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The Earning Curve – How Your Education Affects Income

Posted on by Bryce Bertola

The Earning Curve Infographic – How your education affects income

Hundreds of thousands of students consider dropping out of school each year. These students often think they can get ahead now by earning a full-time wage, and that all they need is a few years head start. The harsh reality is that many of these students are giving up on their chance for a successful career.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics produces a series of earnings reports that include a breakdown by education levels, and the results are astounding. These reports evaluated the weekly earnings of adults 25 years of age and older, and they provide a clear picture of why it is so important to complete your education.

Click Here to View the Full Graphic

What These Reports Show

These reports show a significant increase in wages based on a workers education. Workers who never completed high school typically earn 30% less than workers who completed their high school diploma, and 60% less than a worker who completed a bachelors degree. Completing your high school diploma will earn you an additional $4.62 per hour, An associates degree will earn you $7.12 more per hour, and a bachelors degree will net you an additional $17.07 per hour when compared to a worker without a High School Diploma.

How We Determined These Numbers

We evaluated the July 19, 2011 report on Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, highlighting the wage reports from the second Quarter of 2011. The full report can be found Here. We’ve based our calculations on the median weekly wages of workers based on their education level. We calculated the hourly wage based on a 40 hour work week, and the yearly wage based on 50 working weeks per year.

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