• Do Women and Men Earn Equal Pay in 2007?

    Do women and men earn equal pay? I blogged some about this last year, but the gender gap in wage earnings was in the spotlight again when kgw.com (and other media) reported that five restaurant owners in Oregon plan to drop their prices for female customers by 23 cents. The restaurants want to raise awareness about women earning 23 percent less than men in the workplace.

    The American Association of American Women, which is sponsoring the event, says that when the new prices go into effect, 23 percent of the 2007 will have passed, thus, that's the number of extra days women will have to work in 2007 to catch up with men.

    Likewise, as reported on nysun.com, Senator Hillary Clinton is pushing the "Paycheck Fairness Act," a bill that would intensify anti-discrimination laws, create a negotiation skills training program for women and stop retaliation against employees who disclose their salaries. Sen. Clinton also says that women make 77 percent of what men earn (or 23 percent less). Is that number accurate? Do women and men earn equal pay? Is this a case of comparable pay versus equal pay?

    How would earning 77 cents on the dollar affect your salary?  Find out with our salary calculator.

  • How to Become a Wedding Planner

    Name: Leslie Weekes
    Job Title: Wedding Consultant (and events)
    Where: Washington D.C.
    Employer: Self-employed, Leslie-Manning Events, LLC  
    Years of Experience: 6
    Education: BA in English
    Salary: See PayScale's Research Center for the median wedding planner salary.

    How to Become a Wedding Planner

    In the film The Wedding Planner, actress Jennifer Lopez made working as a wedding planner appear to be a barrel of laughs, but in real life, being a wedding planner is a lot of work. We recently spoke to professional wedding consultant Leslie Weekes about how she decided to become a wedding planner and what it's like to run her own business. Leslie gave us great info on how to become a wedding planner, wedding planner schools, and the salary of a wedding consultant.

    According to Leslie, if you want to become a wedding planner, it helps to be someone who is naturally organized with great attention to detail. Becoming a wedding planner may be challenging, especially as the profession becomes more competitive, but a wedding planner salary - and the ability to create a memorable event - can be highly rewarding. If you're looking to get hitched to an interesting profession, don't miss this Salary Story!

  • MIT Dean Falls from Glory

    Marilee Jones, the admissions dean at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was forced to resign this week for having misrepresented her academic credentials on her resume.

  • NFL Sporting News: NFL Injuries

    Most reports of NFL injuries (as mentioned on chillicothegazette.com) rarely make it beyond NFL Sporting News, but recently reader Vanessa C. Deggins found a New York Times article about NFL injuries that was shocking. The article focused on two wives who are caring for their husbands, John Mackey and Ralph Wenzel, both of whom suffer from dementia because of NFL injuries. I covered today's large pro football salaries in an earlier post, but what of players who didn't earn millions and find themselves in need to cover medical bills?

    A gridiron great from the '60's and '70's, John Mackey was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, a member of the Super Bowl V Champion Colts and played for the San Diego Charges. However, today, Mackey doesn’t recall much of his career, or even his fellow Charger teammate Ralph Wenzel - who doesn’t recall Mackey. What help do these former stars of yester-year have?

    Would your annual salary support you in a time of need? Find out with our salary survey.

  • 'Green' Careers Galore: Renewable Energy Jobs, Energy Efficiency Careers
    Energy efficiency sounds like a fine idea-easy on the environment, and a good way to fight global warming. But what does it have to do with jobs?
  • Are Green Careers the Next Google?
    Global warming is everywhere. Former Vice President Al Gore's global warming documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," won an Academy Award. Congress, growing increasingly interested in the issue, has held numerous hearings since January. And corporate America is joining the chorus: The U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of businesses and environmental groups, is pressing the federal government to pass legislation cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming.
  • A Sustainable Career: A Look at Sustainability Jobs at Colleges, Universities and Beyond
    Many of the job hats Craig Ten Broeck wears are green. As the director of sustainability at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, he juggles a variety of projects, from food, recycling and energy efficiency to reducing the school's greenhouse gas emissions to increasing the use of renewable fuels.
  • Video Resumes

    Video Resumes

    We're journeying through the YouTube era, and our resumes may be coming along for the ride.

    A New York Times article from April 21 looks at the rise in popularity of video resumes, among employers and job-seekers.

  • Pyrotechnician Salary: Fireworks for Pay

    Name: Mike Tockstein
    Job Title: Pyrotechnician (a.k.a. Pyrotechnic Operator)
    Where: California
    Employer: Independent Contractor for Pyro Spectaculars  
    Years of Experience: Licensed Since 2001
    Education: M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering
    Salary: A pyrotechnician salary is based on a percentage of individual show cost

    Pyrotechnician Salary

    For readers interested in becoming a pyrotechnician, there’s not a whole lot of info out there on the typical pyrotechnician salary or where to go for pyrotechnician training. Fortunately, we tracked down Mike Tockstein, a pyrotechnician who lit up this Salary Stories interview with info about pyrotechnician jobs, pyrotechnician employers, the general responsibilities of a pyrotechnician, and pyrotechnician training (as mentioned at his website, pyroinnovations.com). Mike also described the requirements for becoming a pyrotechnician and the average pyrotechnician salary. If you've ever wanted to shoot up the sky for pay, keep reading!

  • New CEO? Keep Communication Lines Open

    When a company names a new chief, more heads roll, especially among senior managers, according to a study cited in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal.

    The Harvard Business Review study says turnover jumps after a new CEO climbs aboard, whether from inside or outside the company.

  • Are PayScale Salary Reports Unbiased?

    Sometimes we are asked, are the PayScale salary reports unbiased? Since PayScale does not explicitly select the people who complete our salary survey, how do we know the ~2% of employees in the US who have completed our survey are representative of the US working population as a whole?

    The extent to which any aggregate statistic, like typical salary, is biased (inaccurate) depends on how it is constructed, and what question it is trying to answer. In this post, I'll look at three aspects of bias in reporting:

    • All aggregate statistics lie: There is no such thing as a "true" typical answer
    • The case of the civil engineer: Even well-measured typical values are wrong, simply because they are aggregates
    • Sampling bias: A sample may not be suitable for the question being asked

    In future posts, I will look at bias in government wage calculations, and then come back to whether PayScale data are biased for the questions we try to answer.

    Is your salary biased high or low? The PayScale Salary Calculator is a quick and easy way to compare positions. But when you want powerful salary data and comparisons customized for your exact position, be sure to build a complete profile by taking PayScale's full salary survey.

  • Praise Run Amuck

    Praise Run Amuck

    Management should shower accolades on the habitually tardy worker who suddenly shows up for work on time.

    That's what a source says in a recent Wall Street Journal article on how many of today's young adults can't cope in the workplace without boatloads of backslapping and gold stars.

  • NASCAR Drivers Salaries

    Most people know that the National Football League (NFL) is the most popular sport on TV, but it may raise a few eyebrows to hear that the second highest-rated sport is NASCAR --the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. No longer just a heartland sport, NASCAR is broadcast in over 150 countries. With all this television coverage come the big money and high annual salaries. Unlike NFL salaries, however, NASCAR drivers salaries are closely-guarded secrets.

    That said, we do have some info on NASCAR drivers salaries, thanks to SportsIllustrated.cnn.com. SI says the highest-paid driver in 2005 was Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose annual salary and earnings totaled $5,761,830, but that's not all. His endorsements earned $20,000,000, bringing his sub-total compensation to $25,761,830. That number doesn't include sales of Dale Earnhardt Jr. merchandise and earnings from the racing company that he owns. SI says his total take in '05 would approach $50 million!

    The second $25 million is really for his role as a business owner, not directly for Dale Jr.'s work as a race car driver. While there are substantial risks to racing (Dale Sr. died on the race track), the pay is still impressive.

    Can your salary compete with NASCAR's drivers salaries? Give it a spin with our salary calculator.

  • Graphic Designer Salaries

    Name: David Grey
    Job Title: Graphic Designer
    Where: Troy, NY
    Employer: Self-Employed  
    Years of Experience: 8
    Education: BA - Psychology, Tufts University, MFA - Graphic Design, California Institute of Art
    Salary: See PayScale's Research Center for median graphic designer salaries.

    Graphic Designer Salaries

    What is a graphic designer? What is the average yearly income of a graphic designer? These are questions we hear quite a bit at Salary Stories. Thus, we turned to graphic designer David Grey to give us a clear picture on what is required to become a graphic designer, factors that affect graphic designer salaries, the life of a freelance designer and more!

    He filled us in on the education needed to become a graphic designer, how he built his graphic designer resume, and the differences in the average yearly income of a graphic designer per location.

    David explained that working as a graphic designer allows him to be creative on a daily basis. When asked what he likes best about his job, exercising his creativity and working for a variety of clients were at the top of his list. For anyone interested in learning more about this creative position, plus graphic designer salaries and benefits, this interview is a must-read!

  • Millionaires Times Five

    America's very wealthy population is on the up and up, according to a report released earlier this week by the Spectrem Group. The report says U.S. households with a net worth of $5 million or more climbed to 1.14 million in 2006--a 23 percent rise from 2005 and passing the 1 million-mark for the first time in history.

  • Tips for getting a Pay Raise: PayScale Salary Survey

    For readers interested in tips for getting a pay raise, Lifehacker.com recently mentioned how some employees are using web sites such as Payscale.com (and its salary survey) to overcome pay raise objections; as mentioned in the following New York Times article at nytimes.com:

    Jessica Morrison, who wrote advertising copy for Drugstore.com in Seattle, was one of those.  After five years at the company and several promotions, her title was associate editor even though she had the same duties as a copywriter, a loftier title. She also suspected that at $42,000 a year, she was paid a lot less than someone else with her duties. She checked PayScale, and its free report that compares her pay with others holding a similar job title said that someone with her experience should be making $50,000 to $60,000.

    Then she went to see her manager. “I was a little nervous going in, but I had done my research,” Ms. Morrison, 27, said. She got the title she wanted and a raise to within the pay range she suggested. “If I had gone in without the information, the conversation would have been, ‘I feel like I am not making enough money,’ ” Ms. Morrison said.

    Online salary surveys enable employees and employers to switch pay discussions from arguments over positions to negotiations with objective criteria, in the spirit of the negotiation bible, "Getting to Yes". Let's look at some interesting anecdotal evidence that this is really starting to happen.

    Do you need some tips for getting a pay raise? Here’s a free one, try our salary survey.

  • Wanted: Computer Scientists

    Computer scientists are geeks, right?

    That perception, according to a recent New York Times article, is pervasive and detrimental. Experts interviewed for the story say it's one of the drivers behind declining post-secondary enrollments in computer science, especially among women.

  • Professional Blogger: Salaries of Journalists Online

    Name: Tom Foremski
    Job Title: Financial Blogger and Journalist
    Where: San Francisco, CA
    Employer: Self - Founder SiliconValleyWatcher.com 
    Years of Experience: 25+ (journalist), 3+ (professional blogger)
    Education: BS in Chemistry

    Professional Blogger: Salaries of Journalists Online

    With the declining circulation of print, the Internet has become the media of choice for many writers and journalists. Blogging for profit has become increasingly poplular, but can a blogger journalist salary beat print journalist wages?

    Financial journalist and blogger Tom Foremski (founder of SiliconValleyWatcher.com) sat down with Salary Stories and shared some career info on journalism, including the benefits of the Internet for journalists, steps on how to become a professional blogger, and the salaries of journalists who favor online journalism to traditional print. Tom also gave us blogging advice and information on what journalist salary to expect as a beginning blogger.

  • Campus Security Revisited

    After Monday's mass-murders at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, many are questioning campus security.

    What could campus security have done differently to prevent the savage taking of so many lives? That question led me to think about the jobs of campus security guards.

    Will the Virginia Tech tragedies spur new or different campus security jobs across the country? And what are campus security jobs like--what are the salaries and working conditions?

  • Are Employers Afraid of Employees?

    A recent BusinessWeek story offers a glimpse into just how litigious America has grown.

    The story, "Fear of Firing," says many U.S. employers are so afraid of pricey lawsuits they avoid firing underperforming employees.

    The story points out that most U.S. workers can claim some sort of protection because of laws created over the last 40 years. Given how easily employees file suit, the story says, employers will keep problem workers on board just to dodge the often-exorbitant costs and ill-repute of lawsuits.

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