Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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Labor Market Information Center

South Dakota Occupational Wages by Educational Level Requirements

Less than high school $25,016 $12.03
High school diploma or equivalent $37,660 $18.11
Some postsecondary education (no degree) $36,230 $17.42
Associate degree $62,970 $30.27
Bachelor's degree $61,166 $29.41
Master's degree $68,701 $33.03
Doctoral or professional degree $119,016 $57.22
Total, all occupations of all education levels $40,807 $19.62

Notes: Note: Data is preliminary and subject to revision. The wage and earnings data above indicate the average wages of occupations with each respective level of education and should not be used as average wages for South Dakotans with the level of education indicated; statistically, the two measure quite different things. To calculate the average wages above, the starting point was determining the level of education typically required for entry (defined below) for each occupation included in the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey used to collect wage data. The educational requirements established by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statsitics were largely used, with a South Dakota-specific educational requirement assigned to several occupations based on state specific data and input available. To be included in these calculations, the level of education required for entry and the average wage data both had to be available for each specific occupation. (See our Occupational Wages - Technical Notes page for more information about the OES survey.) The average wage data for each occupation was then weighted by the employment level in that occupation, then grouped by educational level, summed and averaged, arriving at average wage data for all occupations with the same level of education typically required for entry. In summary, for example, the average annual wage of occupations which typically require an associate degree for entry is $62,970; but that is not the same as saying all South Dakotans with an associate degree earn $62,970 per year on average. These estimates are also based on data for one year (2017) and do not take into account such things as lifetime earning potential of the various levels of education.

Source: South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, Labor Market Information Center, August 2018 using 2017 wage data.

Please visit our definitions page for explanations of each educational requirement levels.