Monday, July 18, 2005

Average Wages by Occupation and Geography

We receive a number of requests for average wages paid - either hourly or per year - for a given occupation within a given geographic region. If this is something you're asked repeatedly, then you should bookmark this site:

http://www.bls.gov/oes/oes_data.htm

It presents wage estimate data generated by the Occupational Employment Statistics division within the U.S. Department of Labor. Right now, the most current data is available from May 2004. Data can be generated by a) the U.S. in general, b) an individual state, and/or c) selected metropolitan areas.

(Metropolitan areas are usually defined as a collection of one or more contiguous counties, not necessarily within the same state. However, not all counties are part of a metro area. To find out, visit this section: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/msa_def.htm.)

Back to the wage tables. You'll notice the far-left column is titled "SOC Code Number". Occupations are organized according to the Standard Occupational Classification System - a kind of NAICS code for job types. You can do as I've done, and scroll up & down the page to find the occupation class you're looking for. However, if you're in a bit more of a hurry, a search feature is available here: http://www.bls.gov/search/soc.asp.

Now that I've told you all of this, can anyone tell me the mean annual wage for librarians in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy region?

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