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Salary Comparison

The career path you choose today could have a major impact on your future. Salary is one way in which career paths can vary. Use this salary comparison tool to see the projected salaries for the two different careers you have chosen to explore. Note how the salaries compare at 2, 8, and 14 years and contrast those salaries to the average amount you would be making with a high school diploma.

Step 1: Use the information on your career pathways worksheet to fill in the job titles and average salaries for the careers you have chosen to explore.

Step 2: Click on the submit button to see the projected salaries for your two chosen careers and the average salary for someone with a high school diploma. Notice that jobs requiring a degree will have the cost of the degree subtracted from the total salary until the amount is paid off. The average cost per year for a four year degree in a public university is $8,748.

Step 3: Use the projected salaries to answer the Review Questions.

  Career Name Average Salary
Career 1:
Career 2:

Average salary for high school graduate for the year 2002 = $27,950.
Source: www.bls.gov

Average cost per year for a four-year degree in a public university in 2004 = $8,748
Source: Annual Survey of Colleges, The College Board, New York, NY.

Review Questions

  1. How does a college degree affect your total earnings after two years? After eight years? After 14 years?
  2. Which of the career paths will most likely provide you with the largest salary in the long term?
  3. In addition to salary, what are some other important points to consider before selecting a job?