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# 3. Calculate Average Pay

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In this video, you will calculate the average pay rate for the careers you are researching.

An average is the central value of a set of numbers. It is calculated by adding all the numbers together, and then dividing them by the number of items in the set.

Finding the average of a few different pay rates gives you a more realistic view of what you can actually expect to make in a job, since one company might pay a much higher or lower rate for a particular job than others.

To begin, type “Average” under your sources in the Pay Rate column for the first job in your spreadsheet, and make it bold so it stands out.

To calculate the average of the pay rates you recorded, use a formula. In a spreadsheet, a formula does mathematical calculations automatically. This is faster and more accurate than adding up a list of numbers by hand, and your average will update if you change any of the numbers in the list.

First, select the cells containing the pay rate data.

You will use this cell reference in your formula. A cell reference tells the formula which cells to use in the calculation. It also allows totals to change automatically when numbers in those cells are updated.

Now, apply the AVERAGE formula. This formula automatically calculates the average of the values in the cells you selected.

Note that the total changes if any of the numbers in the referenced cells change.

Repeat these steps to find the average pay rates for additional careers.

Now, it’s your turn: Add an “Average” label under your sources and bold it, Use a formula to calculate the average pay rate, And repeat these steps for additional careers.