2021 Occupational Wage Data Now Available

by Amy Vander Vliet

July 21, 2021

Every year the Oregon Employment Department surveys thousands of Oregon employers to collect information on jobs and salaries. We use their responses to produce statewide and sub-state employment and wage estimates for hundreds of occupations to help inform job seekers, employers, students, career planners, and others. In the Portland metro area, data are available for Portland-Metro (Multnomah and Washington counties, 630 occupations), Clackamas County (385 occupations), and the combined Tri-County region (656 occupations).

Not all occupations in every region have published wages. This may be the case for confidentiality reasons (only a few firms employ an occupation), if only a few employees work in the occupation (too small of a sample), or if the occupation is primarily self-employed (such as farmers). Additionally, some very specific occupations (e.g. cardiac care nurse) are combined into their broader occupational group (e.g. registered nurse).

In addition to average pay, the full publication provides wage ranges for each occupation (e.g. 10th percentile, 25th percentile, etc.).
Occupational Wages

The average hourly wage in the Portland Tri-County area is $65,290; about $6,800 (12%) higher than the statewide average. Most occupations pay more in the metro region than elsewhere in the state – not uncommon in urban areas.
Average hourly wages range from $15.42 for farmworkers and labors to $146.86 for orthodontists. Nine of the 10 highest-paying occupations are in health care.
The Survey

Wage data are collected through the Occupational Employment and Wage Survey (OEWS), a semi-annual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for payroll workers by industry. In Oregon, the survey samples more than 6,000 establishments a year, taking three years to fully collect the sample of 19,000 establishments.

The OEWS survey defines employment as workers covered by unemployment insurance. Wages are straight-time gross pay excluding premium pay and nonwage fringe benefits. Base pay rates, tips, commissions and certain types of production bonuses are included. Exclusions include overtime pay, housing allowances and nonproduction bonuses.

You can find a wealth of occupational information – including wages – by visiting www.QualityInfo.org. Go to the Jobs and Careers section and select Occupation and Wage Information.

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