Average Salary in California 2022 - The Complete Guide (2023)

How much money does a person working in California make?

Average Salary in California 2022 - The Complete Guide (1)

Average Yearly Salary

112,000 USD

( 9,300 USD monthly)


A person working in California typically earns around 112,000 USD per year. Salaries range from 28,200 USD (lowest average) to 498,000 USD (highest average, actual maximum salary is higher).

This is the average yearly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Salaries vary drastically between different careers. If you are interested in the salary of a particular job, see below for salaries for specific job titles.

Distribution of Salaries in California

Average Salary in California 2022 - The Complete Guide (2)

The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range

  • Salary Range

    Salaries in California range from 28,200 USD per year (minimum salary) to 498,000 USD per year (maximum average salary, actual maximum is higher).

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 118,000 USD per year, which means that half (50%) of the population are earning less than 118,000 USD while the other half are earning more than 118,000 USD. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.

  • Percentiles

    Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of the population are earning less than 66,000 USD while 75% of them are earning more than 66,000 USD. Also from the diagram, 75% of the population are earning less than 327,000 USD while 25% are earning more than 327,000 USD.

What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both of the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people are earning more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary

Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does a person's salary progress over time?

Average Salary in California 2022 - The Complete Guide (3)

The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally the more years of experience the higher the wage.

Generally speaking, employees having experience from two to five years earn on average 32% more than freshers and juniors across all industries and disciplines.

Professionals with experience of more than five years tend to earn on average 36% more than those with five years or less of work experience.

Change in salary based on experience varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of many different jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.

As you hit the ten years mark, the salary increases by 21% and an additional 14% for those who have crossed the 15 years mark.

Those figures are presented as guidelines only. The numbers become more significant if you consider one job title at a time.

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On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark.

Salary Comparison By Education

How does the education level affect your salary?

Average Salary in California 2022 - The Complete Guide (4)

It is well known that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We compared the salaries of professionals at the same level but with different college degrees levels across many jobs, below are our findings.

Change in salary based on education varies drastically from one location to another and depends hugely on the career field as well. The data displayed here is the combined average of multiple jobs. To view accurate figures, choose a specific job title.

Workers with a certificate or diploma earn on average 17% more than their peers who only reached the high school level.

Employees who earned a Bachelor's Degree earn 24% more than those who only managed to attain a cerificate or diploma.

Professionals who attained a Master's Degree are awarded salaries that are 29% more than those with a Bachelor's Degree.

Finally, PhD holders earn 23% more than Master's Degree holders on average while doing the same job.

Is a Master's degree or an MBA worth it? Should you pursue higher education?

A Master's degree program or any post-graduate program in United States costs anywhere from 39,500 US Dollar(s) to 118,000 US Dollar(s) and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment.

You can't really expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming you already have a job. In most cases, a salary review is conducted once education is completed and the degree has been attained.

Many people pursue higher education as a tactic to switch into a higher paying job. The numbers seem to support this tactic. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.

The decision really depends on your situation and experience among many other factors. Putting all variables aside, if you can afford the costs of higher education then the return on investment is definitely worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.

Salary Comparison By Gender

Average Salary in California 2022 - The Complete Guide (5)

Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? Male employees in United States earn 6% more than their female counterparts on avergae across all sectors.


97,500 USD


92,100 USD

Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in United States

How much are annual salary increments in United States? How often do employees get salary raises?

United States

Employees in United States are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 8% every 16 months.

Average Salary in California 2022 - The Complete Guide (6)

The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

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The term 'Annual Salary Increase' usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rarely that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 ÷ Increase Frequency

The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in United States is 6%.

Annual Increment Rate By Industry 2021





Information Technology










Listed above are the average annual increase rates for each industry in United States for the year 2021. Companies within thriving industries tend to provide higher and more frequent raises. Exceptions do exist, but generally speaking, the situation of any company is closely related to the economic situation in the country or region. These figures tend to change frequently.

Average Salary Increase Rate by Experience Level

Junoir Level

3% - 5%


6% - 9%

Senior Level

10% - 15%

Top Management

15% - 20%

The difference in increment rates is somehow justified because employers put more effort to retain more experienced staff since they are harder to acquire than less experienced ones.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

Average Salary in California 2022 - The Complete Guide (7)

Bonus and Incentive Rates in United States

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Average Salary in California 2022 - The Complete Guide (8)

47% of surveyed staff in United States reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 53% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 3% to 6% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus


No Bonus


Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

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Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.

Bonus Rates Comparison by Career Field







Business Development


Marketing / Advertising


Information Technology






Customer Service


Human Resources








What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting Cast

Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.

Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.

A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.

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Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.

Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.

Salaries for popular jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Accounting and Finance
Accountant75,500 USD
Accounting Assistant57,300 USD
Accounting Manager166,000 USD
Bookkeeper51,900 USD
Chartered Accountant93,100 USD
Corporate Treasurer148,000 USD
Financial Analyst135,000 USD
Financial Manager225,000 USD
Internal Auditor101,000 USD

Administration / Reception / Secretarial
Administrative Assistant55,400 USD
Office Manager94,000 USD
Receptionist42,000 USD
Secretary47,800 USD

Advertising / Grapic Design / Events
Art Director111,000 USD
Creative Director111,000 USD
Graphic Designer67,200 USD
Photographer61,800 USD

Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense
Aerospace Engineer132,000 USD
Air Traffic Controller122,000 USD
Flight Attendant73,000 USD
Pilot193,000 USD

Architect124,000 USD
CAD Drafter57,500 USD

Mechanic40,200 USD
Service Advisor77,200 USD

Bank Branch Manager202,000 USD
Teller40,500 USD

Teacher81,300 USD
Translator93,100 USD

Business Planning
Business Analyst128,000 USD
Business Development Manager176,000 USD
Project Manager122,000 USD

Care Giving and Child Care
Nanny45,600 USD
Nursery Teacher42,400 USD

Construction / Building / Installation
Civil Engineer102,000 USD
Construction Project Manager173,000 USD
Health and Safety Officer48,300 USD

Customer Service and Call Center
Call Center Representative40,800 USD
Customer Service Manager152,000 USD
Customer Service Representative41,200 USD

Electrical Engineer110,000 USD
Engineer99,800 USD
Mechanical Engineer107,000 USD

Executive and Management
Chief Executive Officer241,000 USD
Chief Financial Officer230,000 USD
General Manager198,000 USD

Food / Hospitality / Tourism / Catering
Chef70,200 USD
Executive Chef76,700 USD
Hotel Manager196,000 USD
Travel Agent67,400 USD
Waiter / Waitress32,700 USD

Health and Medical
Dentist246,000 USD
Dietitian217,000 USD
Laboratory Technician85,100 USD
Nurse81,700 USD

Human Resources
Human Resources Manager158,000 USD
Human Resources Officer62,200 USD

Information Technology
Computer Technician85,100 USD
Database Administrator104,000 USD
Developer / Programmer110,000 USD
Information Technology Manager173,000 USD
Network Engineer93,100 USD

Law Enforcement / Security / Fire
Police Officer67,300 USD

Attorney206,000 USD
Legal Assistant59,500 USD

Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment
Journalist119,000 USD

Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology
Biomedical Engineer89,600 USD
Pharmacist132,000 USD

Sales Retail and Wholesale
Cashier42,700 USD
Sales Manager188,000 USD
Sales Representative68,700 USD

Teaching / Education
Elementary School Teacher74,700 USD
Secondary School Teacher88,400 USD

Average Hourly Wage in California

Average Salary in California 2022 - The Complete Guide (10) 54 USD per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in California is 54 USD. This means that the average person in California earns approximately 54 USD for every worked hour.

Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ÷ ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fix amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

California VS United States

Average Salary in California 2022 - The Complete Guide (11)

We compared salaries in California and United States and we found that California salaries are 18% more than those of United States.

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Long Beach91,200 USD
Los Angeles115,000 USD
Oakland89,300 USD
Sacramento94,000 USD
San Diego109,000 USD
San Francisco104,000 USD
San Jose107,000 USD

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Where can you get paid more, working for a private company or for the government? Public sector employees in United States earn 5% more than their private sector counterparts on average across all sectors.

Private Sector

92,400 USD

Public Sector+5%

97,100 USD

Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

United States»California


What is the average salary in California 2022? ›

Average Income by State 2022
StateMean Household Income
46 more rows

What should I answer for desired salary? ›

The best way to answer desired salary or salary expectations on a job application is to leave the field blank or write 'Negotiable' rather than providing a number.

What is the California average salary? ›

The average salary in California is technically $111,622. However, the median salary can provide a much more accurate picture, as it removes extreme outliers from the numbers. Therefore, the median salary in California is $78,672.

What is a good yearly salary in California? ›

$44,666 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $78,844 is the 75th percentile.

What is middle-class income California? ›

• Household income range for middle class: $36,996 - $187,706. • Median family income: $91,377 (12th highest) • Middle class share of California income: 45% (5th lowest) • Richest 5% share of California income: 23.4% (7th highest) • Cost of living in California: 15.4% more expensive than U.S. avg. (

How much do you need to make to live comfortably in California 2022? ›

According to BEA statistics, you'll need an income with at least $46,636 per year of take-home pay just to meet the average cost of living in California. That works out to about $3,886 per month. Things like savings and extras would be above and beyond that.

What salary range should I give? ›

A good rule of thumb is to keep the lower end of your range at least 10 percent above your current salary, or the number you determine is a reasonable salary for the position. For example, if you currently earn $50,000, you may say that your range is $55,000 to $65,000.

What is a good salary to live comfortably in California? ›

In order to just get by in California for a single person, the recommended annual income is $74,371.

What is considered upper class in California? ›

That's up from $1.9 million last year. In Southern California (which the survey grouped Los Angeles and San Diego), the threshold for what is considered wealthy is $3.9 million. It's the second-highest total in the survey, trailing San Francisco, where the "wealthy" net worth is $5.1 million.

How much should I make to live comfortably in California? ›

A single person needs an annual income of $46,636 to live comfortably in California. A family of 4 will need $114,715. Housing usually takes most of the income, but utilities, food, healthcare, and transportation are also important. For families, childcare is the next major expense after housing.

What is the average salary in California 2021? ›

In 2021, the average annual pay of employees in California totaled to 85,753 U.S. dollars. This is a significant increase from 2001, when the average annual pay of employees was 41,327 U.S. dollars.

What is a good salary to live comfortably in California? ›

In order to just get by in California for a single person, the recommended annual income is $74,371.

What is the average income in California 2021? ›

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices rose 8.5 percent between March 2021 and March 2022, marking the highest inflation rate since 1981.
Median Household Income by State 2022.
StateMedian Household Income
46 more rows

Is $40 an hour good in California? ›

With $40 per hour, you'll make $83,200 per year. However, if you include taxes, your wage will shrink to $62,400. Your wage might slim even more if you live in California since the Golden State has the highest income taxes (28.3%).


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