Skip to Main Content

Salary & Compensation Research Guide

This guide offers a starting point to researchers looking for current and historical salary and wage data for occupations, industries, and government employees.


Carol Highsmith, photographer. Exterior view. South doors (Independence Avenue) with a sculpted bronze male figure representing physical labor and a female figure representing intellectual labor. Library of Congress John Adams Building, Washington, D.C., 2007. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

This guide is specifically focused on sources for finding salary and compensation data in the United States. We have tried to include resources for those looking for more current data as well as historical data. This guide is primarily focused on data so we have not focused on analysis related to pay disparities between gender or race. The discussion around pay transparency External may be of interest and come into play when looking for actual salary figures.

For current salary and compensation data, private publishers are a major source. Much of their current detailed data is published on their proprietary platforms that the Library currently does not subscribe to. However, we have included a government source for current data--freely available to those who cannot access subscription resources: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes data on wages and salaries through various surveys and reports. This guide has limited information for anyone looking for salaries for specific people. For officers of companies there is limited data for private companies, but we have provided just a few sources that work primarily for top executives of public companies.

For those doing historical research the Library does have many of the print volumes from private publishers as well as print titles from the BLS but we have not cited all of them individually. Instead, we have included subject and author searches in the catalog to facilitate finding relevant titles.

Lastly, we are also including current and historical data on the salaries of government officials and employees as available. Most of the current data is not about named people though historical data does often offer that information.

About the Business Section

Part of the Science & Business Reading Room at the Library of Congress, the Business Section is the starting point for conducting research at the Library of Congress in the subject areas of business and economics. Here, reference specialists in specific subject areas of business assist patrons in formulating search strategies and gaining access to the information and materials contained in the Library's rich collections of business and economics materials.