Accessibility information 
OOQ Logo OOQ Online banner


About OOQ Online

Occupational Outlook Handbook Home
Career guide to Industries Home
Employment Projections Home
MLR: The Editor's Desk
OES Occupational Profiles
BLS Home

Spring 2002 Vol. 46, Number 1

Education Pays  

How to best view PDF files Download the PDF (27K)
OOChart from past issues

Median earnings for year-round, full-time workers ages 25 and older, by educational attainment, 2000



The road to riches is paved by education—or so the data suggest. As the chart shows, median annual earnings in 2000 increased with educational attainment. There was a substantial earnings differential from the highest to the lowest levels of attainment: the median earnings of workers who had a professional degree were more than 3½ times those of high school dropouts. But workers did not need that much education to earn a bigger paycheck; the payoff began for those who completed high school. For example, the $7,400 differential for workers with a high school diploma over those who did not graduate represents a 35-percent increase in median annual earnings.



U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: June 20, 2002