• 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.

  • Majors and Careers: Women vs. Men, Engineering vs. Teaching, High Pay vs. Total Compensation

    By Dr. Al Lee

    In a previous post, I asked the question, do only women choose quality of life over high salary? In other words, do women evaluate quality of life, or true "total compensation," when deciding on a job, while guys are stuck on a treadmill with only one measure of success, total wages earned?

    I found three obvious differences between American men and women in the AAUW study, "Behind the Pay Gap," all of which hint at women preferring quality of life over money:

    1. Men do not go to college
    2. Women do not choose majors or careers to maximize income
    3. Women are more likely to leave the workforce to care for children

    I covered the first point in the previous post. In this post, let's look at what the AAUW study has to say about differences in choice of majors and careers between men and women.

    Are you earning all you can in your chosen career? Compare your pay with the PayScale salary survey.

  • What's the Cure for Corrupt Politicians?

    Rep. William Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat, was indicted earlier this week by a federal grand jury on charges of bribery and other corruption. Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby Jr. (known as Scooter Libby), was sentenced to 30 months in prison for lying to federal investigators about the part he played in uncovering the identity of a CIA officer.

    The indictment against William Jefferson accuses him of bribery, racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering, obstruction of justice and other offenses. (See The New York Times article here.) The judge in the Libby case said the evidence against him was "overwhelming" and that Libby "got off course" while working at the White House. (See the Washington Post article here.)

    What drives public servants like Scooter Libby and William Jefferson toward corruption, and how can it be prevented? Do some politicians gorge on power and then work as if they're above the law?

  • Sports Broadcaster Salaries

    Name: Jerry Massey
    Job Title: Sports Broadcaster
    Where: Virginia Tech, VA
    Employer: ISP Sports
    Years of Experience: 10
    Education: Bachelor of Science - Media Studies, Radford University
    Salary: According to PayScale, sports broadcaster salaries average out to $30,236 for radio and $62,992 for television

    Sports Broadcaster Salaries

    For those seeking job info for sports broadcaster gigs or requirements for sports broadcasters, this Salary Story is a must-read! Jerry Massey is a sports broadcaster for Virginia Tech and a stringer (freelancer) for national networks. Jerry gave us the play-by-play on factors that affect sports broadcaster salaries, sports broadcaster jobs, the education of a sports broadcaster and, of course, how to become a sports broadcaster. If you dream of announcing sports and attaining a sports broadcaster career profile (see Jerry's at hokiesports.com), or want info on how to earn the highest sports broadcaster salaries, then learn how the game is played!

  • Top Paying Jobs for People with No College Degrees

    In a previous column, I mentioned some top paying jobs for people with no college degrees.  The response was so strong that we are back for round two of the "best career choices with no college degree." Lest any parents out there accuse me of being an incompetent career counselor, keep in mind that neither Microsoft Founder Bill Gates nor Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has a college degree.

    Of course, Bill dropped out of Harvard, and Larry out of the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. If your kid gets into a top university (or two), and then wants to drop out, these two billionaires are evidence your child can still be a financial success.

    As reported on CNN.com, one of the top paying jobs for people with no college degrees is working as an air traffic controller. You are directing which planes can land and take off, so hundreds of lives are in your hands. A college degree is not necessary, but you do need three years of on-the-job work experience and/or four years of college. You also need to pass pre-employment testing, make it through the FAA Academy, and more training. It does pay well; the median salary for an air traffic controller with 13-20 years of experience is $98,300 per year.

    How does your salary compare to a "no college degree salary?" Do the math with our salary calculator.

  • Elementary School Teacher Salaries

    Name: John Rickey
    Job Title: Elementary School Teacher
    Where: Toronto, Canada
    Employer: Private
    Years of Experience: 15
    Education: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Education, University of Toronto
    Salary: See PayScale's Research Center for average Elementary School Teacher salaries.

    Elementary School Teacher Salaries

    These days the topic of elementary school teacher salaries is a hot button! Everyone agrees that the responsibilites and duties of an elementary school teacher are very important. However, some say that elementary school teacher salaries are too low, while others believe that elementary school teacher salaries are too high. For those interested in teacher salaries, or becoming an elementary school teacher, this Salary Story promises to be a real education.

    Recently, elementary school teacher John Rickey gave us lessons on the elementary school teacher career ladder, benefits of becoming an elementary school teacher, his steps in becoming an elementary school teacher, how technology impacts the duties of an elementary school teacher and his take on elementary school teacher salaries. What's the appeal of teaching? Do elementary school teacher salaries draw people to the profession, or is it the satisfaction of working with kids, or something else? If you're intrigued by the idea of teaching or want more info on becoming an elementary school teacher, read on!

  • Supreme Court Rules for Employers in Pay-Discrimination Suit

    The Supreme Court has ruled employees can't sue their employers over pay discrimination that took place years earlier. And according to Marcia Greenberger, a co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, “The ruling is clearly a very important setback in the ability to eliminate discriminatory pay. It puts people in a terrible bind." (See The New York Times article here.)

    Is the ruling a step in the wrong direction?

  • Salary Range for Recreational Therapist

    Name: Sherri Kelly
    Job Title: Recreational Therapist
    Where: San Diego, CA
    Employer: Various - Independent Contractor
    Years of Experience: 1
    Education: BS, Recreational Management, Utah State University
    Salary: Use the PayScale Research Center to find the median salary range for recreational therapist professionals.

    Salary Range for Recreational Therapist

    For readers who are considering a career as a recreational therapist or who want more info on recreational therapist salaries, this is one interview not to be missed! Recently, recreational therapist Sherri Kelly sat down with us and talked about her career as a recreational therapist, the requirements for starting a career as a recreational therapist, different jobs in recreational therapy (also touched upon at bls.gov), recreational therapist activities and factors that affect the salary range for recreational therapist professionals.

    This interview is frank and unflinching about the current outlook for jobs in recreational therapy and recreational therapist salaries. Sherri explains how recreational therapist salaries are being affected by some employers who are hiring less qualified recreational aides. She also discusses other factors that influence the salary range for recreational therapist positions, and gives an insider's view of what it's like to have a career as a recreational therapist.

    If you're wondering about a career as a recreational therapist, or want to know more about recreational therapist salaries, this Salary Story may change your life!

  • Salary Comparison: Married vs. Unmarried

    Within the U.S. armed forces, married soldiers are paid a higher annual salary than military singles. This salary comparison hasn’t gone unnoticed by military singles who are marrying strangers in order to get a higher salary, according to a recent report by LAWeekly.com. It’s called a “marriage contract” and it works like this: military singles seek strangers to marry, soldier marries stranger (i.e. contract wife), receives extra pay for being married and pays off contract wife with a portion of extra pay.

    According to LAWeekly.com, an unmarried private in the Army earns a monthly salary of about $1,350. However, if he gets married, his monthly salary increases to about $1,800. If he is deployed, our married soldier will also receive a “Family Separation Allowance” of $250, or as it’s called in the service, “missing me” pay.

    Thanks to these contract arrangements and the military pay chart, married enlisted definitely earn more than military singles. What about a salary comparison in civilian life? Are you likely to earn a higher salary if you’re married?

    How does your and your spouse's salary compare? Do a salary comparison with our salary calculator.

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Comp Managers: Start Here »