H1B Wage Levels [2023]: A Definitive Guide

Editorial Team - HomeAbroad  by HomeAbroad Editorial Team
11 min read
H1B Wage Levels

Whether you’re an employer or an aspiring H1B employee, gaining essential insights into the complex world of H1B wage levels in 2023 is extremely important. It will help you in understanding the four H1B wage levels and learn how they impact fair compensation. This comprehensive guide will help you dive deep into the intricacies of H1B wage levels and unravel the key factors that shape them.  

H1B Wage Level: Explained

The H1B wage level refers to the classification system used to determine the appropriate salary for H1B visa holders in the United States. The following table will help you compare various wage levels and corresponding information.

H1B Wage Level 2023

H1B Wage Level 2023 Highlights:

  • H1B wage levels position jobs into four wage levels, ranging from Level 1 (entry-level), Level 2 (Qualified), Level 3 (Experienced), and Level 4 (advanced).  
  •  The levels are based on the prevailing wage for similar positions in the geographical area of employment. 
  • The wage level is determined based on job requirements, experience, and education. Each level corresponds to a specific salary range, with higher levels demanding higher wages. 
  • The wage level assigned to an H1B petition affects the visa’s eligibility, duration, and potential extension.  
  • The wage is based on the prevailing wage for a given occupation in a given area of employment. The H1B wage is reviewed and updated every year. 
  • The H1B prevailing wage is an essential part of the H1B visa program and helps to ensure that it operates fairly and smoothly.  

What are the Prevailing Wages for H1B Visas?

The prevailing wage rate is the average wage paid to workers in a specific occupation in the intended employment area. Remember that H-1B Specialty occupations require a Job Zone of 4 or higher.

The image below contains prevailing wage data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. The survey was conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and uploaded by the OFLC on July 1, 2023.

This data, covering the period from July 2023 to June 2024, came into effect from July 1, 2023. For the detailed list, visit: www.flcdatacenter.com

H1B wage level: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey 2023

Quick Bites:

  • For H-1B visa eligibility, it is required that the specialty occupation falls within a Job Zone of 4 or higher.  
  • Job Zones 4 and above typically involve occupations requiring higher education, experience, and skills. 
  • By setting a minimum Job Zone requirement of 4, the H-1B visa program aims to ensure that the individuals being hired for specialty occupations possess the necessary qualifications and expertise.  
  • This requirement helps maintain the program’s integrity and ensures that H-1B visas are granted to individuals with specialized knowledge and skills not readily available in the domestic workforce.

How Are Prevailing Wages Determined? 

The determination of prevailing wages involves employers requesting the wage rate from the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) or accessing other authorized sources, such as  

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics within the US Department of Labor has been collecting wage data through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program since 1998, and this data is available on the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center Online Wage Library website
  • Most employment-based visa programs overseen by the US Department of Labor require employers to pay prevailing wages as a minimum.  
  • Specifically, for the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 programs, employers must pay either the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to workers with similar qualifications and skills, whichever is higher.  

How Much is H1B Visa Minimum Salary in 2023? 

The H-1B non-immigrant, regardless of whether they work full-time or part-time,  

  • Must receive actual wages of at least $60,000 in the calendar year.  
  • These wages must be paid in cash, without any deductions or obligations, and paid on time as agreed upon. 

What are H1B Wage Level Requirements for LCA?

As an H1B visa applicant, it’s important to understand the wage level requirements for the Labor Condition Application (LCA) process. The LCA is a crucial component of the H1B visa application, and it requires the employer to specify the wage level for the H1B position they are hiring for. 

  • The US Department of Labor requires H-1B employers to submit all pertinent employment information, such as pay, level, site, and title. H1B visa workers are legally obligated to be paid at least the required amount, typically more significant than the prevailing wages or the employer’s actual wage payment. 
  • When you present an appeal, you must list your wage level correctly. The H1B visa program allows companies in the United States to hire foreign workers with specialized knowledge and abilities that are desirable for the country. 
  • The LCA does not accept the H1B request unless it is shown that the applicant has a unique skill, knowledge, or ability that is not readily available in the United States. As a result, wage level is critical when determining whether the H1B visa is authorized and, if so, at what rate. 
  • You must ensure that the H1B position you are applying for has a wage level that supports your immigration request.
  • It’s essential to ensure that the specified wage level aligns with your qualifications and the nature of the job you will be performing. 
  • By being aware of the prevailing wage rates, you can ensure that your employer is offering you fair compensation at least equal to the prevailing wage for the specified wage level. 
  • Keeping track of the prevailing wage rates for your occupation and location is advisable to stay informed about fair compensation standards and any potential changes that may affect your H1B employment. 
  •  An experienced immigration lawyer will be your most significant source of knowledge on the subject. They’ll work with you to improve your chances of approval for an H1-B visa. 
  • Ultimately, understanding and adhering to the wage level requirements in the LCA process will contribute to a smoother application process and help ensure a fair and compliant working environment for H1B visa holders. 

Please Note! 

To determine your current H1B Wage Level, you can refer to Section G of your H1B Labor Condition Application. This section contains essential details regarding your H1B position, including the Wage Level, the prevailing wage in the specific area, and the year of the wage database. It is expected that your prospective employer has provided you with this information. 

How Does Prevailing Wage Help? 

It might affect your legal standing if you work in the United States on an H-1B visa and your employer doesn’t pay you the required prevailing wage. However, this can help you clear up any concerns regarding your employment situation in the United States and compensation rates. The following are some of the reasons why prevailing wage may be beneficial: 

1. Avoid Being Exploited 

The H1B prevailing wage is one of the most critical aspects of the H1B visa. It ensures that your employer pays you at least the required wage amount. It comprises both hourly and salaried employment. You can protect your rights in a foreign country by being familiar with the procedures. 

2. Understand the Employment Situation in the US Job Market 

The US job market can be tough to understand sometimes. The H1b wage map is an illustration of this issue. Understanding current wages will aid you in determining your career wisely by revealing the level of pay offered for various job levels in the US market. 

Before applying for an H-1B visa, be sure you are up-to-date on the requirements. 

Where to Find Out About Your H1B Prevailing Wage? 

When it comes to applying for an H1-B visa, one of the essential factors in determining the prevailing wage for your specific occupation, there are a few different ways you can go about this. 

  • One option is to look at job postings in your desired field and compare the offered wages. 
  • Another option is to consult with an immigration attorney or professional who can help you assess the prevailing wage for your specific occupation in your area. 
  • Finally, you can check with the US Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification to get more information on prevailing wage levels for H1-B visas. 

Whichever method you choose, it is essential to ensure that you are accurate in your assessment of the prevailing wage so that you can ensure that you are properly paid once you enter the United States on your H1-B visa. 

How to Find the H1B Prevailing Wage for Job by Location/History?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to examine the H1B prevailing wage position at a specific place:

Step 1: Visit the H1BGrader.com Prevailing Wage Search Page

Find H1B Prevailing Wage Levels
Source: H1B Grader

Step 2: Select the Job Title and SOC Code. You may start typing to receive suggestions. Select them as per your preference, then press the Search button.

Step 3: H1B prevailing wage levels are displayed in the search results, with a starting salary that has to be compensated to H1B workers at each level.

You may also view the history of H1B prevailing wages over the past 5 years by consulting History of H1B Prevailing Wages and following the same procedures as above.

How to Check H1B Wage Levels Using FLCDataCenter?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the FLCDatacenter.com site to calculate the minimum wage (prevailing wage) for an H1-B job position:

Step 1: “Select Wizard”

Go to the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website and select the search wizard from the menu on the left. If you want to go directly to search, you may choose Quick Search instead. The wizard allows you to pick a state and follow each step precisely.

Foreign Labor Certification Data Center
Source: FLC Data Center

Step 2: “Select Your Location”

The category for the source of the database is called Prevailing wage. To find out which database to pick, consider all industries first. You must select a location where you will work or perform your job. The last option is to choose the function’s title. If you can’t discover the job title, you may use the keyword selection to input it.

Once you’ve chosen the above options and hit search, you’ll see a list of wage information. It will show all the wage levels and the minimum wage for each one.

It is essential for your H1B paperwork and approval with DOL and USCIS. Also, inquire about the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) code they plan to use for the job. You’ll be able to view that as well. Finally, one of the most important questions you should ask your employer or learn is the wage rate being offered for your job.

How to Find Your Current Wage Level in H1B LCA?

Here are three steps to find your current Wage Level in H1B LCA.

Step 1: You may discover your current H1B wage level by going through your H1B labor condition application(LCA). It is a comprehensive document that includes all the information about your H1B position.

Search H1B Sponsors
Source: H1BGrader

Step 2: You can request a copy of your H1B LCA from your employer. According to the regulations, they are supposed to provide you with a copy of your LCA.

Step 3: Go to section G to check the wage level information. In the G area, you may discover details about salary levels available in a particular region, wage levels, and the wage database year with ease. To view the LCA details, you can search for your LCA online on websites like H1BGrader.com LCA Search.

The data comes from the Department of Labor’s H1B LCA disclosure page. You may also use the DOL Performance Data Disclosure Page to download excels and search for your case number. However, the files are generally large and several hundred megabytes in size, which are not consumable.

The New Policy Memorandum of April 2017 specifies that Computer Programmer Level 1 salaries aren’t considered specialties and don’t qualify for H1B visas. As a result, determining the proper wage level is difficult.

What Factors Affect H-1B Wages?

1. Job Requirement:

The job requirements and the place of employment mainly determine the prevailing wages in an H1B business. The job requirements vary by job type and the level of experience necessary, helping you choose the right pay level.

2. Location:

Location is essential since rates vary between regions.

3. Work Condition:

Work conditions in each location assist in the calculation of the prevailing salary level using labor data from the given region.

4. Average Salary:

The average salary for those with a higher median salary for positions is higher.

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What are the Benefits of Prevailing Wages?

The prevailing wage law has advantages for workers, employees, businesses, and even the economy as a whole.:

1. Gaps in the Race’s Prevailing Wage Rate Have Reduced

Racial preconceptions may influence employers to treat diligent workers less favorably and exploit their talents.

The federal government is also responsible for regulating prevailing wage laws. This law dictates that regardless of their race, employers pay employees equally in financial aspects. It’s a step toward promoting inclusivity and employee rights.

The suppliers of goods and services must pay a wage at least as high as the current going rate for similar work as the prevailing wage law ensures. The FLSA also forbids employers from taking advantage of captive workers. This legal framework protects employees against racial discrimination in financial transactions and gives them certain rights.

2. Encourages Better Productivity and Improved Performance

The prevailing wage acts as a guarantee for employees since the local authorities determine it. You will operate at your full capacity when you know you’ll be paid a specific amount of money based on your job profile and location. It helps in clearing any doubts in the minds of foreign workers and U.S. residents about the whole process.

3. Encourages Economic Growth

The H-1B wage also ensures that the citizens are protected and makes them more accountable to the state. Employers emphasize hiring their nation’s most significant human resources and providing them with the necessary tools.

4. Establishes the Groundwork for a Fair Working Atmosphere

The H-1B visa system ensures that people working in similar job functions are on the same platform. This assurance encourages coworkers to be friendly and productive in the office. It promotes openness in job descriptions. A prosperous atmosphere is created with legislation treating non-immigrants and U.S. workers equally financially.

Conclusion

Now you are fully equipped to understand the realms of H1B wage levels and different methods to find your H1B visa wage. Make sure to fulfill the requirements and have the right wage according to your education and expertise. Your wage level can support your home buying and mortgages on an H1B visa if you wish to buy property in the USA.

FAQs

  1. How do I know my wage level for H1B?

    There are a few ways that you can determine your wage level for H1B:
    1. You can look at job postings in your desired field and compare the wages being offered.
    2. You can consult with an immigration attorney or other professional to help you assess the prevailing wage for your specific occupation in your area.
    3. You can also check with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification to get an idea of the prevailing wage for your occupation in your area.

  2. What is the Level 1 salary for H1B?

    The H1B level 1 salary is the lowest wage a foreign worker can pay while working in the United States under the H1B visa program. The salary of this level is valued at between $38,000 and $51,000 per year.

  3. Does the H1B wage level include bonuses?

    No, the H1B wage level does not include bonuses. However, some employers may offer bonuses as part of their benefits package. If you are interested in an H1-B visa, ask your potential employer about their bonus policy.
    However, by immigration law, the required wage must be paid to the H1B employee without deductions. Bonuses that are not certain to the employee aren’t included in calculating the wage. When fulfilling the wage standards, the employer may not consider the value of benefits provided to employees, such as health insurance.

  4. What happens if my employer does not pay according to the H1B LCA prevailing wage?

    The LCA governs the employer’s financial obligations and payment of fair pay. If they are not paying you, there are two main ways you can report it- you can file a complaint with the Department of Labor by completing the WH4 Form.
    The first step is contacting the employer and asking them to repay wages or reimburse according to LCA.
    If they do not state so, you may submit a request with the WH4 form on the DOL website.

  5. Does the H1B LCA prevailing or minimum wage differ each year?

    Yes. The current wage is determined by OES surveys and is updated annually. Therefore, you should closely monitor the wage information when it’s published. To discover the history of H1B wage data, go to H1Bgrader’s Prevailing Wages History page. In addition, when submitting a new LCA, you must utilize the current prevailing wage, as indicated on the FLCDataCenter website.

  6. How is the prevailing wage calculated?

    The prevailing wage for the occupations covered by the program is established through surveys of wages paid. Salaries are paid in those jobs in surrounding areas to ensure that the pay rates reflect local economic conditions. A state with a higher salary for a given position will have a higher wage than most people are paid for that same position.

  7. How to find H1B prevailing wage job?

    There are a few ways that you can look for H1B prevailing wage jobs:
    1. Check the Department of Labor website.
    2. Check job boards and classifieds.
    3. Attend job fairs.
    4. Register with employment agencies

Editorial Team - HomeAbroad
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