Salary survey for H1B — Are you getting there?


Yannick and I are struggling with Green Card application. We (mainly Yannick) were (was) so lazy and did not bother to work on our immigration stuff and now we had to pay a little cost — Yannick may now have to decline a job offer because of the H1-B. The H1B quota was used up on the very first day!

I am worried, but can’t really push him too much on things he does not like to do. Besides, he has picked up things that I do not like to do — tax, asset allocation… So, it is my turn now.

I can apply for green card through PERM with my company’s sponsorship now. For perm, salary is a key factor–you have to have a salary higher than the average salary in your area to get your visa. So, I found this H1B salary survey.


Surprisingly, Washington has the highest median annual salary of $76K. The average annual salary is usually close to the median value. New York has a very high average of $74k compared to a median value of 55k. I suppose that’s because many were
earning well above 100k. In any case, the good message is that my salary is higher than the median or average in my state. At least, I have met one important condition in getting PERM approved.

The data is a little old, but it tells more than just H1B salary. The most interesting thing to PF bloggers is average household income and house value. California has the highest average house value, but its average household income is actually lower than NJ and CT, or even Maryland!

The average household income in CA is 30% higher than that in Texas, the rent is 40% higher that that in Texas, but the average house value in California is 157% higher than that in Texas! MA is comparable to CA in this respect. So, if someday Yannick and I have to work in CA or MA, I will have a rational plan in head– rent, rent, rent, till we retire in TX and Florida!

BTW, I found it interesting that the average H1B’s salary in New York state is $74K, higher than the average household income ($69K). NYC is really single man’s paradise.

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5 Responses to “Salary survey for H1B — Are you getting there?”

  1. mOOm Says:

    What’s PERM? Anyway I earn almost exactly the mean H1-B salary for my state. BTW there is no cap on H1-B visas for academic positions (including post-docs) and apparently for NGOs too I am told.

  2. Jacqui Says:

    PERM is the process for obtaining labor certification, the first step of the green card process for foreign nationals seeking permanent residence through their employment.

    You can get an overview here. PERM is faster at getting labor certificate. My colleague got his
    I-140 approved in 3 months. I can move to other jobs with I-140
    approved and I-485 pending over 180 days. In case Yannick moves to
    another state, I can easily move to another position once I got I-140
    approved. So I will give it a try.

    The job offer Yannick got was from industry, which pays 3 times higher
    than a postdoc salary. And it will be 50%-90% higher than a faculty’s
    starting salary in his field. However, given the H1B problem, it seems
    that he has to accept the postdoc position for now 😦

  3. mOOm Says:

    OK. When you move though I understood you need to get a new H1-B even if you are in the green card process. I didn’t pay a lot of attention t the different names of these things as my lawyer has been dealing with it. The H1-B cap is ridiculous – it’s very hard for foreign students to leave academia before getting a green card. So I haven’t even tried. But Snork Maiden tells me that NGOs (like Conservation International) are not in the cap either.

  4. latestarters Says:

    Thanks for the link. This site has information on individual cases! It’s a pity that the data seems to be up until 2006 and some links are broken.


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