Average salary in North Dakota

1 min readLast updated October 25, 2023by Charlie Barton

Learn about the average salaries and highest paying counties in North Dakota

The sheer size of North Dakota may make it difficult to define a ‘good’ salary. The Peace Garden State has its own unique financial landscape, and whether you already live in North Dakota or are thinking of making the move, it can be helpful to establish what the cost of living and earning potential look like. 

According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, North Dakota is one of the least expensive states to live in, with a cost of living index that is lower than the national average. The low cost of living in North Dakota may be an incentive for many to consider relocating to the state. But which cities and counties offer the highest average salaries? 

Average salary in North Dakota by city 

City living is often more expensive than living in more rural areas, but it’s also where the money is. North Dakota’s own cities can vary massively in average salary; cities like West Fargo and Williston command a fraction below $95,000, while Wahpeton’s average sits just above $50,000.  

Average earnings by city—or any other geographical metric—is just one way of calculating wealth, and certainly shouldn’t be the only way you look at your own earning potential in a given place. It doesn’t take into account the type of jobs that people do to earn above or below this average bracket, and omits any consideration for 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 10 largest cities in North Dakota, which you can find ranked below.  

CityAverage household income
West Fargo $94,696
Williston $94,194
Mandan $75,825
Bismarck $70,496
Dickinson $68,076
Fargo $66,020
Minot $62,102
Grand Forks $57,521
Jamestown $53,223
Wahpeton $51,569

Average salary in North Dakota by county 

Reviewing average salaries in North Dakota by city is not necessarily an adequate metric for average salaries across the state, since it’s entirely urban focused. A good idea is to weigh these figures up against the average salary in North Dakota by county, as this will take areas outside the main cities into account and offer 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 each county.  

CountyAverage Household Income
Adams County $56,964
Barnes County $59,558
Benson County $47,046
Billings County $89,688
Bottineau County $56,597
Bowman County $72,986
Burke County $63,897
Burleigh County $73,551
Cass County $66,661
Cavalier County $57,579
Dickey County $56,295
Divide County $62,969
Dunn County $76,229
Eddy County $58,222
Emmons County $58,181
Foster County $58,644
Golden Valley County $53,750
Grand Forks County $61,104
Grant County $61,562
Griggs County $61,154
Hettinger County $70,000
Kidder County $59,188
LaMoure County $64,303
Logan County $66,006
McHenry County $59,051
McIntosh County $52,940
McKenzie County $97,265
McLean County $68,385
Mercer County $76,253
Morton County $84,604
Mountrail County $78,037
Nelson County $51,724
Oliver County $83,462
Pembina County $58,214
Pierce County $57,452
Ramsey County $56,840
Ransom County $61,567
Renville County $57,755
Richland County $60,223
Rolette County $39,201
Sargent County $62,031
Sheridan County $54,217
Sioux County $63,824
Slope County $60,208
Stark County $75,150
Steele County $56,240
Stutsman County $63,471
Towner County $58,036
Traill County $57,273
Walsh County $57,925
Ward County $68,172
Wells County $60,258
Williams County $89,900

Highest paying jobs in North Dakota

There’s another weighty factor that will influence how much you earn if you live in North Dakota: your job type. Average salaries for various sectors and job roles can vary massively across the state, so it’s absolutely something to consider when looking at salaries by location.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has calculated a comprehensive list of annual salaries by occupation area, which you can also find below.

Occupation AreaAnnual Salary
Nurse Anesthetists $195,920
Podiatrists $166,220
General Dentists $162,910
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates $147,780
All Other Physicians $132,660
Architectural and Engineering Managers $131,770
Chemical Engineers $131,390
Pharmacists $128,600
Optometrists $127,610
Chief Executives $127,450
Financial Managers $125,730
Physician Assistants $125,230
Marketing Managers $124,650
Training and Development Managers $119,920
Sales Managers $119,680
Computer and Information Systems Managers $117,130
Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners $113,860
Natural Sciences Managers $113,630
All Other Managers $110,550
Industrial Production Managers $105,430

Frequently asked questions about salaries in North Dakota

What is the average salary in North Dakota by age?
Alongside location and occupation, salaries in North Dakota are also dependent on age, since more senior workers will be paid more. Then, when they retire, their income will dip again as they will rely on pensions and other forms of set income. You can also check out the complete guide to retirement in North Dakota here.

The Census Bureau data finds that householders under 25 have a median household income of $43,769; householders aged 25 to 44 years old have a median income of $71,689; those aged 45 to 64 years old have a median income of $76,350; and those 65 and older have a median income of $51,836.

What is a ‘good’ salary in North Dakota?
The median income in North Dakota is $64,577. Defining ‘good’ relies on all sorts of variable factors and these should be taken into account. For example, $100,000 is a far higher salary than the state average and may be considered a good salary by many.

What is the average salary in North Dakota by hour?
If Americans work an average of 1,801 hours per year—at 37.5 hours a week—then the average hourly salary in North Dakota is $35.81.

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Charlie Barton

Charlie Barton is a writer at Unbiased. He has been writing about personal finance and investing since 2017, with extensive knowledge of platforms and products. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics.