One interesting anecdote was the correlation between education and salary differences at age range. For example, a nurse with an associate’s degree between ages 21–30 can expect to earn an average of $57,191, but between ages 51–60 that average creeps up to $77,787—an increase of 36 percent.
However, those practicing with doctorate degrees between ages 21–30—a much lower number of professionals, to be sure—should only expect to see an increase of about 4 percent by ages 51–60 ($106,217 vs. $110,000). The sample size was larger for professionals with associate’s degrees, but this suggests that the doctorate degree earns professionals higher average starting salaries, while those with associate’s or bachelor’s degrees earn higher salaries through experience.
Of course, the most controversial question related to salary in our society is that of gender—depending who you ask, men can earn up to 30 percent more than women in similar job positions. Nursing is both similar and different—although less than 8 percent of our respondents were male, they did tend to earn more on average than their female counterpart—but not at that 30 percent level. In terms of overall averages (meaning anyone in any field who answered the survey), male professionals earned about 13 percent more than women.