November 29, 2006
Female college graduates age 25 and over earned about 79 percent more than women with only a high school diploma in 2005.
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 2005 had median usual weekly earnings of $341. Those with a high school diploma and no college earned $493; those with some college but no degree earned $570 and those with an associate degree earned $614.
Full-time women workers who held a bachelor's degree in 2005 had median usual weekly earnings of $813. Master's degree holders had earnings of $983, while the figure for professional degree holders was $1,131 and for doctoral degree holders was $1,214.
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 BLS Report 996, Women in the Labor Force: A Databook (2006 Edition).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Differences in women’s earnings by educational level, 2005 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2006/nov/wk4/art03.htm (visited January 22, 2022).