What is the average salary in Washington State?

2 mins readLast updated December 7, 2023by Kate Morgan

This article will take you through the main things you need to know about the average salaries and highest paying counties in Washington State.

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  • The State of Washington is also known for having some of the country's most expensive cities to live in, which can make it challenging to define what a 'good' salary is.

  • Various sources, such as Forbes and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, rank Washington State among the top states in the country for cost of living.

  • Washington State tends to have a higher cost of living then elsewhere in the US.

  • The earning potential in Washington State can be a significant draw for many, whether they already reside in the state or are considering a move.

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

What is a good salary in Washington State? 

The median income in Washington State is $78,687. However, what constitutes a 'good' salary depends on various factors, such as industry, location, and lifestyle.

For instance, $120,000 may be considered a high salary in some areas of the state, while it may be closer to the average in others. 

What is the average salary by age in Washington State? 

Alongside location and occupation, salaries in Washington 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 Washington State here

According to Census Bureau data, householders under 25 have a median household income of $44,870; householders aged 25 to 44 years old have a median income of $77,194; those aged 45 to 64 years old have a median income of $85,259; and those 65 and older have a median income of $54,080.  

What is the average salary by hour in Washington State? 

Assuming Americans work an average of 1,801 hours per year at 37.5 hours per week, the average hourly salary in Washington State is $43.67. 

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What is the average salary by city in Washington State?

City living is often more expensive than living in more rural areas, but it’s also where the money is. Washington State’s own cities can vary massively in average salary; cities like Seattle and Bellevue command well into six figures, while Spokane’s average sits below $55,000.  

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 Washington State, which you can find ranked below.  

CityAverage earnings
Bellevue $125,058
Seattle $102,486
Vancouver $70,751
Tacoma $68,147
Spokane $53,318

What is the average salary by county in Washington State?

Reviewing average salaries in Washington State 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 Washington State 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. Below are the 10 highest-paying counties in Washington State:

County Average household income
King County $102,486
Snohomish County $92,824
Kitsap County $86,315
San Juan County $86,101
Island County $80,048
Thurston County $79,425
Benton County $78,219
Clark County $77,138
Pierce County $75,802
Chelan County $74,193

What are the highest paying jobs in Washington State?

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

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

Occupation Average salary
Chief Medical Officer $222,514
Senior Vice President, Engineering $221,545
Director, Product Engineering $213,091
Vice President, Products & Marketing $208,069
Finance Services Director $207,300
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering $203,424
Senior Vice President-Operations $202,820
Staff Physician $202,154
Acute Care Physician $201,236
Senior Director, Product $200,731

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Content writer

Kate Morgan

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

Want to make your salary go further?

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