How Much Does the Average American Make in 2022?

Frank Russo, Preferred Banking Office Manager, First Republic Bank
December 7, 2022

  • The median American worker brings home an estimated $54,132 a year.
  • Salary figures vary significantly depending on location, education and other factors.
  • Income is a vital part of your overall financial health, alongside net worth and savings.

The average wage in the United States has increased since the pandemic. Workers in certain industries earned more in 2021 than they had in a long time, either through raises in their hourly wage or salary increases. However, economic headwinds and inflation are making common goods more expensive, which has a dampening effect on affordability and real wages.

Average American income

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median weekly income (including overtime, commission and tips) for full-time workers (excluding those who are self-employed) in America was $1,041 as of the second quarter of 2022. If that rate persists for the entire year, that would equal $54,132 a year. The mean American income in 2020, according to Statista, was $71,456.

Median vs. Mean Income
Mean income refers to the average American income reported by the BLS. Median income refers to the exact middle figure among the range of salaries reported.

Average U.S. income by demographic

There are several reasons why the mean (or average) income and median personal income figures differ, and demographics play a large role in this divide. Age, occupation, ethnicity and education all influence discrepancies in full-time employee salaries.

Average American income by age

Median weekly earnings differ between each age group. Currently, people 45 to 54 years old are earning the highest median salary in the U.S, according to BLS data from Q2 2022. Granted, the average income in America varies depending on other factors in addition to age, such as occupation, state and education level.

Demographic 2022 Median Weekly Income 2022 Median Annual Income (Estimated)
16-19 years old $603 $31,356
20-24 years old $703 $36,556
25-34 years old $976 $50,752
35-44 years old $1,180 $61,360
45-54 years old $1,181 $61,412
55-64 years old $1,134 $58,968
65+ years old $1,023 $53,196

Average American income by occupation

The average American income changes significantly based on industry type. There is a significant range depending on one's specific profession, according to BLS data from 2022. In addition, average incomes are impacted by differences in a worker's location.

Demographic 2022 Median Weekly Income 2022 Median Annual Income (Estimated)
Management, professional and related $1,459 $75,868
Service $707 $36,764
Sales and Office $867 $45,084
Natural resources, construction and maintenance $964 $50,128
Production, transportation and material moving $807 $41,964

Average American income by education level

Education level plays a significant role in determining median income. The highest earnings go to people with professional degrees, whose median yearly income was just over $100,048 in 2021.

Demographic 2021 Median Weekly Income 2021 Median Annual Income (Estimated)
Less than a high school diploma $626 $32,552
High school diploma $809 $42,068
Some college, no degree $899 $46,748
Associate's degree $963 $50,076
Bachelor's degree $1,334 $69,368
Master's degree $1,574 $81,848
Professional degree $1,924 $100,048
Doctorate degree $1,909 $99,268

Average American income by state

The average household income varies between states. Here are the top 10 and bottom 10 states for 2020 median household income, according to Statista. 

State 2020 Median Household Income
Top 10  
Maryland $94,384
District of Columbia $88,311
New Hampshire $88,235
Massachusetts $86,725
New Jersey $85,239
Utah $83,670
Colorado 82,611
Virginia 81,947
Washington 81,083
Hawaii 80,729
Bottom 10  
Kentucky $56,525
Tennessee $54,665
Alabama $54,393
Oklahoma $52,341
West Virginia $51,615
Louisiana $50,935
New Mexico $50,822
Arkansas $50,540
Mississippi $44,966

Average American salary FAQs

What does the average American make, and what does it mean for their overall financial health? Learn more below. 

What is the average American salary?

The average American salary as of 2020 was $71,456, according to Statista data.

What income is considered to be middle class?

The annual wage required to be considered middle class varies depending on where you live, according to the Pew Research Center. The middle-class salary range is anywhere from $30,000 to $90,000, on average.

What percentage of Americans make over $100,000?

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the number of people making more than $100,000 in 2020 was approximately 21 million American workers (roughly 17%). Several six-figure salary jobs can be found in the medical profession, with anesthesiologists among the highest-income earners.

How much does the average American make in a lifetime?

The answer varies by industry, education level, gender and location. The typical lifetime gross income range for American males is $1.13 million to $3.05 million, and $510,000 to $1.86 million for women, according to Social Security Administration data.

What is a good income?

A good income depends on factors such as one's cost of living, location and more. The average savings an American has is $41,600, with an average net worth of $746,820.

A good income can allow people to cover recurring expenses, build a robust emergency fund and set aside savings for the long term. While earning a college degree or postgraduate degree can boost income, it's important for high income earners to live within their means. 

A dedicated personal banker can help you re-evaluate your budget and develop a plan to achieve your financial goals. 

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