Earning Potential by Education Level

It might come as no surprise that more education means making more money. Earning a degree will help you earn a higher wage than those that don’t. However, how big of a difference there is between each of those degrees is surprising.

This chart from the 2015 US Census Bureau shows the impact of education on both earning and how it affects the likelihood of getting and staying employed.

Education attained Unemployment rate in 2014 (Percent) Median weekly earnings in 2014
Doctoral degree 2.1 $1,591
Professional degree 1.9 1,639
Master’s degree 2.8 1,326
Bachelor’s degree 3.5 1,101
Associate’s degree 4.5 792
Some college, no degree 6.0 741
High school diploma 6.0 668
Less than a high school diploma 9.0 488
All workers 5.0 839

The report concluded that the average unemployment rate for Americans that don’t have a high school education is 9%. And worse yet, they will only earn $488/wk. This equates to an annual income of $23,424—which is below the 2014 poverty level of $23,850.

And although the average unemployment rate (6%) for those that have attended college but never received a degree and high school graduates was the same in 2014, the weekly wage was higher (from $688 to $741).

What is most significant is the jump in average weekly earnings from an employee with a high school diploma ($668) to a four-year bachelor’s degree ($1,101). College graduates are also more employable and more likely to have a job.

Based solely on the degree that has been earned (without any training programs—like apprenticeships and other on-the-job training) there is a very clear progression in how much someone will earn. The higher the level of education, the higher the amount of money you will make.

Those that have gone on to get a professional degree consistently earn the most. Meaning that those who have Master’s or Ph.D. degrees, who then opt to “specialize” in their fields will earn more than those that only have a degree.

Getting a job is important, as is the training that you receive in that job (because it will influence your earning power and the likelihood of keeping your job), but which education level you attain has a direct impact on a) being eligible for employment and then (b) how much you will make at that job.

Investing in your education has definite advantages. A good education can help you with your future earnings beyond the life of your annuity. Contact a Specialist from Your Trusted Source to see how we can help you invest in your own future and turn your annuity into a higher earning potential.

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