Workers in Arizona with a bachelor's degree earned $20,745 or 80 percent more than those with only a high school diploma, according to data released Thursday.
Those with a graduate degree earned $34,639 or 137 percent more in 2012 than those with just a high school diploma, the Arizona Board of Regents said in a statement.
The gap is widening. In 2007, the median earnings of someone with a bachelor's degree were 70 percent higher than someone with a high school diploma, the report stated.
Data for 2012 shows that the 241,434 students who graduated from Arizona's public universities between 1990 and 2012 and are currently employed in Arizona earned nearly $13.2 billion in wages and paid an estimated $947 million in state and local taxes.
Here's the breakdown of 2012 median earnings for college graduates compared to non-graduates:
Graduate degree: $60,562
Bachelor's degree: $46,668
Some college, no degree: $32,278
High school only: $25,923
Earnings rise over time as well, as individuals gain more tenure and experience in their jobs. A recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau titled "The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings" reveals that over an adult's working life, high school graduates can expect, on average, to earn $1.2 million; those with a bachelor's degree, $2.1 million; and people with a master's degree, $2.5 million.
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