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  • Ten Highest-Paid Career Women

    Earlier this year, Forbes columnist Michael Noer urged readers not to marry career women. Not surprisingly, his Forbes Magazine Online article drew a lot of fire, especially when Noer claimed that nuptials with a career woman would result in “...a higher risk of having a rocky marriage.”

    As someone married to a career woman (a director of clinical affairs, no less) for over 20 years, I take exception with Noer's analysis. While my wife is not in the rarified ranks of Fortune Magazine Online's list of the ten highest-paid women, the advantages of marrying a career woman are manifold (million-fold? :-)

    Let's look at this list of most successful career women. Do they prove Noer's thesis, or do they somehow find wedded bliss while pursuing a career? If you are curious how your or your spouse's pay compares, find out with our salary calculator.

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  • Pay Scale: State Senators

    The recent election certainly changed the political landscape; while congressional power has shifted to the Democrats, all Senators and Congressmen are paid equally in Washington D.C., regardless of which state they represent.

    However, that consistency does not exist on the state level. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures and their 2005 annual salary survey of lawmakers (in each of the 50 states), the pay rate for state senators and representatives differs from state to state. So if you’re thinking of running for office, you might want to do a salary comparison before taking the plunge.

    Let's take a look at how the state senators' pay scale varies between Arkansas and California. In Arkansas, a lawmaker’s annual salary is a paltry $14,067; while in California, state senators and representatives are paid an annual salary of $110,880. If the work lawmakers do is proportional to the number of citizens, the Californians are getting a deal: each state senator in California costs each citizen 0.3 cents, while the price is 0.5 cents per lawmaker per citizen in Arkansas :-)

    Is your salary closer to an Arkansas or California state senator? Find out with our exclusive PayScale salary survey.

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  • Annual Salary: White House Staff

    Most people know that the annual salary for President Bush is $400,000, and some may be aware that Vice President Cheney's is $212,100, but what about everyone else who works in the White House? It would seem like a dream job: famous boss, getting to ride in President Bush's limo and a high salary, right?

    According to an article in the National Journal, staff assistants (those who respond to the President’s mail and answer phones) in the White House make an annual salary of $30,000. That’s not really high pay, especially in the Washington D.C. area, where rent can be pricey. However, with the White House address on their resume, those staffers will probably see an increase in their career salary down the road.

    Their salaries pale in comparison to the "Director of Lessons Learned", who makes an annual salary of $106,641. What the heck is a Director of Lessons Learned? The position was reportedly created by President Bush after Hurricane Katrina, to study what went wrong with the government’s response.

    Does your salary look like it was hit by Hurricane Katrina? Find out with our salary calculator.

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  • Low Starting Pay: High Profile Careers

    We’re often taught that putting in long hours and acquiring advanced degrees will result in a big paycheck. Sometimes that’s true, but there are some vocations where extra effort may not result in a large salary, even after all that time and studying.

    If you dream of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and having a glamorous architect salary, remember that budding architects have to give up around seven years of their lives to complete undergraduate and master's degrees. After getting your degree, you still won’t be earning a typical architect salary. You have to take a licensing exam and work as an intern at architectural firms for three years.

    According to the American Institute of Architects’ 2005 compensation survey and the PayScale salary database, first-year interns (armed with a master's degree) usually make a starting pay of about $34,000 and often carry $50,000 to $80,000 in debt - thanks to student loans. If you hang in there and pursue your dream of becoming an architect, with 10 years of experience or more you can earn a median architect salary of $70,300 in the US.

    What does your job draw compared to the typical architect career? Find out with our salary calculator.

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  • How Large a Salary Survey Sample is Enough? (II)

    In a previous post, I claimed that as few as 5 employee profiles are enough to report accurately on the typical pay for a job. How can that be?

    In this post, we'll look at how statistics work, and why a small, targeted, data set is often preferable to a much larger, but poorly characterized one. You don't even need fancy math to calculate this.

    If you are curious what kind of sample we have for your job, try the PayScale salary calculator.

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