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Career Resources at North Carolina Central University: Salary

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Monthly Labor Review

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Fun Facts Income of Young Adults

Article from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Institute of Education Sciences

Income of young adults

Question:
What is the average income for young adults?

Response:
For young adults ages 25-34 who worked full time throughout a full year, higher educational attainment was associated with higher median earnings. This pattern of higher median earnings corresponding with higher levels of educational attainment was consistent for selected years 1995, 2000, and 2005-2011. For example, young adults with a bachelor’s degree consistently had higher median earnings than those with less education. During this period, this pattern also held across sex and selected racial/ethnic subgroups (White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian).

In 2011, the median of earnings for young adults with a bachelor’s degree was $45,000, while the median was $22,900 for those without a high school diploma or its equivalent, $30,000 for those with a high school diploma or its equivalent, and $37,000 for those with an associate’s degree. In other words, young adults with a bachelor’s degree earned almost twice as much as those without a high school diploma or its equivalent (97 percent more), 50 percent more than young adult high school completers, and 21 percent more than young adults with an associate’s degree. Additionally, in 2011 the median of earnings for young adults with a master’s degree or higher was $59,200, some 32 percent more than the median for young adults with a bachelor’s degree.

1 Total represents median annual earnings of all full-time, full-year wage and salary workers ages 25-34.

2 Total represents median annual earnings of young adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

NOTE: Full-year workers refers to those who were employed 50 or more weeks during the previous year; full-time workers refers to those who were usually employed 35 or more hours per week.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2013). The Condition of Education 2013 (NCES 2013–037),Annual Earnings of Young Adults

Related Tables and Figures:  (Listed by Release Date)

Other Resources:  (Listed by Release Date)

Income & Wages Potential

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics: