What is the average salary in South Dakota?

1 min readLast updated December 18, 2023by Charlie Barton

This article takes you through the average salaries and highest paying counties in South Dakota.


  • South Dakota offers a unique financial landscape with a lower cost of living compared to many other states in the US.

  • It is still important to understand the average salaries and highest paying counties to make informed decisions about your career and lifestyle. 

  • The state of South Dakota has an average salary of $47,100, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is lower than the national average of $56,310.

  • According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, South Dakota is ranked as the 18th most affordable state in the US.

  • A financial advisor can help you stay on top of your finances and make confident financial decisions.

What is a good salary in South Dakota?

The median income in South Dakota is $60,520, which can serve as a baseline to consider a 'good' salary. However, factors such as occupation, education level, location, and personal circumstances can also play a role in determining what is considered a 'good' salary for an individual.

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What is the average salary in South Dakota by age?

Alongside location and occupation, salaries in South 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 South Dakota here.

The Census Bureau data finds that householders under 25 have a median household income of $32,080, householders aged 25 to 44 have a median income of $63,833, those aged 45 to 64 years old have a median income of $66,417, and those 65 and older have a median income of $43,868.

What is the average salary in South 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 South Dakota is $21.81.

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What is the average salary by city in South Dakota?

City living is often more expensive than living in more rural areas, but it’s also where the money is. South Dakota’s own cities can vary in average salary; cities like Sioux Falls and Rapid City command more than $55,000, while Vermillion’s average sits just above $40,000.  

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 largest cities in South Dakota, which you can find ranked below.  

CityAverage household income
Sioux Falls $63,582
Rapid City $56,776
Aberdeen $52,369
Brookings $50,738
Watertown $49,981
Mitchell $47,424
Yankton $47,169
Pierre $46,563
Huron $41,458
Vermillion $40,731

What is the average salary by county in South Dakota?

Reviewing average salaries in South 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 California 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
Aurora County $57,103
Beadle County $56,287
Bennett County $40,812
Bon Homme County $57,211
Brookings County $56,777
Brown County $55,432
Brule County $52,141
Buffalo County $33,750
Butte County $59,057
Campbell County $50,192
Charles Mix County $47,568
Clark County $51,013
Clay County $50,750
Codington County $54,296
Corson County $42,778
Custer County $57,937
Davison County $54,521
Day County $54,617
Deuel County $57,375
Dewey County $40,139
Douglas County $62,279
Edmunds County $57,250
Fall River County $49,829
Faulk County $50,625
Grant County $57,639
Gregory County $49,688
Haakon County $53,750
Hamlin County $57,813
Hand County $55,472
Hanson County $59,375
Harding County $49,167
Hughes County $63,510
Hutchinson County $55,250
Hyde County $50,833
Jackson County $45,385
Jerauld County $52,083
Jones County $45,000
Kingsbury County $54,333
Lake County $63,279
Lawrence County $59,019
Lincoln County $77,035
Lyman County $49,904
Marshall County $50,875
McCook County $58,125
McPherson County $53,125
Meade County $71,557
Mellette County $38,000
Miner County $54,444
Minnehaha County $71,527
Moody County $61,652
Pennington County $67,008
Perkins County $51,875
Potter County $53,500
Roberts County $47,000
Sanborn County $52,917
Shannon County $32,500
Spink County $55,605
Stanley County $61,071
Sully County $50,938
Todd County $35,568
Tripp County $43,750
Turner County $55,000
Union County $69,915
Walworth County $49,091
Yankton County $66,906
Ziebach County $29,821

What are the highest paying jobs in South Dakota?

There’s another weighty factor that will influence how much you earn if you live in South 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.

OccupationAnnual Salary
General Pediatricians $205,590
Nurse Anesthetists $195,380
Chief Executives $182,540
Psychiatrists $166,360
Computer and Information Systems Managers $150,920
Architectural and Engineering Managers $134,120
Financial Managers $131,200
General Dentists $128,190
Pharmacists $127,930
Marketing Managers $126,500
Sales Managers $125,770
Sales Engineers $125,490
Personal Financial Advisors $125,100
General and Operations Managers $123,450
Physician Assistants $121,010
Natural Sciences Managers $119,190
Computer Network Architects $115,780
Purchasing Managers $102,580
Optometrists $102,510
Power Distributors and Dispatchers $102,430

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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.

Want to make your salary go further?

A financial advisor can help you develop a financial plan to meet your goals.