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Salary Smackdown: Dirty vs. Clean

Salary Smackdown: Dirty vs. Clean

Which pays more: Killing nasty vermin or taking care of kids? Drilling oil wells or keeping a library shipshape? Sure, some squeaky clean jobs come with a tidy paycheck but you might be surprised to find that when it comes to work, getting your hands dirty can pay off.

Diesel Mechanic vs. Program Coordinator at a Non-Profit Organization
Should you work on cars or non-profit affairs? There's more than one way to get your hands dirty, but in this case, the difference isn't so much. The average career salaries for program coordinators at a Non-Profit Organization range around $37,295, 3 percent higher than $36,108.80 - the typical career salaries for diesel mechanics.

Exterminator vs. Child Care Worker
Working with bugs or kids - the messiness of these two careers may be a toss-up depending upon how dirty things get. Dealing with bugs does pay off, though, since the typical career salaries for exterminators range around $24,980, 24 percent higher than the typical salary of $18,886 for a child care/day care worker.

Paramedic/EMT vs. Administrative Assistant
Paramedics and administrative assistants both have stressful moments, but it does make a difference whether your customer is bleeding. You'd be surprised to know that the typical career salaries for administrative assistants are around $30,085, 10 percent higher than the average job salary of $27,040 for a paramedic/EMT.

Slaughterer/Meat Packer vs. Bookkeeper/Accountant
Working with meat is a lot messier than working with papers, but seeing blood and guts pays off for slaugherers/meat packers. This occupation's salaries average about $32,198.40, 4 percent higher than the typical salary of $30,888 for a bookkeeper/accountant.

Fast Food Worker vs. Retail Cashier
When you compare working in a fast food chain or a retail chain, the cleaner career pays off. The typical career salaries for retail cashiers range around $18,200, 16 percent higher than the typical salary of $15,288 for a fast food worker.

Mortician vs. Social Worker
It's dirtier to work with clients once their dead than alive and it makes a difference in career salaries, too. The typical salary for a mortician is $38,445, 8 percent higher than the average salary of $35,255 for a social worker.

Oil Well Driller vs. Librarian
A librarian may enjoy peace and quiet in a dry working environment, but giving that up for an oil field proves to be more profitable. The typical career salaries for oil well drillers range around $55,057, 24 percent higher than the typical salary of $41,719 of a librarian.
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Psychiatrist vs. Dentist
Both occupations get in the patient's head, but it's no surprise that the typical salary for a psychiatrist is $149,011, 23 percent higher than the average career salaries of dentists, ranging at around $115,417.
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VP of Investment Banking vs. Cardiac Surgeon
These two careers go to the client's heart - one with a scalpel and the other with money. But, In terms of pay, there's a significant difference. The average career salary for a cardiac surgeon is $276,000, 57 percent higher than the typical salary of $117,982 for a vice president of investment banking.
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Salaries reflect the typical base pay in the United States for someone with 5-9 years of experience in a given job. For jobs that are typically paid hourly, salary calculations assume 40 hours of work per week for 52 weeks per year. With any job title, there is a wide range of pay based upon years of experience, location, and many additional factors. To find a more accurate analysis of your job title, fill out the free Salary Survey.

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