how much money do you make?

It’s hard to get real-world information about what jobs pay. Online salary websites are often inaccurate, and people can get weird when you ask them directly.

So to take some of the mystery out of salaries, it’s the annual Ask a Manager salary survey.

Fill out the form below to anonymously share your salary and other relevant info. (Do not leave your info in the comments section! If you can’t see the survey questions, try this link instead.)

When you’re done, you can view all the responses in a sortable spreadsheet.

{ 222 comments… read them below }

      1. Bad Wolf*

        I’m a freelancer as well. My income can be wildly different from year to year (like $0 – $100k different). So I just took an average over the last 5 years. I hope that’s ok.

    1. Not So Little My*

      It’s multiple choice so I selected one for how I present at work and another for how I identify (both are minorities in my field).

    2. Dina*

      Also, if anyone else feels the need to yell about the gender question in one of the survey open fields (as I saw when scrolling through the data), maybe don’t. We can all see it.

  1. Fluffy Initiative*

    I’m so thankful that you do this every year!
    One note – on the homepage, once I filled out the form, it left a huge white space – not sure if the code can be cleaned up to resize the area for this post once it’s been completed?

    1. Czhorat*

      She’s doing wonderful and important work.

      A couple of these are a bit surprising to me.

    2. Name_Required*

      Same. Big white space. Not sure if that’s because I didn’t sign into Google? Giving Google anymore information than they already have about me makes me nervous…

      1. Dina*

        It’s because the form is embedded in a big iFrame. Alison/the developers she works with could probably resize the frame but people would have to scroll more as they fill out the survey.

    3. A Girl Named Fred*

      Agreed! Thank you to Alison for hosting and thank you to everyone who fills the survey out! I’ve been in the “trying to figure out a career change” phase for a long while, and I think using this might help me get a better reference point with solid data instead of just “Well, people say that XYZ pays well, so maybe that?” (Obviously there’s more to career than JUST compensation, but given I’m on the low end of these salaries, I wouldn’t mind moving up a touch!)

    4. The Original K.*

      I had the big white space too – made me wonder if the form went through successfully.

    1. The Real Fran Fine*

      Same! I just received my salary increase this year (much earlier than previous years) and it was way above my company’s usual range for merit increases without a role change (17%). I’m curious to see if the major bump was due to a big change in market rate for my role and experience level.

      1. The Real Fran Fine*

        So I’ve had a chance to submit and review the doc this afternoon, and I see that my new salary seems to be perfectly in-line for my role/experience level/location. That means my well above average raise was really a market adjustment. Good on my manager for staying on top of that and advocating for me to get that large of an increase to remain competitive (and keep up with inflation).

      2. Spreadsheets and Books*

        I’m in the same boat! I got a title bump, but my functional role isn’t changing. 25% including base and bonus.

        I think I could probably earn more working elsewhere, but I like my job and am well compensated for how chill it is most of the time.

  2. JMA*

    Just curious, would there be any use for total compensation information in a future survey? I filled out the survey for my salary info, but my benefits, including healthcare coverage and pension benefits make up a big part of my overall compensation package, and are also a big part of why I’ve been at my current employer for as long as I have.

    1. M2RB*

      Agreed, the benefits at my new position have effectively given me a significant raise from my prior position, and have a big impact on taking the position even though it is hybrid (I wanted fully remote).

      1. Not Your Sweetheart*

        I also agree. My take home pay isn’t awesome, and PTO is almost criminally low, but my company pays 100% of medical, dental, vision, life, and long-term disability insurance. the only premium I pay for is short-term disability. That was a huge factor in taking this job.

    2. Hlao-roo*

      I think that could fall under “If your income needs additional context, please provide it here:” if you wanted to add a bit of context along the lines of “benefits for this job are excellent.”

      It would be cool to see how people’s total compensation (salary + healthcare + retirement contributions + anything else) stacks up, but I think that may be impractical. Some companies provide their employees with total compensation information (ex. your salary is $50,000, your total compensation is $50,000 salary + $8,000 employer healthcare contributions + $6,000 employer retirement contributions = $64,000) but other companies don’t. And even for companies that do, it’s not something most people know off the tops of their heads the way they know their industry/job title/salary/etc.

      1. Helen Taylor*

        I didn’t even think to add paid leave (a legal requirement) or healthcare (provided free to everyone, funded by general taxation) or even a pension (another legal requirement although they do vary a lot) as these are so taken-for-granted in my country (UK). Is there a way to go back in and add this info?

      1. Betty*

        I think my W2 actually listed the value of my health insurance, and I know my 401k breaks out my contributions/employer match/other employer contributions [we get part of our bonuses as 401k contributions and part as cash]

    3. Usernamegeneric*

      I’m also wondering about this — on paper my salary is slightly under average for my field but the benefits are excellent, the flex work options save me a lot of money, and the overtime policy is much more financially generous than is common in my field. So it’s not apples to apples. Despite all this I am job searching but I think this info is very important.

    4. Reluctant Mezzo*

      So true! My actual compensation isn’t that great, but the benefits are golden.

  3. Ask a Manager* Post author

    I’m thinking about also doing a survey of paid time off — ideas for that welcome (keeping in mind that it needs to stay relatively simple to get large amounts of people to fill it out). I’m thinking of just total amount of PTO, then broken out by vacation and sick (if relevant), maybe paid holidays on top of that, and something on unlimited time off (maybe if you have unlimited, what you actually take), with the same questions about industry, experience level, location, and demographics.

    1. Owlette*

      This would be so helpful to see. I feel like my company offers a lot less PTO and holidays than industry standard.

    2. ForestHag*

      I would love to see that, as I am currently job searching outside my industry (higher education), and I keep hearing/getting told that higher ed has amazing PTO and no one can beat it. But with the companies I’ve looked at, the PTO is comparable to what I’m getting now, and sometimes better – and I’ve been at my same institution for 15 years, so I’m in a higher PTO tier than most.

      I would also enjoy seeing something around other benefits as well, like health insurance, if that is doable.

      1. ampersand*

        Some higher ed institutions have great benefits—it’s what keeps employees there when pay isn’t awesome or keeping up with COL.

        I switched jobs from one university with a lot of PTO and quite good health insurance (it was paid for by the institution) to another that had relatively little PTO where I had to pay for my health insurance.

        What I’ve learned is to look for places that have time off at the end of the year/holidays. Those that do often have better benefits. This may not be across the board applicable, but it’s a starting point!

        1. Tolerable, I suppose*

          Same here with higher ed–the pay is on the lower end, but the PTO is very generous and everyone gets an additional 15% from the employer put towards a retirement plan.

      2. Nerfmobile*

        When I was a staff member at a University, the PTO benefits were much better than for-profit companies could offer. That was 30+ years ago, though, and I think now, for professional-level jobs, the PTO offerings are much more similar.

        1. Porch Gal*

          Currently working as a staff member (not faculty) at a college in the US. Pay is meh, but there is a ton of PTO. New hires get 4 weeks PTO plus 12 sick days plus 17 designated holidays (or days when the college is closed and staff is not expected to work. For 2024 that will include December 23 through January 1. Also includes Friday July 5th and the day after Thanksgiving). It totals to about 7 weeks of paid time off. And we have the option to buy another week if we want to!

    3. SpaceySteph*

      I would love to see this, but please make sure you include country demographics there!

      1. Freya*

        This – Australia gets 4wks annual leave and 2wks sick leave minimum, plus 11-14 public holidays depending on which state you’re in and your working pattern (working on public holidays attracts extra pay, so in some states, after 7pm on Christmas Eve and NYE is a public holiday, so that people working at that time are legally required to be compensated extra).

        And practically nowhere outside Australia (mandatory) and New Zealand (negotiable) has long service leave (in Australia, if you’ve worked for the same business for 10+ years (depending on the state), they’re required to give you enough leave to sail to England, spend a week with your family, and sail back. Dates back to white colonisation and the mid-1800s).

        So here, getting 4wks annual leave is unremarkable, but in the USA, it would be considered generous.

    4. LW*

      Could you include a field about how many years someone has been at that job since that so often impacts vacation time? I think my vacation time is at or just below industry standard for year 1, but it takes longer than normal to jump to the next tier. Having data to back that up would be amazing.

      1. Hlao-roo*

        That’s a good call! “How many years have you worked at your current company/organization” would be a useful field.

      2. periwinkle*

        Yes, the number of years is definitely relevant for my organization. Our PTO accrual rate increases at intervals – every 5 years, I think. And we do have lots of employees who have been here 30 or more years.

        Oh, this might get too complicated, but it would be interesting to see PTO rollover as well. My org allows a generous number of hours in your PTO bank; there’s no use-it-or-lose-it but you stop accruing once you hit that limit. Meanwhile, my spouse’s org has an annual max rollover.

      3. Throwaway Account*

        Maybe it should include YOUR PTO and questions about company policy for PTO – like new hires get x PTO, c-suite gets different PTO than others, etc.

        Sounds like a nightmare to create the questions tho.

    5. Ellen*

      Would love to see this! I hope my company is not alone in providing a set amount of vacation but an unlimited amount of sick time on top of that, so it would be great if that could be accounted for in the potential answers.

      1. Extroverted Bean Counter*

        We are highly likely not to work for the same company, and mine does exactly that as well :)

        It’s really great, honestly. I’m not sure I could easily adjust to a place where I needed to use bucketed time for doctor’s appointments, or have to make the call to use up a limited day vs. struggle to be productive on days when my kids are home sick, or I’m not feeling well but not so unwell that I can’t keep on top of email etc… The nebulous flexibility of “we are not well in my home today, but I’ll be as productive as I can be” is very freeing.

    6. Decidedly Me*

      For unlimited, what do you take and what is the minimum could be good. In my experience, a lot of those have minimums.

    7. WhyIsEverythingBananas*

      I think parental, paternity, and maternity leave would be great to add in if you can – length, pay or top-up, etc.
      For context on this in Canada, companies a required to allow you up to 18 months of protected job leave if you’ve been with the company somewhere in the range of 6-7 months – regardless of company size. However, they are not required to PAY you for any of that time. Many companies choose to offer a top up for either maternity leave (birth-parent only), or for 15-17 weeks regardless of parental gender – or sometimes for less (my husband’s currently company offers 6 weeks of salary top-up to 92% of your salary, but only for the birth mother. It’s bizarre to me). So even here, there’s a big disparity in what is offered for birth and adoptive parents in terms of leave/pay.

      1. Immaterial*

        interested in this as well, as well as any birth parenr/ non birthing parent differences

      2. I should really pick a name*

        This sounds off to me.

        In terms of legal requirements:
        You’re paid $55 of your wage up to $668/week.
        There’s maternity leave for the birthing parent, and then parental leave for both parents. And parental leave is the same for birth and adoptive parents.

        1. Statler von Waldorf*

          It sounds off because it completely ignores that you get EI (unemployment) during that leave time. WhyIsEverythingBananas comment implies that it is unpaid leave, which is not the case. You’re absolutely right that you do receive 55% of your wage up to $668 / week.

          While technically EI is paid by the Canadian government, employers do pay in part. The current employer tax rate for EI is 5.95% of payroll (up to $66k per year per employee) to be remitted to the government with their payroll taxes. So employers are paying for it in part, just not directly. They are right that there is no legal requirement for them to “top off” your salary, but some companies do that anyways to increase employee retention and morale.

          I also don’t know where that 6-7 month figure came from. The qualifier for parental leave in Canada is 600 insured hours in the previous 52 weeks. At 40 hours per week, that’s only 15 weeks, or less than four months of full time work.

          1. Ripley*

            Employees pay into EI as well – it comes off every cheque. It’s our money we get back when we claim EI.

          2. Betty*

            That’s really interesting. I’m pretty sure maternity leave isn’t eligible for unemployment in the US… seems like changing that would be an interesting approach to increasing paid leave…

      3. Mid*

        I think that would be helpful, and might be helpful to have an option for “offers legal minimum” since it varies so much by country/state, because offering the legal minimum, however good that is, is also still the minimum. So if your country requires 9 months fully paid parental leave, putting 9 months paid leave isn’t a helpful comparison point, but “offers legal mjnimum” is.

      4. Waiting on the bus*

        I’d like this information as well, but I think it should be a different survey. It seems like a different topic to me.

        Since PTO and paternity leave are things that don’t change that much, maybe we could have alternating surveys for things like that? Salary/wages are interesting on a yearly basis since they are influenced by many outside factors, but PTO/paternity leaves tend to be more static, ime.

    8. Ihmmy*

      Maybe also have folks note in the mandatory minimum, if known (i.e. Saskatchewan has 3 weeks vacation, most other provinces 2 to start)

      1. Dina*

        Was going to say this! The survey data for Australia would be pretty boring, as everyone seems to just go with our generous minimums (4 weeks annual leave, 2 weeks sick leave, pro-rated if you’re part time) unless there are extenuating circumstances.

        1. londonedit*

          Same in the UK – we have a minimum of 28 days including 8 public holidays, so the stingy companies go with 20 days’ annual leave and the less stingy ones usually go with 25. There are a few differences like whether you also get the time between Christmas and New Year on top, and some companies offer things like personal wellness days, but generally it’s all broadly the same. Unlimited holiday is rare, and sickness has nothing to do with holiday.

    9. Cat Tree*

      I’m not sure how you would organize it, but sometimes sick time would be separate and sometimes combined. I have a set amount of vacation but unlimited sick time. It would also be interesting to see paid parental leave and bereavement or compassionate leave if that wouldn’t be too complicated.

    10. Maple Lead*

      I was actually going to make a comment that there should be spots for PTO (or multiple spots as I have separate “banks” for the different leaves (i.e. vacation, sick time, emergencies/ bereavement, etc.).

      1. Irish Teacher.*

        Yes, this is more or less what I was thinking. Especially across cultures. It seems odd to me to put vacation and sick leave in one category but not include maternity leave, bereavement leave, etc. I would put sick days mentally in the same category as those and completely separate from vacation time. Things you may use many of one year and not at all the next as opposed to your set vacation time.

    11. Usernamegeneric*

      Yes please! My job’s PTO policy is one of the things that I like best about it, even though the base salary is mediocre on paper.

    12. Irish Teacher.*

      How about including whether sick leave is certified or uncertified (as in whether it requires a sick note)? In my job, I have 7 days rolling across two years uncertified (where I can just call in, no questions asked) but 6 months full pay and I think another 6 on half-pay certified, rolling across four years.

    13. Brain the Brian*

      What about including a question about how you actually take for everyone, not just those who are given unlimited time off. I take far less than I’m allotted.

    14. Mim*

      Yes I love this!

      While I think it makes sense to include both paid holidays and PTO to be taken on days of the employee’s choosing, I would like to see separate numbers for paid days off when business is closed vs. paid days off by choice, if that makes sense. (Business closed days including both closed for national holidays and other random paid days when your employer is closed — probably not as common, but my employer throws in a few here and there such as a couple of days around big holidays, or a random day if there is a long stretch with no national holidays.)

      I think it would also be important to clarify how people should account for things like longer seasonal breaks. I’m thinking specifically of teachers, but I also know some university staff have time off in the summers. My understanding is that this is usually (almost always?) technically *unpaid* time off, but that depending on district policies some may elect to have their in-season pay stretched out over 12 months — I assume that wouldn’t count as PTO since the pay isn’t for the TO period, but it could definitely cause some confusion without specific guidance. And as I type this, it occurs to me that a category for unpaid mandatory time off would make sense.

      Separate from all of that, I wonder if it could be interesting to also have people offer up numbers about how many days/hours of PTO they actually used in the previous year. This could be especially useful for people who have “unlimited” PTO, but I’d also be curious to see how many folks are just not using all of their PTO benefits.

    15. Governmint Condition*

      I would include an “other” field. Here, we get vacation, sick, and “personal leave,” each of which is tracked separately and has its own rules. (Not including government holidays.)

    16. Isben Takes Tea*

      I love all your suggestions/breakouts: I have a “generous” (for US) PTO bucket, but only 4 paid holidays, so it evens out to moderate.

    17. Alright Alright Alright*

      I would love to see that! My company is very flexible overall, but imo our PTO doesn’t reflect that posture (and we’re in an industry where unlimited PTO is normal). It would be interesting to compare.

    18. KTM*

      Something about your ability to rollover or bank PTO might also be interesting to see. For example, we are allowed to rollover very little of our PTO – the company’s stance is that you should be actively using it during the year to avoid burnout. My sister however can rollover ridiculous amounts of PTO from year to year.

    19. Betty*

      I have fixed vacation but unlimited sick time, so it would be easier for me to answer if these were broken out, or if there was an initial “do you have one PTO bucket (answer question 2) or separate sick/vacation time (answer questions 3 & 4)”?

    20. I Have RBF*

      Yes. I suggest something like

      Tenure at job:

      Total PTO (days):
      Sick time:

      If unlimited, put “U” and in parentheses put how much you usually take.

      My current company is pretty astounding on this – unlimited vacation, unlimited sick for salaried employees. They formally track the vacation, but not the sick time. This has been astoundingly helpful with my wife having cancer and chemo and all of that.

    21. zolk*

      My org has earned vacation (X days/month earned or banked, where X increases with time worked at the org) and then separately the org offers specific times off (a major holiday closure of 1.5-2 weeks, paid). That might be hard to show on a simple survey, but it’s interesting as a comparable I think.

    22. Nook Nook*

      I would love to see PTO. I think I’m on the higher end with a floating holiday and ability to purchase an additional week, but curious of others in my position.

    23. fhqwhgads*

      Yes please. I think that it would be valuable to have separate questions for “what you get” and “what you take”, not just for unlimited people, but anyone. Also whether any is allowed to rollover or not.

    1. Drago Cucina*

      Yes, there are so many of us here. Whenever I recommend AAM I always say, ‘You’ll find lots of librarians.’ It’s actually more productive than many of the library sites/pages/blogs.

    2. Myrin*

      They’ve been there last year, too, but I believe it was the first time then (I remember because, well, it’s my field, and I think there was even a little appreciative discussion in the comments). I’m not in an English-speaking country so this is the first I’m hearing of this wonderful acronym, thank you for that!

    3. Throwaway Account*

      Yes, thanks! I am an academic librarian, I used Education for the first job question and GLAM for the second.

      Did others do that too?

      1. 2eyessquared*

        Oh I didn’t even think of that! I’m an academic/medical librarian and I just put GLAM twice

      2. hollybrarian*

        I did the same – it was nice to be able to represent being an academic library worker for once, instead of having to choose or just put that I’m an “educator”

  4. Nicotena*

    I admit, last time I took this survey I came away feeling awful – I think the audience who is eager to fill out the poll skews towards the higher side, and those of us who suspect we don’t make much tend to shy away a bit. I’m going to fill it out anyway because I don’t want to be part of the problem. Just putting it out there in solidarity for anyone who feels the same way!!

    1. Miette*

      I think your concern is valid, and hopefully this kind of information will give you the kind of real-world info that could inform a future job search/request for raise for you. I feel like some industries (like nonprofits, for example) skate by on not offering market rates because “uwu we’re a nonprofit, it’s not about MONEY, it’s about the MISSION,” when if they really want talent and experience and longer-term employees, they’re going to have to pay a livable wage.

      1. Justin*

        The fact that I am highly-paid at a nonprofit after being poorly paid at others has convinced me that that’s exactly how the others swindled me. I include my high salary now to show people it’s possible.

        1. mentha spicata*

          I agree! I make more money at a nonprofit than I ever would have at my previous for-profit company, doing substantially the same work.

    2. Hills to Die on*

      Been feeling the opposite – I know I am underpaid for my title / area. It’s motivating to me to see what others make so I know what I am capable of earning. I understand that it’s hard though to see what others have when you don’t. :(

      1. Nicotena*

        It’s not really that so much – I’m happy for everyone else! – as “wow, I must really suck, I guess.” Part of it is that nonprofits have a huge range in terms of fields, issues, and roles within the org so it’s hard to pull it out.

        1. Hills to Die on*

          I am sure you don’t suck! It’s hard for me not to internalize things so I get it. I know amazing, brilliant people who make way less than me and complete walnuts who make more.

        2. EMP*

          I’m currently job searching in tech and have been offered compensation ranging over almost 100k. As in, the highest has been 100k more than the lowest offer. I’m the same person doing the same work! It’s all down to the company’s policies, where they are financially, and what they can get away with.

    3. Irish Teacher.*

      It definitely over-estimates the average. I have an above average salary and tend to be significantly below average on this. Generally, 2/3rds to 3/4s are higher than me and yeah, the currency makes a difference as my salary would be higher if converted to dollars, but that doesn’t fully explain it.

      1. Media Monkey*

        it’s definitely country dependent as well. i’m pretty well paid for the UK but i think my salary would be on the lower side for my industry/ level/ amount of experience in the US. and i’m in london!

    4. FricketyFrack*

      I was more excited to do it the less I made – I am SO tired of seeing job-related forums where it seems like everyone is making 6 figures and complaining that their job offers were “only” $10k over what they were making before or whatever. r/recruitinghell was terrible for that. Like, where is the place for those of us who clawed and scraped our way to $45k (or the equivalent in a lower COL area than Denver)? I think it’s important to show that there are MANY of us in what people consider “good,” professional jobs that are barely getting by.

      I got a promotion in October so I’m *finally* making enough that I can dream of a day when I’ll be able to save – after student loans are paid – but I’m still nowhere near 6 figures. I can just afford groceries a little more easily.

    5. Myrin*

      Oh, I feel you so much on this.
      Last year was the first time I participated because it was the first time I had a “real”, full-time, “adult” job to report. I had never participated or even looked at the results before, for exactly the reasons you state.

    6. Throwaway Account*

      That is a good point! But some folks will think they are under or overpaid and the opposite is true. We should all fill it out so we have all the information!

    7. Excel Gardener*

      I think it’s also that a work advice blog naturally attracts very career oriented people

    8. Michigander*

      I suspect I’ll be on the lower side, but since I live in the UK I don’t have to pay for things like health insurance, medical care, prescriptions, etc. I’ll have to see if I can sort by currency or country because comparing my salary to American salaries might be a bit depressing!

      1. Irish Teacher.*

        Pretty sure you can sort by country. I know I got all the Irish ones together last year.

    9. anon24*

      Last time this survey came out I made far less than ANYONE on the list. I was severely depressed for weeks afterwards. I no longer look. I also don’t know if I should fill it out now, because I’m unemployed and not starting my next job until May (but have a job lined up!)

    10. SBQQ_Custom_Object__c*

      I completely get it. I searched for other people with my job title and found someone who matched my entry exactly (age range, industry, years of exp, title, everything!) and thought it was my entry until I saw they make $30k more than I do T_T

    11. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

      My salary is just a smidge above median per capita income for my city (2022 numbers) but is 5th lowest out of about 80 entries in the spreadsheet.

      I am very poor compared to the average AAMer. I am very average compared to the people I see at the grocery store.

    12. Nonanon*

      I believe I filled it out with stipend information when I was a grad student; I agree, data skew is likely due to completion bias (wherein higher earners are more likely to report their salary information vs. lower earners who are not) or even sample bias (higher earners are more likely to read AAM). That being said, it is important for as large a range as possible to fill it out; mo data, mo accuracy

  5. amyrlinn*

    Hey, to whoever filled this out as senior QA but fully remote, uh….y’all hiring? My job pays peanuts for how much experience I have, haha.

  6. I should really pick a name*

    For future surveys, Bachelor’s degree could be a more universal term to use than college degree (and more consistent with Master’s and Doctorate).

    1. WhyIsEverythingBananas*

      Yes! In Canada “college” means technical school or community college, and “colleges” do not offer accredited 4-year Bachelor’s degrees (though worth noting that 3-year Bachelor’s degrees also exist).

      1. FromCanada*

        Some colleges have started too offer 4-year degrees in Ontario. That used to be the distinction but it isn’t always right now.

      2. bamcheeks*

        Similar in the UK. Slightly complicated by a small number of universities whcih use a college structure to deliver teaching and pastoral care, but as a general rule college means further education not higher education.

      3. Stuff*

        That actually is what the word college means in California officially. The issue is college colloqially means universit, even though officially we never call universities colleges.

    2. Irish Teacher.*

      Maybe also something with associate’s to indicate anything higher than high school/secondary school but not a full Bachelor’s. In Ireland, we don’t have Associate degrees but we have PLC (Post-Leaving Cert.) courses and we have Higher Certificates and we used to have diplomas, but those have now been changed to ordinary level degrees, but anybody who graduated more than 20 years ago, would have done them as diplomas.

      Just an aside as I find it interesting, we use the word “college” the same way the Americans do. I just find it interesting that Ireland and the US share one term while the UK and Canada (and other places like Australia) share another. You would more expect the US and Canada to use one term and Ireland and the UK another.

      1. I should really pick a name*

        Canadians flip a coin to decide whether we go with the American or the British approach for things.

    1. WhyIsEverythingBananas*

      Massive traffic means it’s not sortable right now according to the popup I saw.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      The first couple of days that the survey is up are always tricky for sorting — so many people are in the sheet at once that it limits some of the normal sorting functionality. Try again at the end of the week and you’ll be able to sort (and there will be a lot more data then too).

    3. Hlao-roo*

      There’s often a lot of traffic on the first day (maybe two) that the survey goes up, and I think the sorting function doesn’t work when there are too many people viewing the page. You can download a copy and sort on that copy, or wait a day or three to be able to sort on the main (updated) spreadsheet.

    4. Czhorat*

      From the pulldown on top, go to DATA –> SORT SHEET –> SORT BY COLUMN __

      Just pick which column you want to sort by (say, C for industry).

    5. Anonymoose*

      Hover over the column icon and a little arrow will appear. Click that and a couple sort options will show up on a dropdown menu

  7. Amber Rose*

    I wonder if it would be beneficial to have a section for certifications in addition to education? For example, my specific career track (safety) has a pretty different pay schedule for someone who is just experienced in it versus someone with their CRSP/CSP.

    Either way, thank you Alison for doing this every year, it’s eye-opening every time. :)

    1. Alex*

      Yes yes! So many jobs have licenses, specialized training etc. If you’re a plumber or a med tech or a mechanic, there are going to be different incomes and job opps based on specialized education and licensing. It would help this site skew less white collar.

    2. M2RB*

      Agreed! In my profession (accounting in the USA), there are a LOT of certifications in addition to the CPA license – fraud examiners, management accountants, financial analysts, internal auditors, enrolled agents – and I’m sure that is true in many other professions, as well. Maybe a section for “any professional certifications” with some ranges of numbers? Not sure what the most relevant would be to encompass the wide variety of professions and certifications.

    3. Mid*

      So things don’t get down too into the weeds, maybe the question could be 1. Do you have any licenses or certifications related to your position? 2. If yes, are they legally required, industry standard but not legally required, or optional?

      (Some jobs require a license, so considering that an extra qualification doesn’t necessarily make sense. Some jobs don’t legally require it, but it’s so standard that it’s nearly impossible to get a job without a specific certification. And some jobs it’s a bonus to have certifications and can increase your pay, but don’t need it, so it’s fair to differentiate between those categories without diving too deep into the millions of permutations.)

  8. Caffeine please*

    I get stock that are a huge portion of my total comp. Sometimes that’s great others not so much. Since i joined the stock has doubled. Is that accounted in the question asking about bonus?

    1. Hlao-roo*

      I think that might fall under “If your income needs additional context, please provide it here:” instead of under “bonus/overtime.”

    1. Remote Worker*

      Same here. I can’t figure out if I should put the state/city my job is located, or the state/city where I live, which is very different.

    2. YarnEnvy*

      Same! Hoped this would be a field if “Fully remote” was chosen. My NYC company pays the same regardless of location (!), so I included the details in one of the notes fields: “Remote in STATE1 for a STATE2 company.”

      1. alex*

        Omg are they hiring? I live/work in the NYC metro for my job and though it’s a wonderful place, I’d like to own my own apartment someday

    3. bishbah*

      Personally, I would pick whichever location is determining my compensation. So if I’m employed in a HCOL area and paid accordingly but actually live and work somewhere cheaper, the HCOL location is more relevant to a salary comparison.

    4. Nonanon*

      Same; for location, I selected the state I live in, since it affects my taxes and ultimately my take-home income. I don’t “make more” than someone with my same title/description/salary living in my employer’s location, but I do lose less to taxes (and see no benefits from any public services not provided by a local grocery chain but that’s a different discussion for a different day)

    5. fhqwhgads*

      Since the labor laws apply to where the work is done, I’d assume you should put your state.

  9. FinanceBro*

    I feel like i posted this last yea, but there are almost ten million people employed in banking and finance it maybe should be an option in question 1, rather defaulting to business.

    1. bishbah*

      I’m in real estate finance, but I ended up choosing “Property or Construction,” since that’s more representative of my employer’s total line of business.

  10. TiffIf*

    I’m not sure where to place my industry – my company is in data analytics and our data is used by the insurance industry, finance industry, government, risk management industries and natural resource sectors. We’re Big Data.

  11. Justin*

    Oh yay it’s that time of year again.

    Has it been a whole year? Wow.

    I find that our demographics are always the most interesting part of this for me.

  12. ecnaseener*

    Thank you for doing this, as always! I just got the results of a salary survey in my field, but they’re not stratified at all — like, it lists the percentages of respondents for each income bracket, but without breaking it down by years of experience or anything. -_- So I appreciate you making the full data available, even if there are only ever a few respondents in my field!

    1. Anon of this one*

      I don’t, but my partner does (and together we’re around $750k/year or so) and we live in a high cost of living area. You wouldn’t think we make what we do looking at us. We have a pretty standard house for our area and a car each (mine is a tiny Toyota that is 10+ years old and he had a basic Ford sedan since he left college before finally getting a new Tesla about 5 years ago). We aren’t upgrading our phones every year or anything like that, buy off brands or in bulk, stay at cheap motels, fly in coach almost always, etc.

      The money goes to mortage and other living expenses, a lot to taxes (his taxes are higher than my gross income), a bit to extracurriculars (I take music lessons and he plays in an adult sports league). I help out a family member on a fairly regular basis who is struggling and I suspect I’ll be mostly covering their expenses in time. Honestly, a lot gets donated and a lot gets saved. We’ll be able to retire early if we want, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to work as long as possible. Our biggest luxury is travel. We travel more than most by having jobs that allow us to work abroad from AirBnBs and being able to afford to do so.

      My partner thinks what he gets paid is crazy, but it’s what the pay is for his role at his company. I grew up very poor (think homeless poor), so this is all weird for me. We’re very well aware that we’re lucky to be in the place that we are.

    2. mentha spicata*

      They’re probably using all of it to pay for childcare
      (I’m kidding… kind of)

    3. Generic Name*

      One of my close friends is a c-suite exec for a major aerospace company. From what I can tell, her money pays for her daughter’s college tuition, international travel (at least one trip a year), and saving for early retirement. She will be able to take 2 international trips a year in retirement.

    4. Excel Gardener*

      My ex-girlfriend’s father made this kind of money as a doctor in a lucrative specialty. At first glance his lifestyle wasn’t that different than that of a standard middle-to-upper middle class person, even though he lived in a medium cost of living area.

      But over time I did notice some indications of the wealth. He was able to pay for all four years of out of state college (including living expenses) for his four kids. He ate out a lot more than most people I know and generally ate out at sit down restaurants (not necessarily fancy ones, but definitely more expensive than fast casual). He owned a fairly large plot of land (multiple acres) with a 4000 square foot house and a smaller guest house. And he went on one international vacation per year.

      I also got the sense that he had pretty substantial savings and also gave a substantial portion to charitable, religious, and political causes; he mentioned at one point that he could probably retire in his mid-50s if he wanted.

    5. Sweet Clementine*

      I make close. I also live in an extremely high cost of living area, so currently I am trying to squirrel away money for a house. Some money goes to my parents, who are retired (and the extra cash helps). Some goes to my nephew for his future education. Some goes to charities, and friends. A good chunk goes towards travel to see family.

      That being said, I have only recently started making good money, and it is not easy for me to get past the scarcity I have always been accustomed to. So I try to be generous with people who have been /are in my position, even if they are too proud to take direct financial help.

    6. EMP*

      Expensive mortgage, then squirreling the rest of it away to be used for some combination of child’s college costs and retirement. I’ll probably buy a new car this year. Spouse and I have seen our joint income double over the last few years but besides the mortgage, we try to avoid lifestyle inflation since we’re very aware that if our industry hits a recession we may not be at this salary level forever!

    7. Rhymetime*

      What $500,000 means in expensive parts of California is very different than what it means in Michigan. Not to say it’s peanuts–and I live in expensive California and wish I made that much–but for someone who’s single without a mortgage, it’s a different experience than someone who’s a sole breadwinner for their family with a bunch of kids they want to put through college. There are multiple studies done in the past few years showing how much a household needs to make to purchase a home here, etc. and the results are eye-popping.

  13. Magnus Archivist*

    This survey always makes me really conscious of the salary ceiling for my field/position (GLAM) and the general underfunded nature of non-profits. It always breaks my brain a little bit to see so many six-figure salaries.

    1. Taryn*

      A few of them require currency conversion. There was a librarian who listed $560K, which was breaking my brain, until I noticed it was in NOK. That’s roughly $48K USD.

  14. Justin*

    I wonder if every site’s demographics tend towards the site owner/visible face. That’s not a criticism, I suspect the people who pay the most attention to me online are people of color too.

    1. Excel Gardener*

      There’s a lot of sorting like that online for sure. But some of this is also the genre of the site. Advice column readership in general skews heavily female.

    2. Jen*

      I think given the target/focal demographic, the depth of information shared can feel more revealing to POC and other minorities. My field and job aren’t niche at all, but they are so homogeneous, especially in leadership, that I know (or am 1 degree of separation from) all of my fellow Black women leaders. And I’m in the Bay Area, so not a small town by any means.

  15. Stuff*

    Could there be a question about whether we feel underpaid or not? I was given $42,000 with no negotiation when I went from a part time student assistant to a full time staff member to replace somebody who quit. That person was making $70,000 without a Master’s degree. I earned a Master’s degree right before my promotion (basically, I graduated and then my school switched me from student employee to staff member).

    I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    I am a manager.

    Yes, I am job searching.

    1. BellyButton*

      *picks jaw up off of floor* Oh no, you are being underpaid even if you had just your undergrad. There are very few places in the US where anyone could survive on $42,000, and certainly not in the Bay Area. We start entry level- admins and coordinators at $55,000! No one in my company makes less than $55k.

      Good luck!

      1. another Hero*

        Given some of the comments elsewhere from folks below the median here, I do want to point out that “There are very few places in the US where anyone could survive on $42,000” is a dramatic exaggeration. They might be living in ways that you wouldn’t want to, and certainly plenty of people are not getting by, but virtually everywhere in the US, people are surviving (and housed and fed, if not saving, having kids, or living free of money worries) on much less. I make significantly less in a small-but-not-that-small city (I work half-time, so it’s a trade-off I make on purpose; don’t drive, no kids, happy about both), and I save an appropriate percentage of my income (though not a high number of dollars), live alone, take vacations. Stuff is clearly underpaid unless there’s some serious information missing, because that’s *so* much less than the previous person in the role, but your sense of “possible” is a little off here. I’d be happy for everyone to make more–I don’t want my response to be used to argue that 42k is fine–but this post is so off-base that it erases a lot of people from existence.

        1. Stuff*

          Oh I’ll tell you what happened. A budget deficit. They increased my wage one step from my student assistant wage, despite my shifting over to full time. I’m hourly but it comes out to about $42,000 annually.

          This is, naturally, a horrible policy and I’m on the way out. I have a Master of Urban Planning and should have more earning potential. The problem is I can’t drive and lack funds to move to a new city.

          I do agree with you that much of the US gets by on less than $42K. Even I technically can (I have no car, the university pays my public transit costs, I have no student loan debt, and I rent a room in a crappy house, all of which helps), I just really don’t enjoy it.

          1. Stuff*

            Also I was promoted by a different person than who hired my predecessor, and the guy who promoted me is not a person I would feel comfortable discussing my pay with, it would be a severe cost in political capital and standing within my job to try. It was very much a “take it or leave it” affair, whereas my predecessor was able to negotiate what she was worth.

            This job is one where you have to constantly be watching your back on account of all the workplace politics, which creates situations like mine, and I’m only here because I can’t find urban planning work I can do without a driver’s license. The solution is to leave.

          2. another Hero*

            I mean I very much support you making more! I also categorically support not driving for just about any reason, so I don’t blame you for that either.

    2. Elea*

      Damn. I made that in 2015 working for small town rural government. I believe you can do better in a city, regardless of field. Unless it’s a nonprofit (winces in former social worker).

  16. BellyButton*

    Thank you so much for doing this and for all the people who answered. When doing comp analysis for my company I compare the answers here to my paid sites and I feel like it helps me validate the information I am getting.

  17. Maggie*

    Thank you for posting! I sorted by my career and was disappointed to see that a man with less education and a lower job title is making three times what any of the women were.

  18. IEanon*

    Every year I’ve completed this survey, I’ve gotten a rather large pay bump or promotion, and it’s been gratifying to be able to track how other salaries seem to have risen, too. I’m hopeful that the trend will continue!

    Even though our salaries are all public, it’s more useful to compare in a Google doc than to sort through my state’s database…

  19. Other*

    Can you please add “Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander” to the race options?

  20. Raia*

    It’s this time of year again! I get so inordinately excited for this that if I had more than one personal annual holiday I’d probably add this day lol

  21. 2eyessquared*

    I wish we didn’t have to put the city because it might affect the anonymity of the survey. So excuse my vague answer

    1. Czhorat*

      Unless you’re in a very niches industry in a very tiny city you’re probably not going to be found out, but I get it.

      Then again, I post here under my real name and have probably mentioned my industry a time or two, so it’d probably possible to find me if I posted there.

    2. Hlao-roo*

      You can write anything you want in the “City” field. For some examples, you can write “Greater NYC metro area” if you’re in a suburb or “Southern Indiana” if you’re OK giving a general region of your state.

      “Rural,” “small town,” “prefer not to say” are also all acceptable responses in the city field. The form won’t kick you out because “prefer not to say” isn’t an incorporated city in Ohio :)

    3. Rhymetime*

      I anonymized my job title which still describes what I do, and listed my location as a region (think Southern California as an example).

  22. I'm the Phoebe in Any Group*

    Alison, I am a contractor not a staffer. Should I fill this out?

    1. Mid*

      Yes! (I’m obviously not Alison) It’s still good data, just note you’re a contractor.

    2. Czhorat*

      Alison said above that she wanted freelancers to contribute, so I assume it’s a yes .

  23. Just Thinkin' Here*

    What kind of tracking is on this Google form? Does it track Google user names / account? I’m not clicking on the link until I understand the personal information security implications.

    1. Mid*

      Google forms (purportedly) don’t track personal information other than, in some cases, requiring someone to use their email address to prevent duplicate responses. This form does not require you to be signed in, so does not get any of your account information. On the very top of the form, below the title/header, there is an option to sign in if you want to save your progress and come back to it later. If that sign in option shows a cloud shape and your email address, you’re signed in. You can sign out before filling out the form, if you want.

      Alison specifically won’t have access to any personal information that you don’t supply yourself (and the demographic questions are optional.) Depending on the specific backend settings, she likely can’t see your email address even if you are signed in. Iirc, you only see email addresses when it’s specifically required by the form, or is specifically set up that way.

      If you’re concerned about privacy based on your location, you can always put a similar COL area, or the nearest metro area to further anonymize your information on the spreadsheet.

      If you’re broadly concerned about Google as a whole, that’s beyond my scope of knowledge.

    2. Czhorat*

      I submitted because I trust Alison and it’s for good reason.

      It also isn’t anything that needs to be secret.

  24. This is my day job*

    Love this, and since I’ve recently pivoted into HE, super interesting to know what my fellow tutors get!

    Also, can we have a section on disability? Alison, you’re always such a great advocate for us disabled workers so it would be really interesting to see how that translates into industry/pay.

  25. Winter*

    Please consider changing Child Care to Education (early childhood) for future surveys. In my country it’s a highly regulated sector with diploma/Bachelor/Master degree requirements depending on the role. It’s hard enough being viewed as glorified babysitters as it is, please at least acknowledge that we are educators as well as carers

    1. I think...*

      I think that’s covered in Education (primary/secondary). I’m reading child care more as nannies and au pairs, etc.

      1. Irish Teacher.*

        Early Childhood Education is separate from Primary/Secondary. Primary is from aged about 4/5/6 to somewhere between 10 and 12, depending on country and secondary is older than that, whereas Early Childhood Education is prior to formal education – preschool, daycare, maybe Kindergarten. Around 2-4 years old.

    2. Jane*

      Interesting- I selected Child Care as my sector because I work in before/after school childcare, plus summer camps (like the YMCA or Boys & Girls Clubs). If Child Care was changed to Early Childhood Education, it would no longer include me. But I’m all for adding Early Childhood Education as an option! Or how would you feel if it was included in Education, written like Education (early/primary/secondary)?

  26. Jane*

    I am a self-employed freelancer, paid hourly. I love the survey and want to participate but I am confused about your instruction to those of us who work like I do. I have never seen a yearly salary estimate calculated the way you describe. I suspect that if I WAS to take a full time position doing exactly what I do my gross salary would be approx half the number that your calculation brings me to.

    Am I the only one confused by this?

    1. Hlao-roo*

      Hmm, my take on the annualized equivalent is to avoid a situation where (for example) two people are hourly workers at a warehouse/retail store/etc. Both make $20/hour, but Person 1 works 20 hours per week and Person 2 works 50 hours per week (40 hours at their standard rate of pay and 10 hours at the overtime rate of $30/hour). If they both reported their annual earnings, Person 1 would report $20,800 per year and Person 2 would report $57,200 per year. It would look like there’s a huge pay disparity at this warehouse/store/etc. on the survey when the people are making the same hourly wage. So instead the survey asks Person 1 to report their annualized equivalent of $41,600 and Person 2 to report their annualized equivalent of $41,600 and state their overtime earnings of $15,600 separately.

      For your case, I think you could either report your actual annual earnings, or report your hourly rate x 40 hours/week x 52 weeks/year to calculate your “annualized equivalent.” I also see a freelancer above (Bad Wolf) says their earnings fluctuate year-to-year so they put in their average (actual) earnings from the past five years.

  27. Dorothy Zpornak*

    When it says “Administration” does that mean like higher ed administration, or are they talking about admin assistants?

  28. Joe*

    Bad survey,,, you ask closed end questions that make assumptions..
    Everyone doesnt work by the hour, or a 40 hour week.

    1. anon24*

      a question isn’t perfectly framed for your situation, please answer with your best approximation. Each year this survey gets thousands of responses, and there’s no way to make the questions fit every situation perfectly.

      What is your annual salary? If you are part-time or hourly, please enter an annualized equivalent — what you would earn if you worked the job 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year.

      If thousands of people were entering answers to open ended questions, things would quickly become an unsorted mess of meaningless data. Alison is doing the best she can to make a helpful tool that can be easily sorted. If you can’t make your answers fit, maybe don’t contribute in this one. (I didn’t).

    2. acmx*

      She asks for annual salary and gives the option to provide additional context for income.

  29. Raging Iron Thunder*

    It’s nice that this is being done… However this is not an accurate salary matrix. This will be representive of the AAM readership, and was duly noted by the complete lack of industries and job functions.

    This is really great demographic analysis of us, but will not be even remotely comparable to real life data from national statistical databases.

  30. Neurodiversity*

    If you’re asking race, can I ask next time to ask if you’re also native from the country and if you’re neurodivergent? Would be interesting to compare differences for those groups

    1. Irish Teacher.*

      I love those suggestions. Maybe an “uncertain” or similar option for neurodivergent,

  31. Helvetica*

    I love the person who works in the ocean! I get that it makes sense for your job but it did put a smile on my face to read that.
    Also, whoever other than me works in Belgium but for another country, in the same niche government sector as I do (though I put my country as my country of origin), I wonder if we have met :)

  32. Sarah M.*

    hey! Thank you for doing this work. Compensation transparency benefits us all; it has been a true joy to help lead a charge for cultural heritage job boards to require compensation information for all job postings. I have an Anonymous Salary Survey for Cultural Heritage Professionals – public historians, museum workers, historic preservationists, archaeologists. We have over 1k contributions thus far and it would be amazing to connect with your readers to help it grow. This survey is in response to other salary studies being hidden behind paywalls.

  33. US Based Professor*

    I’ve filled out the survey, but if you really want to make the data useful you’d need to do some significant clean-up. I was curious about my industry (higher education) and entries at both the top and bottom of the list contain obvious errors: e.g., the assistant professor in the Bay Area certainly does not make 980,000 USD (the vanishingly few faculty who have the ability to command a basketball coach’s salary would be a distinguished or named/chaired professor), and I really hope the person in charge of all undergraduate academic advising in Kentucky earns more than 115 USD per annum. It might be possible to avoid some of these errors with better survey design as well (e.g., if a response is very far from the average in the industry, pop up an “are you sure??” box).

  34. One HR Opinion*

    Happy to put info in there again. One item that could be helpful is company size. For instance someone working at the Red Cross in development would be paid much more than the Save the Sloths Foundation :)

  35. BikeWalkBarb*

    It would be great if you’d add a question about disability.

    I have a possibly funny question: I’m not sure how I define my “field” when asked for years of experience. I’ve worked in public administration for a long time in two different fields (higher ed and transportation); I’ve worked in transportation for quite a while in both the nonprofit and public sectors. I went with the broader definition (all those years) and provided that total. My experience even before that in publishing and politics is also relevant to what I do and the knowledge, skills and abilities I’m compensated for but those aren’t the same field.

    What did others do who have a similarly serendipitous resume?

    1. BikeWalkBarb*

      I’ll also note that it startled me when I entered how many total years I’ve been working. Wow, that’s a pretty long time, I don’t feel that old, and I didn’t even include the years of working summers and part-time jobs during college.

  36. Anja*

    i should be allowed to put a decimal point in the yearly salary field. because I get paid according to the tvÖD and for some reason there is now whole number for my salary I get some cents in addition…

    1. fhqwhgads*

      Can’t tell if you’re joking, but since that’s an annual amount, pennies are not even close to statistically significant.

Comments are closed.