Average salary in West Virginia

4 mins readLast updated April 19, 2023by Kate Morgan

West Virginia may not be the largest state in the US, but it still offers a diverse range of opportunities and earning potential. As with any state, salaries can vary depending on location and industry. If you're considering making the move to West Virginia, or are just curious about the financial landscape, it can be helpful to establish what kind of salaries you can expect.

West Virginia is known for its natural beauty and is often referred to as the Mountain State. However, it also has a reputation for being one of the poorest states in the country. According to the US Census Bureau, West Virginia had a poverty rate of 16.2% in 2019, which is higher than the national average. Despite this, there are still many high-paying jobs and opportunities available in West Virginia. 

CityAverage earnings
Charleston $43,114
Huntington $34,019
Morgantown $39,522
Parkersburg $37,679
Wheeling $37,525

Average salary in West Virginia by county

Reviewing average salaries in West Virginia 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 West Virginia by county, as this will take areas outside the main cities into account and offer a broader idea of salary ranges.  

The highest paying counties in West Virginia are typically those with strong industries such as healthcare, mining, and natural gas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest paying county in West Virginia is Monongalia County, with an average salary of around $54,000. This is likely due to the presence of West Virginia University, which employs many people in the area. Other high-paying counties include Harrison County, with an average salary of around $47,000, and Kanawha County, with an average salary of around $46,000. 

The same survey from the US Census Bureau gives further insight this way, with the average household income calculated for each county.  

Here are some of the highest paying counties in West Virginia, according to the US Census Bureau's latest American Community Survey: 

County Average household income
Jefferson County $89,078
Berkeley County $68,112
Putnam County $63,651
Monongalia County $57,228
Doddridge County $56,195

Highest paying jobs in West Virginia

There’s another weighty factor that will influence how much you earn if you live in West Virginia: 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 West Virginia below.  

Occupation Average salary
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist $149,905
Public Health Dentist $147,197
Clinical Physician Assistant $144,483
Emergency Medicine Specialist $144,222
Contractor-Registered Nurse $133,754
Family Practitioner $128,053
Owner $108,058
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse $104,876
Telemetry Registered Nurse $100,572
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner $93,236

Frequently asked questions about salaries in West Virginia

What is the average salary in West Virginia by age? 

Salaries in West Virginia are also dependent on various factors, including age. The earning potential of individuals may increase as they gain more experience and advance in their careers.  

According to the US Census Bureau, householders under 25 in West Virginia have a median household income of $36,456. Those between the ages of 25 and 44 have a median income of $60,789, while those aged 45 to 64 have a median income of $66,738. Those who are 65 years and older have a median income of $46,753. 

What is a ‘good’ salary in West Virginia? 

Determining a 'good' salary in West Virginia depends on several factors such as the cost of living, location, and personal circumstances. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income in West Virginia is $48,514 per year. However, the cost of living in West Virginia is lower than in other states, meaning that a lower salary can still provide a comfortable standard of living. 

What is the average salary in West Virginia by hour? 

Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage in West Virginia is $19.68 per hour. This amount may vary depending on the industry, experience, and location of the individual. 

Getting expert advice before you make significant financial decisions can really benefit you in the long term. Protect your financial future and speak to one of our financial advisors today.  

Content writer

Kate Morgan

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