Did you know that your personality significantly affects how much money you make? Well, it does! These are the 5 personality traits that affect your salary:

personality traits that increase your salary

Using a national sample of 14,500 people, Yale Professor Jason Fletcher examined the effects of our Big Five personality traits (a.k.a OCEAN) on our annual salary.

The effect of conscientiousness on your salary

Conscientious people tend to be organized, hardworking, and achievement-striving. Previous research has shown that conscientiousness is correlated with job performance and sales productivity, which is fantastic news for employers. The current research found that a one standard deviation increase in conscientiousness is related to a:

  • 3–6% increase in annual wages

The effect of extraversion on your salary

Extraverted people tend to be social, energetic, and assertive. Similar to conscientiousness, previous research has shown that extraversion is correlated with job performance and sales productivity. Professor Fletcher found that a one standard deviation increase in extraversion is related to a:

  • 5–6% increase in annual wages 

The effect of neuroticism on your salary

Neurotic people tend to be anxious, negative, and get stressed out more easily. Although previous research has found that neuroticism is not correlated with job performance, the current study found that a one standard deviation increase in neuroticism is associated with a:

  • 5–9% decrease in annual wages 

 Other factors that affect your salary

To put the numbers above into context, the results also found that:

  • a one standard deviation increase in intelligence (i.e., cognitive skills) is related to a 12% increase in annual wages
  • an extra year of school is related to a 9-10% increase in annual wages

The takeaways

Research shows that the personality traits of conscientiousness, extraversion, and neuroticism make a difference of 3-9% in your annual salary, which can mean thousands of extra (or lost) income over your career.

So completing a survey of the Big Five personality traits to see where you stand might just be worth your while.

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Personality traits that affect sales Salary

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Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices and data-based HR. She writes about trends and research in talent acquisition, people analytics, and workplace diversity.
Ji-A Min