In 2019, there were 4.3 million retail salespersons in the United States, and they earned an average of $29,360 per year. Fast food and counter workers numbered 4.0 million, with average wages of $23,250. These two occupations were among several large occupations that had annual mean wages significantly below the average for all occupations of $53,490.
Only 2 large occupations had above-average wages: registered nurses, with employment of 3.0 million and annual average wages of $77,460, and general and operations managers, with employment of 2.4 million and wages of $123,030, on average.
There were over 9.3 million workers employed in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) occupations in 2019. The highest paying STEM occupations were petroleum engineers (employment 33,000, average wages $156,780 per year) and the three STEM-related management occupations: computer and information systems managers (employment 434,000, average wages $156,390), architectural and engineering managers (employment 194,000, average wages $152,930), and natural sciences managers (employment 68,000, average wages $145,450). The lowest paying STEM occupations were agricultural and food science technicians (employment 22,000, average wages $44,440) and forest and conservation technicians (employment 19,000, average wages $45,860).