You Won't Believe How Low Your Salary Falls on this Chart

Published: Feb 11, 2014

 Salary & Benefits       
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First, apologies for the Upworthy-style headline format. But seriously, take a look at the chart below, from a recent New York Times piece on the divergence of global incomes. Note that the left-axis is denoted in millions of dollars. Now mark an x--real or imaginary (for the good of your device's screen, I'd recommend the latter)--where your own salary falls. If it's somewhere between those bottom two lines--welcome to the club. If it's anywhere else: what are you doing here when you could be doing laps in your pool of money?


NYT chart on income distribution


A couple of interesting notes for those hoping to move from the bottom line to one of the higher brackets: 

1) Education is paramount. According to the Times piece, "[j]ust 8 percent of the 1 percent has a high-school education or less, versus nearly 40 percent of the 99 percent."

2) Seniority pays. Around forty percent of those "who make it into the top 0.1 percent in a given year are executives, managers or supervisors." 

3) Best industry for hitting it big: finance. According to the piece, one in five new members of the top 0.1 percent hails from the financial industry.

4) It pays to negotiate. Interestingly, the piece also noted that many top earners find their salaries fluctuating markedly from year to year--a fact that is attributable in large part to stock options. So if you're looking to join the upper ranks of earners, even for one year, it pays to make equity a key component of your salary negotiations.


Read More:

NY Times: Even Among the Richest of the Rich, Fortunes Diverge