Average U.S. Salary Seems About Average

Wages are going up in America, but not fast enough for many.  According to data from the Social Security Administration, the average annual salary for a U.S. worker is about $46,641.  However, the majority of Americans make less than that, as the median salary is only $30,533.

There are many factors that go into salary, including what industry you work in, and what stage of life and career you are in.  "I believe the top one percent are in the $400,000 a year range, while the average starting income coming out of college is more in the $40-60K per year range," says Dr. Daren Martin, author, speaker and culture expert.

With most Americans on the lower end of the wage spectrum, the question becomes how do I make more?  Martin says the first thing to do is change your perspective on asking for a raise.  "How do I make more money...I don't think that's necessarily the right starting place," he tells KTRH.  "I think the question you ought to be asking is how do I make myself so crazy indispensable to this organization?"

To that end, Martin recommends focusing on how you can bring more value to your company.  "I call them magical phrases that lead to raises," he says.  "And it's something as simple as I'll be responsible for that, bringing a plan, not an idea, I thought of a way to save us money, I thought of a way to make us money."

The bottom line, according to Martin, is forget the old mantra about asking for a raise based on how long you've been with the company or how long it's been since your last raise.  "If you will commit yourself to seeing how much value you can bring to your company, I think the money follows," he says.

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