Lane County 2019 Occupational Wages

by Brian Rooney

October 8, 2019

Thanks to survey responses from local employers, the Oregon Employment Department produces annual estimates of occupational wages for the state and its workforce regions. Roughly 480 occupations had published wages in Lane County for 2019.

The estimate for all occupations in Lane County is somewhat lower than the statewide estimate. Lane County’s annual mean for all occupations was $48,671 compared with the statewide annual mean of $53,361. Some of the difference may be due to the presence of the University of Oregon. College students may take a lower wage for a job as long as it fits their schedule. In addition, graduates create a large supply of entry-level applicants in the professional occupations in business, science, and law. Not all occupations in Lane County pay lower wages than the statewide figure. Some pay higher wages.

In Lane County, as in most labor markets, many of the largest occupations are relatively low paying jobs in the retail and services sectors. There are, however, some large and relatively high paying occupations in management, health care, and truck driving.
Wage Data by Broad Occupational Group

Reviewing occupational wages can be useful when planning a career. The table below presents the size and average wages for broad occupational groups instead of specific occupations. There are usually opportunities for advancement within an occupational group through experience, education, and training.

In Lane County, occupations in health care, management, legal, architectural and engineering, and computer occupations lead the way as the highest paying. The specific occupations in the higher paying groups usually require higher levels of education and training.
Like the detailed occupations, the largest occupational groups are lower paying. These occupational groups are filled with occupations that require less education and training. However, within each group there can be high paying occupations. For instance, some people in sales are very highly paid. Even in food preparation, chefs and head cooks averaged $43,898 in 2019, showing that skill level and experience can translate to higher earnings in any occupational group.

Many occupations in the occupational groups that pay near the average such as transportation and construction pay well depending on experience and skill level but do not require a college education.

Occupational Wages

Wage data presented here are collected through the Occupational Employment Survey (OES), 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 OES 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.

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