© Copyright 2001 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

The 30 Highest and Lowest Hourly Wage Occupations in Wyoming
by: Deana Hauf, Economist

This article identifies the 30 highest and lowest paying occupations in Wyoming. The highest paying occupations have average hourly wage rates between $25.88 and $67.28 (see Table 1). All of the occupations on the lowest paying list have average wages in excess of the federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour.

The wage and employment information in this article is based on annual results generated by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Wage Survey program. During the fourth quarter of 1999, the data were collected using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system.1 All workers are classified in one of over 820 occupations (e.g., Surgeons). To facilitate classification, occupations are combined to form 98 minor groups (e.g., Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners) and 22 major groups (e.g., Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations) of occupations requiring similar job duties, skills, education, or experience.

Most wages reported in this article represent the hourly mean wage. The mean wage, a measure of central tendency also called the arithmetic average, is the estimated total wages for an occupation divided by its weighted survey employment.2 The hourly wage estimates are calculated using a year-round, full-time figure of 2,080 hours per year (52 weeks times 40 hours).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) technical notes list which occupations are included in each occupational category.3

Highest Paying Occupations

Table 1 lists the 30 highest paying occupations in Wyoming. These occupations generally require at least a Bachelorís degree. In many cases, additional training, certification, or professional licensing is also required. In addition to formal training, some high paying professions also require managerial skills.

The highest mean wage is $67.28 per hour for the occupation of surgeons. As you can see from Table 1, all of the highest paying occupations have employment under 1,000. Total employment for the 30 highest paying occupations is 5,080 or 2.2 percent of total statewide employment (226,280). The 30 occupations are distributed among the major groups as follows:

9 in Healthcare Practitioner and Technical Occupations (SOC Code 29)
5 in Architecture and Engineering Occupations (SOC Code 17)
5 in Management Occupations (SOC Code 11)
5 in Education, Training, and Library Occupations (SOC Code 25)
2 in Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations (SOC Code 19)
2 in Business and Financial Operations Occupations (SOC Code 13)
1 in Sales and Related Occupations (SOC Code 41)
1 in Construction and Extraction Occupations (SOC Code 47)

Lowest Paying Occupations

The wage rates for the lowest paying occupations range from $5.85 per hour for dishwashers to $7.25 per hour for cleaners of vehicles and equipment (see Table 2). Occupations paying the least generally do not require formal post-secondary education. Although, they may require on-the-job training. These occupations are usually associated with the Services and Retail Trade industries and often include many part-time positions. Total employment reported for the lowest paying occupations is 19,670 or 8.7 percent of total statewide employment (226,280). Of the 30 lowest paying occupations, 10 are in food services. Cashiers, with a high employment level of 4,330, showed an hourly wage of $7.23.

The wage information presented in this article can be found in the recently released 1999 Wage Survey. For your own copy of the 1999 Wage Survey, contact Research & Planning at (307)473-3807 or visit our website.

1For more information about the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system, see the website at: http://stats.bls.gov/soc/soc%5Fhome.htm.

2The employment estimates for each occupation are based on the total number of employees reported as part of the Unemployment Insurance Covered Employment and Wages program.

3The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) technical notes are located at: http://stats.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.

Table of Contents | Labor Market Information | Wyoming Job Network | Send Us Mail

These pages designed by Gayle C. Edlin.
Last modified on by Valerie A. Davis.