Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the national average salary for my job?
Occupational wage data are available from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. For the latest data, visit the following:
National data: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm
State data: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm
Metropolitan areas: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm
You may also want to check the Occupational Outlook Handbook for national occupational averages.
Where can I find information on changes in pay rates?
See the Employment Cost Index.
Where can I get wage determinations data?
Cross-industry wage determinations under the Service Contract Act and construction industry wage determinations under the
Davis-Bacon Act are available from: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), U.S. Department of Labor.
Where can I obtain information on minimum wage and overtime laws and regulations?
General wage and hour questions may also be addressed to WHD
Wage and Hour Division (WHD), U.S. Department of Labor.
How can I obtain more information?
Contact the National Compensation Survey staff by phone at 202-691-6199 or by e-mail at Staff.
What is the role of the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Federal pay administration process?
For more than half a century, BLS has supplied data on non-Federal pay from its on-going survey programs to those agencies charged with Federal pay administration. To do this, BLS selects a sample of establishments; collects, reviews, and tabulates wage data; and transmits estimates to the appropriate authority (currently, the Office of Personnel Management) for its use in comparing Federal and private pay. Recommendations about adjustments to Federal pay are the responsibility of the President's Pay Agent and its advisory group, the Federal Salary Council. For a more detailed description of the Federal pay-setting process and the BLS role, refer to
A September 2009 article in the Bureau's Monthly Labor Review, "Fifty years of BLS surveys on Federal employees' pay," (PDF) describes the changes in the Federal pay adjustment process over the years and how the changes affected the Bureau's occupational wage survey programs.
Are there any tables that reflect the national compensation for men and women?
The National Compensation Survey does not produce wage estimates by sex or any other demographic characteristic. The BLS Current Population Survey uses data from a household survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau to produce data by demographic characteristics, including by sex. See ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/lf/aat39.txt and www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat39.pdf.
Where can I obtain statewide occupational survey data?
Statewide occupational pay data are available from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey. See www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm.
Last Modified Date: January 10, 2013