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Annual Pay for the Average American
2013 by Aurelio Locsin.
With over 800 different occupations and 130 million workers, the enormous and complex task of tracking American employment falls to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a federal agency. Through their annual surveys, they discover how many people work in each occupation and in each industry, and how much they make. These results are as of May 2012.
The average American receives an annual $45,790, which equals $22.01 per hour. The highest pay belongs to anesthesiologists, who manage patient pain before, during and after surgical processions. They earned a mean $232,830 per year. In fact, the top nine occupations belonged to medical professionals. The lowest-earning occupation belonged to shampooers, who cleaned clients’ hair at hairdressing salons and barbershops. They made a mean $18,600. Other low-paying occupations and their mean wages were combined food preparation and serving workers at $18,720, fast food cooks at $18,780 and dishwashers at $18,930.
The BLS groups jobs with similar tasks and goals into groups. The group with the highest salaries were management occupations, which received a mean $108,570 per year. Within this group, the highest-paying job belonged to chief executives, who averaged $120,060. They received their high pay by developing the goals and directions of their organizations. The lowest-paying group belonged to food preparation and serving related occupations, which earned a mean $21,380. This group included the previously mentioned combined food prep workers, fast food cooks and dishwashers as its lowest earners.
The group with the most workers belonged to office and administrative support occupations, where over 21.3 million individuals averaged $34,410 per year. Within that group, information and record clerks, who manage the flow of information into and out of companies, held the most jobs, with 40,225 workers receiving a mean $31,940. The fewest workers belonged to the farming, fishing and forestry occupations group, where 427,670 averaged $24,230. Within that group, the smallest number of jobs belonged to the 570 fishers and fishing-related workers, who caught fish and other water creatures for human consumption. They made a mean $28,600.
The BLS shows how education can affect salaries for the average worker. It asserts that the median annual pay of all workers was $42,380 as of 2012. Those with less than a high school diploma earned the lowest median wage of $24,492, while a high school diploma bumped pay up to $33,904. Median yearly wages for college degrees ran $40,820 for associate degrees, $55,432 for bachelor’s degrees, $67,600 for master’s degrees and $84,448. Professional degrees boasted the highest salaries of all at a median $90,220.
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- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics.