By: Janet Harrah
A recent article in Career Outlook discussed occupations with big differences in high- and low-earning workers. For example, nationally judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates had one of the biggest wage differences across all occupations ranging from $31,480 at the 10th percentile wage to $178,920 at the 90th percentile wage, a difference of $147,440. As noted in the article, “job tasks for these workers vary by levels of authority, from handling simple infractions or disputes to presiding over complex legal cases on appeal, which may contribute to wage differences.” Other factors affecting wages for occupations include worker qualifications, industry, experience and prior success, job tasks, and job location.
This article presents 2014 data on those occupations in the Cincinnati metro, which have the narrowest and widest wage differential between the 10th and 90th percentile. Across all occupations the mean annual earnings was $46,240. The wage for the 90th percentile was $84,710 and the wage for the 10th percentile was $18,360, a difference of $66,350. As shown in Figure 1, the difference between the 10th and 90th percentile annual earnings across major occupational groups was lowest for food preparation workers ($11,580) and highest for workers in legal occupations ($152,120).
The five major occupational groups in Cincinnati with the widest differential in annual wages between the 10th and 90th percentile are:
- legal $152,120,
- management $141,340,
- healthcare practitioners $93,750,
- computer and mathematical $75,770, and
- architecture and engineering $75,310.
- farming, fishing, and forestry, $30,070,
- personal care and service, $19,340,
- building and grounds cleaning and maintenance, $19,130
- healthcare support, $18,860, and food preparation and serving, $11,580
Table 2: Wage differential between 10th and 90th percentile for Food Preparation and Serving occupations, Cincinnati MSA, 2014
The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics produces employment and wage estimates for over 800 occupations. These are estimates of the number of people employed in each occupation, and estimates of the wages paid to them (mean, median, 10th, 25th, 75th and 90th percentile). Self-employed persons are not included in the estimates.The CEAD has developed a quick and easy, Excel-based look up tool to access these data for the Cincinnati MSA. To view or download the file Click Here.
 Table 6, Same occupation, different pay: How wages vary, Career Outlook, BLS by Elka Torpey, May 2015 http://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/wage-differences.htm.