Among the five major occupational groups, management, professional, and related occupations had the highest average hourly earnings ($34.41) in July 2009; service occupations had the lowest hourly earnings ($13.40). Average hourly earnings for workers in all occupations were $22.36.
When specific occupations are ranked by average hourly earnings, 19 of the top 20 occupations were in the management, professional, and related occupations group. The one exception was airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers, which are classified under the production, transportation, and material moving group.
Average hourly earnings of service workers were about 39 percent of the average earnings of workers in management, professional, and related occupations. The service occupational group had 17 of the 20 lowest paid occupations. The three remaining lowest paid occupations—parking lot attendants; textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders; and pressers, textile, garment, and related materials—were in the production, transportation, and material moving occupational group.
This data is from the National Compensation Survey. To learn more, see "Ranking of Full-time Civilian Occupations by Hourly and Annual Earnings, July 2009," in the September issue of Compensation and Working Conditions Online.