• Optometrist Salary

    Optometrist Salary

    Name: Lynn M. Seldon
    Job Title: Optometrist
    Where: Beverly Hills, CA
    Years of Experience: 28
    Salary: See PayScale's Median Optometrist Salary
    Employer: Self
    Education: BA University of Hartford, 4 years of Optometry School, Internship

    Optometrist Salary

    If you've ever wondered about how to become an optometrist, career options for optometrists, or the average optometrist salary, this is a story you don't want to miss. Lynn Seldon practices optometry in glamorous Beverly Hills, so she never knows who might walk into her office. From celebs to regular men and women getting eye exams, she's seen it all. In this interview, Lynn describes some of the benefits of becoming an optometrist, including the variety of career options for optometrists, a high optometrist starting salary, and the opportunity to work with great patients. As you'll soon find out, an optometrist's salary is just one reason Kiplinger.com named an optometrist position as one of the 7 great careers for 2007.

  • High Annual Salary: Blue Collar Jobs

    For workers who would rather wear steel-tipped boots instead of a three-piece suit, the salary outlook doesn't have to be low; some blue-collar jobs have a surprisingly high salary range. These high paying jobs don't require a college degree, but often do involve specialized training. So if you like to get your hands dirty, you can still earn a high annual salary.

    Certain mechanics, equipment operators and installers are actually earning a larger annual salary than the typical American. According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. median income is $43,318. With that in mind, Forbes says that the average salary for the top ten blue-collar jobs is a little above $27 per hour. By calculating hourly wage to annual salary, we find the following: if a blue-collar worker makes $27 an hour, works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, then his or her annual salary is in the area of $56,160, which is 30% above the average Joe.

    Is your salary on schedule with blue-collar workers? Clock in with our salary calculator.

  • Hourly Wage: Santa Claus

    One of the more unique jobs out there is working as a Santa Claus. The job requirements include a sizeable tummy, a real beard (fake ones are out) and a convincing “ho-ho-ho.” While it may sound like holiday heresy to mention "Santa" and "salary" in the same breath, you might be surprised to learn that Santas can earn a high hourly wage for bringing joy to little kids and big kids alike.

    A beginning Santa can earn an hourly wage of $100, while veteran Santas can earn an average wage of $175 to $200 per hour. The really big pay rate comes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; that's when these Kris Kringles can earn wages of $175 to $200 for their first hour of work, and $100 to $300 for every hour after that.

    If a Santa works 40 days during the holiday season, he can ring in the New Year with $8,000 to $10,000 in total wages. The big money is reportedly in private and corporate events, that’s where Santa’s wishes come true. Of course, there are some expenses, namely, the red suit, boots, and belt which can put Santa out $500 to $1000 bucks. However, earning $10,000 in a little more than month is good money, especially for retirees.

    Is your salary a holiday gift or a nightmare?  Find out with our Santa, er, salary calculator.

  • Salary Christmas Story: Santa Claus

    Payscale recently found a real Santa Claus who gave us this exclusive salary story.

    Name: Santa Claus
    Job Title: Toymaker
    Where: The North Pole
    Years of Experience: Over 1750 years of human experience
    Salary: Volunteer
    Employer: Self

    Santa Claus Job Description:

    Maker and deliverer of toys and joy to good children of all ages.

  • Salary Stories: Because what you do is part of your story
  • Artist Salary: Textile Designer & Tattoo Artist Apprentice

    Name: Heather T.
    Job Title: Master Artist, Textile Designer, Tattoo Artist Apprentice
    Where: Quaker Fabric Corporation, Fall River, Massachusetts
    Works: Full-time
    Years of Experience: 8
    Education: BFA in Textile Design/Fiber Arts
    Salary: $55,000/year

    What does a textile designer do...

    As a textile designer, I create patterns for woven upholstery fabric. As a true artist, my job is to generate ideas, from reference materials or verbal instructions, and create artwork that gets woven into fabric. The fabric is then used by furniture makers to upholster couches and chairs. So I guess one measure of success for me as a textile designer could be the number of people that sit on my work.

  • Salary Guide: Fashion Writer & Mortgage Broker

    Name: Daniel B.
    Job Title: Mortgage Broker & Men's Fashion Writer for About.com
    Where: Seattle, WA
    Works: 50% as a Mortgage Broker, 50% as a Fashion Writter
    Years of Experience:  5 as a Mortgage Broker, 2 as a Fashion Writer
    Salary: Mortgage Broker Salary: $50k - $70k/year based on performance. Fashion Writer Salary: about $60k/year also based on performance.
    Education: BFA in Fine Arts from the University of Washington

    What I do as Mortgage Broker/Fashion Writer...

    I write about Men's Fashion for About.com and am a Mortgage Broker for a small company in Seattle. I love the fashion writing, of course, but both jobs allow me to work with lots of interesting people. The best part of being a mortgage broker is developing relationships with my customers and listening to their stories. The best part of my writing job: I go to New York Fashion week twice a year and report the latest fashion trends back to my readers.

    I chose this line of work because...

  • Office Administrator Salary: For a Native American Tribe & Freelance Graphic Designer

    Job Title: Office Administrator & Freelance Graphic Designer
    Name: Ginni T.
    Employer: Native American Tribe 
    Where: Prescott, AZ
    Works: 40 hrs./wk for the Tribe + between 10 to 40 hrs/wk freelance
    Salary: Office Administrator Salary: $13/hr Freelance Graphic Designer Salary: $40/hr
    Years of Experience: Office Administrator - 30+, Freelance Graphic Designer – 12+, Writer 40+, Artist 40+
    Education/Degree:  AA Behavior Sciences, 52 additional hours toward bachelors for a major in sociology, minor in English and journalism. Computer classes and graphics software training.

    Office Administrator Job Description:

    As an office administrator, I provide support for six departments. My job involves a high level of expertise in using Microsoft Office, databases, and graphic design. The departments I provide support for are Contracts, Environmental Protection, Environmental Health, Grants, Housing and Planning. Currently I am working on two design projects; one on wildlife and the other an informational booklet for obtaining resources and support for those who have been diagnosed with cancer.

    Freelance Graphic Designer Job Description:

  • Hourly Wage: SEO Addict Rand Fishkin: Search Engine Marketing Consultant

    Name: Rand Fishkin
    Job Title: CEO and Search Engine Marketing Consultant at seomoz.org
    Where: Seattle, WA
    Education:  3.75 years at the University of Washington, Rand Fishkin was a Finance Major in the Undergraduate School of Business
    Years of Experience: Started writing batch files as a kid, Rand Fishkin grew up in Frontpage, 4 years in SEO consulting.
    Salary: Rand Fishkin earns $400/hr for being a Search Engine Marketing consultant. A white hat (above board) SEO marketer at a small company might have a salary between $40k and $80k depending on location, experience and other factors.

    Search Engine Marketing Consultant Job Description:

  • Average Salary: Welfare Investigator Job

    Name: Anonymous
    Job Title: Welfare Investigator
    Where: Elizabeth, NJ
    Education:  BA in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr, Magna Cum Laude and MA, ABD in Philosophy from Georgetown University, Departmental Honors
    Years of Experience: 2 years in this job
    Salary: $37k – welfare investigators just got a 2% raise!
    Employer: State of New Jersey, Child Welfare

    Welfare Investigator Job Description:

    I work for an organization called the Office of the Law Guardian (OLG) in the State of New Jersey. I’m teamed up with a lawyer who is a part of the Public Defenders office and we represent children in child welfare, including children in foster care. My welfare investigator job duties include assisting in the representation of these children by interviewing their caregivers, sometimes teachers, therapists, and other people in their lives and to summarize my findings in reports. My investigator job also involves explaining to individuals some aspects of the law, helping people better understand the legal process for children in the court system. Occasionally, I have to testify in court, which is definitely not my favorite part of this investigator job.

    Why did you choose this welfare investigator job?

    After working in academia for a long time, I wanted to do a job where the fruits of my labor would have some effect on the world. Work that would make some measurable difference. In this welfare investigator job, I’m actually able to help people.

  • Foot Therapist Salary: Cosmetologist & Nail Technician

    Name: Rebecca Anderson
    Job Title: Nail Technician & Cosmetologist, Salon Owner, Foot Therapist?
    Where: Carmel, IN
    Education: Cosmetology School & Nail Technician license
    Years of Experience: 10 + years in this job
    Salary: $25/hr-$45/hr depending on the service. Cosmetologist Salary: $35,533 is the average salary for a full-time Cosmetologist in Indianapolis, IN
    Employer: Locks n' Nails Salon, Self-employed

    Nail Technician Job Description:

    I provide professional manicure and pedicure services to a diverse client base. But the truth is that It's more about being a therapist - and a perfectionist - than the nails themselves. Every time a customer comes to me, they shed their anxieties and leave looking and feeling so much better.

  • Yoga Teacher Salary

    Yoga Teacher Salary

    Name: Nikki Meyers
    Job Title: Yoga Teacher
    Where: Indianapolis, IN
    Years of Experience: 10+ years
    Yoga Teacher Salary: 30K to 35K
    Employer: Self

    Yoga Teacher Job Description:

    I teach yoga classes to groups and individuals. A lot of times people come in disconnected from their physical body, disconnected from their emotions. And then after an hour and fifteen minutes, or an hour and a half, something seems to happen and a transformation occurs. They walk out completely differently than the way they walked in; they are connected. I am offering people a set of tools to bring them into that state of connection.

  • Starting Salary: Cranium's Chief Noodler

    Name: Whit Alexander
    Job Title: Chief Noodler, Cranium Games
    Where: Seattle, Washington
    Education: Bachelors - Georgetown University, Masters - University of Washington
    Years of Experience: 10+ years
    Salary: Enough to retire, plus it’s really fun
    Employer: Co-Owner Cranium

    Chief Noodler Job Description:

    During my career, I have had a wide variety of high tech jobs, from Information Processing Consultant to Digital Cartographer to Group Program Manager.  As Chief Noodler, I managed operations and games production. In short, I did all the noodling that needed to be done.

  • Radio Producer Salary: Mornings on 103.7

    Name: Lee Callahan
    Job Title: Radio Producer/Traffic Reporter for Radio Morning Show
    Where: Seattle, WA
    Years of Experience: 6+
    Salary: Approximately $50,000
    Employer: KMTT 103.7 FM, The Mountain

    Radio Producer/Traffic Reporter Job Description:

    As the radio producer for “John Fisher and Mike West, mornings on 103.7 the mountain,” I make sure that the radio hosts have a lot of things to talk about and a lot of guests: current event guests, movie stars, TV stars, popular guests, like a rock star, high profile type guests. I book two or three guests a day. I am also a traffic reporter; I give updates on the air about the morning commute.

  • Church Lady: Storyteller and Assistant Pastor

    Name: Virginia Wesley
    Job Title: Storyteller/Assistant Pastor
    Where: Indianapolis, IN
    Years of Experience: A lifetime
    Salary: My average wage ranges from volunteer to $300+ per 45 minutes
    Employer: Self

    Church Lady: Storyteller and Assistant Pastor

    Virginia Wesley, a refined and passionate church lady with storytelling power to boot, is unique. From working as an assistant pastor to telling stories to kids and performing short true stories on discrimination for adults, Virginia is always coming up with solo performance ideas. Her favorite is becoming a living Harriet Tubman biography for kids. Her wage can range from working as a volunteer to an average wage of a few hundred dollars for less than an hour.

    In addition to storytelling, she performs assistant pastor duties at her church. This is a volunteer position - which, as we all know, has no average wage. In fact, there is no wage at all. But, her assistant pastor job duties are truly a labor of love; wages are the last thought on her mind. Whether preaching or performing her version of a Harriet Tubman biography, her performance ideas are creative and inspiring. So toss away your preconceptions about storytelling or pastors - Virginia broke the mold.

  • A Job In The Performing Arts: Theater Office Manager

    Name: Michelle Lockhart
    Job Title: Theater Office Manager
    Where: Seattle, Washington
    Education: Bachelors - Boise State University
    Years of Experience: 1+ years
    Salary: 20-30K
    Employer: Empty Space Theater

    Theater Office Manager Job Description:

    We’re a small staff, so I do all kinds of things. I manage the front of the house staff, ticket sales, subscription sales and group sales. I manage the experience that the audience has walking in the door, coming through the lobby, all the way to the theater where the artists take over. In the office, I assist with marketing, I help get the posters and programs together, I assist with any kind of special events, silent auctions and upcoming fundraisers.

    I assist with anything that the development director and artistic director need. We're not the WaMu Theater Seattle, so with a small group like us, you really have to fill in anywhere, sometimes loading seats. I do just about anything I can to help the organization in general. I look for ways to promote visual and performing arts vocabulary.

  • Mom Returns to Work: Average Receptionist Salary

    Name: Therese Landefield
    Job Title: Front Desk Receptionist
    Where: Seattle, Washington
    Years of Experience: 1+
    Salary: $16.35 – hourly wage (See PayScale's Research Center for the average receptionist salary)
    Employer: Atlas

    Mom Returns to Work: Average Receptionist Salary

    For anyone returning to work after taking time off to raise children and run a household, this Salary Story offers valuable advice. We recently interviewed front desk receptionist Therese Landefield about her transition from stay-at-home-mom to professional receptionist. She filled us in on what it was like to go back to work after years away from a 9 to 5 job. For readers who are nervous about taking the leap from full-time mom to employee, Therese offered tips on writing resumes, finding the job you want, and how to translate the hard work you've been doing at home into marketable skills in the workplace.

    This interview is also helpful for anyone looking into receptionist jobs and the average receptionist salary. Therese gave us info on her job as a receptionist, as well as her practical and inspiring approach to work, life, and the pursuit of personal goals.


    Front Desk Receptionist Job Description:

    The front receptionist is important to the company because many times he or she makes the first impression of the company to the client. So I answer the phone, “Good morning, Atlas, how may I help you?” Then they tell me, “Please connect me.” And I say, “One moment please, I’ll transfer you.” And then I transfer them. Sometimes it’s difficult and the transfers don’t go through. I usually go back on the line and say, “Excuse me, the transfer failed, let me try again.”

  • School Teacher Salaries: Middle School Teacher

    Name: Holly Olsen
    Job Title: Middle School Teacher
    Where: Minneapolis, MN
    Years of Experience:11
    Salary: $50,000
    Employer: Anwatin Middle School
    Education: Masters in Teaching, B.A. Literary Studies

    School Teacher Salaries: Middle School Teacher

    Teaching is often a harder profession than many would think. And when it comes to school teacher salaries, the starting salary for a teacher and average school teacher salaries can vary from school district to school district. We decided to find out what it takes to create a successful teaching career. In this salary story, we got teaching career info from a middle school teacher in Minnesota who knew that she wanted to teach at a young age and had an early childhood philosophy of teaching. Even though she loves her job, her teaching career has many challenges.

    The next time you wonder whether school teacher salaries are too high or too low, consider what Holly faces at work. Besides the normal challenges of the classroom, teachers at her school deal with everything from fights in the hallways to the struggles of homeless students. Holly explains that teachers have a high burnout rate. But, if you love teaching as she does, the rewards outway the challenges. If you want to know more about school teacher salaries, teaching career info, or how to become a middle school teacher, keep reading!

  • Flexible Careers: Freelance Writing Jobs

    Name: Deborah Ng
    Job Title: Freelance Writer
    Where: My kitchen in Central NJ
    Years of Experience: 6
    Salary: $20,000 - $30,000
    Employer: The beauty of freelance writing jobs is that there are no employers, only clients

    Flexible Careers: Freelance Writing Jobs

    Working from home sounds luxurious, but being a freelance writer takes persistence and hard work. As freelance writer Deborah Ng told us in a recent interview,freelance writing jobs can also involve getting up at 4am and working on holidays. We got the inside scoop from Deborah about online freelance writing opportunities, freelance writing fees, dealing with editors, and what it's really like to be your own boss. Find out how Deborah uses her freelance writing jobs to balance work with being a mom - and why she loves having this flexible career.

    Freelance Writer Job Description:

    My writing is mostly web based. I research and write content for websites. This can be promotional or sales copy, it can be FAQs and "About Us" type pages for websites, or it can be optimized articles placed on sites for high search engine rankings. I do have the occasional print client, but it's the web writing that pays the bills.

  • Pilates Teacher Salaries

    Name: Kara Wily
    Job Title: Pilates Instructor
    Where: Los Angeles, CA
    Years of Experience: 13 years
    Salary: $12.00-$100.00 per hour
    Employer: Self - Kara Wily Pilates

    Pilates Teacher Job Description:

    I teach students the Pilates Method of body conditioning: a systematic, choreographed, chain of exercises that help to improve strength, stretch and control of the student's body. The system can often be applied to people who suffer from pain due to a chronic misuse or overuse of a particular area of the body. My job is to identify the weaknesses and imbalances in the student's body and to teach the student exercises to improve those deficits.

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