What Is the Average Salary by Age in California in 2024?

By Jason Steele · May 15, 2024 · 4 minute read

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What Is the Average Salary by Age in California in 2024?

Thinking about job hunting in California? You may wonder how much you can expect to earn. While pay depends on a number of factors, the average annual salary in California is $73,220. That’s according to a 2024 analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data conducted by Forbes. By comparison, the average annual salary in the U.S. is $63,795 — nearly $10,000 less.

Let’s take a closer look at how pay in California varies by age, location, and profession.

Average Salary in California by Age in 2024

Average income by age in California tends to increase as you get older and gain more experience. For instance, workers age 24 and younger earn an average of $44,205 a year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Pay jumps up to an average of $90,138 a year for workers aged 25 to 44, and $98,785 a year for those age 45 to 64. Employees who are 65 and older earn an average of $60,832 a year.

These numbers make sense, as many people reach their peak earning years in their late 40s to late 50s. And after turning 65, many Americans choose to either retire, work fewer hours, or switch to a less-demanding job. No matter where you are in your professional journey, a money tracker can help you monitor your spending and saving.

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Recommended: Average U.S. Salary by State

Average Salary in California by City in 2024

Income varies from state to state and even city by city. A budget planner app is one way to stay on top of your finances and make progress toward your financial goals. Knowing which areas tend to pay more can help, too. Just keep in mind those same places may also have a higher cost of living.

Here are the 10 cities in California with the highest average salaries, according to ZipRecruiter.


Average Salary

East San Gabriel $219,808
Foster City $103,522
Sunnyvale $103,006
California Pines $102,542
Santa Clara $99,308
Mountain View $98,739
Palo Alto $96,828
San Francisco $94,878
Menlo Park $93,629
Cupertino $93,212

Average Salary in California by County

Wages in California can change by county. Let’s see what an average salary is in 10 different counties in California, based on 2022 data from the BLS.


Average Salary

Alameda County $93,132
Los Angeles County $85,124
Contra Costa County $82,680
San Diego County $79,612
Orange County $77,428
Sacramento County $76,180
Santa Cruz County $64,480
San Bernardino County $59,748
Riverside County $57,096
Fresno County $56,628

Examples of the Highest-Paying Jobs in California

Depending on your line of work and your living expenses, you may find you can earn a comfortable salary in California. According to Zippia.com, the top 10 highest-paying jobs in California pay on average between $199,736 and over $235,100 per year.

Some of the most lucrative positions in the state are in health care, including hospital physician, primary care pediatrician, orthodontist, psychiatrist, and medical director.

Recommended: What Is a Six-Figure Salary?

The Takeaway

When it comes to earning potential, you may find you can make more in California than you would in some other states. A typical worker in the Golden State makes an average of $73,220 a year, which is nearly $10,000 more than the national average salary. But income can change based on such factors as your age and level of experience, where you live, and the type of work you do.

Remember that salary is just one piece of your overall financial situation. To get a more complete picture of your overall financial well-being, it helps to calculate your net worth.

Take control of your finances with SoFi. With our financial insights and credit score monitoring tools, you can view all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see your various balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score. Plus you can easily set up budgets and discover valuable financial insights — all at no cost.

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What is a good average salary in California?

A “good” salary in California depends on several factors, including where you live and whether you’re supporting other people. For example, to live comfortably in any major city, including those in California, a single adult needs to earn $96,500 or more a year. Meanwhile, a family of four should earn at least $235,000 a year, according to SmartAsset.

What is the average gross salary in California?

The average yearly salary in California is $73,220. This is nearly $10,000 higher than the average salary for the entire country, which is $63,795.

What is the average income per person in California?

The average income per capita in California is $45,591, according to incomebyzipcode.com. This is based on the most recent 2022 Census data. The average income per person will be lower than the average income because per capita income accounts for every person, even ones who are not working full time.

What is a livable wage in California?

In order to earn a livable wage in California, a single adult will need to make at least $56,825 a year, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator. The livable wage for a family of four with two working adults and two children is $138,357. A livable wage is the income needed to cover necessities, including food, housing, taxes, transportation, childcare, and healthcare.

Photo credit: iStock/milan2099

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