What Is Median Salary? Explanation and Examples

The median salary is a middle figure obtained when different salaries are considered. 

Half of the salaries are very much within this middle figure. It is either slightly lower or slightly higher. 

However, people often mistake the median salary with the mean salary.

The average or mean salary is a figure obtained when dividing the total number of workers by their total salary. A median salary and an average or mean salary cannot be used interchangeably.

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Fields And Their Median Salaries

Different fields have different median salaries. Therefore, it is essential to know the median salary when choosing a field. 

This information will help you when negotiating your salary with your employers. In addition, it enables you to understand what should be obtainable and not settle for less.  

You should also know the median payment worth of your experience and technical ability concerning your location.

Here is a comprehensive list of different fields with their median salaries:

Health Care

Nurses, doctors, dentists, and other healthcare professionals are all healthcare professionals. Their median salary is  $32.78 per hour. 

Health Care Support

Therapists, assistants, and aides in hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities are all HealSupport positions in healthcare. Their median salary is $13.69 per hour.

Read also:  What Is The Difference Between Hourly and Salary Employees?


Sales professionals, telemarketers, and cashiers are all part of this industry. Their median salary is $14.24 per hour.


IT managers, human resource managers, and legislators are examples of jobs under Management. Their median salary is $19.14 per hour.

Computer And Math

Web developers, software engineers, and mathematicians are all in the computer and math industry. Their median salary is  $42.47 per hour.


Engineering and architecture, surveyors, cartographers, chemical engineers, and a variety of specialized architect roles are part of the Engineering and architecture industry. Their median salary is $39.15 per hour.

Social Sciences

Social sciences professionals are life scientists, agricultural scientists, epidemiologists, and forensic scientists. Their median salary is $32.77 per hour.

Social Service And Community

Counselors, social workers, therapists,  and mental health professionals are part of Social service and community professions. The median salary is  $22.16 per hour.


Lawyers, judges, mediators, and paralegals are part of the legal industry. Their median salary is $39.34 per hour.

Education And Library

Elementary, secondary, and library employees are part of the education and library professions. Their median salary is $24.42 per hour.

Design, Art, Entertainment, And Sports

Graphic designers, craft artists, musicians, screen actors, and athletes are all in the design, art, entertainment, and sports industries. Their median salary is $24.59 per hour.

Protective Services

Law enforcement, correctional officers, firefighters, and security professionals offer protective services. Their median salary is $19.99 per hour.

Calculating Median Salaries 

Due to the misunderstanding between mean and median salaries, many reports from companies are incorrect.

Sometimes, in calculating a median salary, there might be two figures in the middle of a given set of salaries. At this point, you will have to sum both figures and divide them by two.

Here is an example of calculating the median salary and average or mean salary:

Suppose three workers in a field receive $20,000, $60,000, and $70,000, respectively. When you sum it up, the total is $150,000. 

To obtain the mean, you divide the total by the number of workers: $150,000 ÷ 3, for a mean of $50,000

To obtain the median,  you view their salaries, from lowest to highest, which are  $20,000, $60,000, and $70,000. The median salary is $60,000.

But there might be a case where there is a fourth worker. In this case, let’s assume the fourth worker earns $63,000. At this point, there are two central figures which are $60,000 and $63,000.

To obtain the average of those two figures, we add both figures and divide by two, which is  $60,000 + $63,000, and dividing the sum by two, we get $123,000 ÷ 2=  $61,500.

You cannot use the mean and the median salaries interchangeably. This is because the median salary better represents the accurate earning in a field than the mean salary.

Read also:  What Is A Salary Range?

Using Median Salary Or Mean Salary For Compensation Benchmarking 

Compensation workers generally prefer medium salaries, as it is considered neutral.

With the type of data, the mean or median may be very helpful in defining a database. Both measure the center area of ​​the database. They may look similar, but significant differences may occur when compared with the mean and median salaries.

The difference arises when there are large earners in the data. Few people earning higher than usual can distort the results to make it seem normal to achieve more.

It is essential in determining where most employees’ wages are expected to fall, given the same or similar skills, years of experience, education, and experience.

It may be helpful to determine or substantiate a point between salary and set salaries for new appointments, provide promotions, and assess incomes.

The description may be misleading if there are outsiders in the data set. In the first example mentioned above, the average salary for a given database is $ 61,500, and the average income is $ 50,200. The lowest salary of $ 20,000 is much lower than any other series in the series.

Lower-level employees may define this salary with more minor qualifications and less experience than employees with more years of experience and proven performance, knowledge, skills, and abilities. Using the median amount compared to the median results in the $ 11,500 salary difference.

Why Median Salary Is Better

The median salary is a better value of salary than the mean calculation. 

The mean, however, is very sensitive to some values, exceptionally very high or meager prices. If there are no outsiders in the database, you can use the description as the mean will be evenly proportional.

It is best to use a scale where the distribution of data values ​​is symmetrical and there are no apparent products.

When considering a large set of numbers or industries with very few well-paid people, the median can give an even more accurate view of the average wage.

It can also happen with fewer consumers paying less, resulting in lower wages. Using the median method eliminates possible fraud due to excessive earnings in data.

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