As expected, people who make a lot of money are more satisfied with their incomes. But new research shows there’s a tipping point in salary satisfaction, and if people make too much dough, they tend to be less happy with the amount.

According to a new survey by CareerBuilder, people start to get happy with their pay once it tops $75,000. They get happier when it tops $100,000, but less satisfied once they’re making $150,000 or more.

CareerBuilder commissioned the pollsters at Harris to look into the issue of salary satisfaction. Harris got info from more than 3,300 employers and more than 2,000 HR folks. Overall, the finding was that about two-thirds of today’s workers aren’t satisfied with how much they make. Here’s more detail on what Harris learned:

Salary level less than $50,000

23 percent satisfied

77 percent not

Salary level $50K-$75K

39 percent satisfied

61 percent not

Salary level $75K-$100K

56 percent satisfied

44 percent not


66 percent satisfied

34 percent not


57 percent satisfied

43 percent not

When the numbers were sliced and diced by gender, the survey found that more than 80 percent of women say they’re satisfied if they’re making up to $99,999. Just over 70 percent of men found salary satisfaction in that same range. And when people who made less than $50,000 were asked if they were satisfied, 32 percent of women said yes, but only 18 percent of men said they were satisfied.

Asked if they’d ever asked for a pay raise, 44 percent said they had, meaning more than half these workers have never asked for a raise.

Transparency, it turns out, is more popular with employers than with worker bees. When HR types were asked if their employers disclosed worker salaries, 29 percent said they did. A much higher percentage — 47 percent — said they thought disclosing salaries was a good idea. When employees were asked if they supported salary transparency, 65 percent said they didn’t.

CareerBuilder noted in a release accompanying the survey results that salary growth has basically been stagnant during the recovery. That may be changing, however. A survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management found that companies are beginning to higher compensation to job candidates as the competition for top talent heats up.