• Executive Recruiter Career - How to Become a Headhunter

    Name: Ryan Cook
    Job Title:Job Recruiter/Headhunter/Direct Hire Consultant
    Where: Overland Park, KS
    Employer: Personnel Connection (A Division of Spencer Reed Group, LLC)
    Years of Experience: Almost one year
    Other Relevant Experience: Started in the mortgage business.
    Education: Avila University - B.A. in Corporate Communication.
    Annual Salary: See PayScale's Research Center to find the median income for an executive recruiter, including management-level executive recruiter career compensation.

    Ryan Cook doesn't mind being called a "headhunter." It might sound harsh, but the term has become synonymous with working as a recruiter. In his role as a professional recruiter, companies give Ryan specific positions that they need to fill. He then hunts down and delivers qualified candidates for those positions. The task may sound straightforward, but a career as a job recruiter is multifaceted. At one moment Ryan is networking to find potential candidates. At the next moment, he's interviewing candidates to match their interests with job positions. When he finds a good match, Ryan will market and pitch his candidates to employers, highlighting their qualifications.

    In this Salary Story, Ryan shares the inside thrills, challenges, and lighter side of headhunting. If you're interested in playing "career matchmaker," but not too keen on the sales aspect of being a job recruiter, check out careers in human resources. You'll find info on a human resources salary and income as an executive recruiter at

    How would you describe your work as a Job Recruiter?
    Ryan Cook: I provide a free service to people looking to make a career move. I have businesses that pay me fees for talented candidates that would not be found if it weren't for me. Basically, I network over the phone all day scouring the business world for people that my clients need to make or save their company money. It is the most rewarding inside sales position I have ever had, and will ever have. I am a Job Recruiter, a Headhunter, and I love it. I wheel and deal people. It is a lot of fun and when you place somebody that absolutely loves their new position, it is hypnotizing. You know the commercials? I feel like I am writing the script to those every time I complete the process.

    PayScale: How did you get started as a Job Recruiter?
    Ryan Cook: I knew if there was any resource I could sell, that would never run out, it would be people. A family friend who was a marketing manager in the telecom industry exposed me to it when I was in college. From then on I was hooked. I knew it would be my career, it was just a matter of when, where, and how I would get into it.

  • 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.

  • Customer Service Salary Survey

    Name: Heather Johnson
    Job Title: Customer Service
    Where: Rocklin, CA (Soon to be Wasilla, Alaska)
    Employer: Sportsman's Warehouse
    Years of Experience: 4 months
    Education: Masters Degree in Kinesiology, California State University
    Salary: See the PayScale Research Center for the results of our customer service salary survey

    Customer Service Salary Survey

    Are you the helpful type with a friendly personality? Do you have a definition of customer service or feel strongly about providing customers with the best service? If so, you may want to check out a customer service job. In this Salary Story, Heather Johnson told us about her customer service representative job description, her own definition of customer service and the outlook for customer service jobs.

    There are many definitions of customer service and ideas about how to create customer satisfaction. But all customer service representatives have to practice patience, problem-solving, and treating customers with respect. If you're a match for becoming a customer service representative and want to know more about the typical customer service job or salary, then keep reading - the info in this interview is a real bargain!

  • Career as a Financial Advisor

    Name: Russell Bailyn
    Job Title: Financial Advisor and Wealth Manager
    Where: New York, NY
    Employer: Premier Financial Advisors, an independent financial planning & investment advisory firm.
    Years of Experience as a Financial Advisor: 5
    Education: Bachelor of Science from New York University. I’m also on my way to becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
    Salary: While I prefer not to disclose my specific financial advisor salary, I’d estimate the average salary of a financial advisor (who is established) to be in the ballpark of $100K-$200K.

    Career as a Financial Advisor

    IRA’s, 401k’s, IPO’s…. Unless you’re a do-it-yourselfer, or planning to become a financial advisor, the world of finance can be intimidating. Enter Russell Bailyn. In addition to his career as a financial advisor and wealth manager, he has written a blog (and a forthcoming book) on the biz. He recently gave us his outlook on the average salary of a financial advisor and what it's like to have a career as a financial advisor.

    He also gave us tips on how to become a financial advisor, choosing a financial advisor, and developing a successful career as a financial advisor. In regards to the average salary of a financial advisor, he explained how commissions and fees come into play.

    Being a financial advisor involves more than just crunching numbers. If you're interested in helping clients meet their financial goals, a career as a financial advisor may be just right. Keep reading to find out more about how to become a financial advisor and what factors will impact the average salary of a financial advisor.

  • Mom Returns to Work: Average Receptionist Salary

    Name: Therese Landefield
    Job Title: Front Desk Receptionist
    Where: Seattle, Washington
    Years of Experience: 1+
    Salary: $16.35 – hourly wage (See PayScale's Research Center for the average receptionist salary)
    Employer: Atlas

    Mom Returns to Work: Average Receptionist Salary

    For anyone returning to work after taking time off to raise children and run a household, this Salary Story offers valuable advice. We recently interviewed front desk receptionist Therese Landefield about her transition from stay-at-home-mom to professional receptionist. She filled us in on what it was like to go back to work after years away from a 9 to 5 job. For readers who are nervous about taking the leap from full-time mom to employee, Therese offered tips on writing resumes, finding the job you want, and how to translate the hard work you've been doing at home into marketable skills in the workplace.

    This interview is also helpful for anyone looking into receptionist jobs and the average receptionist salary. Therese gave us info on her job as a receptionist, as well as her practical and inspiring approach to work, life, and the pursuit of personal goals.


    Front Desk Receptionist Job Description:

    The front receptionist is important to the company because many times he or she makes the first impression of the company to the client. So I answer the phone, “Good morning, Atlas, how may I help you?” Then they tell me, “Please connect me.” And I say, “One moment please, I’ll transfer you.” And then I transfer them. Sometimes it’s difficult and the transfers don’t go through. I usually go back on the line and say, “Excuse me, the transfer failed, let me try again.”

  • Real Estate Agent Salary

    Name: George F. Lamson III
    Job Title: Real Estate Agent
    Where: Seattle, Washington
    Education: Bachelors
    Years of Experience: 5+
    Salary: 100% Commission
    Employer: John L. Scott Real Estate

    Real Estate Agent Job Description:

    As a Seattle real estate agent, I am typically working with several buyers and sellers, around 10 or 15 at a time. The reason I have so many is because there are people buying throughout the year, but some people may take 3 months or 6 months to buy. One of the tools I use is the Multiple Listing Service For Real Estate Sales.