• Business Travelers, Take Heart--We're Inching Toward a Work-Anywhere World

    Have you ever tried to get work done at an airport that's less than friendly to business travelers?

    Take heart, for gradual change is in the works, says a New York Times article: Airports and especially hotels are becoming more user-friendly for globe-trotting workers.

    According to the article:

    ... hotels and airports are gradually catching on to the fact that mobile workers need more help getting their jobs done on the road. Hotels that cater to laptop-toting travelers are scrambling to add electrical outlets in easy-to-reach places, install better task lighting and design chairs with flat armrests that can double as desks.

  • Sign on Bonus to Join the Military vs. Joining the Scouts

    In an earlier column, I mentioned how the U.S. government was awarding a sign on bonus in order to increase enlistments.  Well, that sign on bonus to join the military was the subject of a firestorm recently when KDKA.com reported that wounded U.S. soldiers were being told to give back part of their military signing bonus.

    This story of military salary scale gone awry hit the media when serviceman Jordan Fox received a letter from the government demanding the return of almost $3K of his military signing bonus. Fox had to return stateside three months early after he lost vision in his right eye, due to a roadside bomb in Iraq. Should injured servicemen have to return part of their sign on bonus to join the military?

    How would your salary be affected if you had to return your bonuses?  Find out with PayScale's full salary survey.

  • Telecommuting Advances

    Telecommuting Advances

    Working from home is on the up and up.

    According to the new book by pollster Mark Penn, "Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes," 4.2 million Americans work from home, up 23 percent since 1990, and almost 100 percent since 1980.

    Penn argues that microtrends--"small, under-the-radar forces that can involve as little as 1 percent of the population"--have a strong impact on our society. Telecommuting is one such microtrend, according to the book, and is advancing because it eliminates commutes, saves gas money, helps employees in their quest for work-life balance, and mostly because technology is galloping apace.

    The Wall Street Journal's Sue Shellenbarger explores the increasing number of employers hiring professionals to telecommute full-time from the start of their tenure. Though she reports that landing one of these jobs isn't easy, in a separate blog-post she writes, "the widening trickle of home-based new hires at big, mainstream employers seems to mark an exciting new era, not only for work-life quality but for productivity."

    While telecommuting isn't for everyone, some workers flourish under the setup. So what does it take to succeed?

  • Bartender Salary: A Bartender Career Profile

    Name: Craig Hysell
    Job Title: Bartender
    Where: Hilton Head Island, SC
    Employer: Riders Lounge
    Years of Experience: 12
    Education: BA in Communications from Bowling Green State University
    Salary: See the PayScale Research Center for the median bartender salary.

    Bartender Salary: A Bartender Career Profile

    Recently Britney Spears made the news, again, by inquiring about bartender jobs at a California hotel. Britney, or anyone who is interested in becoming a bartender, should read this Salary Story. We spoke to bartender Craig Hysell about bartender jobs, a bartender salary, bartending school and more. Many people wonder if they need to attend school to become a bartender. This interview provides the answer, plus insider info on what it takes to succeed as a career bartender. So pour yourself a cold one and keep reading!

  • Government Employment Opportunities: On the Rise

    You don't have to be Rudy, Hillary or Obama to seek a job in the U.S. government. CNN.Money.com reported that government employment opportunities are greatly increasing. A new study by Partnership for Public Service (a nonprofit group) says that the feds are about to start looking for employees to fill 193,000 United States government jobs. The openings - including federal government part time jobs - will occur between now and 2009.

    The main causes of these government employment opportunities are the expected retirement of 33% of the federal workforce and the ever-growing war on terror. Additions will include 47,897 jobs at the Department of Homeland Security, 35,505 positions at the Department of Defense as well as 27,243 border patrol agents, customs agents, food inspectors, criminal investigators and TSA airport screeners.  However, government employment opportunities are not limited to US Government security jobs.

    How does your salary compare to United States government jobs?  Find out with our salary survey.

  • Veteran Jobs: Iraq Veteran Job Opportunities?

    If all went according to plan, military reservists who go to war would have their stateside jobs waiting for them when they returned.  However, in the real world, 23 percent of veteran jobs are gone when reservists return, per a report by CNN.com. And many servicemen say the U.S. government is not helping those who are denied their old jobs when they return from Iraq. In short, Iraq veteran job opportunities have become the new casualties of war.

    This info is part of a Defense Department survey of military reservists in 2005-2006. In the report, 44 percent were dissatisfied with how the Labor Department handled complaints of discrimination in veteran jobs, 29 percent had problems getting info from government agencies and 77 percent didn't try to get government help because they didn't think it would make a difference. Is this "supporting the troops?" What can be done differently?

    How does your salary compare to veteran jobs?  Find out with the PayScale Salary Calculator.

  • Why Should Employers Care About Employee Engagement?

    Most workers around the world are not engaged by their work.

    That's according to a recent Towers Perrin study, which finds only 21 percent of employees engaged by their work, meaning they're willing to put in extra effort to help their companies succeed. Meanwhile, 38 percent of workers are partly to fully disengaged.

    The study shows that companies with many engaged workers are more likely to retain their top talent and succeed financially than companies with many disengaged workers. The study isn't the only one to uncover a link between employee engagement and companies' financial success. A Wall Street Journal article reports that Hewitt Associates and the Conference Board have released studies reaching the same conclusion: Engaged employees boost the bottom line.

    Companies should strive to spur employees toward higher levels of engagement. But how?

  • Comic Book Artist Salary: How to Be a Comic Book Artist

    Name: Dustin Evans
    Job Title: Comic Book Artist (Freelance Illustrator)
    Where: Tulsa, OK
    Employer: Disney, IDW Publishing, Viper Comics, Ape Entertainment, SLG Graphics
    Years of Experience: 4
    Education: BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration from Oklahoma State University

    Comic Book Artist Salary: How to Be a Comic Book Artist

    Are you interested in becoming a comic book artist?  Look no further, comic book artist Dustin Evans has come to the rescue! In this Salary Story, you'll learn how to be a comic book artist and about the factors that affect a comic book artist salary. The wacky adventures of a comic book artist are just moments away; keep reading!

  • Tipping Etiquette for Service Providers: Who Should You Tip?
  • Nuclear Engineer Salary

    Name: Michael Flagg
    Job Title: Nuclear Engineer (Reactor Service)
    Where: Columbia, Missouri
    Employer: University of Missouri - Columbia
    Years of Experience: 1.5
    Education:B.S. Nuclear Engineering from the University of Missouri - Rolla
    Salary: See the PayScale Research Center for the median nuclear engineer salary, and compare it to petroleum engineering salaries.

    Nuclear Engineer Salary

    How much money does a nuclear engineer make? You may be hearing that question more and more as the U.S. considers going back to nuclear power. Even now, nuclear engineers are in demand as we found out in this Salary Story with Michael Flagg.

    In our chat, he covered nuclear engineer college, a nuclear engineer's necessary skills, the future of nuclear engineers in the market place, factors than can affect a nuclear engineer salary, as well as earnings and advancements of a nuclear engineer. This interview is charged with info!

  • 7 Steps to Stop Meeting Madness & Have More Effective Meetings
  • PayScale - Meeting Icebreakers
  • Women Leaders: Grit Required

    An article in today's Wall Street Journal says female executives identify with the scrutiny Hillary Clinton is experiencing as she campaigns to be president. The story touches on Catalyst's recent report on women in the workplace, which I blogged about last week.

    While the story delves into familiar struggles women encounter at work, it also raises a more compelling point: Some of the most successful women in business-leadership positions have learned to stop focusing on gender.

  • Starting Lawyer Salary: Partner Lawyer Salaries

    Wal-Mart is famous (or infamous depending on your POV) for its employees' salaries, and now it appears the big box giant is concerned about today's starting lawyer salary. As recently reported by the Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart sent a memo to its legal counsel bemoaning an increase in legal fees and pointing a finger at the starting lawyer salary of $160,000.

    In the memo, Miguel Rivera Sr., associate general counsel for Wal-Mart, wrote, “The salaries that law firms choose to pay their junior associates are none of our concern."  But then he added, “Based on the size and frequency of the rate increase requests that we have seen over the past three years, it appears that many of the requested increases are largely attributable to the steady, nationwide increases in junior associate salaries.”

    How does your salary compare to a starting lawyer salary Find out by taking PayScale's full salary survey.

  • Dental Assistant Salaries and Career Options

    Name: Melissa McKaig
    Job Title: Dental Assistant
    Where: Glendale, AZ
    Employer: Westside Endodontic Professionals
    Years of Experience: 4
    Education: Associate Degree, The Bryman School in Phoenix
    Salary: See the PayScale Research Center for median dental assistant salaries.

    Dental Assistant Salaries and Career Options

    For those interested in dental assistant salaries and career options, this Salary Story provides a perfect introduction. In this interview, Melissa McKaig explains the difference between dental assistant and dental hygienist positions, and gives helpful info on the outlook for dental assistant jobs.

    Melissa also discusses dental assistant salaries, certifications for dental assistants, requirements for dental assistant jobs, and how to become a dental assistant. If you're wondering how to earn the best dental assistant salaries and develop a successful career, open wide and keep reading!

  • Putting Meetings out of Their Misery
  • Companies Crack Down on Workers Playing Hooky

    Worker absenteeism costs companies an estimated $74 billion a year, according to a story in the Nov. 12 issue of BusinessWeek. So it's no wonder some businesses are clamping down on employees taking time off, especially for less-than-legitimate reasons.

    According to the article:

    Some companies are instituting tough policies to combat hooky. Others are limiting the amount of time you can take off before unpaid leave kicks in. And then there are those using brawny human resources software that mines worker data and analyzes no-shows--from the hourly scut worker straight up to the middle ranks of the salaried class.

    These strategies are sure to irk some employees, as the story mentions, who find that "the new crackdown smacks of Big Brother."

    But some policies could prove useful.

  • Unproductive Meetings, Meeting Free Fridays
  • Why Aren't More Women Leaders in the Workplace?

    When we talk about a leader in the workplace, the image that comes to most people's minds is a man--not a woman.

    That's according to a recent New York Times article by Lisa Belkin, which highlights a variety of research on women and leadership, including a recent report by Catalyst, a group that studies women in the workplace. Dubbed “Damned if You Do, Doomed if You Don’t,” the report polled 1,231 senior executives from the United States and Europe:

    It found that women who act in ways that are consistent with gender stereotypes — defined as focusing “on work relationships” and expressing “concern for other people’s perspectives” — are considered less competent. But if they act in ways that are seen as more “male” — like “act assertively, focus on work task, display ambition” — they are seen as “too tough” and “unfeminine.” Women can’t win.

    Women face major obstacles, it's true, but I disagree on the last point. Women can win more positions of leadership in the workplace, and for many reasons, they need to. They just need a little help.

  • Cabin Crew Salaries: Hot Air Balloon Pilot

    Name: "Captain Crystal" Stout
    Job Title: Hot Air Balloon Pilot
    Where: Ridgefield, WA
    Employer: Morning Star Balloon Co. (President/Owner/Operator)
    Years of Experience: 22
    Education: Jr. College 

    Cabin Crew Salaries: Hot Air Balloon Pilot

    When most people think of cabin crew salaries, they may picture an airline, but this Salary Story takes off with hot air balloon pilot "Captain Crystal" Stout. She took time out of her busy schedule to tell us about her career as a hot air balloon pilot, including info on hot air balloon pilot requirements and training.

    "Captain Crystal" also gave us the inside track on hot air balloon pilot school and taking a hot air ballooning exam. Keep reading to learn more about a career that is always going up!

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Comp Managers: Start Here »