reality check after Wharton tweet

A tweet from a professor on the College of Pennsylvania’s Wharton College went viral on Twitter after she stated 1 / 4 of her college students thought the common American revamped six figures per yr.

I requested Wharton college students what they thought the common American employee makes per yr and 25% of them thought it was over six figures. One in every of them thought it was $800k. Actually unsure what to make of this (The actual quantity is $45k)

— Nina Strohminger (@NinaStrohminger) January 20, 2022


The tweet, from Nina Strohminger, has amassed 1000’s of feedback, retweets, and likes since its posting Wednesday night time, igniting a dialog about what individuals know—or don’t know, because the case could also be—about how a lot cash most staff make.

The annual median wage in america, in line with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $41,950, whereas the imply is $56,310. However that hardly tells the entire story.

As an example, the common revenue for monetary clerks, rehabilitation counselors, and lab and med techs could hover across the above determine, however it’s significantly decrease for quick meals cooks, shampooers, and quick meals counter staff, whose common revenue is somewhat over $23,000 a yr, close to the underside of the bureau’s record of occupations. That’s only a tenth of what the highest earners—anesthesiologists, surgeons, OB-GYNs, and orthodontists—make in a yr, every exceeding $230,000 on common. And even that’s not near the $800,000 one pupil estimated, which might put somebody squarely in the 1% in lots of states.

It may be tough to think about this hole, particularly when discussions round pay charges have historically been so taboo. Earnings transparency is turning into an increasing number of frequent, like with the latest passage of a New York Metropolis bill that may require employers to record minimal and most salaries for job postings within the metropolis.

This may occasionally not clear up misconceptions about typical wages amongst college students at one of many nation’s most prestigious enterprise faculties (administration occupations, on the entire, have a mean annual revenue of $126,480), however it may very well be a step in the proper course. What’s extra, Wharton, with a category measurement of 897 and an acceptance price of 12.2% for its class of 2023, is unquestionably not a consultant pattern of American staff.

But when the numbers aren’t convincing, a look into the replies to Strohminger’s viral tweet nearly actually might be.