Income by Education: Average, Top One Percent, Median, and Percentiles

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Below, find United States average individual income by education and median individual income by education in 2023. Per tradition, also find the top 1% and individual income percentiles by education in the attached percentile calculator.

Find the statistics for people with education attainment:

  • Below high school
  • Some high school but no diploma
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Some college but no degree
  • Associate's degree, occupational/vocational program
  • Associate's degree, academic program
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree
  • Professional school degree
  • Doctorate degree

Average and Median Income by Education

Overall in 2023 (income earned between January and December 2022, but surveyed in early 2023), the median individual income for a worker in the United States was $50,000. The average income was $69,029.61. See our individual income research for details.

For every educational achievement category*, here is the average, median, 25th percentile, 75th percentile, and top 1% percentile income (you can find the rest of the percentiles in the tool, below):

Attainment25% IncomeMedian Income75% IncomeTop 1% IncomeAverage Income
Below high school$15,000$28,000$40,002$200,000$36,639.41
Some high school but no degree$3,000$15,002$35,000$147,000$26,427.06
High school diploma or equivalent$22,000$36,502$56,250$200,006$46,118.50
Some college but no degree$20,620$40,000$64,030$245,130$51,423.43
Associate's degree, occupational/vocational program$30,050$50,000$72,560$250,021$61,240.45
Associate's degree, academic program$30,000$48,007$72,855$250,003$59,717.19
Bachelor's degree$40,100$67,005$106,004$470,451$89,094.98
Master's degree$55,016$85,164$130,500$603,652$111,738.67
Professional school degree$70,000$117,520$217,501$973,000$173,279.20
Doctorate degree$70,210$115,000$183,901$752,282$151,756.73

*Read these as "highest educational achievement". For example, "Doctorate Degree" means graduated with a degree, not only pursued.

Income by Education Visualization, Comparison, and Income Percentile Calculator

Here is a calculator for plotting income percentile by education. It includes every income percentile for each group. Enter an income plus educational attainment to see where that income would rank.

Additionally, use the chart to overlay multiple educational groups. Then you can compare attainment cohorts for every percentile.

Income Percentile by Education Methodology

This data uses 2023 IPUMS-CPS data to calculate incomes versus educational attainment. See the income percentile calculator for methodology around the worker screen – I've only included people who were in (or close to) the workforce in full-year 2022. Also, find the deeper explanation of education attainment here.

I've grouped EDUC of 2-39 as "Below High School". EDUC 40-72 is "Some high school but no degree" in the tool. And yes, Below high school tended to earn more than Some high school, no degree.

Sarah Flood, Miriam King, Renae Rodgers, Steven Ruggles, J. Robert Warren, Daniel Backman, Annie Chen, Grace Cooper, Stephanie Richards, Megan Schouweiler, and Michael Westberry. IPUMS CPS: Version 11.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2023.

Workforce Size by Educational Achievement

This next table shows the number of samples we used to make the estimates, and the number of "workers" that maps to in the screen. You can use this information to decide just how much you trust the estimates – if at all!

AttainmentEstimated WorkersSamples
Below high school4,234,3441,916
Some high school but no degree10,998,8495,236
High school diploma or equivalent46,645,95320,005
Some college but no degree28,114,22911,717
Associate's degree, occupational/vocational program7,410,0693,343
Associate's degree, academic program10,681,1344,538
Bachelor's degree44,204,67618,186
Master's degree19,574,8378,342
Professional school degree2,719,6251,204
Doctorate degree3,869,1541,727

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PK started DQYDJ in 2009 to research and discuss finance and investing and help answer financial questions. He's expanded DQYDJ to build visualizations, calculators, and interactive tools.

PK lives in New Hampshire with his wife, kids, and dog.

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