November 30, 2011
Annual mean wages by occupational group ranged from $21,240 for food preparation and serving related occupations to $105,440 for management occupations.
Nearly every management occupation had an average wage above the U.S. all-occupations mean of $44,410, while nearly all food preparation and serving related occupations had an annual mean wage of less than $25,000.
Although healthcare practitioners and technical occupations included some of the highest paying individual occupations, this group also included occupations with more moderate wages, such as dietetic technicians ($28,820).
Among the low-paying occupational groups, transportation and material moving had the highest paying individual occupations, including air traffic controllers ($110,280). However, the largest occupation in this group— laborers and hand freight, stock, and material movers—had an average wage of $25,710.
These data are from Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program. To learn more about employment and earnings in various occupations, see the OES chart book, "Occupational Employment and Wages, 2010," Bulletin 2769, October 2011.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Average wage for the highest paying occupational group nearly five times that of the lowest paying group on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20111130.htm (visited November 28, 2015).
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.