The Value of a High School Diploma in Today's Economy
On average, a high school graduate in the U.S. earns roughly $42,590 annually, which translates to about $20 per hour. Moving a notch higher, individuals with an Associate's degree, aged between 25 and 34, bag an average salary of $44,100. This figure sees a considerable jump for those with a Bachelor's degree, standing at $59,600.
As expected, the figures continue to climb with higher education, with Master's degree holders earning an average of $69,700 annually. But, what if one doesn't have a degree?
Those without any degree have an average earning of $29,800. So, the conclusion is clear: high school diploma holders do earn more than their non-diploma counterparts.
Analyzing the Financial Gap: High School Graduates vs. Non-Graduates
Across the board, it is evident: holding a high school diploma generally translates to better earnings compared to those without. It is always a viable option to consider completing high school, especially with programs like the U.S. Career Institute's online high school offering. Below, we dissect the potential earning differences state-wise to help gauge the financial impact.
Earnings Overview in Ohio for High School Diploma Holders
- Median salary for non-graduates: $24,237
- Median salary for high school graduates (including equivalency): $32,046
- The gap in median salary: $7,809
- This data underscores the value of a high school diploma, even in a single state like Ohio.
The Long-Term Earnings Potential of a High School Diploma
While immediate yearly earnings often grab our attention, it is essential to zoom out and assess the cumulative benefits a high school diploma can bring over a lifetime. This long-term perspective paints a clearer picture of the true value of completing high school.
Once you have earned your diploma, that credential is yours forever and the earning power that comes with it does not go away.
Lifetime Earnings Boost with a High School Diploma
Let's look at the math:
From age 18 to age 65, that is a span of 48 years in the workforce, assuming retirement at 65. If an individual earns an additional $7,809 every year due to their high school diploma, the total accumulates as follows:
48 years x $7,809/year = $374,832
Over nearly five decades, a person with a high school diploma could potentially earn an additional $374,832 compared to someone without that diploma. This is not just a number; it is a potential home purchase, numerous vacations, a substantial retirement nest egg, or even funds for a child's education. This projection underscores the profound long-term impact of securing a high school diploma, both in terms of financial stability and the associated life opportunities it can provide.
If you go onto college and earn more education, your earning potential increases even more significantly. There are many other factors that can influence your outcome but it has been consistently shown that just having a high school diploma can result in a massive increase in wealth.
The Tangible Value of a High School Diploma
So, “How much more money can I make with a high school diploma?” — the answer is very clear. Whether we are discussing immediate earnings or the permanent lifetime earnings, having a high school diploma significantly boosts one's earning potential. At least an additional $374,832 over a career span is not a figure to be taken lightly.
Moreover, the path to securing this diploma has become more accessible and flexible than ever. Schools like Career Prep High School offer tailored programs designed for students from all walks of life, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to achieve this pivotal educational milestone. Opting for Career Prep is not just about obtaining a diploma; it is about embracing a brighter, more prosperous future. With the data in hand, the value of a high school diploma is undeniable, and Career Prep stands as an ideal partner in achieving it.