Monday, April 26, 2010

Want to Earn More Than Average in America?

At CNN, Career Builder has an article, "30 jobs that pay $30 an hour." According to the piece, which uses information based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage in America is $20.44. Wouldn't you like to know how the Bureau arrived at that figure?

I think Career Builder cheated a bit on its list because it lists different types of college professors four different times.
  1. Post-secondary communications teachers teach courses on different types of communications (journalism and advertising, for example) at universities and colleges. Hourly pay: $39.96
  2. Post-secondary education and library science teachers teach education and library science courses at universities, colleges and other higher education institutions. Hourly pay: $39.91
  3. Post-secondary chemistry teachers educate college and university students on chemistry and related subjects. Hourly pay: $38.88
  4. Post-secondary art, drama and music teachers teach courses in their respective fields at universities and colleges. Hourly pay: $36.50
Couldn't they have said something such as "Post-secondary professors in the fields of communications, chemistry, library science, and the arts. Average hourly pay: $38.96"? Separating the professors out makes me feel the list is padded. Still, it's worth a look.

I think the list figures could be more helpful. For instance, how do you earn this kind of money in the fields listed right out the gate or do you earn it after working a few years in the industry. Purchasing manager's on the list. I used to know one who in 2005 was earning almost $65 per hour. If you threw in his yearly bonus, his pay was more like $82 per hour, but he'd been at it for almost 20 years, had switched companies and moved into computer procurement that involved buying company software.

Furthermore, I've seen jobs down her for communications professors that pay $48,000 to start. That's less than $30 per hour out the gate, about $23 and change per hour. So, doesn't it also matter where you're located in the country? Not to mention you often need a Ph.D. to teach at a four-year university.

Also, just last year CNN had another list, Best Jobs in America. This is what it said about professorships under drawbacks.
Low starting pay and a big 50% salary gap between faculty at universities and community colleges. If the position is at a four-year university, you'll probably have to relocate, and you'll be under pressure to constantly publish new work to sustain career momentum.
In addition, while it's possible to teach at some colleges with less than a doctorate, the article says, they all want professors with lots of teaching experience.

No comments: