• Sales Engineer Salaries

    Name: Dan Holmes
    Job Title: Sales Engineer
    Where: Seattle, WA
    Employer: Siemens
    Education: University of Idaho, Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering
    Annual Salary: See PayScale's Research Center for median sales engineer salaries, including sales engineering starting salaries and post-graduate salaries in engineering sales.

    Engineering is one of those fields that has enormous growth potential within various specialty areas. "Engineer" can mean anything from petroleum engineer to computer engineer. While all engineering jobs focus to some degree on solving technical problems, most of us probably don't associate engineering with customer relations and sales. However, Dan Holmes, a Sales Engineer, fills a key area within his company, combining his technical knowledge with his outgoing personality to serve and build customer relationships. He gave us a few tips on the benefits of working as a Sales Engineer, plus advice on how to succeed in this type of engineering career.

    Sales Engineer Job Description:
    Dan: I manage strategic customer relationships and provide a strategic plan for customer equipment migrations and maintenance.

    PayScale: How did you get started as a Sales Engineer?
    Dan: I went to college with a plan to get this type of job. I have never enjoyed working in one place, and I have always wanted to be out working with customers. My engineering degree opened the door for a technical sales role, which was ideal for me.

  • Document Management Administrator - Premera Blue Cross

    Name: Tami Bevan
    Job Title: Document Management Administrator
    Where: Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Employer: Premera Blue Cross
    Years of Experience: 16
    Education: BS in Visual Communications from Western Washington University, Certified Forms Consultant certification from DMIA (Document Management Industries Association), Certified Form Systems Consultant certification from BFMA (Business Forms Management Association), and ongoing training through BFMA's annual symposium, web seminars, and chapter programs.
    Annual Salary: Use PayScale's Resource Center to research salary information for the Document Management industry, and find related career information, including Medical Coder salary and Information Technology Specialist salary.

    Do you have a knack for organization? Are you constantly looking to improve efficiency in business processes and information storage? If so, check out our interview with Tami Bevan, a Document Administrator for Premera Blue Cross. Tami's job is to help maintain Premera's vast network of information using specialized methods of document management. Simplifying the retrieval of information from such a huge library is no easy task, but if you're looking for a challenging job that plays a key role in business operations, don't miss Tami's advice on how to enter the forms management field. To find out more, see PayScale's salary data for the Document Management industry.

    Document Administrator Job Description:
    Tami: Document Administration is the Premera department that maintains information on all forms, sales collateral, business papers (letterheads, envelopes, and mailing labels) and communications for the company. Document Administration involves managing the life cycle of documents. The Document Administration department centrally manages print procurement, but we track and report on printed and posted documents for the company as well.

    PayScale: How did you get started in Document Management?
    Tami: I grew up with parents in the printing industry who pushed me towards my college degree. After college I got involved with the BFMA (Business Forms Management Association) that taught me about the disciplines of document management, also known as forms management.

  • College Football Coaches' Pay, Top Secret?

    By Dr.Al Lee - Payscale.com

    Does the public have a right to know how much state employees earn, including college football coaches' pay?  That issue has been tied up in litigation for years in Pennsylvania. Back in 2002, a reporter for the Harrisburg Patriot-News asked the State Employees Retirement System for the annual salaries of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and three other Penn State officials.

    The State Employees Retirement System okayed the request, but Penn State tried to block it... all the way up to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which recently ruled 4-2 in favor of the newspaper. According to a report on philly.com, the ruling applied not only to college football coaches' pay, but also to the salary of any Penn State worker enrolled in the retirement system. This is similar to the case in California concerning public worker pay, and the result is the same.

    So how much has Joe Paterno been earning? Keep reading!

  • 5 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Income
    Have you ever been knee-deep in financial duress, perhaps losing all of your savings and retirement funds as your employer went belly up? No one wants to get stuck in such dire straits, but it's a valid concern, especially when news mounts about indicators of a recession.
  • Airline Pilots & Wages: Salary or Safety?

    The friendly skies are not so friendly these days when it comes to airline pilots & wages, reports Fortune magazine. This story actually began back on 9/11.  After the 2001 terrorist attack, the airline industry began to nose dive; people were scared to fly, tourism dropped, the airlines were in trouble.  As the slump continued, some airlines were on the verge of bankruptcy.

    In 2003, airline pilots and other employees agreed to give up 23% of their pay (plus other concessions) to help keep the airlines afloat. Today, the airline industry is making money, especially American Airlines whose top executives (including parent AMR Corp.) have received nearly a quarter-billion dollars in stock.  Now, the pilots want their pay back. Will this fight over airline pilots & wages result in a strike?  Keep reading!

    How does your salary compare to an airline pilot's wages? Find out by taking PayScale's full salary survey.

  • This Isn't Your Grandpa's Job Market

    Job hopping used to be a red flag. Frequent jumps around the job market signaled a worker's lack of commitment. These days it's more of a green light, especially for younger workers. Job mobility can help speed them along a career path--or rescue them from a rut--and keep them interested in their work.

    In a recent Boston Globe piece Penelope Trunk writes:

    The best thing you can do early in your career is move around a lot so you can figure out what you're good at and what you like. If you compare people who job hop with people who don't, people who job hop build their network faster, build their skill set faster, and are more engaged in their work.

    She's right.

  • Behind the Walls with an Occupational Therapist

    Name: Dave King
    Job Title: Job Development Specialist - Occupational Therapist
    Where: Wichita, Kansas
    Employer: Kansas State Department of Corrections, Sedgwick County Re-Entry Program
    Education: Offender Workforce Development Specialist training program from the National Institute of Corrections, and a B. S. in Human Services/Psychology from Friends University.
    Annual Salary: See PayScale's Research Center for the median Job Development Specialist salary, Occupational Therapist salary, and related career info on Correctional Officers' salaries and Recruiter income.

    What's it like to work in a prison? For some people, just the thought of working in a prison would make them nervous. But for Job Development Specialist Dave King, life behind the walls is simply another day at work. As a Job Development Specialist trained in offender workforce development, King trains and prepares inmates for a life and career once they exit the prison gates. If you're up for a challenge, and enjoy psychology, read on. Also, find out more about an Occupational Therapist's salary and the roles of Correctional Officers to see if this is the right career for you.

    Job Development Specialist Duties:
    Plan, facilitate and teach job skills to maximum-security inmates inside a correctional facility. Assist with the release planning of inmates through a re-entry program that assures success in living and working in a community after being incarcerated. Also, teach classes on money management, release and reintegration, and intensive employment classes.

    PayScale: How did you get started as a Job Development Specialist?
    Dave: I have been an employment specialist since 1989 and began working with the disabled. I then taught a program/class called “Welfare to Work” for 16 years. I now use those same skills to teach inside a prison environment. Many of those skills can be transfered from one type of group to another. However, each group or person has their own unique set of issues to deal with to find success.

  • How to Manage Your Boss

    You've probably heard the phrase "bad manager" before. Perhaps you're in the throes of a job you loathe--mostly because of a problematic superior who doesn't do a good job managing you and others.

    But what about the way you manage your boss? It's just as critical, according to John J. Gabarro and John P. Kotter, authors of "Managing Your Boss," a Harvard Business Review “Classics” article. Workers must manage their bosses if they want to do their best and benefit themselves, their supervisors and their companies, the authors say.

  • TV Star Salaries: 'The Office' vs. 'Grey’s Anatomy'
    What do your favorite TV stars earn? Compare TV star salaries to the salaries of the characters they play on TV. This round: The Office vs. Grey's Anatomy.
  • Looking for a Crystal Ball on the Jobs Front, and Turning Up Short

    If the job market seemed soft a month ago, these days it appears softer still.

    Late last week the Labor Department reported the unemployment rate rose from 4.8 to 5.1 percent in March, and nonfarm payroll employment was down 80,000 jobs. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics release:

    In March, employment continued to fall in construction, manufacturing, and employment services, while health care, food services, and mining added jobs.

    The Wall Street Journal notes the job losses are the largest in five years and the third consecutive monthly decline:

    Also, revised data showed that employers cut 76,000 jobs in both January and February, more than previously thought. Together, the numbers offer the most persuasive evidence yet that the economy has slipped into a recession.

    Even former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says the recession has arrived.

    Is there any good news?

  • High-School Dropouts: A Workforce

    High-school graduation rates in the largest U.S. cities are abysmal.

    A report released this week by America’s Promise Alliance says in the 50 largest cities, about half of all students in the main school systems graduate from high school. These rates, the report says, are "considerably lower" than graduation rates in suburban areas:

    ... extreme disparities emerge in a number of the country’s largest metropolitan areas, where students served by suburban systems may be twice as likely as their urban peers to graduate from high school.

    Nationwide, nearly one in three U.S. high-school students drops out before graduating, according to an APA release, and approximately 1.2 million students drop out every year. The Alliance for Excellent Education estimates that 2006-2007 high-school dropouts will in their lifetimes cost the United States more than $329 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity.

    These numbers, alarming in their own right, spell major trouble for our workforce. But just how big is the problem--and what's the solution?

  • Snapshot of a Writer Job: Employing Your Creative Side

    Name: Mazy
    Job Title: Writer
    Where: Orlando, FL
    Employer: Self-Employed
    Years of Experience: 2
    Education: Central Connecticut State University, B.A. in English, minor in creative writing.
    Annual Salary: Writers' salaries vary greatly by the type of writing. Visit the PayScale Research Center for median Author salaries, and Editorial Writer salaries.

    So, you want to be a writer? According to Mazy, a self-employed Creative Writer, persistence and determination pay off when it comes to landing those highly coveted writer jobs. Convincing publishers and newspapers to print your work can be difficult but is worth it for Mazy, whose job perks include the ability to work from any location. Check out the PayScale Research Center for salary information on various other writer jobs, including Journalist salaries, and the salary range for Grant Writers.

    Writer Job Description:
    Mazy: "I write fictional stories as episodes and sell them to newspapers and periodicals.  I tend to print on a bi-weekly basis."

    PayScale: How did you get started as a Writer?
    Mazy: "I started badgering newspapers until they decided to print my work.  But, I had to be very persistent and I had to go to them continually."

  • 'Don't Show Us the Money-Show Us Healthcare Benefits,' Workers Say
  • Alumni Salaries vs. NCAA Championships: Big Pay Predicts Exit

    Continuing the theme of the last few posts, how well did university alumni salaries (pay of graduates with 5 to 15 years of experience) predict the "Sweet Sixteen" round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship?

    Last week, I flipped the original bracket picks (schools with higher paid alumni win) and predicted Stanford University (3 seed, $113,000), UCLA (1 seed, $86,600) and University of Texas (2 seed, $83,400) would be next to leave the tournament, because they all have alumni who earn well above the tournament school average.

    The good news is I was 2 for 3! The bad news is that the NCAA seeding committee was even better. They predicted only 2 would leave the tourney (the universities that are not 1 seeds), and the seeding committee was right :-)

    In this post, I'll look at how well salary worked to predict the Sweet Sixteen weekend, and make a last guess at which university will win it all.

    Are you overpaid and headed home like Stanford, or pulling down 1/2 as much and going to the Final Four like the University of Memphis ($59,100)? Find out with the PayScale salary survey.

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