Is $35 Per Hour Good Pay In 2023?

In today’s economy, many people wonder if $35 per hour is considered good pay. With the cost of living continuously rising, it’s valid to question if a certain wage provides a comfortable living.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: $35 per hour is a decent hourly wage, but may not be enough to live comfortably in high cost-of-living areas.

This article will dive deeper into an analysis of $35 per hour pay, examining factors like location, job industry, experience level, and expenses to determine if this hourly rate allows for a good standard of living.

Average Hourly Wages in the U.S.

When considering if $35 per hour is good pay in 2023, it is important to understand the average hourly wages in the United States. These statistics can provide valuable context for evaluating the adequacy of a particular wage.

National Average Hourly Wage

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average hourly wage in the United States as of May 2021 was $29.75. This figure represents the mean wage across all occupations and industries.

It is worth noting that this average can vary significantly depending on factors such as location, industry, and level of experience.

Average Wages by Location

Wages can vary significantly from one location to another due to differences in the cost of living and regional economic conditions. For example, cities with a higher cost of living such as New York City or San Francisco tend to have higher average hourly wages compared to smaller towns or rural areas.

It is also important to consider regional disparities when evaluating the adequacy of a particular wage.

For more detailed information on average wages by location, the BLS provides a comprehensive database on its website. You can explore the data for different states, metropolitan areas, and nonmetropolitan areas to get a more accurate understanding of average wages in specific locations.

Average Wages by Industry and Experience

The average wages can also vary significantly by industry and level of experience. Certain industries, such as healthcare, engineering, or information technology, often offer higher wages compared to others.

Additionally, individuals with more experience and specialized skills tend to earn higher wages within their respective industries.

To get a better understanding of average wages by industry and experience, you can refer to the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program conducted by the BLS. This program provides detailed data on wages for various occupations and industries.

By exploring this data, you can gain insights into the earning potential within different sectors.

It is important to note that these statistics are subject to change over time as economic conditions evolve. Additionally, individual circumstances and factors such as education, skills, and job market demand can also impact personal earning potential.

Ultimately, whether $35 per hour is considered good pay in 2023 depends on various factors, including the average wages in the specific location, industry, and experience level. It is essential to research and compare the prevailing wages in your specific situation to determine if the offered pay is fair and competitive.

Cost of Living Considerations

Housing Expenses

When considering whether $35 per hour is good pay in 2023, it’s important to take into account the cost of housing in your area. Housing expenses can vary greatly depending on location. In some cities, $35 per hour may be considered a good salary, while in others it may not be sufficient to cover the high cost of rent or mortgage payments.

It’s recommended to research the average housing prices in your desired location to determine if $35 per hour will allow you to comfortably afford housing.

Healthcare Costs

Another crucial factor to consider is healthcare costs. Medical expenses can quickly add up, especially if you have a family or pre-existing conditions. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the healthcare options available to you and the associated costs.

Keep in mind that healthcare costs can vary depending on factors such as your age, location, and the level of coverage you require. Websites like can provide valuable information on healthcare plans and estimated costs.

Transportation Costs

Transportation expenses should also be taken into consideration when determining if $35 per hour is good pay. Commuting costs, including fuel, public transportation fares, and car maintenance, can impact your overall budget.

If you live in an area with a reliable and affordable public transportation system, transportation costs may be minimal. However, if you rely on a car for daily commuting, it’s important to factor in the associated expenses. Websites like can help you estimate fuel costs in your area.

Food Costs

Food is a basic necessity, and the cost of groceries can vary depending on where you live. Factors such as the cost of living and local availability of certain products can influence food expenses. To determine if $35 per hour is good pay, it’s helpful to consider the average cost of groceries in your area.

Websites like provide data on the cost of living, including the average cost of groceries. By comparing this data to your estimated monthly food budget, you can determine if $35 per hour will allow you to comfortably cover your food expenses.

Ultimately, determining if $35 per hour is good pay in 2023 depends on various factors, including the cost of housing, healthcare, transportation, and food in your specific location. It’s crucial to research and analyze these costs to make an informed decision about your salary expectations.

Lifestyle Factors

Providing for a Family

When considering whether $35 per hour is good pay in 2023, one of the important factors to consider is how well it allows an individual to provide for their family. The cost of living can vary greatly depending on location, so it’s crucial to take into account the expenses associated with housing, groceries, healthcare, education, and other essential needs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual expenditure for a family of four in the United States is around $60,000. While $35 per hour may provide a comfortable living for a single individual, it may require careful budgeting and prioritization for those supporting a family.

Paying Off Debt

Another significant consideration when evaluating the adequacy of $35 per hour as good pay in 2023 is the ability to pay off debt. Whether it’s student loans, credit card debt, or mortgages, having a steady income that allows for debt repayment is crucial for financial stability.

With $35 per hour, an individual can make substantial progress towards paying off debt, especially if they are disciplined with their spending and allocate a portion of their income towards debt reduction.

It’s important to create a realistic budget and prioritize debt repayment to ensure long-term financial freedom.

Saving for Retirement

One of the most important aspects of financial planning is saving for retirement. While $35 per hour is a decent wage, it’s essential to consider how it aligns with long-term retirement goals. Financial advisors often recommend saving at least 15% of your pre-tax income for retirement.

If an individual is earning $35 per hour and working full-time, this translates to approximately $28,000 per year. It’s crucial to calculate how much will be needed for retirement and determine if $35 per hour allows for adequate savings.

Additionally, taking advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k) or IRA contributions, can help maximize retirement savings.

Ultimately, whether $35 per hour is considered good pay in 2023 depends on various lifestyle factors and individual circumstances. It’s important to assess one’s financial goals, responsibilities, and cost of living in their specific area.

Consulting with a financial advisor can provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to individual needs.

$35/Hour Jobs

Skilled Labor

Skilled labor jobs refer to occupations that require specific training, certifications, or expertise. These jobs often involve manual labor and technical skills. Some examples of skilled labor jobs that may pay around $35 per hour include electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and HVAC technicians.

Skilled labor jobs are in high demand as they play a crucial role in various industries such as construction, manufacturing, and infrastructure development. These jobs offer stability and can provide a solid income for individuals who possess the necessary skills.

Many skilled labor professionals have the opportunity to start their own businesses and become entrepreneurs in their respective fields.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median hourly wage for electricians was $27.11 in May 2020. However, this can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and industry.

It’s important to note that $35 per hour is considered a good pay for skilled labor jobs, especially for those starting out in their careers.

Professional Services

Professional services encompass a wide range of occupations that require specialized knowledge and expertise. These jobs often involve providing services to clients or businesses in fields such as law, accounting, consulting, and healthcare.

Professionals in these fields typically undergo extensive education and training, and their expertise commands higher compensation. $35 per hour can be a reasonable rate for certain entry-level or intermediate positions in professional services.

However, it’s important to note that salaries can vary greatly depending on the specific occupation and level of experience.

For example, according to the BLS, the median hourly wage for paralegals and legal assistants was $25.28 in May 2020. On the other hand, healthcare professionals such as registered nurses had a median hourly wage of $36.91 during the same period.

These figures provide some context to assess whether $35 per hour is a good pay in professional service jobs.

Information Technology

The field of information technology (IT) encompasses a wide range of jobs related to computer systems, software development, networking, and cybersecurity. With the increasing importance of technology in various industries, IT professionals are in high demand and often command competitive salaries.

IT jobs can vary in terms of required skills, experience, and specialization. Some examples of IT positions that may offer around $35 per hour are computer support specialists, web developers, and network administrators.

However, more specialized roles such as software engineers or data scientists may command higher salaries.

According to the BLS, the median hourly wage for computer support specialists was $24.83 in May 2020. However, it’s worth noting that the demand for IT professionals is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, which may lead to higher wages in the industry.


In summary, an hourly wage of $35 can provide a decent living in some parts of the U.S., but may not go far enough in high cost cities. The purchasing power of $35 per hour depends heavily on your location, profession, experience level, and expenses.

While $35 per hour is well above minimum wage, it may only equate to a middle-class lifestyle in expensive metro areas. Carefully consider your monthly bills and goals to determine if $35 per hour meets your needs.

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