• Celebrity Salaries: What Is Oprah Winfrey’s Annual Salary vs. Joe the Plumber’s?

    Have you ever considered the reality that many famous people make more in a year than most of the world’s population makes in a lifetime? I thought about this recently when looking at the Forbes Celebrity Top 100 list for 2008. At the top of list, solidly in the lead, sits a proud and powerful Oprah Winfrey. Oprah Winfrey makes $275 million annually and her earnings are likely only going up from there.

    I was trying to put her incredible salary into perspective so I decided to bring in America’s “everyman,” Joe the Plumber. During our 2008 presidential election season, Joe the Plumber represented, for many, the American middle class. According to an NPR article, Joe wanted to have his own plumbing business and was worried that Obama’s tax plan would push him into a higher, more costly tax-bracket. He hoped to earn $250,000 a year. So, what does a hard working plumber like Joe make in a lifetime?

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  • How Rich is Larry King? Salary Secrets of the Stars

    When Kathy Griffin appeared on Larry King Live last June she asked Mr. King, “What’s your annual salary?” He responded, “I can’t tell you that.” She went on to badger him with questions about whether or not he gets paid per show or bimonthly. Larry dodged her bullets but she got his attention when she said, “I can look it up online.” King was shocked.


    Her comment made me curious at the time. I had heard that Larry King makes the big bucks but I’d never checked on exactly how much. Today, I decided to take a look and see if Ms. Griffin was right about finding Larry King’s salary online.


  • Rehabilitative Engineering - Assistive Devices to Make Life Simpler

    Name: Tom Rybak
    Job Title: Rehabilitation Engineer
    Where: Richmond, VA
    Employer: Dept. of Rehabilitative Services, Commonwealth of Virginia
    Years of Experience: 15
    Education: BFA-Painting, Washington University, St. Louis, MO; MFA-Painting, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
    Relevant Experience: Exhibits Fabricator, Science Museum of VA; Cabinetmaker, various shops
    Annual Salary: Find average salaries with PayScale's Research Center.


    Becoming a Rehabilitation Engineer

    If you want to combine compassion with science to help people with disabilities, consider a career in rehabilitative engineering. This versatile career uses both sides of your brain: the creative and mathematical.

    Tom Rybak's art school background and knowledge of mechanical engineering helped him choose this unique career path.  In this Salary Story, Tom Rybak discusses the challenges he faced in becoming a rehabilitation engineer, and what he loves most about his job. Tom’s inspiring career helps make life simpler for people with disabilities by providing them with devices that give them greater independence and quality of life.

  • The Sky Is Falling, But Are Wages?

    Paul Krugman wrote recently an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times on the "Falling Wage Syndrome."

    He pointed to two troubled industries, print journalism and American automobile manufacturers, both of which have workers taking pay cuts.

    He also noted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics "Employment Cost Index for Wages and Salaries" rose only 0.2% in the first quarter this year (annual rate ~0.8%), the lowest in the history of the index.

    The sky is falling in many areas of the economy: unemployment is up, profits are down, and investment banks, newpapers, housing construction, and car manufacturing are faltering.

    Are real wages really going down too? This is the opposite of the opinion David Leonhardt gave a month or so ago. Perhaps Krugman is right; after all he has a Nobel prize :-)

    At PayScale, we have a lot of data, collected as recently as yesterday, to look at this question; read on to see what we have found.

    Should you be taking a wage cut, or are you do for a raise? Use the PayScale salary calculator to figure out the answer for your job.

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