By: Jordin Landen
Is a degree worth it? Is it worth it to go to college? The state of the education system in America has many young people questioning the payoff of a college degree, as well as weighing the pros and cons of a high school diploma vs. no diploma. To help students best determine the right course of action for them, the team at U.S. Career Institute has created a guide exploring the average salary by education level and how much a high school diploma is worth in every state. We aim to provide transparency on college degree earnings vs. no degree to empower readers to make choices that suit their goals and lifestyles. You will also find lifetime earnings by education level in this guide to give you the bigger picture.
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What is the average salary by degree level?
The average salary of a high school graduate in the United States is around $42,590 per year, or $20 an hour. One step up, the average college graduate salary with an Associate’s degree is $44,100 for 25-34 year olds. Compare this to the average salary of a Bachelor’s degree which is $59,600. Naturally, the average salary of a Master’s degree is higher at $69,700. What about how much you can make with no degree at all? The average salary with no degree is $29,800. So do people with high school diplomas make more money? Absolutely! However, having a degree is not a necessity to make a living. Do you find yourself wondering, “how can I make good money without a degree?” You have come to the right place! We analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to find 80 jobs that pay over $50,000 without a degree. The beauty of America is that there are countless ways to carve out success beyond the traditional paths.
What is the average salary of high school graduates by state?
Is a high school diploma worth it? When determining the average salary of a diploma, location plays a major role. Here is the average salary of a high school diploma in the top 20 highest paying states:
- Massachusetts high school degree salary - $37,929
- New Hampshire high school degree salary – $37,919
- Connecticut high school degree salary – $37,365
- Maryland high school degree salary – $37,045
- North Dakota high school degree salary - $30,834
- Washington high school degree salary – $36,702
- Rhode Island high school degree salary – $36,472
- Alaska high school degree salary – $36,386
- New Jersey high school degree salary – $35,468
- Wyoming high school degree salary - $35,417
- Hawaii high school degree salary - $35,311
- Colorado high school degree salary - $35,143
- Minnesota high school degree salary - $34,586
- Vermont high school degree salary - $34,153
- Delaware high school degree salary - $34,023
- Utah high school degree salary - $33,905
- Wisconsin high school degree salary - $33,769
- Iowa high school degree salary – $33,483
- New York high school degree salary - $33,263
- Pennsylvania high school degree salary - $32,856
The Difference in Median Annual Earnings Between High School Graduates* and Non-Graduates
*Includes high school equivalency diplomas
Regardless of your state, on average, those with a high school diploma earn more than those without. It’s never too late to finish high school and get your diploma with U.S. Career Institutes online high school program. Review the income difference between states below to see how your earnings could change!