US Incomes According to the US Census


I just learned today that the average American with a high school diploma makes $28,645/year and the average American with a four year degree makes around $51,554/year.

Where do I sit with a four year degree which I attained in three years, triple major, Cum Laude?

$25,700/year. :frowning:

At least I make more than the average high school dropout! :thumbsup:

Any guesses as to what profession I have chosen?
I’ll give you a hint: It starts with “You” and ends with "inistry"
I love my job though, even if I’m too poor to live on my own.

Where does your income sit relative to the census averages? (You don’t have to be specific if you don’t want!)


If you evaluate worth by income then I am worth nothing because I am a housewife with no yearly income. I guess that puts me below the prostitutes, yes?

I don’t know why this means so much to you, but income means nothing–truly. What matters is being and doing what God wants of you and nothing else.


Look at our priests. They all have many years of higher education, many with multiple degrees. Are they less valuable because their pay is, by US Census standards, very low?
Value is not necessarily defined by dollars sign.


Wow, what a response. I would assume that if income meant so much to me, I would change my line of work, which ironically I did, and took a pay cut doing so. A simple light hearted thread suddenly turned so serious? :frowning:


Not trying to completely derail the thread (probably too late) I would say that is exactly how it goes. How much people get payed, in our society, is often a sign of how valued they are. House wives, priests (or employees of the Church in general), social workers, teachers, all get payed very little, if at all. Guess what, these positions don’t exactly get the credit they deserve…

Why am I getting attacked? I might as well have said “Please respond and know that the less you make, the less I have respect for you.” Maybe you all missed the part where I said I don’t make hardly any money and that I’m a Youth Minister. I keep leaving these forums 'cause [generalization]I’m amazed at how angry the demographic seems to be that flocks here… :confused:[/generalization]


I hear ya on this one. I graduated almost 2 years ago and make 33K. It gets better once you get more experience, but a lot of it depends on your field. I choose American History, bad idea if you want to make lots of money. My friend chose Electrical Engineering…cha ching! He make waaaaay more than I do. It’s ok though, I’m happy where I am and that’s all that counts.


Well,with a four year degree and some post graduate schooling I now work for my mom so that I can be with my daughter all day ($18000/yr). Yes, on one level income doesn’t matter, however, I believe that income is needed to support a family. I would LOVE to buy a small condo for my daughter and I to live in (I’m a single mother) but there is 0 reasonable housing within a 30 mile radius that are safe enough for my daughter and I. Those of us who made mistakes have to pay a hefty price and don’t even have options of having a tiny piece of the “American Dream” (which is probably the case of the OP).


Don’t feel too bad…they just took it the wrong way.

Many of us come here to vent…and sometimes take it out on others.

There’s also quite a few people here that react badly to certain “sensitive” topics. I’ve gotten my head bitten off a few times when it comes to talking about money…:smiley:

As to the original topic- the census stats really don’t paint a very good picture due to the fact that they don’t take regional COL and wage differences into account. $27000 a year goes alot farther in some places (OK, KY, IN…) , than in others (think California, NY, or Mass…).


Thanks for the reassurance. In all honesty, I live in a place with extremely reasonable cost of living (Omaha, NE) but even then, I still don’t see myself living on my own without taking a huge risk and living paycheck to paycheck. It’s already hard enough to budget, much less consider the possibility of a sudden medical emergency or a bad car accident that I would be held at fault for. I am considering the possibility of getting engaged in the not too distant future but I’m not sure if I can afford family costs, especially since my girlfriend is going into teaching and it’s an unacceptable situation to have both of us working full time (for a beginning teacher, that can equate to over 60 hours a week) and being open to a family. It puts me in a dillemma.


I make less than the average but a little less than twice as much as you :stuck_out_tongue: . However, I wish I had your job as mine requires me sitting infront of a computer, at a desk, in a cubicle, with very little human interaction, and no one around me who’s devoutly Catholic. In fact, most of the women in my dept are single moms, so not even marriage is a common factor. Did you go to a Catholic college? And maybe this is too personal, but what did you study?

I have many friends in youth ministry and WOW you are amazing people! :smiley:


The incredibly ironic thing is that I have a big corner office with a window!!! :smiley:

I graduated from an ELCA Lutheran college where I majored in Youth Minstry, Religion, and German. I was the co-founder of Catholic ministry there and also organized a statewide college Catholic gathering.

My official title is “Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries” and not to sound too self serving but it wasn’t until I started working as a Youth Minister that I really gained a huge respect for those in this line of work, especially those who have been doing it faithfully for many years! :stuck_out_tongue:


God bless you for the sacrifices you are making for your daughter. Someday, when she is old enough to understand, she will know how good a mom she had.


I can’t remember the exact figure, but if SAHM were paid what they were worth they would make more than most people. The are the homemaking engineers.


They are also the sculptors of our future leaders. :smiley:


I’m a SAHFosterM and have my own business I do from home. I work about 2 - 3 hours a day and had a degree in home ec. I make a lot more than the average and I also live in Omaha, NE.

I think money is just money. Some people chose what they do because they love it, and they knew it wouldn’t pay much when they made their decision. Other people chose what they do because they wanted to make a lot of money. I never feel bad for teachers, social workers, etc… because that was the career they chose and those jobs, like every other job, pay what the market can bear.

I am fortunate that I make plenty and love what I do (I consult on securities law compliance with financial services firms.)


Do you have an advanced degree? You don’t have to respond, of course. :slight_smile:

I feel bad for those lines of work because most of the people I know who go into them do so in spite of the pay, only because their ideals win out. Entry level teachers, for example, get payed about the same as me and yet they have much more workload trying to grade papers/assignments and constantly coming up with lesson plans to equip our young people to become our future leaders. The value of their work doesn’t reflect the value of their pay and that’s unfair.


I’m an open book. Nope- no advanced degree. I fell into what I do and did get licenses and experience.


I’m sorry to pry but what inspired you to pursue those certifications/licenses? It’s kinda’ interesting to encounter a SAHFM who makes good money from home doing seemingly advanced work without an advanced degree. :eek:

Thank you for your ministry by the way! Go foster moms!!! (And moms in general!!) :thumbsup:


LOL- I tell my clients it was 13 yrs of Catholic school. 50% of what I do is common sense. The other 50% is good ethics and morals. Both of these I learned in Catholic school (and of course from my family as well).

I started my career working in a call center for a securities company part-time while in college. I found I had a unique knack for catching things that shouldn’t be happening, i.e. fraud, etc… I also have no mercy for people who steal other people’s money or try to mislead/manipulate people. So, the pathway to compliance was set. My career continued and as I learned more I fell into consulting because my employer wanted to earn some additional revenue and had a good way of finding consulting clients. When they decided they no longer wanted to do that, I asked and was allowed to take those clients and start my own business.

Had I not gone this direction and was able to replace Jane Palmer (The food writer for the Omaha World Herald) I probably wouldn’t be where I am financially. But if I was doing what I wanted to do, I wouldn’t have much to complain about. Had I been able to get married sooner and been able to get pregnant, I would probably be a housewife which is really what I always wanted to be. Then too I couldn’t complain because it would have been my choice.

It’s amazing how many SAHMs find ways to make good money. My sister has a teaching certificate but has been a SAHM for 11 years. She recently started subbing at her daughter’s Catholic school and makes $100 per day for each day she chooses to work. $1200 per month or so per month for 12 half days of work really isn’t bad.


Being able to work in a job you love is a lot better than making a lot of money. I happen to love what i am doing and now make a nice living at it but it took a LONG time. When i grduated from College I made $8,400 a year.

Besides you should look on the bright side-when you dont make much people are far less likely to try and steal your identity!

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