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Star Wars vs. Star Trek: Which Fans Make More Money?

PayScale’s Future Work Force report looks at all the serious issues facing workers in the future. We investigate which skills workers will need to succeed (and which will likely be the domain of robots). We ask which jobs and industries will thrive in the future, and how career paths will evolve. Finally, we talk about how offices are likely to change, to accommodate all this innovation.
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But perhaps no question we asked is more important than this: “Who makes more money — fans of Star Trek or Star Wars?”

First things first: being a fan of either of these major science fiction franchises correlates with higher earnings. We surveyed 4,308 PayScale customers between April 14 and April 24, 2017, and found that those who love both Stars Wars and Star Trek had a higher median salary ($52,600) than those who hate both ($44,200) — or can’t tell them apart ($45,700).

But Trekkies won the day. Their median earnings of $53,300 topped Star Wars fans’ median earnings of $50,700.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Why do Star Trek fans have the edge? Our survey doesn’t provide concrete answers, but the series’ appeal to STEM enthusiasts — whose careers often pay better than average — might be a key.

“There is evidence in our culture that Star Trek has made huge contributions by influencing changes in our technology and how we treat one another,” wrote Kevin Anderton at Forbes. “Just to name a few of Star Trek’s influences, NASA continues to try and develop faster than light travel, Qualcomm helped to develop a real tricorder, and Nichelle Nichols performance as Uhura broke social boundaries in television.”

Anderton also pointed out that logic has a big role in Star Trek, which “includes heroes, like Captain Picard, that must think their way out of dangerous situations rather than using force.”

Tell Us What You Think

Star Wars or Star Trek? We want to hear from you! Weigh in on Twitter or comment below.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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3 Comments on "Star Wars vs. Star Trek: Which Fans Make More Money?"

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Jon Wright, Technologist
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Jon Wright, Technologist
Without wanting to turn all Sheldon on you, not only is $ST cf $SW a literal nobrainer as Star Wars started as “George’s childhood war movie with models and lasers” then got better, then got a lot, lot worse, (ready, Sheldon?) I think it’s vital to draw a distinction between TOS, TNG, DS9 and ETCA (for the tribbles out there, that’s The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deepspace9 (the “Empire Strikes Back” of the ST multiverses, if you will), and then of course Everything That Came After. Old engineers making their way through 70s Basic, 80s Fortran and 90s Shut… Read more »
Picard - X
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Nice rant! or filibuster, A bit tangential at points, but that’s the fun part =D I think the correlation was between practical thinkers ST and positive believers SW. SW is a thrill-ride, Instant gratification via visual stimulation, while ST is a novel, you have to understand it to be interested, investing time and thought. makes sense that ST followers would be the stock for more intellectual careers vs. whatever the equivalent SW Career is, hmmm??? Unfortunately you see from the numbers, SW is the majority of our population, thus ST cater to SW, Supply and demand, therefor SW are consumers… Read more »
Jason Wold, Freelancer
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Jason Wold, Freelancer
I view the distinction between SW and ST as that between logic and intuition. I have done some excellent troubleshooting based solely on the “feel of the thing”. It makes things go faster and smoother. I prefer to grok rather than prove, and while that’s hampered my career a bit, I wouldn’t give it up for all the mindless busywork that comes with living solely on logic. You can test absolutely everything, but do you really need to waste time writing a test method that tests x +=1; ? I guess it all depends on how busy and stressed you… Read more »
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