Salaries determined by various factors

9:27 PM, Jan 23, 2013   |    comments
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By Alison Kosik

NEW YORK (CNN) - When it comes to pay, we all want to know how we stack up. Are we getting what we're worth?

Turns out, a lot goes into determining someone's pay.

The median weekly pay for Americans in 2012 was $775. But how is that figured out?

A lot of factors go into it. One of the biggest is education. The higher the degree, the bigger the paycheck.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median weekly earnings for someone without a high school diploma is just under $500. Those with a diploma take home almost $650 a week, while those who are university educated earn more than $1,000.

Not only that, but the more education you have, the more likely you are to have a job. Employers are clearly willing to pay more for more expertise.

The industry you work in is another big factor in determining the size of your salary. Wages in the service sector tend to be at the lower end of the scale. Workers in that industry typically take home a little less than $500 a week.

Those with office and construction jobs find themselves in the middle of the scale.

The big bucks can be found in management and the business sector.

And while it's no secret men make more than women do, race can also skew that gap.

For every $1 a man earns, an Asian woman makes only 70 percent of that, while a black woman makes almost 87 percent.



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