May 22, 2011

More Jobs that Don't Usually Make 6 Figures

Yahoo published the article  Surprising Six-Figure Jobs that they got from CNBC.    The jobs they list either don't usually make 6 figures or which I don't find surprising  at all.     This list is very similar to the list I wrote about before with You Probably Won't Get Paid $100,000 To DO That    Its yet one more of the Stupid Job Lists that get published by the media.

The new list of jobs that supposedly surprises us with their alleged 6 figure salaries are :

Call Center Analyst
Afghan Language Specialist
Personal Trainer
Flight Training Coordinator
Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
Court Reporter
Elevator Mechanic

Lets look at each job a little more detail :

Call Center Analyst  - What they are really talking about here is a management level kind of job.   They are not talking about actual call center employees but the people who oversee call centers.  It should be no surprise that people in management or supervisory level jobs can make over $100k.

Afghan Language Specialist -   Do you want to work in a war zone?   I doubt you'll make high 6 figures as a translator from a nice cushy office chair in the USA.   The high paying jobs I found for Afghan linguists are in Afghanistan.  One DOE job includes danger pay.  Yes you can make a fat salary if you have a specialized skill in high demand and you want to work in a war zone.   I also wouldn't expect these to be long term or permanent jobs. 

Personal Trainer - Fitness instructors make average wages around $30k so that is not a high paying job.  It is only the small minority at the top of the field who make over $100k.   The people doing that well are self employed and have established their own clientele.  This is not a typical income.

Flight Training Coordinator - I couldn't find much about this job.   Seems pretty specialized and not common.   I would imagine to be a flight training coordinator you may need to be a licensed pilot with significant experience.  If not then there are likely some other highly specialized skills needed.

Nuclear Power Reactor Operator -  Yes according to the BLS, the top 10% can make over $100k.   I'm not surprised that the top people in this role make a very good wage.    Furthermore very few people do these jobs and they are not likely to have many openings.   Nationally there are only about 5,000 total people who work as nuclear power reactor operators according to BLS.   To become a nuclear power reactor operator you may need multiple years of work experience in the reactor, you may need to get special licensing and pass special exams and you may need a college degree.   Its a pretty specialized field with a handful of people that has a lot of requirements and even then only 10% hit the 6 figure level.

Court Reporter - The average wage is closer to $50k.   But they say: "those who are more experienced and can type 200+ words a minute make an average of $105,000"     However BLS says the top 10% make $91k.    Can you type 200+ words a minute?  You probably can't.    If you can type very fast then this kind of job may work out but its debatable if you'd make 6 figures.   In the comments for the article someone says that the pass rate on the certification tests is 20%.   Sounds about right.   Very few people can actually type that fast to pass the exams required and then among them very few actually hit the 6 figure pay level.
Elevator Mechanic  - The average wage is about $70k.   According to the BLS the top 10% of Elevator installers and repairers do make just over $100k.   This is a good paying job for sure and you can hit 6 figures.     You do have usually have to go through an apprenticeship program to get a job in this field but it doesn't require a 4 year college.   However the job is physically demanding and can be a little dangerous like most construction field jobs.   

Pharmacists - I don't know why it would be a surprise at all that pharmacists can make 6 figures.  Pharmacists require professional level education and its a highly skilled job. 

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