how much money do you make, part 2

When I asked people last week to anonymously share how much money they make, I had no idea that we’d get nearly 2,000 responses.

A lot of people suggested putting the data in a spreadsheet or other format that would allow us to group it by categories or otherwise make it more useful. This is not a small project, but we’re more than halfway there — thanks to reader James McDonald, who created a script that pulled information from all the comments put it in the correct categories in a spreadsheet (by magic, I think?), saving a huge amount of potential data entry time.

The spreadsheet still needs to be cleaned up a little bit more, so I’m posting it here in the hopes that someone will take it upon themselves to figure out what to do with it from here. Or that a team of you will, or something like that.

You can download it here.

Late-breaking update! Another reader, Chris, took the info and categorized all the salary data, and even included comparisons to Indeed’s salary checker. You can download that at the link above too.

Another update: If you’d like to take crowdsourcing a step further, you can access a shared, editable spreadsheet of this data here — thanks to reader Khushnood Viccaji — and you can edit it to help clean it up. Please edit only the entries which are clearly inaccurate (and if anyone has suggestions on how to better control the editing process, I’m all ears).

{ 77 comments… read them below }

  1. Holly*

    Oh wow, this is amazing! Especially Chris’ version, comparing the average salaries. And I know it varies by region, but ouch, it’s painful to see such a large gap between myself and others with my title.

    1. Bea W*

      I felt really really bad for the few people in clinical research who answered. Ouch. A CRA or a DM type role making under 50k? ouch ouch ouch and ouch. That makes me cry for you.

  2. Tiff*

    I don’t always goof off at work, but when I do, it’s with some of the smartest mofos found on the internet.

  3. O*

    That is so awesome! Loved seeing all the librarians/archivists, most salaries on par with what I thought, but some just made me drool

  4. Brett*

    Wow, a lot of responses.
    I’ll get take Chris’ version and start attaching point locations to them for lat/long mapping so we can create some spatial visualizations. This will give me an excuse to work on my mapbox skills. Mapping by salary and by discrepancy from indeed would be interesting. (Mapping by experience might be interesting too)

    Anyone out there really good with d3? I can do d3.geo reasonably well, but have not worked with the rest of the visualizations.

    1. Brett*

      Okay, here is what I am thinking.
      I’ll do a point basis for specific cities, and then use polygons for regions and states, so that I aggregate up Portland into Oregon into Pacific Northwest, as an example.

      For each geographic feature, I’ll do a histogram of salary distribution and discrepancy distribution. Not sure how many histogram bins I’ll use, but I’ll use Jenk’s algorithm (using the entire dataset) to determine them.

      Then I will create two overview maps, one for median salary and one for median discrepancy? And color code the maps by these while having pop-ups on the feature that will show the histograms as chart?

      I am open to any other ideas for geographic comparison.

  5. Mary*

    This is an AMAZING example of crowd-sourcing! Kudos to everyone who responded and those who have compiled the data for the rest of us!!!! :) :) :)

  6. Jubilance*

    Wow this is great! I was interested in helping with the data entry when the post was at 500 or so responses, but once it hit 2000 I was out of my league. Thanks to James and Chris for the work!

  7. Anonymous*

    It’s good to know that I make more than the average field tech in my region. It’s actually quite a bit more. Go me!

  8. KC*

    The readership on this blog is full of really kick-ass people. Many thanks to James and Chris, and to everyone else who shared their data!

  9. Adam*

    I have always considered Computer Programming to be a modern day form of High Sorcery. Sure I know it’s all based on math and reason and is perfectly explainable if you care to pay attention, but you might as well be speaking Elvish to me. Very impressed people could pull all this together.

  10. Anon Accountant*

    Thank you to those who summarized this data. That’s very impressive and will serve as a good benchmark of salary by geographic locations.

  11. Realistic*

    As far as I’m concerned, this is all witchcraft, magic, and voodoo. And it’s damned impressive. Thank you AAM, James and Chris!!

  12. Glorified Plumber*

    Excellent job James and Chris. Shout out to Chris at the UW, go Dawgs.

    AG, I must say, I was impressed at the plethora of data that flowed into the comments section. Also, I was surprised at many of the absences.

    Namely, I recall going back, and I didn’t see one: doctor, veterinarian, dentist, etc. that from a pure percentage standpoint, there would have been more of. However, you did get dental techs, doctors office people, veterinary techs, etc. As much as it was a useful exercise to see people’s salaries, you now know a LOT more about exactly who your audience is.

    In a few months, you should do it again, but with a much more regimented data entry template. I.e. copy/paste this in, fill out the numbers, then talk about it AFTER that section. Would help streamline the data entry/cleanup substantially.

    1. NewDoc*

      I’m a resident (have my MD, in post-medical school specialty training), and I make ~$50K per year as an exempt employee working 60-80h/week in the Southeast (80h is the max we are legally allowed to work). Didn’t reply before because residency is an in-between period where you’re working (and have an income — yay!) but also sort of an apprentice, and the salary isn’t representative of what doctors make once they’ve completed residency.

    2. ADL*

      Allison – if you want to do this in the future again, just a thought to do a Google Form – which dumps it in spreadsheet – which is then uniform. It won’t save in the comments though for all to read – but people could have a viewer only version of the Google spreadsheet to see everything while it’s still raw.

  13. K-Anon*

    Bummer, I can’t access dropbox at work. I look forward to checking it out tonight. (if i remember, which i probably won’t)

  14. EngineerGirl*

    I just downloaded it – a quick survey shows some data points in the first column in the incorrect place, so a little more editing is needed, and some sanity checks. Some people are showing 400+k a month with only 3 years experience (not believable) A look at the comments shows the real salary.

    So not quite ready for prime time yet, but well on the way!

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yes — to be clear, James’ spreadsheet used an automated script to pull the data and categorize it, but it’s automated so it’s not perfect yet and I’d still need someone to go through it and clean it up. It’s there for anyone who wants to take it and do something with it.

      Chris’ version is cleaned up but doesn’t look at all the data, just specific pieces of it (and adds in more, with the comparisons).

      So they’re both different and both useful in different ways.

      1. Khushnood Viccaji*

        Perhaps James’ sheet can be uploaded as a shared spreadsheet on Google Drive ?
        After that, people can update whatever small things they notice that need to be corrected.

    2. Anon*

      Yes, I noticed for example, mine didn’t pick up location. I wonder if there’s a way to make individual changes to this without compromising the data.

  15. Anon*

    I think one thing to think about as far as experience/salary correlation goes.

    For a lot of entry level positions, you might put that you have 3-4 years of experience (half of those being in retail/burger flipping/internships.)

    When you’re in a managerial position, you might also put 3-4 years of experience but really mean that you have 3 years of managerial experience, plus 5-10 years of random work experience that doesn’t apply to your job.

    1. Anon*

      Yes, the experience factor is off a bit. For instance, I found my response in Chris’s spreadsheet (which is awesome), but noticed instead of pulling in 1 year under my current title, it pulled the 15+ years I worked to get where I am. My original response had both…

      1. Anonymous*

        Same. I had indicated my experience in the field, as well as my experience in the role. The spreadsheet pulled the former, but shouldn’t salary data comparisons use the latter?

        1. Zahra*

          Experience in the role = time you’ve been at that particular position? If so, experience in the field is more important to determine your salary, no?

        2. Chris*

          Regarding experience, the short answer was that I looked for the total exp. number that looked most relevant to the job.

          When I was tabulating the data, I tried to look for experience that was relevant to the job (or that appeared relevant in the comments). i.e. If you had 1 year experience as a manager, but 5 years additional industry experience, I labeled it as 6.

          Now, if you had 1 year exp. as a manager, 5 years in the same industry, and 5 years as a waiter, or something that didn’t seem relevant to the position, I ignored the 5 yrs. exp. from the waiting job and used 6 (the 1 yr. as a manager and the 5 yrs. of exp. in the industry).

          Hope that clears up the experience issue.

  16. Windchime*

    Darn, I am blocked by the firewall at work. I’m interested to see the results. That was such an interesting thread!

  17. Current Job Seeker*

    Oh wow, thank you to everyone who worked on this. As someone who just came across this blog in 2014, I am thoroughly impressed and appreciate.

  18. Pretty sure my data is missing*

    I can’t find my data on either of the two charts. I understand that the second one excluded some data intentionally, but I thought the first one should have everybody.
    I’m the student affairs officer who works with Fulbright in California.
    By the way, the spreadsheets are still really cool. I’m not trying to disparage them!

  19. Jean*

    Far out, groovy, and other highly complimentary words. The cooperation on this site gives me hope for humanity. (I have lots of other hopes for humanity, but I’m always glad to have more.) I’m not a numerical thinker so I can’t address this in your language, James and Chris, but I can say “Awesome. Amazing. THANK YOU.”

  20. QualityControlFreak*

    Oooh! Statistics! Shiny!

    This online community rocks. Thanks to all of you, and AAM for creating a place for this sort of thing to happen.

  21. Therese*

    Kind of sad that not a lot of Floridians didn’t answered or don’t read this blog. I’m feeling more and more the need to relocate to a bigger city for better job opportunities. Making$10/hour is getting old :(

    P.S. I love these charts and looking forward to reading through this data.

  22. Anony*

    Thank you James and Chris! Thank you Alison for doing this post and for everyone who posted. I was so excited to see my data included in the spreadsheet. It’s amazing how knowledgable people are out there. It shows that there are always people with skill levels above and below you.

  23. Archival Footage*

    On the e first sheet, my day rate appears as a yearly salary, which might mess up any conclusions. $500 a day is not $500 a year.

  24. Not So NewReader*

    Finally, got around to looking at this.

    The BEST. Dunno what else to call it.

    It’s a privilege to watch this unfold and to see the outcomes. I feel really fortunate to have fallen into this site and to be able to participate.

    We have some serious brain power among us. Every day I feel I have learned something new on this blog. This one though, takes the prize though because it’s a group project. I feel I got to know a little bit more about the people who are reading and commenting here.

    Just curious, Alison, were you surprised by any of this? If yes,what surprised you the most?

  25. HAnon*

    I’m not sure if anyone has pointed this out, but “Web Designer” and “Web Developer” are not interchangeable terms regarding salary, regardless of what some companies seem to think (Web Developer is strictly back-end and commands a considerably higher salary, while web designer is front-end and commands a lower salary) but there are lots of companies trying to combine the two into one role, and muddling the pool with confusing job descriptions. There are a lot of “Web Designer” ads saying they want someone who can design websites, when what they really mean is they want a Developer who can also design. It’s tricky, so I wouldn’t necessarily go by the salary checker on this one.

    1. Anon*

      Right? There’s one job posting that I’ve been eyeing, but they basically want an admin who can also hard code. Um, what? And which pay scale do you think they’re going to use?

  26. EA*

    I didn’t have a chance to post in the original thread, and so, with that in mind, it would be cool if this could be maybe a yearly or “every 6 months” post (and perhaps with some stricter formatting “guidelines”, to make it easier for the data scraping/analysis)

  27. Nobody in particular*

    I feel like the biggest dorkface in the world because I don’t have Excel on my computer. Going to have a look at the comments section of the original post instead.

    1. Khushnood Viccaji*

      Hey NIP, you don’t need to feel like that at all… :)
      If you have a Google Account, you can download the XLS file from this post, and upload it into Google Drive to view it.

  28. Tiffany In Houston*

    This is AWESOME. Thank you to the folks who pulled this together! I’m sharing with friends!

  29. Laura*

    I don’t have the skills to work on this list, but what would be MOST helpful is adding a column for industry. A “Director of Development” could mean so many things. It would also be easier if we could sort by industry. Does anyone know a simple way to take a stab at this?

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