Data Dive

You make how much?
Oklahoma leaders often tout the state’s low cost of living, and it’s for a good reason: Oklahoma boasts low housing costs that are about 25% below the national average. And healthcare and grocery costs are a full 5.5% below the national average. Those savings matter, if corresponding wages match regional and national averages, meaning employees actually benefit from the lower cost of living.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics* produces employment and wage estimates annually for about 830 occupations. On average, Oklahoma wages are lower in many industries than the national and regional averages, even in growth or high-paying sectors. Here’s a look at where Oklahoma ranks in just a few of the state’s employment sectors.

Elementary Teachers:
Oklahoma ranks second lowest in elementary teacher pay in the region, only beating Arkansas for average pay for elementary teachers. Colorado ranks the highest with an average annual salary of $59,270.
Oklahoma: $52,950
Regional: $55,662
National: $ 67,080

Chief Executives:
Oklahoma is known for being a business-friendly state. Oklahoma businesses, however, are behind the curve on pay for their top executives.
Oklahoma: $148,610
Regional: $191,730
National: $ 213,020

Aerospace Engineers:
Oklahoma’s aerospace industry is rapidly growing, and it will need to play catch up with wages with surrounding states like Colorado, with an outlier average salary of $140,690, to remain competitive in the region and meet the national average.
Oklahoma: $104,070
Regional: $122,150
National: $122,970

Family Medicine Physicians:
While family medicine physicians in Oklahoma might be a touch under the national average, family doctors are making more on average here than in the five states around Oklahoma. In fact, Oklahoma doctors average almost $10,000 more than their Texas counterparts.
Oklahoma: $229,750
Regional: $225,080
National: $235,930

*All data from The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2021 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

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