How much do you need to earn to be successful? A new study from CareerBuilder finds that for U.S. workers lofty salaries aren't always part of the definition.
In a survey of 5,700 workers across industries, the vast majority (75%) said they don't need to earn six figures in order to be successful. Twenty-eight percent said they would feel successful earning between $50,000 and $70,000, while 23% reported they would feel successful earning less than $50,000. One in ten need to pull in $150,000 or more.
Most workers reported they currently earn either their desired salary (23%) or are close to it (45%). Nearly one-third (32%) said they are not anywhere near their target pay level.
Men were twice as likely as women to say they would need to earn six figures to be successful: 32% of men compared to 17% of women. Looking at salary levels, men were twice as likely as women to actually earn $100,000 or more.
The definition of success in relation to salary varied among industries. Workers in information technology (48%), sales (38%), and financial services (37%) were the most likely to report they would need to earn six figures to feel successful. Workers in retail (36%), hospitality (33%), and manufacturing (22%) were the most likely to report they would feel successful earning less than $50,000.
As companies recover and rebuild post-recession, workers are reporting significant gaps between raises. Forty-nine percent of workers reported they have not had a merit raise since 2010. Twenty-five percent have not had a merit increase since before 2008.
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