Lane County 2021 Occupational WagesJuly 14, 2021 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 440 occupations had published wages in Lane County for 2021.
The average wage for all occupations is lower in Lane County than the statewide average. Lane County’s annual average for all occupations was $52,528 compared with the statewide annual average of $58,443. 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.
Occupational wages in Lane County are estimated from a survey of local employers. Wages for many different occupations in the region are available – the exact number differs each year. This article presents the 2021 wages for selected occupations in the County.
Not all occupations in the region have published wages. This may be due to confidentiality reasons (only one or two firms employ an occupation) or if only a few employees work in the occupation (too few in the sample). Other reasons to exclude an occupation are if it is primarily self-employed (such as farmers) or if the wages reported in the sample for Lane County are substantially different from those for other regions (an indication of poor data quality). Some occupations are excluded if the wage is more than $208,000 per year.
Wages for Selected Occupations
In Lane County, as in most labor markets, many of the largest occupations are relatively low paying jobs in the services and retail sectors that require little in the way of skills and training. For Lane County, the most common occupations are fast food and counter workers followed by home health and personal care aides and retail sales people. There are, however, some large and relatively high-paying occupations in nursing, management, and truck driving. These are skilled occupations that require higher levels of education and training.
Wage Data by Broad Occupational Group
Reviewing occupational wages can be a useful step when planning a career. The table below presents employment and average wages for broad occupational groups instead of specific occupations. There are usually opportunities for advancement within a broad occupational group through experience, education, and training.
In Lane County, occupations in health care, management, computer and mathematical, architectural and engineering, and legal 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 $45,610 in 2021, 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 protective services and construction pay well depending on experience and skill level but do not require a college education.
Occupational Employment and Wage Survey
Wage data presented here are collected through the Occupational Employment and Wage Survey (OEWS), a semiannual survey that measures occupational employment and wage rates for payroll workers. In Oregon, the survey samples more than 6,000 establishments each year, taking three years to fully collect the sample of more than 18,000 establishments.
The OEWS survey defines employment as workers covered by unemployment insurance. This may exclude the self-employed, owners or partners of unincorporated firms, unpaid family workers, and some commission-based sales agents. Wages paid to these excluded groups are not reflected in the data.