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Dream Job Description: What Is yours?

“If you find a job you love, then you’ll never work a day in your life." I don't remember where I heard this first, but I think Confucius said the same thing centuries ago. Yet, according a recent survey by CareerBuilder.com and the Walt Disney Corporation, very few Americans are actually living their dream job. In this co-sponsored survey, a whopping 84 percent of those responding said they were not working their dream job description (as reported on msnbc.msn.com).

Which people were living their dream job description? 35 percent of police and firefighters say they are living their dream jobs. Further down the list, 32 percent of teachers, 28 percent of real estate agents and 25 percent of engineers claim to be living their dream job description.

By contrast, only 9 percent of those working in food /hotel services/manufacturing and 10 percent in retail are living their dream job. More surprisingly, a dream job description is rarely based on an annual salary, only 12 percent in the survey ranked high salary as an important requirement of a dream job.

Is salary important to your dream job? Find out how yours compares with our salary survey.

Music Producer Salary

For the 84 percent who are not working their dream job, here are a few career suggestions to remedy this mass dissatisfaction. First of all, a music producer job (and music producer salary) sounds like a lot of fun. Who wouldn’t want to spend their days cranking out hits for Britney Spears? Is it as glamorous as it sounds? What is the salary of a music producer? Bobby Borg, author of "The Musician's Handbook: A Practical Guide to Understanding the Music Business," sheds some light on a music producer salary at bobbyborg.com.

“The fees typically paid to a mid-level record producer can be as much as $50K for recording a full-length album; and up to $8K for a single master (superstar music producers can get much more.) Mid-level producers can receive up to four percent (of the record’s royalties).” Borg adds that music producers who co-write songs are entitled to income from publishing rights. He cites producer Glen Ballard who co-wrote many of Alanis Morissette’s songs on her "Jagged Little Pill" album, which sold over 30 million units worldwide (Note to self: Befriend angst-ridden struggling female songwriters).

What Is the Beginning Pay for a Veterinarian? How About Marine Biologists Salaries?

If you love to care for animals, what better job is there than that of a veterinarian? Of course, there is quite a bit of schooling involved, and your patients can’t tell you exactly what ails them, but you do have the satisfaction of helping heal your fuzzy and feathered friends. In Chicago, Illinois, the average veterinarian salary with 5-9 years of experience is $81,422, with a potential high-end of $95,861; that will buy a lot of dog biscuits!

If you enjoy sharing in the water with fishy friends, you might consider working as a marine biologist. Like a veterinarian, people who have a job of marine biologist have to complete some extra schooling, but this profession can pay off swimmingly. So, what is the average salary of a marine biologist? Well, marine biologists in Texas earn an average salary of $39,034. However, with bonuses, the yearly income of a marine biologist in Texas could reach as high as $46,854; plus, all the seafood you can eat.

Problem: How to Describe the Dream Job for Gen X/Y/Z? Answer: Play Online Video Games

If you like to play online video games, how would you like to earn a six-figure annual salary while doing it? As reported in Wired.com, a professional video game player like Jonathan Wendel gets to travel the world, become famous in geek circles and market his own gaming merchandise goodies. There is a lot of competition; thousands of video gamers compete each year at tournaments all over the globe. Still, the money is there, especially when corporations like Intel and Samsung Electronics sponsor the competitions; one can make a high annual salary with a flip of the wrist.

If you don’t have the competitive streak, but still like to play online video games, you can still earn a nice annual salary (according to Wired.com) on SecondLife.com - a virtual cyber world where users create all of the content. Second Life is literally a virtual mirror of real life, where people create digital clothing, buildings, clinics, etc… and get paid real life money to do it. For example, you can own virtual islands and rent the (unreal) real estate. Anshe Chung, a Second Life virtual landowner, earns a reported $150K annual salary in this virtual world. (Note to Self: Finance real mortgage with virtual real estate).

How does your real world annual salary compare to the virtual world? Check out the numbers with our salary calculator.

Cheers,

Dr. Al Lee

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