• Oil and Gas Geologist Jobs: Striking It Rich

    With gas prices going through the roof over the past year, you might think the only ones doing well in the petro industry were oil company executives, but oil and gas geologist jobs are also bringing in strong annual salaries, according to a recent report by the Houston Chronicle. The oil biz has been struggling with the problem of older workers and a lack of younger recruits. Since supply is not meeting demand, many oil field jobs are paying more than in previous years.

    A recently released study by the University of Houston and the Boyden executive search firm stated that the median salary of a petroleum geologist (with 10 years experience) has increased 23 percent over the past three years, going from $107,500 (2004) to $132,132 (2006). But it's not just the oil and gas geologist jobs; oil drilling rig jobs have hit a gusher, increasing from $36,000 to $58,000 during the same three years. Some oil companies are even paying sign-on bonuses (up to $15,000) to entry-level geologists with master's degrees.

    Has your salary struck oil? Find out with our salary calculator.

  • Teaching Salaries USA vs. World

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made the news when he announced a 40% increase in school teacher salaries (reported by plenglish.com) for the Latin American country. Teachers will reportedly see that salary boost in November of 2007.  Chavez was quoted as saying, "...we will do everything possible to continue rising standard of living, not only with the basic salary but also with social security and housing plans."

    While Chavez's true long-term agenda is questionable, there is no denying that U.S. educators would welcome a raise in school teacher salaries. In fact, how does the U.S. compare to the rest of the world?  According to a report of global school teacher salaries by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), the U.S. is lagging behind. To find out why, read more.

    How does your salary compare to the average school teacher salaries?  Find out with the PayScale Salary Calculator.   

  • Ebusiness Trends in Job Hunting

    The other day I overheard a woman in a coffee shop calling "help wanted" ads out of the newspaper with her cell phone.  I could only hear what was said on her end, but it wasn't promising:  "Umm, no, I don't have a resume."  "I don't know what speed I can type." It was probably not one of the better executive administrative assistant job searches. Most people are better prepared than she was (I hope), but may still have a hard time finding employment and/or dealing with job hunting frustrations.

    Forbes.com recently covered some ebusiness trends in job hunting and suggested ways to boost a flagging job search. Most jobs are not filled through classified ads, but through networking. Like it or not, it's who you know, or who you just met. Some executive job coaches recommend three to five networking meetings weekly. Just like dating, job hunting and successful internet job searches are often a numbers game.

    Would your salary last if you were job hunting for over a year?  Find out with the PayScale's full salary survey.

  • CRNA Income - Nurse Anesthetist Salary and Career Information

    Name: Terry Freemark
    Job Title: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
    Where: Southeastern Pennsylvania
    Employer: Hospital
    Years of Experience: 10+
    Education: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science
    Salary: See the PayScale Research Center for the median Nurse Anesthetist Salary.

    Nurse Anesthetist Salary and Career Information

    If you asked most people, they probably wouldn't be able to give you a nurse anesthetist job description. In this Salary Story, nurse anesthetist Terry Freemark solves the mystery. He describes his nurse anesthetist career and sheds light on nurse anesthetist study programs, the typical nurse anesthetist work schedule and factors that can affect the average nurse anesthetist salary.

    If you're looking for a challenging profession in a medical field, a nurse anesthetist career may be the perfect choice. As you will soon read, reparing for a nurse anesthetist career requires intensive study and training, but the outcome is a rewarding nursing position that plays a critical role in health care.

  • Under Hovering Helicopter Parents, Millennials' Careers Can't Soar

    The over-involved parents of Millennials -- aka "helicopter parents"--have been known to frequent their kids' high schools and colleges, scheduling and planning a large part of their lives. As Gen Y comes of age, parents now are showing up at business schools and in the workplace, and some say they're hindering their adult children's chances for success.

    An Associated Press story on MSNBC.com explains:

    “It has now reached epidemic proportions,” says Michael Ellis, director of career and life education at Delaware Valley College, a small, private school in Doylestown, Pa.

    At the school’s annual job fair last year, he says, one father accompanied his daughter, handed out her resume and answered most of the questions the recruiters were asking the young woman. Even more often, he receives calls from parents, only to find out later that their soon-to-be college grad was sitting next to the parent, quietly listening.

    Jobs counselors at universities across the country say experiences like those are now commonplace.

    “My main concern is the obvious need of the students to develop their independence and confidence,” says Kate Brooks, director of the Liberal Arts Career Center at the University of Texas. “I think it’s great that parents want to share their advice — and even better that students of this age are willing to listen — but I think the boundaries get crossed sometimes.”

    What can be done to stop such boundary-crossings?

  • How to Negotiate A Starting Salary for a New Job
  • Do you deserve overtime?

    Overtime suits are taking the labor-law stage by storm, according to recent news reports (BusinessWeek, New York Times), and more and more companies are finding themselves in the hot seat.

    Attorneys like Mark R. Thierman are suing companies for violating so-called wage and hour laws, claiming they've not paid overtime to workers who deserve it, the BusinessWeek story says. While exact numbers aren't available, attorneys say companies recently have altogether paid over $1 billion each year to resolve the claims:

    "This is the biggest problem for companies out there in the employment area by far," says J. Nelson Thomas, a Rochester (N.Y.) attorney, who, like Thierman, switched from defense to plaintiffs' work. "I can hit a company with a hundred sexual harassment lawsuits, and it will not inflict anywhere near the damage that [a wage and hour suit] will."

    But isn't overtime hard to collect if you're part of the white-collar workforce?

  • Meeting Facilitation Training: Meeting Icebreakers

    Name: Shirley Fine Lee   
    Job Title: Meeting Facilitator 
    Where: Lewisville, Texas 
    Employer: Self-Employed, www.shirleyfinelee.com
    Years of Experience: 12+
    Education: North Central Texas College Associate of Science, Dallas Baptist University BA in Management Information Systems 

    Meeting Facilitation Training: Meeting Icebreakers

    For readers interested in working as a meeting facilitator, or who want to know more about effective meeting icebreakers and where to go for meeting facilitation training, this Salary Story covers all the points. Veteran meeting facilitator Shirley Fine Lee told us about how she got started as a meeting facilitator, including the types of meeting facilitation training she received, as well as the outlook for careers in meeting management.

    Shirley also gave us info on team-building, meeting icebreakers, meeting invocations and tips for meeting facilitator careers. Plus, we found out what to expect from meeting facilitator salaries. If you want some great tips for meeting facilitator methods and training, this interview is a must-click!

  • University Faculty and President Salaries: In the News

    Faculty salaries at colleges and universities have been in the news quite a bit. As reported by PennLive.com, Penn State University is refusing to disclose university salaries, including the college coach salary of Joe Paterno. The salary information was requested by The Patriot-News, but Penn state has historically kept university salaries private. The school says that releasing salary information could result in "bidding wars" for their top coaches and teachers.

    However, the Patriot-News claims that the salary information is part of the public accountability of Penn State - Pennsylvania's largest university and supported by taxpayers. The newspaper had won a lower court decision in 2005, but Penn State is now appealing to the state's highest court. In their appeal, Penn State says that its employees' constitutional privacy rights are more important than its obligations as a public taxpayer-funded agency.

    Is your salary worthy of secrecy? (Whisper: Find out with our salary calculator.)

  • Getting Hired After Being Fired

    Getting fired is humiliating and frustrating. It's a blow to your ego and self-worth, not to mention bad news for the future of your career.

    But does a termination forever banish you to the fringes of the working world?

  • What are the top jobs in television broadcasting?

    What are the top jobs in television broadcasting? According to a recent report, Rupert Murdoch the chairman and chief executive of News Corp., may have the best gig of all. This fiscal year he earned a total compensation valued at $24.3 million, per an analysis of a recent regulatory filing. Of that $24.3 million, $8.1 million was Murdoch's salary, an increase of $3.6 million from last year.

    The 76-year-old Murdoch also received a $15.8 million bonus and additional compensation of $356,175.  This reportedly consisted of $337,427 in personal use of the company aircraft, $11,998 in personal use of company cars and $6,750 in retirement plan payments (err, does he really need a retirement plan?). How did others in News Corp. do in this broadcasting salary survey? Keep reading!

    What are the top jobs in television broadcasting?  How do they compare against your salary?  Find out with PayScale's full salary survey.

  • Part Time Jobs for Mom: Your Guide To Career Planning

    Working mothers have never had it easy, unless they're wealthy actresses with a slew full of nannies. Women are expected to meet corporate America's demands and be the main caregiver their children's lives. Not only that, some may be caring for elderly parents. That may be why more women are giving a thumbs down to 40 hours a week and looking for "part time jobs for mom," according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, as reported on CSMonitor.com.

    The survey said that when working moms were asked about their "ideal" work situation, a slim 21% cited 40 hour a week jobs, this was down from 32% in 1997. In contrast, 60% of 2007's respondents said "part-time jobs for mom" were "ideal," up from 48% ten years earlier.  Interestingly, 19% of working moms in this year's survey preferred not to work outside the home at all. Of course, working part time may not be a financial option for moms. What is the solution?

    What would your salary look like if you worked part time?  Find out with the PayScale Salary Calculator.

  • Let's Get Our Workforce Out of the 1950s

    Is a computer worth more to a company than a female executive who makes six figures and has loads of client relationships?

    It might be, according to a New York Times article on Sylvia Ann Hewlett's recent book, "Off-Ramps and On-Ramps," about women re-entering the workforce after time off to care for children, parents or other reasons.

    “If a $2,000 desktop computer disappears from an employee’s desk, I guarantee that there’ll be an investigation,” Maury Hanigan, a consultant, tells Dr. Hewlett, adding that “if a $100,000-a-year executive with all kinds of client relationships” quits “to stay home with the kids — there’s no investigation.”

  • Criminal Defense Attorney Salaries

    Name: Scott Pactor
    Job Title: Criminal Defense Attorney - Attorney at Law
    Where: San Diego, CA 
    Employer: Self-Employed
    Years of Experience: 6
    Education:J.D. Hastings College of Law, San Francisco; B.A. American University, Washington D.C.   
    Salary: See the PayScale Research Center for criminal defense attorney salaries.

    Criminal Defense Attorney Salaries

    If you're interested in criminal defense attorney salaries or have ever wondered what's it's really like to work as a criminal defense attorney in California (or anywhere else), then you don't want to miss this Salary Story. San Diego criminal attorney Scott Pactor gave us the inside scoop on criminal defense attorney salaries and the attorney jobs California and other states have to offer. This interview is court-mandated reading!

  • PayScale - The $1 CEO Salary Myth: CEO Salaries vs. Worker Salaries
  • Median vs. Mean Lawyer Salaries: Is Law School Worth It?

    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), "Hard Case: Job Market Wanes for U.S. Lawyers", reported on the large number of law school graduates suffering under large debt with surprisingly low salary prospects.

    If only these prospective law students had been reading this blog. They would have understood the difference between median and mean, and that only 10% of students can be in the 90th percentile of salaries :-)

    While the Wall Street Journal focused on the somewhat misleading marketing done by second tier law schools, in truth there is plenty of data available, e.g., from PayScale's research center, on just how low the typical median starting lawyer salaries are.

    In this post, I'll look at lawyers salaries: the top, the bottom, and the middle. Yes, for specific skill sets and employers, the attorney salaries are still good. That pay just is not the typical (median) law student's experience.

    Is your salary above or below the median for people like you? Find out with the PayScale Salary Calculator.

  • IT Jobs and Careers Around the World

    For those interested in IT jobs and careers, you might be wondering if it pays better to work in the U.S. or in a foreign country, particularly with all the press about outsourcing and globalization.  According to Trak.in, an Indian web site, IT jobs in India are seeing salary increases.  They quote a 2007 salary survey that says the average Indian software worker saw a salary increase of 18.7% in 2007; an improvement over the 18.3% increase reported in 2006.

    This was a nationwide survey reportedly performed by IDC India that reportedly survey 2,806 IT professionals. They then contrast those numbers to the U.S., which reportedly saw a base salary increase of 2.7%, according to Redmond.com. India might sound great until we note that the average U.S. IT salary is $71,988, and the Indian rupee is only 40 cents to each U.S. dollar.

    How does your salary compare against IT jobs in India (and salaries)?  Find out with the PayScale Salary Calculator.

  • Increased Income for College Graduates: Class of 2007

    In a column earlier this year, I examined some of the average college grad income predictions made by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). So how has the class of 2007 actually done in the “real world?” Well, NACE recently issued its most recent and final 2007 Salary Survey which shows an increased Income for college graduates in many fields.

    Not surprisingly, there was increased income for college graduates in accounting. Number crunching continues to pay well; the average accounting job for college graduates gained 3%, with an average starting salary of $46,292. Business administration and management grads saw a 5.1% bump; their average salary, right out of the gate, was $43,256.

    How does your salary compare to accounting careers for college graduates?  Find out with our salary survey.

  • A Window on Generations Now

    The workforce is knee-deep in an anomaly: For the first time ever, four generations are side-by-side, with everyone from Millennials to the Silent Generation contributing to the bottom line.

    But what is a generation, anyway, and what are these four all about?

    According to Chuck Underwood, founder and president of The Generational Imperative, "Any generation ends with a significant end in America of the times or teachings or both that young kids will absorb."

    Underwood, one of my sources for PayScale's September stories on Generations X and Y (links here and here) in the workplace, offered a snapshot of each generation working today.

  • If You Think Your Commute Is Getting Worse, You're Right

    Travelers in all U.S. metro areas are wasting more time than ever in traffic--and more gas, according to the 2007 Urban Mobility Report.

    Released Tuesday, the report says traffic congestion is draining $78 billion from the economy every year, including "4.2 billion lost hours and 2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel—that's 105 million weeks of vacation and 58 fully-loaded supertankers."

    How can we make things better?