Local Pay Reports: Strong January Pay Gains for E-commerce and Health Care Jobs

The latest edition of the Glassdoor Local Pay Reports revealed continued slow pay growth for American workers in January, with median base pay for full-time workers rising 0.9 percent from a year ago to $51,364 per year, according to real-time salary data from Glassdoor.

That’s mostly unchanged from last month’s 1.0 percent pace, but is down sharply from the robust 3.4 percent year-over-year wage growth we recorded a year ago in January 2017.

Let’s take a closer look at what happened in January with U.S. salaries on Glassdoor.

Pay Gains by Metro

Among the ten metros we track, the fastest pay growth in January was in the bustling tech hub of San Francisco, where pay rose 2.2 percent to $68,328 per year — the highest median base pay overall. Other metros with stronger-than-average pay gains include Washington, D.C. (up 1.9 percent to $59,269 per year), Atlanta (up 1.8 percent to $53,415 per year), and Boston (up 1.7 percent to $58,774 per year).

The weakest pay growth among metros in January was in Chicago, where median pay rose just 0.1 percent to $55,726 per year. Other metros with below average pay gains include Houston (up 0.4 percent to $54,660 per year), and Philadelphia (up 0.4 percent to $54,240 per year.)

Median base pay for all ten metros we track in our Local Pay Reports for January 2018 are available here.

Area Median Base Pay YoY %
National $51,364 0.9%
San Francisco $68,328 2.2%
Washington DC $59,269 1.9%
Atlanta $53,415 1.8%
Boston $58,774 1.7%
New York City $61,042 1.7%
Los Angeles $59,906 1.5%
Seattle $60,549 1.1%
Philadelphia $54,240 0.4%
Houston $54,660 0.4%
Chicago $55,726 0.1%

Jobs with the Fastest Pay Growth

Among the 84 job titles we track each month, here are the ten jobs with the fastest growth in median base pay for full-time workers from one year ago in January:

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Restaurant Cook $28,958 5.4%
Medical Technologist $54,747 4.1%
Delivery Driver $38,720 4.0%
Technical Support $45,818 3.6%
Paralegal $48,593 3.3%
Bank Teller $28,821 3.0%
Sales Representative $46,165 3.0%
Web Developer $64,195 2.8%
Emergency Medical Technician $35,023 2.6%
Warehouse Associate $42,179 2.6%

Several themes connect jobs with the fastest pay growth in January:

  • Health care jobs continue to see pay rising quickly, thanks to labor shortages in a variety of health professions. Amongst health care jobs, wages rose most rapidly in January for medical technologist (up 4.1 percent to $54,747 per year), and emergency medical technician (up 2.6 percent to $35,023 per year).
  • Pay continued rising for e-commerce jobs in January, thanks to booming online retail and distribution. Wages rose sharply in January both for delivery driver (up 4.0 percent to $38,720 per year) and warehouse associate (up 2.6 percent to $42,179 per year).
  • Several lower-skilled roles experienced solid pay gains in January, thanks in part to today’s low unemployment and near-record numbers of U.S. job openings. Restaurant cook (up 5.4 percent to $28,958 per year), technical support (up 3.6 percent to $45,818 per year), and bank teller (up 3.0 percent to $28,821 per year) all experienced above-average pay growth in January.  

Jobs with Biggest 4-Year Pay Raises

Which jobs are seeing the biggest pay gains over the past several years combined? This is known as cumulative pay growth. It shows which jobs are getting ahead or falling behind over multiple years — a good measure of which jobs have healthy labor markets.

The figure below shows cumulative pay growth since January 2014 for the 84 job titles we track in our Local Pay Reports, in each of the ten metros we track and for the U.S. overall. Try exploring the data yourself using the dropdown menus and hover-over tools:

  • For tech jobs, the biggest cumulative pay gains over the past four years have been for software engineer (9.6 percent pay growth) — a core tech job in demand across many industries today. Data analyst has also experienced strong pay gains (up 8.6 percent over four years). By contrast, pay for highly specialized java developer roles is only up 3.9 percent. Similarly, data scientist pay has risen just 4.1 percent over four years.
  • For health care jobs, pay for medical assistant was up most strongly over four years (up 12.7 percent). Similarly, pay for medical technologist (up 10.4 percent) and pharmacy technician (up 10.4 percent) is up sharply since 2014. By contrast, physical therapist pay rose just 0.5 percent over the past four years — evidence of a weak labor market facing employees in these roles today.

Lowest Pay-Growth Jobs

Here are the ten jobs with the lowest wage growth in January, compared to one year ago:

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Loan Officer $44,609 -3.7%
Bartender $31,562 -2.5%
Machine Operator $38,299 -2.0%
Professor $87,127 -2.0%
Maintenance Worker $39,636 -1.1%
Restaurant Manager $49,332 -1.1%
Insurance Agent $40,765 -1.0%
Solutions Architect $101,922 -0.9%
Research Assistant $30,220 -0.8%
Programmer Analyst $67,369 -0.8%

Highest Paying Jobs

Jobs with the highest pay growth aren’t always the ones with the highest earning potential. Here are the jobs with the highest U.S. median base pay from our January Local Pay Reports:

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Pharmacist $127,034 1.1%
Solutions Architect $101,922 -0.9%
Tax Manager $95,118 -0.1%
Attorney $95,087 1.0%
Data Scientist $94,489 -0.4%
Product Manager $90,800 1.0%
Professor $87,127 -2.0%
Software Engineer $86,169 1.5%
Systems Engineer $80,011 2.2%
Process Engineer $76,865 1.3%

Once again, three fields dominated the highest paying jobs in January: Health care, tech, and professional services. Pharmacist, solutions architect and tax manager topped our list as the jobs with highest U.S. median base pay in the January Local Pay Reports.

Lowest Paying Jobs

Finally, here is a list of the ten lowest paying jobs in the January Local Pay Reports:

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Barista $24,614 2.4%
Cashier $27,338 2.5%
Certified Nursing Assistant $28,631 1.4%
Retail Key Holder $28,691 0.2%
Bank Teller $28,821 3.0%
Restaurant Cook $28,958 5.4%
Research Assistant $30,220 -0.8%
Pharmacy Technician $30,277 1.9%
Bartender $31,562 -2.5%
Server $32,985 1.8%

You can view the full list of highest and lowest paying jobs as of January 2018 hereRead more about this month’s report in our press release.

How Does it Work?

Like the Know Your Worth tool by Glassdoor, Local Pay Reports incorporate millions of salaries directly collected from U.S. workers by Glassdoor and apply a proprietary machine-learning algorithm to estimate near-real-time trends in local pay for ten U.S. metros and the nation as a whole.

The Local Pay Reports estimate year-over-year growth in median base salaries by job title for nearly 85 jobs across more than 15 job categories including healthcare, technology, retail and more. The reports also estimate median base pay by industry and employer size, and provide a monthly trend of metro-level median base pay for each local market over the past four years.

Our Local Pay Reports fill an important gap in our knowledge about wage growth at the local level for specific jobs. Official BLS “Occupational Employment Statistics” are updated only once per year, and use broad occupational groupings that can be confusing for job seekers. Local Pay Reports are released monthly—using the latest data from Glassdoor—and show pay for actual job titles that are easy for non-economists to understand. Read more in our full methodology and FAQs.

Monthly Jobs Report Expectations

The latest jobs report from the federal government is due out on Friday. This month, we expect to see +168,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate at 4.0 percent in January. See our full analysis for more commentary and predictions here.

To learn more or subscribe to the monthly email alerts, visit: https://www.glassdoor.com/research/. The Glassdoor Local Pay Reports can be found here: https://www.glassdoor.com/research/local-pay-reports/.

Press inquiries: To speak with Dr. Andrew Chamberlain about this month’s report, email pr@glassdoor.com. Follow him on Twitter: @adchamberlain.