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Female college graduates earned about 76 percent more than women with only a high school diploma in 2004.
This difference in earnings by education has increased sharply since 1979, when female college graduates earned 43 percent more than female high school graduates.
Women workers without a high school diploma who worked full-time in 2004 had median usual weekly earnings of $334. Those with a high school diploma and no college earned $488; those with some college but no degree earned $553 and those with an associate degree earned $608.
Full-time women workers who held a bachelor's degree in 2004 had median usual weekly earnings of $792. Master's degree holders had earnings of $957, while the figure for professional degree holders was $1,055 and for doctoral degree holders was $1,188.
These data on earnings are from the Current Population Survey. Earnings data in this article are median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers age 25 and over. For more information see "Women in the Labor Force: A Databook," BLS Report 985.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Differences in women’s earnings by educational level at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/may/wk2/art04.htm (visited March 25, 2023).