US salary statistics: what is the average salary in 2024?

1 min readLast updated April 30, 2024by Rachel Carey

Find out how US salary statistics vary by age, gender, state, and racial group and discover America’s highest-paying jobs.


  • The average salary in the USA is around $59,384 annually.  

  • Maryland has the highest average income, while Mississippi has the lowest. 

  • Top CEOs have the highest-paying jobs in the US, followed by anesthesiologists. 

  • Workers in the service industry are the lowest earners in the US. 

What is the average US household income? 

The median income of a household is the sum of all income generated over a year by all employed individuals older than 15 living in the same house. 

In 2023, the average median household income in the United States was $71,538, although the range for most states was between $50,000 and $90,000.  

The average US household income in 2023 saw consistent positive growth since 2015, rising $15,238 during this period.  

However, a recent study shows the average US worker needs to earn $68,499 after tax to live comfortably.  

Owing to years of economic instability, many Americans still don’t earn enough to enjoy what is considered an acceptable standard of living in their communities in 2024.

What are the lowest and highest-paying jobs in the US? 

While average salaries in the US naturally depend on experience and education, jobs in certain industries typically pay the highest salaries, while jobs in other sectors often pay poorly.  

For example, the healthcare sector has the highest-paying occupations, with corporate chief executives earning the highest salaries outside of the healthcare field. Meanwhile, jobs in the service industry pay the least of all professions in the US.  

Five highest-paying jobs in America 

  1. Chief executive officers (CEOs): Average salary of $836,545, although this can range widely

  2. Anesthesiologists: Annual mean wage of $261,730.  

  3. Surgeons: Annual mean wages of $252,040.  

  4. Obstetricians and gynecologists: Annual mean wages of $233,610. 

  5. Orthodontists: Annual median wages of $230,830.  

With 4 out of 5 of the top-paying jobs in healthcare, it’s important to note that the projected growth of the healthcare industry by 2031 is 13%, ensuring growth in employment opportunities in these positions.  

Five lowest-paying jobs in America 

Service industry positions top the worst-paying jobs list: 

  1. Shampooers: Mean hourly wage of just $11.02, with mean annual wages of $22,910.  

  2. Fast food and counter workers: Mean hourly wages of $11.18 and mean annual wages of $23,250.  

  3. Fast food cooks: Mean hourly wages of $11.31 and mean annual wages of $23,530.  

  4. Casino game dealers: Mean hourly wages of $11.53 and mean annual wages of $23,980.  

  5. Hosts/hostesses: Mean hourly wages of $11.54 and mean annual wages of $24,010.  

Between 2021 and 2031, the average growth rate for all jobs is projected to be 5.3%. 

What is the average salary in the US? 

The median weekly earnings of the 121.5 million full-time workers in the US is currently $1,101.  

In Q4 of 2023, the average USA salary was $59,384 annually, a 5.4% increase (from $56,316) compared to the same period in 2022. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the primary factors that determine average salaries in the USA. 

What is the average salary by age? 

On average, Americans aged 45 to 54 enjoy the highest median earnings, while income rises most significantly when individuals move into the 25-to-34 age bracket - a period typified by more substantial career moves.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as detailed in Forbes, the median earnings by age in the US are as follows: 

AgeWeekly EarningsAnnual WageAverage Hourly Wage
16 to 19 years old $611 $31,772 $15.28
20 to 24 years old $737 $38,324 $18.43
25 to 34 years old $1,018 $52,936 $25.45
35 to 44 years old $1,223 $63,596 $30.58
45 to 54 years old $1,239 $64,428 $30.98
55 to 64 years old $1,218 $63,336 $30.45
65 years and older $1,042 $54,184 $26.05

Note that the BLS only considered full-time wage or salary earners and did not take unemployed or underemployed statistics into account. 

What is the average salary by state? 

The median annual income can give us an idea of the average salary in the USA by state.  

The median annual income of a state is found by lining up the income of that state in numerical order, from lowest to highest, and then finding the number directly in the middle of that list. 

Average salaries in the US vary significantly by state.  

For example, the average salary in California is much higher than the average salary in Louisiana.  

Maryland is home to the highest earners, while people in Mississippi generally earn the least.  

The average income by state is as follows: 

StatesAnnual US Income
Alabama $53,913
Alaska $77,845
Arizona $69,056
Arkansas $52,528
California $84,907
Colorado $82,254
Connecticut $83,771
Delaware $71,091
Florida $63,062
Georgia $66,559
Hawaii $84,857
Idaho $66,474
Illinois $72,205
Indiana $62,743
Iowa $65,600
Kansas $64,124
Kentucky $55,573
Louisiana $52,087
Maine $64,767
Maryland $90,203
Massachusetts $89,645
Michigan $63,498
Minnesota $77,720
Mississippi $48,716
Missouri $61,847
Montana $63,249
Nebraska $66,817
Nevada $66,274
New Hampshire $88,465
New Jersey $89,296
New Mexico $53,992
New York $74,314
North Carolina $61,972
North Dakota $66,519
Ohio $62,262
Oklahoma $55,826
Oregon $71,562
Pennsylvania $68,957
Rhode Island $74,008
South Carolina $59,318
South Dakota $66,143
Tennessee $59,695
Texas $66,963
Utah $79,449
Vermont $72,431
Virginia $80,963
Washington $84,247
West Virginia $51,248
Wisconsin $67,125
Wyoming $65,204

Note that salaries tend to be higher in states with a higher average cost of living.  

What is the average salary by gender? 

The financial situation of women indicates that pay gaps in average USA salaries exist between the sexes, in addition to those related to factors like age, education, industry and location: 

In Q2 of 2023, for every dollar a man made, a woman earned just 84 cents, and on average, the average female's salary was 16% less than that of the average man.  

Median salary in the US for women vs. men

SexMedian weekly earningsMedian annual earnings
Women $1,001 $52,052
Men $1,185 $61,620

Note that there are two types of gender pay gaps:  

  • The controlled gap measures the difference in pay between men and women (with the same experience and qualifications) performing the same job. 

  • The uncontrolled gap represents the overall difference in pay across all the jobs and industries between men and women. 

What is the average salary by race? 

Between 2017 and 2019, the average income (not considering race differences) increased by 8%. However, from 2020 to 2022, this fell to 3%.  

When digging deeper into these numbers, it becomes clear a significant wage gap exists between white and Asian individuals on the one hand and black and Hispanic individuals on the other: 

In 2022, the median income of households headed by Asian or white individuals was higher than the national median income, while the inverse was true for households headed by Black or Hispanic individuals.  

Median household income by race and ethnicity (2022): 

Race/Ethnicity of Household Head2022 Median Household Income
All races/ethnicities $74,580
Asian $108,700
White, not Hispanic $81,060
Hispanic (any race) $62,800
Black $52,860

What is the average salary by education level? 

US college education can provide career opportunities in fields with greater job security and higher salaries.  

As a result: 

  • On average, college graduates earn more than twice as much as those without a degree.   

  • The average US salary of those with professional degrees in fields like law, pharmacy, and medicine is around $151,000 annually - nearly four times more than that of a high school graduate.  

  • In 2022, the highest median household income ($157,800) was earned by US citizens with a professional degree. Meanwhile, those with a 9th-grade education or lower earned considerably less ($33,830). 

Average US income by education level

Education levelAverage income
Less than 9th grade $26,293
9th to 12th grade, no diploma $27,987
High school graduate (includes equivalency) $39,976
Some college, no degree $48,555
Associate's degree $51,161
Bachelor's degree $80,478
Bachelor's degree or more $91,892
Master's degree $98,268
Professional degree $151,348
Doctoral degree $141,178

Get expert financial advice 

This overview of US salary statistics should help you understand where you stand on the spectrum and how much your location and level of education impact your salary. 

If you want to increase your earning potential and need expert financial advice, let Unbiased match you with a financial advisor who can meet your needs. 

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.