Some jobs don’t offer warm fuzzies, but they do give you a fat paycheck. If having that comfortable income is a priority for you, and you can find meaning in other aspects of your life, then here are some careers you might want to consider.
Once upon a time, liberal arts grads with uncertain career paths put their faith in a fairytale: if they really couldn't figure out what to be when they grew up, there was always law school. In the wake of the recession, when over 11 percent of law school grads are unemployed nine months after graduating, it seems that this particular coach has turned back into a pumpkin. At Slate, writer and attorney Jim Saksa reminds us that it was probably all make-believe in the first place.
Name: Stu Flashman
Job Title: Environmental Lawyer
Where: Oakland, CA - USA
Current Employer: Self-Employed
Years of Experience: 18
Education: Brown University - B.A. and Sc.M. in Biology; Harvard University - Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; New College of California - J.D.
Other Relevant Experience: Ten years as a Research Biologist (it helps with the science in Environmental Law).
Annual Salary: See PayScale's Research Center to find lawyer starting salaries, and compare lawyer salaries by city.
Things don’t always work out according to plans. Stu Flashman studied biology at Brown University, earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard and then went to work as a biotech researcher. Then, when he was laid off after ten years in the field, Stu came to the realization that he’d embarked on the wrong career path. In a case like this, what can you do, other than alter your course and make the best of it? That’s exactly what Stu did. He went to law school, passed the bar, and used his biotech research background to launch a career in environmental law.
Although it took Stu several years to get himself established as a solo environmental lawyer, he now experiences numerous rewards from his work. He gets to select his own clients, take cases he cares about, and see his work positively affect the community. Now, with 18 years of experience as an environmental lawyer, Stu's salary reaches far beyond the original $15,000 he made in his first year of legal practice.