• LPN Salary: Duties of a LPN

    Name: Linda J. Meikle
    Job Title: Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
    Where: Columbus, Ohio
    Employer: K-Force Professional Staffing and Maxim HealthCare
    Years of Experience: Graduated LPN School in 1971. 36 years.
    Education: GED and LPN School and coursework for RN at various colleges.
    LPN Salary: See the PayScale Research Center for up-to-date information on LPN salary.

    LPN Salary: Duties of a LPN

    In a previous Salary Story, we learned about the job outlook on registered nurse careers. In this interview, we spoke to Licensed Practical Nurse Linda J. Meikle about factors that affect a LPN salary, duties of a LPN (mentioned at her blog: dustyangels.blogspot.com), her job in LPN nursing home care, the requirements for Licensed Practical Nurse candidates and advice for becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse; this Salary Story covers the vitals and more!

    In addition to her knowledge of the salary of Licensed Practical Nurse professionals, the duties of a LPN, and the average income of a Licensed Practical Nurse, Linda has written a memoir, Dusty Angels and Old Diaries. This is her life story depicted from diaries that she kept most of her life. She says it is a book for women (and nurses!) who want to be strong. And keep reading this Salary Story as she describes the duties of a LPN, a LPN salary and more!

  • Should Paid Leave Become Law?

    Some states are considering legislation requiring employers to provide paid family leave to employees, according to a Wall Street Journal op-ed. The editorial says such proposals aren't the way to go because they'll prove too pricey for employers, and invite fraud and abuses by dishonest employees.

    Meanwhile, an article in the New York Times recounts the findings of a survey on the Family and Medical Leave Act, a federal law that provides unpaid time off for employees at businesses with 50 or more workers. The Department of Labor survey found employers and employees divided over FMLA: Workers faulted the law for not offering longer leaves with pay, and employers said their operations have suffered when employees frequently take leave.

    Family leave policies, whether paid or unpaid, at the state or federal levels, are a hot-button issue for both employees and employers. Is there room for compromise?

  • Annual Salary for California Governor: Governor Salaries in 2007

    Being governor may sound like a high annual salary position, but governor salaries don't always pay as much as one might think. In a recent report of governor salaries, stateline.org cited the average governor salary to be $124,398. The annual salary for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is the highest in the governor salary ranking, $206,500, but he does not accept his salary (he did pretty well in Hollywood, if I recall).  As I mentioned in a previous column, Salary Increases in the News, Schwarzenegger has been generous to his top state officials, upping their salaries, often in the face of criticism.

    On the other end of the governor salary ranking, we have the governor of Maine, who earns only $70,000 per year. That political office hasn't seen a raise in 20 years! Maine Governor John Baldacci actually saw a decrease in pay of $80,000/year in 2003 when he decided to give up his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and become governor. Balducci's own assistant reportedly earned more than he did in 2005, with an annual salary of $102,000.  Governor Baldacci actually opposed a pay raise for himself in 2006, but supported a raise for the state's teachers. Why isn't he running for President?

    Could you afford to oppose a salary raise? Find out with our salary calculator.

  • Generation Y at Work

    Generation Y at Work

    What is Generation Y all about?

    That's a question on the minds of many, it seems--particularly journalists, workforce experts, and even Gen Y-ers themselves.

    Some have said members of Generation Y are navel-gazing, I-want-it-now neophytes in the workplace. Others say they're expert multi-taskers and technological wizards, capable of finishing 60 hours' worth of work in 30 hours.

    There's probably truth in all these statements. Gen Y-ers are, after all, humans--with strengths and weaknesses, like any other generation. I think, too, that it's impossible and unfair to generalize about a generation, especially one as large as Generation Y (according to Fortune, there are 79.8 million members of Gen Y, meaning those born between 1977 and 1995).

  • Salary for Teachers vs. Average Pay for High School Coaches

    Teachers don't make a lot of money. That's common knowledge. Still, it may surprise readers to learn that the average salary for teachers in Texas public schools is significantly less than the average pay for high school coaches, according to an article in the Austin-Statesman.

    The paper reported that Texas high school football coaches in Class 5A and 4A schools (that's 950 students or more) earn an average salary of $73,804, while the average salary for teachers in those same schools is about $42,400 (as mentioned on ESPN.com).

    In its report, the Austin American-Statesman "asked every 5A and 4A school district in the state for the total compensation paid to Texas football coaches and for salaries of their highest-paid teachers, high school principals and superintendents for the 2005-06 school year."  The results?  Texas high school football coaches in 27 schools earn a higher salary than even their principals.  The report also says five Texas high school football coaches earn more than $100K. Ennis High School's Sam Harrell tops the list with an annual salary of $106,004; the lowest-paid is Houston Furr's Cornell Gray, who scores $42,300.

    While the reasons given for this pay difference are varied, there is one fundamental. The school boards and, indirectly, the taxpayers in Texas value the high school football coaches more highly than even their best paid teachers.

    How does your salary line up against the average pay for high school coaches?  Find out with our salary survey.

  • Registered Nurse Careers

    Name: Kim McAllister
    Job Title: Registered Nurse - Staff Emergency
    Where: San Francisco Bay Area
    Employer: Medium-sized community hospital
    Years of Experience: 29
    Education: Associate's Degree in Nursing, Currently in school for my BSN
    Salary: According to the PayScale Research Center, the median registered nurse salary (for those who work in emergency rooms) can range from $54,968 to $69,352 in major cities.

    Registered Nurse Careers

    With a shortage of nurses in the U.S. and baby boomers getting older, the outlook on jobs for registered nurses is stronger than ever. In a previous Salary Story we interviewed a traveling registered nurse and learned about traveling registered nurse careers. This time around, we interviewed a registered nurse who works in an emergency room. Kim McAllister spoke to us about registered nurse careers, different jobs for registered nurses, interview questions for registered nurse candidates and factors that affect a registered nurse salary.

    She also told us about the job description of a registered nurse and the educational requirements to become a registered nurse. Kim explained that registered nurse careers involve more than just treating illness. Speaking from the experience of her own registered nurse career, Kim said that nurses "promote wellness through educating patients on healthy behaviors and working with them to help them stay well." For readers who want to learn more about registered nurse careers, the typical registered nurse salary and jobs for registered nurses, this chat is good medicine!

  • Note to New Grads: Work Hard, Not Constantly

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered tips for new college graduates on their first job and beyond, as he gave a commencement address at the City University of New York's College of Staten Island.

    Several Wall Street Journal blogs examine Bloomberg's speech (click here and here), and the full speech is available via YouTube.

    Some have focused on Bloomberg's mention of the importance of face-time at the office.

    "If you’re the first one in the morning and the last one to leave at night and you take fewer vacation days and never take a sick day, you will do better than the people who don’t do that. It is very simple,” Bloomberg told the new graduates.

    Was Bloomberg urging them to become workaholics--or was he after something more?

  • Different Definitions of the American Dream

    America is the land of opportunity. If you have a goal, such as owning your own sweet shop or becoming a movie star, you can attain it here through hard work and perseverance.

    Is this just the myth of an American Dream, or does the American Dream exist?

  • Career Salaries and Salary Ranges of Overpaid Jobs

    Most people will probably not admit that their vocation falls into the "overpaid jobs" category, nor will they tell you that they actually perform little work for their high pay, except for the readers at Stanleybing.com. According to the web site, workers in overpaid jobs (or "bullsh*t jobs" as they are called on the site) sent in descriptions of their duties and career salaries. From a huge list of careers and high salary ranges, the web site picked 20 overpaid jobs that “are the most satisfying, lucrative and least useful.”

    The first one listed is Communications Manager, which sounds pretty respectable to me.  According to our PayScale Research Center, a Communications Manager earns a median salary of $70,819 in San Francisco. According to a Communications Manager on Stanleybing.com, his/her job is to "write e-mails, memos and articles for senior management that their employees have no interest in reading. Oh, and through these written communications, we're supposed to inform and engage employees so that they're proud of the company they work for."

    How does your salary compare to this first of many overpaid jobs?  Check it out with our salary calculator.

  • Massage Therapist Salary

    Name: Gilda Hart
    Job Title: Owner/Registered Massage Therapist
    Where: Round Rock, Texas
    Employer: Self-employed - Wholeness Therapeutic Massage
    Years of Experience:2
    Education: About 6 months of Massage School (plus some college in Business Marketing)
    Salary: According to the PayScale Research Center, the average massage therapist salary ranges from $26,579 (Philadelphia) to $72,250 (Austin)

    Massage Therapist Salary

    If you have ever wondered, "What is it like to have a career in massage therapy?" or "What is the average massage therapist salary?" this soothing Salary Story will answer your questions. Recently, massage therapist Gilda Hart spoke to us about the factors that affect a massage therapist salary, how to become a massage therapist, choosing massage therapy as a career, and how continuing education can influence the average massage therapist salary.

    You may already be working as a massage therapist and want info on how to boost your massage therapist salary. Or maybe you're sitting at your desk imagining a career change, wondering what it would be like to have your own massage therapy business. Whatever your reasons, if you want more info on the average massage therapist salary (and more), keep reading!

  • More on Home Health Workers

    An op-ed from today's New York Times underscores my previous post on a recent Supreme Court decision concerning home care workers.

  • Misleading Average Salary Predictions: Your Pay Will Increase 3.6 Percent in 2007

    World at Work (the compensation professional organization) released recently a compensation budget survey by Compdata Surveys. The big news: the average preliminary pay increase budget is 3.65% for 2007!

    Broad averages like this drive me berserk. It is incredibly precise, but downplays the huge variations that affect individual companies and employees.

    There is nothing wrong with this average per se. The problem is how it is used. Companies often use average increases like this as a starting point for deciding what pay raises they will give individual employees.

    However, like pay, pay increases are determined by the interaction between the local labor market for specific jobs, individual employees' motivations, and a company's business plan. These microeconomic forces dramatically alter the pay increases a company will need to spend, in order to succeed, from what broad macroeconomic averages say.

    Companies are free to set pay increases by these broad averages. That is a business management decision. Of course, companies are also free to fail. :-)

    Local variations are what make capitalism fun. In this post, I will look at what data is available, and what forces drive salary increases.

    Are you making the most of microeconomic forces to earn what you are worth? Find out in a less than 5 minutes with the PayScale salary survey.

  • Home Care Workers: More than Babysitters

    The Supreme Court Monday ruled 9-0 to uphold federal regulations that say home care workers aren't entitled to overtime and minimum wage protections. The Labor Department has said that home care workers are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act, grouping them with maids, cooks, housekeepers, and babysitters as providers of "companionship services."

  • Average Salary of a Paralegal

    Name: Michael Forster
    Job Title: Paralegal
    Where: Washington D.C.
    Employer: Olsson, Frank & Weeda, P.C.
    Years of Experience: 1
    Education: Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan with a concentration in Political Science
    Salary: According to the PayScale Research Center, the average salary of a paralegal in Washington D.C. is $45,752.

    Average Salary of a Paralegal

    For readers interested in getting their feet wet in the legal profession, or gaining valuable pre-law experience, it's well worth your time to read our interview with paralegal Michael Forster. In this Salary Story, Michael discussed the job duties of a paralegal, how to become a paralegal, the paralegal job outlook and the steps in his career as a paralegal. If you want to learn about the qualifications to become a paralegal, the average salary of a paralegal, factors that affect a paralegal salary and paralegal jobs, keep reading!

  • Minimum Wage Increase Draws Mixed Reviews
    For the first time in 10 years, the United States has a new minimum wage, one that's drawing mixed reviews from economists and experts. What is the minimum wage increase going to positively affect? Will the increase in minimum wage have negative effects?
  • Making Sense of the Minimum Wage Increase

    The federal minimum wage will climb from $5.15 an hour to $5.85 an hour later this summer, and by 2009 it'll rise to $7.25 an hour.

    The first hike in a decade, it was approved by federal lawmakers in late May and drew the usual cheers from proponents and jeers from opponents.

    Supporters say the increase will help low-income workers; one group, the Economic Policy Institute, says 12.5 million workers will feel the effects of the hike. Critics say those on the lowest rungs of the job ladder could lose their gigs.

  • Pro Athletes and Their Salaries

    Athletes and their salaries are making the news often these days, CNN.com reports that international soccer star David Beckham has signed a 5-year deal worth $250 million dollars (salary + endorsements) with the Los Angeles Galaxy. The 31-year-old will be earning about $1 million a week, the highest professional athlete salary for a soccer player. Even with that large income, he falls behind golfer Tiger Woods, who reportedly earned over $97 million in 2006 (according sportsillustrated.cnn.com's list of athlete salaries and incomes, putting him in first place of the top 10 highest paid athletes.

    While that may seem outrageous, debates over pro athletes AND salaries are really not that new, as mentioned on findarticles.com. Baseball great Babe Ruth reportedly earned a larger annual salary than President Hoover during the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Ruth defended his $75,000 annual salary by replying, "Why not? I had a better year than (President Hoover) did." Athlete salary statistics were headlines in 1962 when Wilt Chamberlain shocked the NBA in 1962 by turning down an offer of $25,000, which was the more than highest-paid player at the time, Bob Cousey, who earned $22,500.

    How do you and your salary compare to athletes and their salaries?  Play ball with our salary survey.

  • Nonprofit Job Trends: Flexible Work Schedules and Flexible Work Arrangements
    The way America works is changing, experts say, and a big part of that change involves flexible work arrangements with part-time hours, flex-time and work-from-home setups.
  • Nonprofit Jobs: Flexibility and Opportunity - at a Cost
    Nonprofit jobs opportunities are growing by leaps and bounds, but nonprofit organizations are about to step into a sticky patch.
  • Flexibility at Work = Ethical Employees

    How can employers ward off unethical behavior among employees? They should make sure managers practice the ethics they preach, provide flexible working conditions so employees can achieve a work-life balance, and acknowledge ethical behavior, says a recent Deloitte & Touche survey.

    Sharon L. Allen, chairman of the board at Deloitte & Touche USA, highlighted the importance of flexibility: “In the competitive environment to attract and retain talent, it is imperative that employers provide employees with the means to attain a healthy work-life balance. This is not only key to job satisfaction and retaining your most valued employees, but it is also critical in fostering an ethical workplace culture.

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