As you start making your way in the workforce, you may find it difficult to answer the question, “How much should I be making?”
Discussing your salary with coworkers could help you see where you stand, but it may feel like a taboo topic, leaving you to wonder how you measure up with your peers.
The good news is that there is data available that can give you a ballpark figure of what to expect as you progress in your career.
How much should I be making based on my age?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) regularly releases median weekly earnings of full-time workers by age, race, and gender. Find out where you stack up based on the results for the first quarter of 2017.
- Men: $482 a week, or $25,064 annually
- Women: $394 a week, or $20,488 annually
- Overall: $426 a week, or $22,152 annually
- Men: $578 a week, or $30,056 annually
- Women: $502 a week, or $26,104 annually
- Overall: $528 a week, or $27,456 annually
- Men: $825 a week, or $42,900 annually
- Women: $716 a week, or $37,232 annually
- Overall: $778 a week, or $40,456 annually
- Men: $1,050 a week, or $54,600 annually
- Women: $846 a week, or $43,992 annually
- Overall: $947 a week, or $49,244 annually
- Men: $1,141 a week, or $59,332 annually
- Women: $863 a week, or $44,876 annually
- Overall: $1,001 a week, or $52,052 annually
- Men: $1,061 a week, or $55,172 annually
- Women: $836 a week, or $43,472 annually
- Overall: $962 a week, or $50,024 annually
Find out average salary figures for your job
Using just your age to determine how much you should make in the workplace shouldn’t be the only factor you consider. The cost of living in your area can also play a role.
What’s more, different industries and occupations have different salary expectations. Although BLS has a list of mean wages for individual occupations, they don’t break down the figures by experience level.
For more research on fair market value salary figures for your occupation, check out websites such as PayScale and Glassdoor. These companies allow you to review self-reported salary figures from other users. You can even search by experience level or by specific companies.
How to increase your income
If you discover you haven’t reached your full earning potential, here are a few ways you can start increasing your annual income to get back on track.
1. Focus on your current job
You don’t have to leave your job to increase your income.
If you feel like you’ve worked hard enough to deserve a raise, brush up on your negotiation skills and ask for one at your next performance evaluation.
If you’re in a job that pays overtime, volunteer to take on more hours whenever possible. Also, look for additional projects that may justify you coming in earlier or staying later to rack up more hours.
2. Look for promotion opportunities
If you’ve made yourself indispensable as an employee, your manager and others will take note.
Talk to your manager about ways you can prepare for a promotion in the next six to 12 months. Then, take their feedback and work to develop your skills and earn that pay raise.
3. Look elsewhere
Some companies are better than others when it comes to overtime, raises, and promotions. If you’re skilled at what you do, you may be able to leverage your qualifications for a better salary in a similar job, but with a different company.
You can also update your LinkedIn profile and get notifications on jobs that fit your experience and qualifications.
4. Learn a new skill
Looking to beef up your resume and skill sets? Consider taking a few online classes or attending night school to learn a new skill.
5. Start a side hustle
If your passion lies in what you do outside of work hours, consider turning a hobby you love into a side hustle or full-on business.
Depending on how much time and money you’re able to invest in yourself, you may be able to increase your income significantly.
You can also check out other side hustles that have the potential to be lucrative from the get-go.
Once you find out average salary figures for your age and occupation, take some time to figure out the next steps in your career.
If you’re underemployed or feeling trapped in a low-paying job, develop a plan around the next couple of career moves you can make to improve your situation. Creating a five-year road map for your career can also help you visualize and formulate a strategy for accomplishing your career goals.
Remember, finding a career that makes you happy and pays well is possible. It’s just a matter of pursuing your opportunities and using your current skill sets (or improving them) to make it happen.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.49% effective March 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.50% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.81% – 8.79%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.55% – 7.12%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.00% – 9.74%6||Undergrad & Graduate|