Self-Sufficiency Earnings Estimator


This estimator calculates the income required by an individual or family to meet its basic needs for a given family size and geographic location. These basic needs include housing, food, health care, transportation, childcare and taxes. The estimated income does not include public or private assistance.

The calculator can help you:

  • Set educational and occupational goals
  • Identify a better paying job
  • Decide if a job you are considering will pay enough to meet your family's needs


The estimator uses self-sufficiency standards by family type and geography that were developed by the Center for Women’s Welfare, University of Washington.  For more information on the self-sufficiency standards, please visit:


This dashboard also includes regional occupational information (wages, education, experience, employment outlook) so that you can make informed career choices.

Using the Dashboard

The dashboard below can be used to explore the data in multiple ways:

Explore How Much is Enough - Allows you to explore the self-sufficiency standard by county

The Standard Varies by Family Type - Allows you to visualize how changes in family composition affect the amount a family spends on household expenses such as food, shelter, and childcare.

The Standard Varies by County - Allows you to view a map and table showing how the self-sufficiency standards vary across the state.

Explore Occupations that Meet or Exceed the Standard - Allows you to explore occupations with median wages at or above the self-sufficiency wage in your county or region. Provides typical education, occupational outlook, and number of job openings for occupations.

Explore Wages by Region - Allows you to view a map of female median wages as a percentage of male median wages by occupational group for full-time year-round workers by region.

Explore Wages by Occupation - Allows you to view a table of female median wages as a percentage of male median wages by occupational group for full-time year-round workers by region. Also shows the distribution by gender of all workers in by occupational group and region.


To view answers to frequently asked questions regarding the data in this dashboard, please visit our Self-Sufficiency Employment Estimator Frequently Asked Questions.

To learn more about how to use Tableau and download data, check out our guide Tableau Tips for the Web.

If you are having trouble accessing the data provided below because you are using assistive technology, or for additional assistance using the estimator please contact your local Career Center. To find one closest to your home, please visit:

Self-Sufficiency Earnings Estimator
Data Sources

Median Wage Data

  • Regional median wage data by occupation are based on the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, which collects information from approximately 44,400 establishments. Wage information shown are for the May 2021 OEWS survey and wage information has been updated to the first quarter of 2022 by making cost-of-living adjustments.
  • For more information, please see:

Training, education, and work experience requirements

  • 2021 Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses a system to assign categories for entry-level education, related work experience, and typical on-the-job training to each occupation for which BLS publishes projections data. In addition, educational attainment data for each occupation are presented to show the level of education achieved by workers who are employed in the occupations.
  • For more information, please see:

Self-sufficiency amounts

  • The Self-Sufficiency Standard for New York State 2021, Center for Women’s Welfare, University of Washington (Available at:
  • In this study, self-sufficiency estimates are derived for over 700 different family types by county in New York State using several changing costs, from housing to childcare. Kings County is split into the Northwest section and the remainder of the county, and New York County is split into North Manhattan and South Manhattan. South Manhattan is defined as the area south of Central Park.
  • Children's age ranges :
    • Infant: up to 3 years of age
    • Preschooler: from 3-5 years of age
    • School age: 6-12 years of age
    • Teenager: 13-18 years of age
  • Additional children above the maximum 3 shown are estimated on a regional average of costs of children of that same age bracket.
  • For more details on how the standards were developed and calculated, please see:

Occupational Outlook and Occupation Data

  • Based on Occupational Employment and Statistics Survey (OES), the 2020-2030 Employment Prospects data are available for over 700 occupations. Data are updated every two years and can be found at:
  • Each occupation is assigned one of four descriptors (Very Favorable, Favorable, Unfavorable, and Very Unfavorable) which describe the future employment prospects for that occupation. Two factors are used to determine the descriptor:
    1. Projected total number of annual openings over the projections period (2020-2030).
    2. Projected percentage growth rate over the projections period (2020-2030).

Median Wage by Gender and Employed Distribution by Gender

  • 2017-2021 5-Year American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample data tabulated by NYSDOL
  • Median Wages by gender by occupational group are calculated using workers who reported working full-time year-round.
  • Employment distributions by gender by occupational group are provided for all workers, regardless of whether they worked full-time year-round.