Interactive Monday: Visualizing salaries for hundreds of occupations

Feb 09, 2020
Interactive, Career, Employment

A series of interactives from Flowing Data will help your students visualize how salaries vary between and within occupation groups. Useful for your career unit and also will work with math as it includes concepts such as median, percentiles and distributions.

The first interactive ranks occupations by median salary and provides a sense of the number of people within an occupation by the size of the bubble (click below to go directly to the interactive which allows you to scroll over each bubble to see the specific occupation: 


  • Which occupations tend to have the highest median salary? What is that salary figure for this occupation?
    • Do these occupations tend to have lots of people working in them?
    • What educational level do you think is needed to attain this job? 
  • Which occupations tend to have the lowest median salary? What is the median salary for these occupations? 
    • Do these occupations tend to have lots of people working in them?
    • What educational level do you think is needed to attain this job?
  • The size of the circles represent the number of people that have that job in a given field. Across all jobs listed, what do you think is the median salary range that most people earn (hint: where is the bulge on the map the widest)?
  • The color of the bubble represents a specific occupation group. Which occupation group seems to have the highest paying jobs? the lowest paying jobs? 

The second interactive shows the distribution of salaries for a given occupation field. For example, here's healthcare practitioners:

Click to go directly to the interactive. 

Questions: Pick an occupational group that you are interested in.

  • What is the distribution of salaries in that group? The highest salary is for what job? The lowest salary? 
  • At what salary level do most jobs seem to be clustered around? 
  • How much do you think that money matters when picking a career that you are interested in? 


For more interactives, be sure to check out the NGPF Interactive Library. 


Here's one of the more popular Career interactives; What jobs are likely to be done by a machine in the future? 







About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.