Increased degree attainment consistently translates to increased annual wages, personal growth and economic development. The interactive graphics below illustrate the relationship between degree attainment (e.g. associate, bachelor’s) and annual median wages by field of study. This information was compiled by the Utah System of Higher Education – Office of the Commissioner, through a partnership with the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
NOTE: To best illustrate potential wage incomes, the graphs below shows selected income ranges between the 25th percentile and 75th percentile of reported wages, with the median wage noted in red font. Data will appear blank or missing if an institution does not offer the selected degree or program, or if there are not enough graduates in the selected cohort to avoid the potential display of personally identifiable information and ensure data reliability.
Fifth-year wages: Better indicator of lifetime earning potential
Median wages of an individual’s 5th year of employment in a given field are a more accurate indicator of lifetime earnings potential of a specific field of study than 1st year wages.
First-year wages: Informative, but limiting
First-year wage information provides some indication of an individual’s first year earning potential by education level and field of study. However, the greatest wage fluctuations typically occur during an individual’s first years of full-time employment upon graduation.
While informative, this data does not guarantee that an individual who earns a degree or certificate in a given field of study at a USHE institution will obtain these wages in their first or fifth year of employment.
This data does not account for inherent factors associated with wage earning potential including geography, specific circumstances of an individual or business, or current economic and regulatory conditions.
Additional details regarding this data:
- Graduates from 2006-2008 are the most recent cohort group available for 5-year wage information.
- This information does not include individuals employed out-of-state who graduated from a USHE institution, or individuals employed in Utah who did not graduate from a USHE institution.
- Employer wage information does not include all wage earners in Utah. For example, individuals who are self-employed, federal employees, military personnel, or those who are not considered part of the Utah workforce (e.g. stay-at-home parents) are not included.
- Reported wage is limited in that it does not include the hours worked by employee(s), employee hourly wage rates, or the various types of wage payments such as stocks, tips, in-kind, or bonuses, etc.
- 5-year wage information only includes individuals who have been employed in the same industry from their first to fifth year of employment, and no additional certificates or degrees were earned during that period.
- To protect discovery of individually identifiable information as well as ensure data reliability, groups of 30 individuals or less in a given field and degree level are suppressed.
- Wage records were calculated from quarterly employer filings with the Unemployment Insurance database maintained by the Utah Department of Workforce Services. The Utah Employment Security Act requires Utah employers to submit wage quarterly wage information to the Utah Department of Workforce Services (only reported wages between $3,480 and $1,000,000 per quarter are included in this data.)