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Finding the pay rate for your employees

The US Department of Labor tracks the pay rates for 850+ jobs and provides you the average pay nationwide and in your area.

To use this tool:

  • Click on this link http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm
  • Choose the occupation
  • You will see the number of people in that job in the US, the median (or middle) hourly rate, the mean (or average) hourly rate, and the mean (average) annual rate. The last number is their error range.
  • Click on the occupation title
  • You will see choices at the top, including State profile for this occupation, and Metropolitan area profile for this occupation. This is where you can see the states with the highest number of workers in this occupation and lower on the screen, the top paying states for this occupation. If Tennessee isn't listed, you can create a customized table.
    • BEFORE you click on "Create a Customized Table", scroll to the top to find out the number next to the type of occupation you are seeking. You will need this to create your customized table.
    • Now click "Create a Customized Table"
    • Choose "multiple occupations for one geographical area" (already selected)
    • Select state or metropolitan area, and then choose the correct location
    • The next part uses the occupational number that you found. Fortunately, these occupations are listed in numerical order. Select the occupation
    • You will see the mean (average) hourly and annual wage. Then you will see a series of percentile wages. This is what people in the bottom 10% earned; the bottom 25% earned, and so on.