Salary Surveys for a Variety of Occupations

Interpreting Salary Information

Keep in mind the following points when reviewing salary information:

Mean/Average Salary vs Median Salary:
Mean or Average salary represents the mid point of the middle range of salaries, i.e., the range within which most salaries fall without counting the few salaries at the very high and very low extremes; as such the mean/average salary is a little more useful in making comparisons. Median salary is the mid point between the very highest and the very lowest salary — the absolute range — and often is a little higher than the mean/average salary.
Geographical Differences:
Salaries for the same type of position vary widely based upon geographical location. When making comparisons, consider the geographical base of the salaries surveyed and take into account cost of living salary information.
Company Size:
Salaries can vary widely based upon company size. This variance is typically greater for senior-level and executive compensation than for entry-level compensation.

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