Online resources indicate that the overall national base salary for U.S. citizens was projected to rise from 2.38 percent to 2.86 percent in 2010 and 2011. As of March 2011, Culpepper and Associates compensation surveys reveal a definite improvement since 2010. Actual raise percentages varied by industry, corporation size and ownership. Additionally, Culpepper reports a significant decrease in freezing salaries and wage cuts during the reporting period.


The standard raise for hourly employees in 2011 varied according to industry by about 0.77 percent. The lowest wage increases were experienced by health care professionals, who earned raises of about 2.79 percent in 2011. Clean-tech and alternative energy -- green -- occupations saw the highest pay increases at 3.56 percent, up 0.36 percent since 2010. Other pay rate percentages by industry included: technology, 3.47 percent; life sciences, 3.28 percent; energy, 3.47 percent; engineering, 3.11 percent, and 3.41 percent in other sectors.


The ownership of the company you work for also plays a role in what your average pay raise percentage is. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that 2011 pay raises vary up to 0.81 percent, depending on ownership type. For example, the highest projected pay increase in 2011 is about 3.71 percent for workers of start-up businesses. The lowest percentage is 2.90 for nonprofit workers. Professionals employed by public corporations receive pay raises of about 3.32 percent, a figure 0.20 percent less than private corporation workers, who earn an average raise of about 3.52 percent.

Company Size

Company size and employee population also help to determine what your standard pay raise is. In fact, average pay raises vary as much as 0.38 percent among companies staffing from one to 10,000 employees. According to Culpepper and Associates compensation surveys, corporations of 10,000 or more distributed average pay increases of 3.17 percent. Smaller companies employing less than 100 people provided higher wage increases of 3.55 percent. The average pay raise percentages and corresponding company size are as follows: 101 to 500 employees, 3.41 percent; 501 to 2,500 employees, 3.39 percent; 2,501 to 10,000 employees, 3.26 percent.

Federal Employees

Federal employees experience lower pay raise percentages than other employees and will not see any increase at all from 2010 to 2012, according to the My Federal Retirement website. In 2009, President Barack Obama imposed a 2.0 percent overall pay increase for civilian federal employees. The increase included a 1.5 percent raise in pay nationwide and a 0.5 percent local increase. Shortly thereafter, a bill was passed to freeze federal employee pay raises through Dec. 31, 2012.