Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

How to Calculate High Pay for EB-1 Cases

“Let me show you how to determine if your pay is above the 90th Percentile. Good luck!”

In order to qualify in the High Salary Category an EB-1 application, you need to show that your pay is above the 90th percentile in the country where you work. If you work in the U.S. then the three wage databases are: –

The Bureau of Labor Statistics

O*Net – Career One Stop

Foreign Labor Cert

If your total remuneration package is above the results for all three of the above then you are in good shape to qualify for the High Salary category for EB-1 and in fact O-1A/O-1B cases. So let’s take in one in turn. I’m just going to be you a very basic step by step guide.

NOTE: As you follow along open up another tab so that you can open the actual pages as these images are a little too small and blurry to see all the information.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics

1: Google BLS and the title of the profession you want to search like this. “BLS Materials Engineer” ou should get a result like this: –

2: Click on the link to open the page. The page should look like this: –

3: Now you can see information about Materials Engineers. Now click on the tab that says “Pay” and the page should then look like this: –

Now you have the remuneration information you need to determine the top pay (90th percentile) for that career.

O*Net / Career One Stop

1: Google ONet Materials Engineer and you should get a result like this: –

2: The Number 17-2131 is called the SOC code. Under the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ONet and FLC all jobs have the same SOC code. So you can find a job title if you know the SOC code. I’ll show you have to use this for the FLC example below. So, the next page should look like this.

3: This above is the top of the page and you’re going to need to scroll down under you get to this area on the same page.

4: Then click on the area that says Local Salary Info and then this will open another page that looks like this: –

5: You can set the state to whatever you wish and then hit go and you should see a page that looks like this: –

6: Now you can see the pay rates for the state and nationally. Take your pick as to which one you want to use. The goal must be to beat the state and national amount so that you know you are 100% safe.

Foreign Labor Center Data Center

1: The process is a little tricky to following closely as it’s different than the previous two options. Click here to get started and you should get this: –

2: Select Quick Search and you will get this: –

3: Here is where it gets tricky. You will need to enter a BLS Area Code. Click here and you will be able to get a code that relates to major cities around the country. Copy the nearest cod and enter it in the BLS Area Code field. For Los Angeles, I just used 31080.

4: So in the illustration below I entered both the BLS Area Code + the SOC code as I mentioned above.

Ok, once I entered the two numbers and hit the ‘search’ button I get the results I wanted.


Well Done 🙂

If you make more than the 90th percentile on all three then you should be in good shape. You can also do some additional research on sites like PayScale, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and others. What is cool about PayScale, Glassdoor and others, they will enable you to confirm your remuneration in other (not all) countries. So, if you work outside of the USA still do the U.S. payscales as a reference but definitely use PayScale and the others for your country too as best you can.

Good luck 🙂