• Average Salary of a Paralegal

    Name: Michael Forster
    Job Title: Paralegal
    Where: Washington D.C.
    Employer: Olsson, Frank & Weeda, P.C.
    Years of Experience: 1
    Education: Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan with a concentration in Political Science
    Salary: According to the PayScale Research Center, the average salary of a paralegal in Washington D.C. is $45,752.

    Average Salary of a Paralegal

    For readers interested in getting their feet wet in the legal profession, or gaining valuable pre-law experience, it's well worth your time to read our interview with paralegal Michael Forster. In this Salary Story, Michael discussed the job duties of a paralegal, how to become a paralegal, the paralegal job outlook and the steps in his career as a paralegal. If you want to learn about the qualifications to become a paralegal, the average salary of a paralegal, factors that affect a paralegal salary and paralegal jobs, keep reading!

  • How to Become a Wedding Planner

    Name: Leslie Weekes
    Job Title: Wedding Consultant (and events)
    Where: Washington D.C.
    Employer: Self-employed, Leslie-Manning Events, LLC  
    Years of Experience: 6
    Education: BA in English
    Salary: See PayScale's Research Center for the median wedding planner salary.

    How to Become a Wedding Planner

    In the film The Wedding Planner, actress Jennifer Lopez made working as a wedding planner appear to be a barrel of laughs, but in real life, being a wedding planner is a lot of work. We recently spoke to professional wedding consultant Leslie Weekes about how she decided to become a wedding planner and what it's like to run her own business. Leslie gave us great info on how to become a wedding planner, wedding planner schools, and the salary of a wedding consultant.

    According to Leslie, if you want to become a wedding planner, it helps to be someone who is naturally organized with great attention to detail. Becoming a wedding planner may be challenging, especially as the profession becomes more competitive, but a wedding planner salary - and the ability to create a memorable event - can be highly rewarding. If you're looking to get hitched to an interesting profession, don't miss this Salary Story!

  • Pyrotechnician Salary: Fireworks for Pay

    Name: Mike Tockstein
    Job Title: Pyrotechnician (a.k.a. Pyrotechnic Operator)
    Where: California
    Employer: Independent Contractor for Pyro Spectaculars  
    Years of Experience: Licensed Since 2001
    Education: M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering
    Salary: A pyrotechnician salary is based on a percentage of individual show cost

    Pyrotechnician Salary

    For readers interested in becoming a pyrotechnician, there’s not a whole lot of info out there on the typical pyrotechnician salary or where to go for pyrotechnician training. Fortunately, we tracked down Mike Tockstein, a pyrotechnician who lit up this Salary Stories interview with info about pyrotechnician jobs, pyrotechnician employers, the general responsibilities of a pyrotechnician, and pyrotechnician training (as mentioned at his website, pyroinnovations.com). Mike also described the requirements for becoming a pyrotechnician and the average pyrotechnician salary. If you've ever wanted to shoot up the sky for pay, keep reading!

  • Chauffeur Jobs: Pay Rates for Chauffeur Drivers

    Name: Michael Potter
    Job Title: Driver, Personal Assistant and Bodyguard
    Where: Los Angeles, CA
    Employer: Author Stephen J. Cannell
    Years of Experience: 24
    Education: 3 Years of College
    Salary: Typical chauffeur job salaries: $50-$80K and up

    Chauffeur Jobs: Pay Rates for Chauffeur Drivers

    You see them on Entertainment Tonight and on the E! Channel: limousines galore. Celebrity lifestyles and chauffeur jobs seem very glamorous, but behind the glitz, a limousine chauffeur has to navigate crazy traffic and find parking places, all while looking smooth as air. To find out what chauffeur jobs are really like, we spoke to Michael Potter, a driver, personal assistant, and bodyguard for TV series creator and author Stephen J. Cannell.

    In this interview, Michael discussed pay rates for chauffeur drivers, how to become a limo driver, the typical requirements of chauffeur jobs (also mentioned at LATimes.com) and advice on how to get chauffeur jobs. Keep reading for an insider's scoop on how to become a limo driver.

  • Life Coach C.J. Liu - Career as a Life Coach

    Name: C.J. Liu
    Job Title: Life Coach
    Where: Seattle, WA
    Employer: Self
    Years of Experience: 3-4 years
    Education: ICF-Certified - Academy for Coach Training, MBA - Haas School of Business, B.A. - Mathematics and Economics - Duke University, Certified - Neuro-Linguistic Programming
    Salary: The salary of a life coach varies depending on location, experience, and specialty

    Career as a Life Coach

    One of the hottest job fields these days is coaching, not football or baseball, but rather business professional life coaching and personal life coaching. More and more people are seeking out life coach  careers, serving clients who need personal or professional guidance. Some coaches even work as both life and business coaches; C.J. Liu is one of those dual talents. She recently talked to Payscale (in an audio interview, above) about her path to becoming a life coach, her life coach career and life coaching techniques.

    Because a life coach career is a relatively new concept in the marketplace, the salaries of life coaches can vary. As mentioned in Dr. Salary, the salary of a life coach can add up to six-figures annually. If you're wondering about becoming a life coach, what it would be like to have a career as a life coach, or what steps to take toward life coach training, keep reading for a few tips from a certified professional.

  • Relationship Advice: Salary of a Dating Expert

    Name: Renee Piane
    Job Title: Dating Consultant
    Where: Santa Monica, CA
    Employer: President of RapidDating.com
    Years of Experience: 15
    Salary: $120-$150 per hour

    Relationship Advice: Salary of a Dating Expert

    These days there is a wealth of dating tips available online (as mentioned at obiakpere.blogspot.com). Numerous dating experts offer fun relationship advice, relationship seminars, dating tips and advice for women, and relationship advice for men. Because of the variety of information and services available, dating consultant salaries fall within a wide salary range.

    One of the top dating experts, Renee Piane, gave us the inside info about love, dating tips and salary range. She also introduced us to the world of Rapid Dating, her version of speed dating.  If you've ever wondered what speed dating is, or what makes a good speed dating question, don't miss this interview with an experienced relationship advice guru. (For more info about professionals who contribute to the business of love and their salary range, check out this Dr. Salary article).

  • Salary of a Private Investigator: Solving the Mystery

    Names: Andy and Traici Crutchfield
    Job Title: Private Investigators, Private Detectives
    Where: Atlanta, GA
    Employer: Self - Covert Operations, Inc.
    Years of Experience: Andy 20+, Traici 4
    Education: Andy - PI School: Gwinnett Tech
    Traici - Kennesaw State University: BS Public and Social Service/Sociology, Art Institute of Atlanta: BFA Interior Design, PI School: North Metro Tech.
    Salary: Minimum of $300 a day

    Salary of a Private Investigator

    Imagining the life of a private investigator conjures up visions of TV detectives solving a crime in less than an hour and cashing in big paychecks, but in reality, the tasks of a private investigator can involve hours of administrative work. Plus, the salary of a private investigator can vary, depending on the case and how long it takes to solve.

    In this salary story, we interviewed a husband and wife private detective team that finds lost loves and performs bounty hunter services. This normal suburban couple shares their detective resources and techniques, sheds some light on the requirements to become a bounty hunter, describes the administrative tasks of a private investigator, and explains the factors that determine a private investigator salary.

  • Where The Hell is Matt: An Interview with Matt Harding

    Name: Matt Harding of "Where the Hell is Matt" fame
    Job Title: Dancer/World Traveler/Video Game Designer
    Where: Seattle, WA
    Employer: Self-employed with a recent sponsorship from Stride Gum. Formerly employed as a video game designer with Activision.
    Education: High School Diploma

    How did Matt Harding begin his journey?

    I didn’t go to college, largely because my father took me out to dinner when I was 16 and said “I don’t think you want to go to college. I went to college and wish I hadn’t gone and I don’t think you want to either.” I was very upset by that, but gave it a lot of thought and realized he was right. I didn’t actually want to go to college, I just didn’t know what else there was that I could do.

    So I spent the next few years figuring out what else I could do. I finished high school and worked at a video game store for a couple of years. That turned into a job working with a video game magazine where I was traveling a lot and getting to know the game industry. And then at 19, I left that job and switched to designing video games for a company called Activision in Los Angeles.

  • Salary Christmas Story: Santa Claus

    Payscale recently found a real Santa Claus who gave us this exclusive salary story.

    Name: Santa Claus
    Job Title: Toymaker
    Where: The North Pole
    Years of Experience: Over 1750 years of human experience
    Salary: Volunteer
    Employer: Self

    Santa Claus Job Description:

    Maker and deliverer of toys and joy to good children of all ages.

  • Church Lady: Storyteller and Assistant Pastor

    Name: Virginia Wesley
    Job Title: Storyteller/Assistant Pastor
    Where: Indianapolis, IN
    Years of Experience: A lifetime
    Salary: My average wage ranges from volunteer to $300+ per 45 minutes
    Employer: Self

    Church Lady: Storyteller and Assistant Pastor

    Virginia Wesley, a refined and passionate church lady with storytelling power to boot, is unique. From working as an assistant pastor to telling stories to kids and performing short true stories on discrimination for adults, Virginia is always coming up with solo performance ideas. Her favorite is becoming a living Harriet Tubman biography for kids. Her wage can range from working as a volunteer to an average wage of a few hundred dollars for less than an hour.

    In addition to storytelling, she performs assistant pastor duties at her church. This is a volunteer position - which, as we all know, has no average wage. In fact, there is no wage at all. But, her assistant pastor job duties are truly a labor of love; wages are the last thought on her mind. Whether preaching or performing her version of a Harriet Tubman biography, her performance ideas are creative and inspiring. So toss away your preconceptions about storytelling or pastors - Virginia broke the mold.

  • The Pursuit of Happyness Movie and Real Life Facts About Homelessness

    The Pursuit of Happyness

    One of the many holiday movies opening this winter is The Pursuit of Happyness. This is not the typical holiday fare, nor one of those fluffy date movies, but rather a sobering film about a man who loses his job and becomes homeless with his young son. The Pursuit of Happyness movie features Will Smith as a homeless man who finally lands a position at a Dean Witter investment firm, only to find that his new position is actually an unpaid internship.

    The Pursuit of Happyness presents a timely topic, especially when more and more salary surveys remind us how many people are one paycheck from being homeless.  That alone may be hard to fathom in the richest country in the world, but there are more surprising facts about homelessness.

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