• Careers In Biology - Molecular Biologist Profile

    Name: Shawn Hodges
    Job Title: Molecular Biologist
    Where: Newark, CA
    Employer: Complete Genomics
    Years of Experience: 6.5
    Education: University of California, Davis, B.S. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, minor in Economics; Santa Rosa Jr. College, A.A. & A.S. Biochemistry transfer & Engineering
    Salary: Use PayScale's Research Center to find salary data for molecular biology careers.

    Careers in Biology - Molecular Biologist Profile

    In this interview, Molecular Biologist Shawn Hodges provides detailed information on the perks and challenges of his career in biology. He describes what to expect from entry-level positions, how to prepare for entering the field and how to thrive in a skilled science career. Early in his career path, Shawn switched from an engineering major to biochemistry and hasn’t looked back since. Find out why molecular biology has proven to be a rewarding career choice.

    What does a molecular biologist do?

    Shawn: As a bachelor's-level biochemist, I generally execute experiments in a laboratory and analyze data on a computer. The level of independence varies, depending on years of experience, scientific complexity, and the type of management. As a new grad, I learned many new laboratory techniques from my boss and colleagues; with between three and five years of experience, management was more hands-off, providing general direction. For example, my assignment was to develop a biochemical assay to assess enzymatic activity. Over the course of months, I would meet with my supervisor and group on a weekly basis to collaborate on ideas to improve the reproducibility of the assay. Experiments were planned, executed, data collected, analyzed graphically and statistically, and shared in PowerPoint presentations weekly.

  • 4-Year vs. 2-Year College Degrees: How Does the Pay Compare?

    With the rising cost of four-year colleges, people may ask themselves whether the salary promised by a bachelor's degree is really worth the time and money required to complete the program. Why not complete an associate's degree program, and enter the workforce sooner and (mostly) free of debt?

    Using the extensive PayScale salary database, in this post we will examine the pay differences across degrees and other characteristics. While our database has its limitations - for example, we don't track unemployment rates, which are much higher for less advanced degrees - it gives us insight into the value in salary of finishing four years at a college or university.

    Will a bachelor's degree lead to higher pay in your career? Use the PayScale salary survey to find out.

    Note: All numbers circa 2009.

  • How to Find Training for a Green Job
  • Executive Pay Limits: Introducing “Government Executive Pay”

    They’re happening. The oft spoke of, much debated, feared, and cheered executive pay limits are in motion. While they’ll most likely target only companies that received bailout funds, executive pay limits are still a significant shift in where government’s hands can go.

  • Celebrity Photographer Salary
  • Mad Men: Are They Making Mad Money?
  • 10 Dangerous Jobs for Big Money
  • Finance Careers - Security Pricing Specialist
    Name: Jason Richards
    Job Title: Security Pricing Specialist
    Where: Boston, MA
    Employer: Bank of New York Mellon
    Years of Experience: 7 years
    Education: Eastern Nazarene College, Business Management Degree.
    Salary: See PayScale's Research Center for the Average Salary for a Securities Career.

    Finance Careers - Security Pricing Specialist

    Jason Richards is a security pricing specialist for Mellon Bank. He started at the ground level and is in the process of working his way up. In this Salary Story, Jason explains what public securities markets are and how to make it in Mellon securities careers. He also shares some great advice and stories that would be valuable to anyone working in the stock brokerage industry or pursuing a finance career.

    What does a security pricing specialist do?

    Jason: This job is considered the operations side of a mutual fund company. Previous to working here, I worked at Fidelity Investments. The operations side is configured of security pricing and accounting for securities held by funds that are in investment portfolios, typically 401k retirement portfolios. Each morning I run a report that shows what new securities were bought by our trading desk, and place them on specific broker or vendor pricing lists. This is to ensure that the bonds are priced on a nightly basis. The fluctuation on a bonds price from day to day affects the NAV (Net Asset Value) of the funds that hold the security. The fluctuation of the NAV on a fund affects the performance of the fund in a portfolio. An individual's portfolio is made up of a group of funds, determined by their retirement goal objectives. Each fund specializes in a certain objective, for instance high risk, low risk, steady growth, and a mix. My job is focused on the pricing of securities that are purchased into a fund. Working for fixed income bonds, we collect prices that are evaluated bids, unlike the traded stock price of an equity. Bonds are considered a debt/credit security, whereas a company issues the bond available to holders (investors) as a "loan" for the company to build or use to grow the company. The company will typically issue the bond with a fixed maturity, and coupon/interest rate that will be paid back to the investors on top of principle. This is how investors make money, and how companies can get money, like a loan, to accomplish growth and objectives for the company.

  • Get a Glamorous Job at QVC: Host Salaries and More

    Cooing at the sparkle of a diamond bracelet, answering questions about holiday flatware and pushing laptops designed for the whole family – are these job skills? Absolutely. Welcome to the wild, live world of a QVC TV host.

    These bright-smiled folks seem to fascinate viewers. Could they have one of the most fun jobs around? It's likely that plenty of people have watched QVC (I'm raising my hand. You can, too) and thought, "Heck, I could do that. I wonder what it’s like and how much they make?" So, I decided to do some investigative reporting and look into QVC host salaries, job duties, and what other jobs are available at QVC.

  • Secrets of a Discount Designer Clothing Boutique Owner

    Name: Betty Lin
    Job Title: Small Business Owner,Discount Designer Clothing Boutique
    Where: betty lin -- Seattle, Washington
    Years of Experience: 25 years of fashion experience
    Other Relevant Work Experience: retail, department store, specialty store
    Education: BS Business Administration, Marketing San Francisco State University
    Salary: Research Retail Salaries by job title.

  • Is Your Job One of the Best in America?

    In a recent project with CNN/Money Magazine, we looked at all the factors, not just pay, that go into making the 100 Best Jobs in America. Is there a lot of growth in the field? Is the job low stress? Does it offer scheduling flexibility? And how many positions are even available?

    The set of jobs is a mix: some require extensive medical training (e.g. Anesthesiologist); others offer a lot of schedule flexibility (e.g. Software Product Manager), and still others are sworn to secrecy about their day-to-day activities (e.g. Intelligence Analyst).

    In this post, I will discuss the methodology used to determine the Best Jobs in America, and pull out some of the most interesting points from the data.

    Is your job a "Best Job" and you are wondering if you are earning top dollar? Find out with a free PayScale salary report.

  • Motivating After a Layoff
  • Private vs. Public Universities: Is CalPoly Better than USC?

    Looking at the PayScale data on the pay of college graduates, I was struck again by how very different schools can produce graduates who earn similar salaries.

    My favorite example is comparing the University of Southern California (USC) to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (CalPoly). All three are southern California universities. In our report, at mid-career, median total cash compensation of graduates is:

    1. USC was at $103K
    2. CalPoly at $102K
    3. UCLA at $97K

    While UCLA pay is 6% less, the differences are not particularly statistically significant between these three.

    These are three very different schools: a selective private research university, a leading public university, and a state school whose "career orientation is evident in its programs in Agriculture, Architecture, Business, Design, Education, Engineering, Graphic Communication and Journalism." How can all produce graduates who earn nearly the same amount?

    In this post, I will look at how this is possible, and see what it means for the cost/benefit analysis in choosing colleges.

    Should you be earning like a USC grad? Spend 5 minutes completing the PayScale online salary evaluation survey and know.

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