Author Archives: Salary Site Team

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What Is A Trade School? The Affordable Alternative To 4-Year Degrees

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You might have heard Mike Rowe, host of popular television show Dirty Jobs, talk about how
important and valuable trade jobs are, how much money you can make, and how trade schools
are an affordable alternative to a four-year degree! But, what is a trade job and what is a trade
school? I wanted to learn more about trade schools and find out what they entail, and if they
were worthwhile alternatives to going to college--or if people are better off with a four-year
degree. I did the research; here’s what I found out.

What Is A Trade School?

A trade school is an affordable alternative to a four-year degree. It’s usually a one or two year program that focuses heavily on real-world applications and apprenticeships so that students are certified and qualified to work as welders, electricians, HVAC repair techs, and so forth when they graduate.

How Do Trade Schools Work?

Countries across the world rely heavily on trade schools, but in the United States, they act as career alternatives to traditional four-year degrees (most notably, a bachelor’s degree). In the US there are two main types of trade schools: vocational colleges and career colleges. Vocational college is a term typically used to indicate a government-run or supported organization.

Usually, vocational college takes two years to complete and can often result in an associate’s degree or the transfer of credits to a four-year university. Sometimes, vocational colleges can partner with magnet schools or charter school to serve as a student’s final two years of high school. In those cases, completion will also include a high school diploma or a GED.

How Is A Vocational College Different Than A Career College?

The other kind of trade school popular in the US is a career college. Career colleges are typically for-profit institutions, and while they’ve popped up with increasing frequency in the last decade (even while vocational colleges have decreased in number), career colleges have been criticized for over-marketing to students and wasting student’s money. Not all schools over-promise, of course, but it’s very important that individuals consider these schools and their claims very carefully. Typically, career colleges take less than a year to complete, and they rarely provide credits that can be transferred to an academic institution.


What Is A Trade School Degree?

As I’ve explained, your trade school degree depends on what kind of school you go to--it also depends on what kind of trade you want to go into. If you go to a vocational college, you might end up with credits you can later transfer to complete a bachelor’s degree; if you go to a career college, your future options will be significantly limited--but you’ll also probably be out in the real world making money much faster.

Trade schools prepare students for the following types of jobs:

  • Auto mechanic
  •  Welder
  • Construction supervisor
  •  Pile-drive operator
  • Plumber
  • Commercial driver
  •  Wind turbine technician
  • Beauty technician or hair stylist

These jobs vary widely and are just the tip of the iceberg. And, each industry has its standard certifications and requirements. Some trade jobs also don’t require trade school--in fact, you’re better off learning on the job.


Do Your Research

Because of this, it’s very important to do your research. Look into different industries that interest you and look for trade schools in your area to find out what they specialize in. If possible, talk to people in your field of interest. How long have they worked there? What do they love about it? What do they hate about it? What do they wish they had done differently?

You can research potential employers, as well; many have apprenticeship or training programs or have work programs that allow you to start working with them while you’re getting your certification. In short, trade school is much less expensive than college--one source estimates that trade school graduates complete schools with a whopping 70% less debt than their college graduating counterparts.

What Is The Difference Between A Trade School And A College?

There’s such a huge array of different trade schools and colleges that it can be difficult to succinctly narrow down the differences. Typically, however, a college is a degree-granting institution. Usually, it lasts four years (though sometimes two) and requires a full-time commitment. Students can work while they’re in college, but most find it difficult, if not impossible, to work full time while in college full time. There are, however, students who choose to take advantage of night classes and weekend programs to complete their college degree so that they can work-- this means, however, that it takes much longer to complete college.


Trade Schools Are Shorter And Less Expensive

Trade schools, however, as I’ve explained, are shorter. You typically won’t receive a degree from a trade school, but your course of training will likely be much more hands-on and narrowly focused on the type of career you’re planning to pursue. You won’t, for example, take history or art classes--but you will likely have the type of certification you need upon graduation to begin work immediately. Trade schools are also usually much, much less expensive than college. While prices can differ hugely depending on your region and the type of trade school you want to attend, tuition typically starts around $3,500 per year and can go all the way up to close to $15,000 per year (source). Since trade school lasts for two years, you can expect to pay less than $10,000 or more than $30,000.


Higher College Tuition Costs

College tuition rates, however, are much higher. You can expect to pay roughly $10,000 per year at a state college or more than $34,000 per year for a private college (source). For a four- year degree, then, you’d pay more than $40,000--and that doesn’t include room and board, a substantial part of the college experience for most people. These numbers don’t account for living costs, and since most people who attend trade schools opt to live at home, living expenses for trade schools are usually significantly less than living expenses in dorms.


Are Trade Schools Better Than College?

In his book, Digital Minimalism, productivity expert Cal Newport explains that in our era of increasingly fast technology, the people who succeed are the people who learn how to adapt quickly to new technologies. It’s no longer about getting the right training or certification that will set you up for life; it’s about being willing and able to learn quickly. Similarly, Mike Rowe, the celebrity I mentioned earlier, has become a huge proponent of trade schools and trades as vocations. He explains that while past generations looked down their noses at trades and saw four-year degrees as opportunities for advancement, millennials are rightfully becoming drawn to the pride of doing a job with your own two hands. Plus, four-degrees are becoming exorbitantly expensive--and people with a skill like plumbing or welding are becoming more and more in demand. Frankly, trade jobs simply make a lot of sense for a lot of people--and are worth exploring.


Should I Go To Trade School?

If you’ve read all the way to the end of an article titled, “what is a trade school?” your real question is likely, “should I go to a trade school?” And the answer is: it depends. Reports show that, on average, college graduates make more per year and over their earnings lifetime than high school graduates. However, those are averages. If you’re not going to be in a high-paying career like neuroscience or engineering, it’s hard to know if those earning potentials will pan out for you over the long- haul. Plus, the extremely high (and rising) cost of college tuition places many college graduates at a severe disadvantage when they graduate. Finally, some people just aren’t suited to four years of sitting in a classroom and would prefer to not spend their lifetimes in office jobs. In these cases, trade schools seem like a no-brainer.

My Final Thoughts

What is a trade school? The bottom line is that a trade school is a terrific opportunity and a great alternative to a four-year degree--for the right person. Particularly if you’re somebody who is a self-starter and a go-getter, I don’t think you need to be worried about the potential income limitations of trade schools. There’s always room for a smart, entrepreneurial type of person to make much more than a modest living if his or her services are in need. If you like working with your hands and don’t feel the need for a four-year degree, all my research indicates that you’d be a great candidate. And you’d probably have a lot less debt, too....

man handing car keys

Car Salesman Salary

Car salesmen often get a bad rap from consumers. Often, they are looked at as sleazy bottom feeders that shoppers always try to avoid when out looking for a new car because they don’t want to be tricked into a sale. Believe it or not, a car salesman salary isn’t totally dependent on the sale, so no, they really aren’t trying to hunt you down.

What Is A Car Salesman?

So, what is a car salesman then? Like many others in the sales industry, they are sales professionals. It is their job to help find you a product that you are interested in purchasing.

What makes these sales professionals different than the more traditional ones you see in the store is the fact that car salesmen can negotiate. This is one of the reasons that many find them rather seedy because it sometimes can seem like they are trying to weasel a buyer out of their money.

Here is the thing, while most cars have a given suggested marketplace value, many dealers offer automobiles at certain discounts, but the goal tends to be to at least hit the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price).

When consumers see a given price, they expect it, whether it is on a TV ad or something they saw on the internet.

car salesman handling key

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However, when they come into the dealership, it is the salesmen’s job to get at least that price on the MSRP sticker, and of course once they add on state charges, document fees, registration fees and any other local fees, they begin to feel added anxiety because the price can then go up quite a bit.

When it comes to a car salesman salary, there are a few different ways that they can earn money. In most cases, car salesmen work on a base salary along with commissions based on a given percentage. In many cases, they earn around minimum wage and then get a 20% to 25% sales commission.

In other areas, some dealerships work on either the base pay salary or a strictly commission-based pay. Both of these options can be very difficult to make a living off of, so that can be why they come off aggressive. These plans separately, especially the strictly commission-based salary, make the salesperson put it all out there to get that sale. Otherwise, they don’t get paid.

Average Car Salesman Salary

The average car salesman salary is around $40,000. However, this number can change drastically depending on the state, dealership and whether or not the salesperson works on a base salary plus commissions, or strictly one or the other.

Other factors can include bonuses, profit sharing and what percentage of commissions the dealership offers its salesmen.

Car Salesman Salary Factors & Influences

man buying car

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When it comes to a car salesman salary, many different things go into figuring out all the fine details. So how are these things sorted out and negotiated? There are a number of different factors that go into negotiating a final salary for a car salesman, and a few of them are listed below.

Skills


For most dealerships, a formal education really isn’t a deciding factor. In fact, many car salesmen enter the field with either a high school diploma or GED.

Some things that aspiring salesman may take into consideration is the fact that an associate degree in business or marketing could help them appear as an ideal candidate in the eyes of the dealership.

Other automotive repair certifications could also help boost candidacy because those that have them know what truly goes on under the hood instead of just the statistics of the vehicles on the lot.

While education can look good on paper, what many dealerships look for in a salesperson is someone who has a good work ethic and can not only get along with the customers but someone the customers can really relate to and trust.

Those with good people skills come off as more genuine, and sales conversations come more naturally to them. So that image of the seedy salesman goes out the window when there is a genuine people-person around.

salesman at a car showroom

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Experience


While being a people person can play a vital role in not only landing a sales position at the dealership and making those critical sales, the experience is what will help build up the overall salary of a car salesman. While many dealerships offer a given base salary, this number generally falls around minimum wage, and the real meat of their salaries come from commissions.

The more experience a salesperson has, not only are they able to really work with the clientele, but they will become a more valuable asset to the dealership. This can mean that negotiating either a higher base pay or higher commission rate may be in the cards.

Car Salesman Salary by States


Car salesman salary can and does vary drastically by state, and, as mentioned earlier, depends on other factors such as dealership and payment plan. To get a feel for how these salaries can range, not the states with the top automobile sales.

These ten states have the highest sales, and yet, their salesman salaries range between $40,000 a year and $67,000 a year.

States

Average Salary

California

$67,000

Florida

$45,700

Texas

$50,000

New York

 $57,100

Oklahoma

$50,900

Illinois

$54,000

New Jersey

$46,700

Pennsylvania

$51,300

Ohio

$41,700

Georgia

$41,600

Of course, these numbers can vary drastically depending on the specific dealership within the state, county, and town. Even more, those with a more outgoing and relationship-oriented personality could make a decent living even in the lower paying states such as Mississippi. On average, the average salary is $23,000, and yet, in Jackson, Mississippi, the average salary for a car salesman is around $31,000.

The typical car salesman is seen as sneaky and crafty. What is key to remember is that for someone to want to purchase something, especially something as expensive as a car, consumers want to feel like they can relate to and trust a salesman.

For those with a genuine, people-oriented personality, this is much simpler. For those who don’t or are more introverted that have to put on a façade each day for work, they are the ones that can come off as seedy.

Types of Car Salesman Salary

young businessman throws around dollars

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Salaries not only vary based on the information discussed above, but they can also vary depending on the title. Yes, titles such as executive and manager can boost the paycheck, but that also means there is more expected of the individual. Take the positions listed below for example:

An automotive sales executive oversees the sales of cars in a dealership and entails supervising sales operations to ensure optimal sales efficiency and to maximize profits.


Other than reaching out to consumers and potential clients who may be interested in buying a vehicle, they also are responsible for monitoring the auto sales industry to identify not only current product pricing, but also to look for new products, competing products and any new techniques of merchandising.

Many dealerships who have an internet sales department treats their internet sales employees as office staff. The sales manager for the internet sales department is generally in charge of developing, maintaining and updating all facets of internet presence and online marking.


They are also in charge of maintaining databases and their accuracy along with developing relationships with third party contacts.

History of Car Salesmen

While car salesmen have been around for quite some time, the art of the sale has been around much longer than the automobile. Sales began when people started bartering back and forth for goods, and that goes back as far as mankind.

From trading for goods, to modern day internet sales, the tactics have changed a little, but it all comes down to quality marketing. Consumers want to purchase quality products that serve a purpose. As long as a person can talk up a product, it can be sold.

Car Salesman Outlook – Conclusion

woman with keys and a car on the background

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The overall future outlook for salesmen in all industries, even car salesmen, is not looking too promising. The overall employment for sales consultants is expected to grow only by 2% by 2026. Why? Because many retailers are taking their sales services to the internet and further away from the more traditional store.

With businesses such as Carvana allowing shoppers to not only search and shop online but also purchase and either pick up or have their new car delivered for free to their door, this doesn’t look promising for the brick-and-mortar dealerships.  

This figure could change, especially in the automotive industry because many still want to visit the dealership, test-drive the car of their choosing and go from there.

So, while there may be a decrease in physical salespeople on the floor, there will be a need for a face to great and assist those that visit the dealerships for their car shopping needs.

Featured Image COO by. negativespace via: pexels.

living room

Interior Design Salary

Interior designers work closely with not only customers during a build or remodel, but they also work closely with builders, architects, mechanical engineers and structural engineers. The interior designer must not only design a given space but make sure that it is functional and furnish it according to the customer’s wishes.

Many interior designers specialize in a specific type of building or room. For example, a home designer will likely not design for a hospital or professional setting. Moreover, a home designer may only specialize in a given space such as the kitchen or bathroom.

Because many interior designers work closely with builders, contractors, and the likes, and because they frequently work with blueprints, they must be aware of building codes and inspection regulations.

Interior Designer Tasks

designer putting up wall frame

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So, what are some day to day tasks that an interior designer must do while on the job? Below are only a handful of their job duties:

  • Determine their client’s goals and the requirements of the project
  • Consider how space will be used, and consult with the client to make sure it fits their needs/wants
  • Sketch preliminary design plans, which includes electrical layouts
  • Research and compile a list of materials and furnishings, such as lighting, furniture, wall finishes, flooring, and plumbing fixtures
  • Prepare final plans, many times with the help of computer applications
  • Place orders for all materials
  • Oversee installing the design elements and furnishings
  • Follow up with the client after the project to ensure all needs were met

Some interior designers work with merchant wholesalers and furniture stores, meaning that they can earn some commissions depending on the company and their policies.

Average Interior Designer Salary

hotel interior design

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The average interior design salary is around $46,600, but those number could range as high as $67,330 and as low as $33,140. These numbers are all based on education, skills, experience, and location.

Other factors include profit sharing, bonuses, and commissions.

Interior Design Salary Factors & Influences

As stated before, many different factors go into the overall interior design salary, and they include some of the following:

Education


Interior Designers need to have not only a High School diploma or GED, but they also need to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with a focus on interior design. Most classes involved are not only based on interior design, but also in drawing and computer-aided design (CAD).

Besides formal education, many states require different licenses, registrations, and certifications. Each state will vary when it comes to their requirements. Depending on where you receive your education and where you end up taking work, you’ll want to make sure you are up to date on all rules and regulations.

woman looking out a window

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay 

Skills


A wide variety of skills are needed in the interior design career. Not only are technical skills needed, but so are creative skills and people skills.

  • Project Management – An interior designer is responsible for large projects that require a lot of time, attention and detail. A designer must be a self-starter that can juggle multiple aspects of a project all at once.
  • Computer Programs – In today’s technological age, everything is done via a computer. An interior designer must be able to use different programs such as 3D rendering, and other design programs to not only put together a plan but to help a client really visualize the final product.
  • Creativity – This is a key skill for an interior designer because they need to be able to create something, most times, out of nothing. Being able to visualize patterns, fabrics, and other materials are key to coming up with designs that will fit the client’s needs and wants.
  • People Person – An interior designer is a product provider. Not only do they have to sell the design they create, but they also have to sell themselves and their abilities. The only way to do that is to be able to relate to the clientele so you can provide them with the services they need.
  • Detail Oriented – Interior designers need to be precise in all aspects of the project. From measuring out materials and space to making a drawing, there is no room for mistakes as they can cause any number of problems.
  • Problem Solving – Because interior designers have to juggle so many different aspects of a project at once, they need to be top-notch problem solvers. They need to be able to address different challenges such as delays, unavailability of materials and price changes.

Experience


Having experience in the industry can help greatly raise the average salary an interior designer makes. Five to ten years of experience can average a salary of $51,000. With ten to 20 years of experience, that salary average goes up to $57,000, while over 20 years of experience can earn an interior designer an average salary around $64,000.

Location


Depending on where they plan to work, interior designers will not only have to watch rules and regulations as far as licensing and certifications go, but it could determine the overall salary that they can earn. Some states pay interior designers better, and that gets broken down further by which state and cities they plan to work in.

Interior Design Salary by States

artists with clipboard and digital tablet

Image via Freepik

Location plays a big part in interior design salary, and highly populated states, metropolitan areas tend to have some of the higher paying positions for this occupation. Below, we have listed the top five states that pay the most to interior designers.

State

Salary

District of Columbia

$84,820

Rhode Island

$78,340

California

$68,290

New York

$66,500

Maryland

$65,940

When it comes to salaries for interior designers by the city, the metropolitan areas tend to pay higher. Below are the top five metropolitan areas that pay the highest to interior designers.

State

Salary

Fayetteville and Springdale, Arkansas and Rogers, Missouri

$82,490

Providence, Rhode Island and Warwick, Massachusetts

$77,110

Birmingham and Hoover, Alabama 

$74,900

San Rafael, CA Metropolitan Division

$74,400

Lake County, Illinois and Kenosha County, Wisconsin Metropolitan Division

$70,850

Interior Design Types of Salaries

Salaries not only vary based on the information discussed above, but they can also vary depending on the title and the designer’s specialty. While not all interior designers take on a specialty, there are quite a few that choose to take on specific titles and focus on specific areas. Below are only a few of the different specialties available to interior designers.

Kitchen and Bath Designer – $41,000  

Kitchen and Bath designers are exactly what they sound like, interior designers that specialize in kitchens and bathrooms.

Sustainable Designer – $44,000

sustainable designer is a person that seeks to reduce the negative impacts on the environment and the health and comfort of building occupants. They utilize a design philosophy that encourages decisions at each phase of the design process that will help to reduce any negative impacts on the environment and the health of the occupants.

Lighting Designer – $50,822

Lighting designers are in charge of the design and implementation of lighting in both architectural and construction projects. They establish cost and then provide lighting specifications for the interior, exterior, and landscape lighting applications while also creating lighting schedules and all related design documentation as required.

History of Interior Design

spiral staircase

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Interior design dates back thousands of years, some arguing that it dates back as far as the Ancient Egyptians. The Egyptians were known for decorating their homes with simple furniture, along with painted vases and sculptures. The beautiful ornaments found in Egyptian tombs helped to reveal the importance of more lavish decorations for the more powerful members of society.

The Roman and Greek civilizations both continued with the art of interior design by celebrating civic pride through their buildings. In the home, the nicer the design and accessories were reserved for the wealthy. Furniture in both civilizations were built out of materials such as stone and wood.

Interior design has continued to grow and develop over the years, and while the wealthy still use more luxury items, design tastes are shared by the masses, and it is the job of the interior designer to accommodate the client’s taste and make sure it fits the allotted budget.

Interior Design Outlook – Conclusion

color palette

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The current job outlook for interior designers shows projected growth of 4% from 2016 to 2026.

Job prospects are expected to be better in high-income areas because the more wealthy are more likely to want to remodel or renovate their spaces. However, that doesn’t mean that the middle class won’t be renovating, so there are still job prospects in that area as well.

Featured Image COO by. Pixabay via: Pexels

man covering his face with bills

Make It Rain: 101 of the Highest Paying Jobs

 

Have you ever looked at your end-of-year earnings and wondered how it compares to other occupations in the United States? We’re here to show you what the rest of the country is taking home!

Quick Navigation

50 of the Highest Paying Jobs with Descriptions

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Let’s get to it! Here are 50 of the highest paying jobs that you can find in the United States (actors and athletes not included):

1. Anesthesiologists

The highest-paying job on the list, an anesthesiologist ensures that anyone undergoing surgery has a painless procedure and oversees the process of anesthesia during surgery.

The average annual salary for an anesthesiologist in May 2017 was $265,990.

2. Surgeons

Performing surgery requires a careful attention to detail.

Surgeons also have to be able to work long hours, and in doing so, they’ll earn an average salary of $251,890.

3. Oral Surgeons

Classified separately from other surgeons, those in the oral area perform complicated dental procedures. Oral surgeons took home an average annual salary of $242,720.

4. Obstetricians and Gynecologists

These doctors focus on female wellness, and a huge part of their career also involves pregnancy care and the delivery of babies.

Obstetricians and gynecologists earned average salaries of $235,240.

Doctor and nurse

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Doctor on blue shirt

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5. Orthodontists

If you’ve ever had braces, you’re already familiar with orthodontists, whose job is to straighten and correct teeth and jaws with special equipment worn inside the mouth.

Orthodontists averaged a salary of $229,380.

6. Psychiatrists

Therapists who are able to prescribe medicine for treatment options, psychiatrists use counseling and clinical diagnosis to help their patients’ mental health issues.

Psychiatrists earned an average salary of $216,090.

7. Family and General Practitioners

General practice doctors deal with everyday checkups, urgent care, and can refer their patients to specialists. Family and general practitioners had salaries averaging $208,560.

8. Internists

Internists are physicians who provide treatment of internal organs without going into surgery.​

They can also diagnose and treat any diseases of organs that appear under their care. Internists earned an average of $198,370.

9. Prosthodontists

A prosthodontist is someone you’ll see if you end up needing a tooth replaced or find that your jaws need correction to some kind of ailment.

The average salary for a prosthodontist was reported as $196,960.

10. Chief Executives

The big bosses of the corporate world, chief executives are the final decision makers at the top of their companies.

They’re in charge of company direction, and command a salary to go with that kind of responsibility, earning an average of $196,050.

11. Pediatricians

Doctors who treat children need a special kind of bedside manner to comfort and heal younger patients.

Along with the satisfaction of helping younger patients feel better, a pediatrician career comes with an average salary of $187,540.

Pedia and baby

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12. Dentists

A dentist works in all aspects of oral health, providing cleanings, routine checkups, and referrals to orthodontists and oral surgeons when necessary.

The average salary of a dentist was $174,110.

13. Nurse Anesthetists

A dentist works in all aspects of oral health, providing cleanings, routine checkups, and referrals to orthodontists and oral surgeons when necessary.

The average salary of a dentist was $174,110.

14. Airline Pilots

Sit back, relax, and let your pilot get you to your destination. Some pilots also deal in industrial flights, taking packages across the country.

Airline pilots typically made a salary of $161,280.

15. Petroleum Engineers

Engineers of petroleum work in oil and gas extraction, and also figure out how to design new tools for their industry. For petroleum engineers, an expected salary is around $154,870.

16. Computer and Information Systems Managers

Managers of computer and information systems are the directors of systems analysis and computer programming.

This tech position carries an average annual salary of $149,730.

17. Podiatrists

Podiatrists’ specialty area is the human foot.

They will diagnose and treat any disorder or disease for adults who have issues with their feet, and in the process, earn an average salary of $148,470.

Paper and pen

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18. Architectural and Engineering Managers

Managers in architecture and engineering will direct any employees underneath them in their field and might also plan the schedule of research and development in their department. Expect an average salary of $146,290 as an architectural or engineering manager.

19. Marketing Managers

Marketing managers steer the direction of a company’s marketing strategy and can make decisions involving the hiring of the entire department. For marketing managers, an average salary of $145,620.

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20. Financial 

Managers

For financial managers, the job involves planning operations in banking, securities, or the investments of clients. Financial managers took home an average salary of $143,550.

21. Lawyers

On either side of the courtroom, lawyers are in charge of representing their clients, or a municipality, in civil and criminal cases brought before a judge. Lawyers earned average salaries of $141,890.

22. Sales Managers

On either side of the courtroom, lawyers are in charge of representing their clients, or a municipality, in civil and criminal cases brought before a judge. Lawyers earned average salaries of $141,890.

23. Natural Sciences Managers

Managers in the natural sciences will direct research and development or departments in the fields of statistics, life science, or mathematics. An average salary for a natural science manager adds up to $133,670.

Dark sky during nighttime

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24. Compensation and Benefits Managers

A more specific version of a human resources manager, these professionals deal with health care packages, retirement plans and paid time off for employees. Managers of compensation and benefits earned an average salary of $133,010.

25. Postsecondary Law Teachers

Going through law school is no easy task, and you’ll meet plenty of professors in law along the way, many of whom have worked in courtrooms themselves. College professors of law earn an average annual salary of $129,840.

26. Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

The job of a public relations or fundraising manager is to ensure the successful implementation of publicity campaigns and lucrative fundraising for their company or organization. Managers in these two fields took in average annual salaries of $127,690.

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27. Personal Finance Advisors

Anyone seeking advice on personal investments, retirement plans, or stock market trading will seek out a personal financial advisor. Experts in financial advising made an average salary of $124,140.

28. Advertising and Promotions Managers

Management in advertising and promoting requires a keen eye for the public interest and how to engage people on the next big trend. Advertising and promotions managers can expect to make an average salary of $123,880.

29. Human Resources Managers

An essential component of any big company, human resources managers are in charge of onboarding employees, as well as addressing any concerns that employees have in the workplace. HR managers earned average salaries of $123,510.

30. General and Operations Managers

A general manager or operations manager oversees their business, taking feedback from all departments and streamlining work processes for efficiency. GM’s and operation managers took in an average of $123,460.

31. Physicists

Scientists in physics will conduct research in the laws of physics as well as theoretical concepts that have yet to be proven. For physicists, the average annual salary is $123,080.

32. Postsecondary Health Specialties Teachers

College professors in health specialties teach a number of subjects, including lab technology, therapy, public health, and veterinary medicine. Postsecondary teachers in health specialties earned an average annual salary of $122,890.

33. Purchasing Managers

Managers in purchasing are exactly what they sound like – in charge of buyers and the purchasing of goods and supplies for a company or organization. Purchasing managers took home average salaries of $121,810.

Books on white surface

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34. Pharmacists

Pharmacists fill prescriptions for patients and give medical advice to patients while they are under treatment. For pharmacists, the average annual salary equates to $121,710.

35. Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates

Judges and their equivalent titles issue a final ruling on civil and criminal trials after hearing both sides of a case. Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates earned average annual salaries of $121,050.

36. Air Traffic Controllers

Air traffic controllers monitor aircraft as they arrive and depart from airport terminals, and work to ensure a minimum amount of traffic in the air. Air traffic controllers made an average annual salary of $120,260.

37. Computer Hardware Engineers

Engineers in computer hardware design personal computers and their hardware components, including motherboards and central processing units. For computer hardware engineers, an average annual salary comes to $119,650.

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38. Computer and Information Research Scientists

Scientists in computer and information research work to find the next big breakthrough in computers and their components. After becoming a computer and information research scientist, expect an average annual salary of $119,570.

38. Computer and Information Research Scientists

Scientists in computer and information research work to find the next big breakthrough in computers and their components. After becoming a computer and information research scientist, expect an average annual salary of $119,570.

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39. Optometrists

Doctors of optometry will diagnose and treat issues as they relate to the human eye and the rest of the optical area. They can also prescribe medicine for treatment. Optometrists earned an average annual salary of $119,100.

40. Training and Development Managers

Managers in training and development will develop and oversee programs that help employees understand the standards of a company, as well as continue their education on evolving company practices. The average annual salary for a training or development manager was $117,690.

41. Aerospace Engineers

Engineers in aerospace develop new parts and systems for aircraft and space shuttles. They might also work on missile development programs. Aerospace engineers earned average salaries of $115,300.

42. Actuaries

Actuaries will analyze data as it relates to sickness, disability, and mortality to create forecasts and potential risks of future benefit payments. Actuaries made an average salary of $114,850.

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43. Postsecondary Economics Teachers

Teachers in economics will instruct college students in classes, whether they are taking general education courses or majoring in economics themselves. These teachers earned average salaries of $114,820.

44. Economists

Economists have an understanding of market trends and consumer behavior that affect the economy and provide their insights to the public through companies and governments. Economists took home average annual salaries of $112,650.

45. Chemical Engineers

Chemical engineers work with plant materials and equipment to manufacture plastics, cement, and other synthetic materials for consumer and industry use.

Chemical engineers earned an average salary of $112,430.

46. Political Scientists

Political scientists analyze the behavior of voters and their representatives and provide forecasts for future elections and how this can shape the landscape of a government.

Political scientists earned salaries of $112,030.

47. Systems Software Developers

Software developers in system software create proprietary programs designed to allow an operating system to run, paving the way for other programs to work on an electronic device.

Systems software developers earned an average salary of $111,780.

48. Medical and Health Services Managers

Managers in health services are in charge of employees in public health agencies or larger managed care organizations, such as a hospital or nursing home.

Medical and health services managers made annual salaries of $111,680.

49. Industrial Production Managers

Industrial production managers oversee the manufacture of building materials, construction equipment, or another type of order specifically put together by a client.

Industrial production managers earned a salary of $110,580.

50. Postsecondary Engineering Teachers

College and university professors for engineering instruct students on the fundamentals of engineering, and in the case of specific engineering students, can teach advanced courses.

Postsecondary engineering teachers took home average salaries of $109,830.


More of the Highest Paying Jobs

51. Astronomers

For astronomers, an average annual salary is $109,560.

52. Nuclear Engineers

Nuclear engineers made annual salaries of $108,910.

53. Computer Network Architects

Computer network architects averaged a salary of $107,870.

54. Postsecondary Education Administrators

Postsecondary education administrators made annual salaries of $107,670.

55. Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners averaged a salary of $107,480.

56. Sales Engineers

The average annual salary for a sales engineer was $106,950.

57. Electronics Engineers

Electronics engineers made an average of $106,760.

58. Software Applications Developers

Software applications developers took home an average salary of $106,710.

59. Geoscientists

Geoscientists were paid an average salary of $105,830.

60. Biochemists and Biophysicists

They brought in average salaries of $105,410.

61. Physician Assistants

For physician assistants, the average annual salary was $104,760.

62. Mathematicians

Mathematicians made average salaries of $104,700.

63. Mining and Geological Engineers

Engineers in this field averaged a salary of $103,710.

64. Nurse Midwives

Nurse midwives made average salaries of $103,640.

65. Art Directors

Art directors took home average salaries of $103,510.

66. Administrative Services Managers

Administrative services managers made average salaries of $103,380.

67. Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

These psychologists brought home average earnings of $102,530.

68. Materials Scientists

Materials scientists commanded an average salary of $101,910.

69. Veterinarians

Veterinarians brought in an average annual salary of $101,530.

70. Postsecondary Physics Teachers

Average salaries for postsecondary physics teachers were $101,190.

71. Construction Managers

Carpentry or plumbing can fall into the specialty of a construction manager, who makes an average of $101,000.

72. Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers

A manager in this area can expect to average a salary of $100,740.

73. Postsecondary Business Teachers

Postsecondary business teachers earned an average of $100,270.​​​​​

74. Information Security Analysts

IS analysts earned an average salary of $99,690.

75. Electrical Engineers

Electrical engineers earned an average of $99,580.

76. Financial Analysts

Financial analysts brought in average salaries of $99,430.

77. Postsecondary Political Science Teachers

Political science teachers in postsecondary institutions averaged a salary of $98,620.

78. Materials Engineers

Materials engineers earned an average salary of $98,610.

79. Postsecondary Atmospheric, Earth, Marine and Space Science Teachers

A teacher in this area can expect to make an average salary of $98,560.

80. Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers

These kinds of judges averaged salaries of $98,280.

81. Elementary and Secondary Education Administrators

Administrators in elementary and secondary education brought in average salaries of $97,440.

82. Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents

Sales agents earned an average of $97,440.

83. Marine Engineers and Naval Architects

Engineers of marine and naval architecture earned an average salary of $96,910.

84. Medical Scientists

Medical scientists commanded an average salary of $96,070.

85. Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

The average salary for a nuclear power reactor operator was $94,350.

86. Atmospheric and Space Scientists

These scientists took home average salaries of $93,710.

87. Postsecondary Anthropology and Archaeology Teachers

Teachers for this subject made an average salary of $93,500.

88. Management Analysts

Management analysts brought in average salaries of $93,440.

89. Postsecondary Forestry and Conservation Science Teachers

Teachers in this subject area earned average salaries of $93,200.

90. Funeral Service Managers

Funeral services managers earned an average of $93,090.

91. Postsecondary Biological Science Teachers

Postsecondary biology teachers earned an average of $93,010.

92. Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical engineers took home average salaries of $92,970.

93. Computer Systems Analysts

Analysts in this field earn an average salary of $92,740.

94. Health and Safety Engineers

Engineers in this area earn average salaries of $92,190.

95. Civil Engineers

Civil engineers earned a typical salary of $91,790.

96. Financial Examiners

Financial examiners earned an average salary of $91,780.

97. Postsecondary Agricultural Science Teachers

These teachers made average salaries of $91,690.

98. Postsecondary Computer Science Teachers

Postsecondary computer science teachers earned an average salary of $91,590.

99. First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives

Police and detective supervisors made an average salary of $91,590.

100. Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers brought in average salaries of $91,500.

101. Environmental Engineers

Engineers in this area made average salaries of $91,180.

Choosing One of These Highest Paying Jobs

Now that you’ve looked through the 101 highest paying jobs in America, you’re bound to find something that looks appealing. Take the first step toward a new career today!

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What Does a Normal Financial Advisor Salary Look Like?

When people say that they’re a financial advisor they could be describing a number of different roles and responsibilities. “Financial advisor” is a very broad term and, therefore, a financial advisor salary can cover a very broad range.

If you are thinking of becoming a financial advisor then you are probably wondering what you should set your salary expectations to and what factors could affect the type of salary you earn. In this article, we will answer some of the common questions aspiring financial advisors have about the role.

In addition, we will also explain the various factors that are put into consideration when setting the salary for a financial advisor. After reading this article you should have a better idea of what financial advisors earn for their work and how you can prepare yourself to earn the salary you have been dreaming of.

The Different Types of Financial Advisors

As mentioned, a financial advisor could take on a number of different roles and responsibilities. There are so many different areas of finance with detailed rules and regulations that financial advisors usually specialize in certain areas rather than being a Jack of all trades.

The most common type of financial advisor is a personal financial advisor. In this role, advisors tend to focus on individuals and their immediate family like their spouse and children. In this role, the main goal of financial advisors is to provide personalized advice to help clients meet their immediate and long term goals.

Personal financial advisors will do everything from helping families set household budgets to retirement planning to college planning for children. Typically, these financial advisors work for a bank or investment company.

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The next common type of financial advisor you will find is often referred to as a stock broker. Of course, when you hear the term “stock broker” you might think of high powered securities traders in New York - much like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street.

The truth is that stock brokers tend to take a much more broad view of their client’s needs to develop customized investment plans to help people meet their own unique goals.

In this role, a financial advisor must take time to understand their client’s life situation and specific goals to build a portfolio of securities that will match those goals. For example, a young person saving for retirement may be able to endure more volatility with the goal of securing greater gains while individuals closer to retirement will be seeking more conservative investments to reduce volatility as retirement draws closer.

There are a number of other roles that can also fall under the financial advisor role that are less common than the roles mentioned above. Some financial advisors mainly deal with insurance while others may be in a corporate role helping advise companies about business finances.

As you can see, “financial advisor” means a lot of things. Narrowing down your focus to what type of financial advisor you hope to become is a major part of determining your financial advisor salary.

Factors that Determine Financial Advisor Salary

As we discussed above, there are a number of different roles that fall under the broad umbrella of “financial advisor.” In addition, there are a number of contributing factors that determine what type of salary financial advisors earn.

Education and Certification

One of the major contributing factors is education and certification. Many financial advisor roles require a certain level of certification in order to be able to advise people on their finances.

In the United States, FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) provides oversight and licensing for financial advisors. There are a number of different types of security licenses available and each one gives advisors the education and authorization to complete different types of transactions on behalf of their clients and employers.

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Financial advisors working in a bank or investment company setting at the customer-facing level will typically have their Series 6 certification. This certification allows advisors to sell basic types of investments like mutual funds that are pre-packaged and designed to meet certain goals. For example, a financial advisor within a bank may sell 6 different types of mutual funds each with their own risk levels and expected returns.

For financial advisors with Series 6 certification, understanding how to properly listen to clients and advise them based on their needs is most important. As the pre-packaged investments are already designed, there is little research or development required on the part of the financial advisor and, in that sense, this very much an advice type of role rather than an active investing role.

Series 7 is another common type of license that financial advisors will attain. This license opens up a number of different investment opportunities including stocks, bonds, fixed income investments, and more. In fact, the only major investments not included in the Series 7 license are real estate, life insurance, and commodities futures.

A financial advisor role that requires a Series 7 license is likely a role where advisors are helping build customized investment portfolios for their clients and trading on behalf of their clients. Since these investments are not pre-packaged like mutual funds, advisors must do more research to stay up to date on investment news, stock performance, and volatility.

In order to conduct business, advisors with a Series 6 or Series 7 license must also have a Series 63 license. For advisors who plan on charging an hourly fee for their services, a Series 65 license is also needed but many opt for the Series 66 license which essentially combines the Series 63 and Series 65 into one.

As you can see, there are a number of difference licenses available and each one opens up a different path of opportunity for financial advisors.

What Do Financial Advisors Actually Earn?

As you may have guessed, a financial advisor salary can vary wildly based on the type of role the financial advisor takes on. Consulting a salary aggregator like Glassdoor will reveal a range anywhere from $25,000 per year to more than $90,000 per year.

One thing that complicates nailing down a specific financial advisor salary is the types of pay an advisor can earn. This can vary based on role and the type of company the advisor is working for. Some advisors are paid based on a fixed salary while other advisors may be paid 100% commission and other advisors earn a mixture of salary and commission.

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Salary Basis

Advisors at banks or investment companies often earn a salary with the opportunity to earn a bonus or commission based on sales or size of their client base. When considering a job with this type of compensation, job seekers should ask themselves if the threshold to earn a commission or bonus is realistically achievable before factoring that amount into their compensation.

Commission Basis

Active traders that build portfolios on behalf of their clients are almost always paid on a commission basis. This is determined as a percentage of their client base and is built into the management fee attached to their services.

For example, an investment company may collect an annual management fee of 3% from the total balance of a client’s investments. A portion of that will be paid to the advisor who holds the client’s book of business.

Flat Rate Fee

Finally, another way that financial advisors are paid is by a flat rate fee. This is much less common than the above examples but not entirely unheard of. For financial advisors who offer their services independent of a larger organization, this is a great way to market themselves compared to other advisors on the market.

Usually, a flat fee is based on an hourly commitment from the advisor which would, obviously, require the advisor to have their Series 65 license. For some investors who dislike high management fees, working with a flat rate financial advisor may be an appealing alternative.

Build a Career Path and Follow It

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The median financial advisor salary, according to Glassdoor, is just under $50,000 per year. Of course, as you have learned, there are a number of factors that could make this salary higher or lower.

For people who are aspiring to become financial advisors, determining a career path first is most important. Since licensing is needed to become a financial advisor in most cases, some time, effort, and investment is needed in yourself before you can begin actively working with clients.

Do you hope to work with families to help them plot a path toward retirement or are you interested in researching individual stocks, building customized portfolios, and earning a percentage of the business you are able to secure?

Top financial advisors have almost no limit to how much they can earn. Finding a path you are passionate about can help you secure the compensation you deserve.