While skimming the headlines this morning I saw this article from the Wall Street Journal :
The $140,000-a-year welding job
And I figured it was another one of those articles touting high paying jobs that don't really exist. Or if they do exist are special cases. But I had to read 2/3 into the article to find the real answer on this one and its simple, the welder in question Mr. Friend : "... typically works 72 hours a week" and "His base pay is more than $25 an hour..."
I think its a bit misleading to have a title for an article like that and then bury the detail that he works 72 hrs a week. Thats like working 2 jobs. Most people working hourly jobs with overtime can make a lot of money but few jobs have that kind of opportunity for overtime.
Then theres also this little detail, his employer "sent Mr. Friend to work for a month on an oil project in Ghana". People willing to travel can often find better compensation. I don't know much of anything about Ghana but it doesn't appear to either much of a hot tourist destination nor a warzone.
Welding can be a pretty good job. Its got pretty fair wages and it can be in fairly high demand. Overtime can be common as well. So I don't fault the idea that welding can be a pretty well paid job, I think that the fact that you'd have tow work 72 hrs a week to get that $140,000 is very key and shouldn't be buried in the 2nd page of the article.
I think the real message of the article is that : If you work a ton of overtime then you can make good money. But thats not news.