Illinois here.

According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, Illinois is ranked 25th highest for the cost of living. This ranking indicates that while it is not the most expensive state in the country, it is still important to consider how far your income can stretch.

Illinois offers a variety of opportunities for employment, and some counties have higher average salaries than others. The state’s average salary is $38.24 per hour or $68,870.24 per year, but which cities and counties offer the highest average salaries?

What is the average salary in Illinois by city?

City living is often more expensive than living in more rural areas, but it’s also where the money is. Illinois’ cities can vary massively in average salary; cities like Naperville and Arlington Heights command six figures, while Decatur’s average sits below $45,000. 

Average earnings by city — or any other geographical metric — is just one way of calculating wealth, and this shouldn’t be your only consideration when thinking about your own earning potential in a city.

The average salary in Illinois by city doesn’t factor in the type of jobs that people do to earn above or below this average bracket. This figure also doesn’t take into account the number of people living in a household. However, it’s certainly one way of establishing which place offers good earning opportunities. 

The US Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey has calculated the average earnings for the largest cities in Illinois, which you can find ranked below. 

CityAverage earnings
Naperville $126,217
Arlington Heights $101,634
Bolingbrook $92,769
Schaumburg $80,227
Evanston $77,821
Palatine $71,794
Aurora $70,367
Elgin $67,646
Bloomington $67,471
Skokie $65,792
Joliet $65,725
Chicago $55,295
Springfield $51,313
Cicero $51,186
Peoria $48,146
Waukegan $48,029
Rockford $44,765
Champaign $43,785
Decatur $43,225

What is the average salary in Illinois by county?

Reviewing average salaries in Illinois by city is not necessarily an adequate metric for average salaries across the state since it’s entirely focused on urban areas. You can get a better idea by weighing these figures up against the average salary in Illinois by county. By doing this, you take areas outside the main cities into account, which gives you a broader idea of salary ranges. 

The same survey from the US Census Bureau gives further insight this way, with the average household income calculated for the largest counties in Illinois.  

County Average household income
Cook County $70,890
DuPage County $90,417
Lake County $92,250
Will County $76,955
Kane County $72,206
McHenry County $83,438
Winnebago County $56,626
St Clair County $58,539
Madison County $69,727
Sangamon County $63,466

What is a ‘good’ salary in Illinois?

The median income in Illinois is $68,940.

Defining ‘good’ relies on all sorts of variable factors, and you should take these into account. However, according to some estimates, a salary of around $90,000 per year can be considered a good salary in Illinois.

What are the highest-paying jobs in Illinois?

There’s another weighty factor that will influence how much you earn if you live in Illinois: your job type.

Average salaries for the highest-paying jobs in Illinois can vary massively according to sector and job roles across the state, so it’s absolutely something to consider when looking at salaries by location. 

Zippia has calculated a comprehensive list of annual salaries by job title. You can also find the top 10 highest-paying titles in Illinois below. 

Occupation Average salary
Staff Psychiatrist $223,082
Finance Services Director $216,899
Chief Medical Officer $216,019
Primary Care Pediatrician $214,739
Medical Director $207,402
Vice President, Corporate Development $204,379
Anesthesiologist, Pain Management Specialist $199,940
Acute Care Physician $196,519
Associate Medical Director $193,398
Senior Vice President Of Marketing $192,727

What is the average salary in Illinois by age?

Alongside location and occupation, average salaries in Illinois by age should also be considered, as senior workers will be paid more. After retirement, their income may decrease again as they will rely on pensions and other forms of set income, such as IRA distributions. You can also check out the complete guide to retirement in Illinois here.

The Census Bureau data finds that householders under 25 have a median household income of $43,066; householders aged 24 to 44 years old have a median income of $77,903; those aged 45 to 64 years old have a median income of $88,851; and those 65 and older have a median income of $53,508. 

What is the average salary in Illinois by hour?

If Americans work an average of 1,801 hours per year — at 37.5 hours a week — then the average salary in Illinois by hour is $38.24. 

What is the upper-class salary in Illinois?

The average upper-class salary in Illinois is $47,151 per year.

However, the wide average pay range for the upper class means salaries can be as low as $17,550 and as high as $94,768. The majority of upper-class salaries range between $34,221 (25th percentile) to $59,668 (75th percentile).

What is the average salary in Illinois by education level?

Considering the average salary in Illinois by education level doesn’t take various other factors into account. You may find it more helpful to look at the median salary by education level.

According to the Census Bureau, those with less than a high school graduation earn $31,826, high school graduates or equivalents earn $38,766, people with some college or an associate’s degree earn $44,169, those with a Bachelor’s degree earn $68,489, and people with a Graduate or professional degree earn $84,140.

What is the average salary in Illinois by gender?

In Illinois, the median salary for men is $63,819, and the median salary for women is $51,131, which makes for a $12,688 difference.

What is a good starting salary in Illinois?

The average starting salary in Illinois is $12.65 per hour or $22,783 per year.

Of course, starting salaries vary significantly according to role and sector.

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Content writer

Kate Morgan

Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.