Category Archives: Salary

air traffic controller

Air Traffic Control Salary


Are you someone who enjoys the airport, and the hectic environment that comes with the operation of runways, landings, and takeoffs?

You might be interested in a career as an air traffic controller, one of the most important cogs in the machine of air travel.

If you aren’t worried about the need for very specific attention to detail and split-second decisions in case of an emergency, you may have found the perfect new career.

As you read, we’ll be taking a look at the average air traffic controller salary, and what you can expect to make in different parts of the country.

Life as an Air Traffic Controller

The number one duty of an air traffic controller is the assurance of safety for those in the air. Controllers minimize any interference during the intersection of flight paths for commercial airliners, and their direction will reduce any delays for arrivals and departures.

Air traffic control crew uses special computer equipment to monitor the movement of all planes in the air.

Those in air traffic control will monitor nearby weather and ensure that any landings are made safely in case of an emergency, sometimes involving aircraft not originally scheduled for landing at a given airport.

Types of Traffic Controllers

Several different kinds of air traffic controllers work in an airport’s safety department. Tower controllers are in charge of vehicle movement on runways. This includes airplanes as well as all ground transport and baggage handlers. Tower controllers remain in their position from the control area and can manage anywhere from 3 to 30-mile distances from their location.

Approach/Departure Controllers

departue controller

Controllers in approach and departure make sure that any aircraft entering an airport keeps within a minimum separation required for the safety of everyone involved. Approach and departure controllers send clearance to enter an airspace and use radar equipment to monitor flights as well as weather conditions and critical alerts that affect air travel. Approach controllers will aid pilots and the rest of the crew from takeoff until it reaches the threshold of facility airspace.

En Route Controllers

En Route Controllers

There are also en route controllers, who monitor the path of aircraft once it has successfully departed the airspace of a facility. Unlike other air traffic controllers, en route controllers can usually be found at air route centers, which you won’t find at actual airports. Airspaces are assigned to air route centers respective to their geographical layout and the amount of air traffic seen in their area.

If necessary, en route controllers will adjust the flight path of a plane while guiding it to a safe landing. Once en route controllers are finished, they hand off duties to approach and departure controllers.

The Air Traffic Control Systems Command Center employs a number of air traffic controllers, which looks at airline travel on a national level. When they identify a potential problem with travel operations, they relay information to local traffic controllers. The goal of the command center is to keep a larger eye on the sky and lighten the workload of smaller air traffic control departments, who need to focus on their immediate surroundings.

Air Traffic Controller Salaries

So, just how much does an air traffic controller salary look like these days?

As of May 2017, the average annual wage for an air traffic controller was $120,260. This number can vary quite a bit based on location and industry, which is what we’ll be looking at in some of the charts below.

Air Traffic Controller Highest Salary by State

Let’s start by looking at some of the highest paying states for air traffic controllers. The top five states are seen in the list below:

State Average Air Traffic Controller Salary

New Hampshire










​​​​If you’re curious why New Hampshire, a geographically small state, is at the top of the list, the answer comes from the military.

New Hampshire is home to several military bases in Newington. Air traffic controllers are an essential element of exercises conducted at each location, and government contracts for air traffic controllers can be quite lucrative. The same can be said for Virginia, as the Air Traffic Control System Command Center is found in Warrenton.

Georgia pays air traffic controllers well due to the high amount of traffic seen in Atlanta, home to the busiest international airport in the country.

Furthermore, Atlanta is the main hub for Delta Airlines, and with such a high concentration of air travel in one spot, it makes sense that some of the most well-paid air traffic controllers work at the Grand Central Station of air travel.

Air Traffic Controller Highest Salary by Industry

Next, we’ll investigate air traffic controller salary according to which industry pays the best. The answer might seem obvious, but there’s some details you might not be aware of:

Industry Average Air Traffic Controller Salary

Scheduled Air Transport 


Federal Executive Branch


Architectural and Engineering


Support Activities


Management of Companies


Looking past the top entry, we note that the federal government pays the most to air traffic controller salaries.

Considering the high amount of military operations conducted with aircraft, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, especially if you factor in the amount of non-military aircraft monitoring for government officials and representatives.

Air Traffic Controller Employment by State

How likely are you to find a job as an air traffic controller? Get an idea with the chart below, where we list the top five states in the country according to career numbers:

State Number of Air Traffic Controller Positions


Career Numbers




Average salary of $129,680



Average salary of $120,590



New York 


Average salary of $129,460



We can attribute these numbers to the high number of major cities with multiple airports spread across each state.

In California alone, major international airports operate out of San Diego, Sacramento, and Los Angeles, while Florida has Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. The same can be said for Illinois (Chicago O’Hare and Chicago Midway) and New York (JFK and LaGuardia).

Becoming an Air Traffic Controller

If the numbers seen in an average air traffic controller salary have convinced you to pursue this as a career, you may be interested to know that there are a few different paths to becoming one.

Because air traffic controllers are directly employed by the federal government, there are some automatic requirements before we even discuss education or work experience:

*Having U.S. citizenship

*Successfully passing a medical exam, drug test, and background investigation

*Get through the FAA preemployment exam

*Achieve a passing score on the Air Traffic Controller Specialists Skills Assessment Battery

*Begin training at FAA Academy before age 31, and complete the course

Along with the screening process, all potential air traffic controllers will need at least an associate degree from an AT-CTi program. These accredited schools are designed with air traffic controller careers in mind.

Earning an Associate Degree

While they don’t have a set curriculum, the courses all focus on aviation and safety for a future in aircraft monitoring. Class topics will include weather conditions, federal safety regulations, how to read charts that affect air traffic, and issuing clearances during arrival and departure.

The FAA Academy is located in Oklahoma City. Length of time spent in the training facility will vary according to an applicant’s background. If your previous education is not as extensive, you might need to catch up in certain subject areas. After graduating from the academy, trainees are designated as developmental air traffic controllers, where they can work under supervision until finishing all the necessary requirements.

Anyone entering the FAA Academy has to pass a biographical assessment, a kind of personality test to see if you have the sort of personality and psychological makeup necessary to hold a career as an air traffic controller.

Getting Additional Training and Credentials

Air traffic controller salary will increase with additional training and credentials earned at the academy. If you have previous experience in the industry upon entering the academy, you won’t have to spend as much time going through training as other candidates.

All air traffic controllers are required to obtain certification as an Air Traffic Control Tower Operator, or maintain the appropriate qualification or supervision. At least three years of work experience is necessary to pursue a career in air traffic control, but there are no specific requirements for industries where previous employment took place. There will be periodic drug screenings and job performance evaluations as well.

Air traffic controller

Skills You Need to Have

For a future in air traffic control, you should possess high skills in math, organization, and decision making. In a high-pressure environment involving the direction and maintenance of airline safety, you need to be able to focus and maintain control over a situation that may involve inclement weather or an equipment issue on an aircraft.

Clear communication is an asset for all air traffic controllers. The ability to speak and hear perfect English is essential for a direct conversation between pilots and the control tower. At any given time, you could have several voices in your ear while wearing a headset, and you’ll need to be able to determine who is speaking and which is the most important.

Making Your Decision

If an air traffic controller salary attracts you to the profession, and you think you can handle the busy environment that comes with airline communication and direction, go for it.

An exciting new career and opportunity may be awaiting you.

woman holding a pen

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.

team of executives

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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.

financial reports

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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.

executives planning strategy

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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

executives having a meeting with financial reports on the table

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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.

bank teller job

A Glamorous Career: How Much Money Does a Bank Teller Make?

Think about the last time you drove through a teller’s window or got out of the car and walked inside the bank to make a transaction. Have you ever thought about starting a career in the banking industry? Many people who go on to become managers and bankers begin their career as a teller, handling cash and documentation for the daily flow of customers. We’ll be talking about the average bank teller salary here, and how much you can expect to make as a bank teller in various parts of the United States.

Bank Teller Career and Education Preparation

Bank tellers are responsible for the number one thing associated with banks: money.

Tellers will count the cash given to customers throughout the day and keep track of the flow of money in and out of their personal drawers, not unlike a cashier in other places of business. In the case of a bank, however, the amount of money kept in a drawer is significantly larger than that of a cash register in a gas station, department store, or supermarket.

Aside from cash, bank tellers will prepare other types of documentation for their customers, which could include savings bonds, money orders, and traveler’s checks. If a customer plans to travel, foreign currency can be ordered through a bank, and tellers must ensure that the correct conversation rate applies to each order.

Tellers must ensure that all bank policies and procedures are strictly followed throughout the business day. If a customer presents a check, identification should be verified, as well as the status of the account with the bank.

As tellers gain experience, they may be eligible for a promotion, and take on some management tasks, such as error correction or solving customer complaints in the event of a dispute.

A college degree is almost never required for a career as a bank teller. You might take a few college courses upon graduating high school, but in general, the most preparation is done on the job.

Training for bank tellers takes several weeks. Usually, other tellers with more experience will train new employees on the job, giving them a chance to understand how to perform their duties while receiving instructions and a helping hand in case of questions. Banks may have their own computer systems for performing transactions, which will also fall under the training tellers receive when starting the job.

Bank Teller Salary Information

salary on post it

Let’s get to the meat of why you’re here: you want to know the average bank teller salary. As of May 2017, the average annual salary for bank tellers was $28,110, which converts to an hourly wage of $13.89. The lowest ten percent of bank teller salaries was reported as being $21,360, while the highest ten percent came in at $38,330.

Increases in salary likely come from years of experience and promotions to head teller positions within a given branch of a bank.

Salary by Industry

Although tellers operate exclusively in banks, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of different industries that operate banks. Check out the top five highest paying banking industry branches listed below:

bank teller

Bank teller salary for stage governments: $44,230

Bank teller salary for local governments: $36,500

Bank teller salary for insurance carriers: $34,300

Bank teller salary for colleges, universities, and professional schools: $32,550

Bank teller salary for business support services: $32,410

As you can see, any bank that operates under the authority of a government typically pays more than a private sector. The amount may vary depending on a state or municipality’s given budget for a year, and the same budget may also affect the number of available jobs. Colleges and universities may be affiliated with credit unions, which can offer special rates to students and employees of a school or its organization.

Salary by State

How does a bank teller salary differ when moving across different parts of the country? Find out by looking at the top five highest paying states for bank tellers here:

salary by state

Average bank teller salary in Connecticut: $34,150

Average bank teller salary in District of Columbia: $33,400

Average bank teller salary in Washington: $32,060

Average bank teller salary in Massachusetts: $32,850

Average bank teller salary in Maryland: $31,690

With the exception of Washington state, the highest paid bank tellers all work primarily in the Northeastern United States. If you’re planning a career as a bank teller, you might want to consider setting up shop on the eastern side of the country!

Bank Teller Employment Statistics

Now that you have a fair idea of what to expect from a bank teller salary, you’ll be interested in knowing where the best possibility of securing a job is. Whether you are looking for somewhere close to home or considering a move to somewhere else in the country, there are still possibilities to begin your new career in banking!

Employment Numbers by State

Where do you see yourself working as a teller? If it’s in any of the states below, you’re in luck, because they are the top five employers of bank tellers in the United States:

employment blue arrow

Number of bank tellers employed in Texas: 53,370 (average salary of $27,500)

Number of bank tellers employed in California: 43,660 (average salary of $30,840)

Number of bank tellers employed in Florida: 30,270 (average salary of $30,530)

Number of bank tellers employed in New York: 25,300 (average salary of $30,200)

Number of bank tellers employed in Pennsylvania: 21,780 (average salary of $28,050)

The overall prediction for bank teller jobs in the United States is predicted as an eight percent drop through 2026. Because of the increasingly digital nature of banking, as well as the prominent use of online apps that allow for scanning and mobile deposits, the need for tellers decreases as advancement in technology increases.

With that said, large amounts of cash and currency will always require human interaction, and the role of a bank teller will remain relevant in some capacity even as most people gravitate toward the use of apps and electronic payment devices.

How to Succeed as a Bank Teller

succesful bank teller

With the information you need about a bank teller salary, as well as the number of potential job openings, you might be left wondering what makes an excellent bank teller. What should you study, and what skills might be necessary to keep yourself relevant and ahead of the pace in the world of banking?

For starters, you’ll need basic math skills. While calculators are readily available, your hand-eye coordination is an asset, and excellent eyesight to distinguish each type of bill. Counting cash is a part of your daily routine, and you may see different types of currency you don’t normally encounter during your other errands.

Customer service is an absolute must among your skill set. Most people are in a hurry when stopping at a bank, whether they enter in person or use one of the drive-up windows. Showing understanding and patience for any concerns they tell you will help customers through their experience and keep you in a positive light in the minds of customers and your fellow employees.

You should also familiarize yourself with your branch’s policies and procedures in the event of suspicious activity. If a customer presents a counterfeit bill or a fraudulent check, each financial institution has its own rules on how to proceed. Typically, a manager is required to take action, and reports may have to be written and filed after the event occurs. Your ability to recall specific actions and how the situation was resolved is just as crucial as being able to count the money in a drawer at the end of the night.

While it isn’t required, you can find certification programs for bank tellers at certain online schools. Such programs allow you to hone your skills and become an expert on all aspects of a career as a bank teller. As part of a certificate program, you will learn about building relationships with customers, international banking services, and how banks operate as a place of business. Upon completion of the certificate program, you become more desirable as an employee and might be in a position to command a higher salary or advance to a head teller position.

Career Paths for Bank Tellers

working office girls

If you look at a bank teller salary and decide that you have another amount in mind, you might consider other career options related to the financial field. Clerks in bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing also don’t require any formal degree from a college or university, but there are some postsecondary classes you’ll need to take before considering such a career.

If you decide to advance your career even further, you could become a loan officer after earning a bachelor’s degree in a financial or business-related field. You might even consider attending an online school for one of these fields while staying employed as a bank teller and furthering your education.

Many possibilities await those who start as a bank teller, and with the right combination of education and experience, you can make an excellent living on a bank teller salary!

managing finances

Compensation Review: What Salary To Expect As Financial Advisor

If you’re thinking about beginning work in the finance industry, your salary as a financial advisor will be determined by a number of different factors.

Those who come right out of a university and start a career can expect to command a bit less than their peers who have worked in the industry for several years. Often, you will find that a financial advisor salary is determined by the industry of employment, as well as the area of the country where you’re employed.

Working as a Financial Advisor

Typically, financial advisors sit down with their clients to directly talk about the personal financial goals of a client or their company. Advisors must explain the types of services they provide and ensure clients that their money is well cared for.

Clients should feel safe and comfortable knowing that their personal wealth is secure with an advisor and won’t feel at risk when recommendations are made for investments, or if decisions are made by advisors on their clients’ behalf. These plans might be mapped out over a short period or longer terms, depending on the commitment level of the client.

While a lot of financial advisors have diverse knowledge, you may end up focusing on one particular area or industry, such as retirement or fraud prevention.

Financial advisors are certified or licensed to purchase insurance, stocks, bonds, and annuities. If their clients give them explicit permission, advisors can take the initiative and make decisions with stocks currently held by the client, buying or selling as they see fit.

financial advisory

Financial advisors spend a significant amount of time promoting and selling their services, expanding their client base, and increasing their income in the process. They can hold presentations and seminars to recruit potential clients while simultaneously explaining the benefits of hiring a financial advisor.

Becoming a financial advisor requires you to attend a college or university and earn a bachelor’s degree. There isn’t necessarily a specific field to choose for a major, but you will certainly benefit from studying economics, accounting, finance, or math.

With that said, dedicated programs in financial planning are widely available and will prepare you for a career as a financial advisor with courses specifically tailored for dealing directly with clients and their finances.

To earn success as a financial advisor, you’ll need to have excellent people skills – you won’t want to scare off any potential clients with an awkward encounter during your first meeting! Expertise in math is a must, as numbers are going to be in your workplace every single day, and you’ll need to understand how to manipulate data and formulas when making transactions. You’ll also need to be able to analyze the personal financial data of your clients, and when you are licensed to make decisions, figure out how to maximize an investment with your history in finance.

Financial advisors in securities and commodity contracts: $133,910

Financial advisors in grantmaking and giving services: $127,470

Financial advisors in nondepository credit intermediation: $113,140

Financial advisors in management of companies and enterprises: $111,910

Financial Advisor Salary Information

So, now that you know how to become a financial advisor and what skills are required for the job, just how much can you expect to make when you start a career? The answer will probably please you – financial advisors command quite a salary.

As of May 2018, the average annual wage for a personal financial advisor in the United States was $124,140. Naturally, this salary will fluctuate depending on the specific industry where you find yourself employed. Take a look at some of the variations in industry salaries for financial advisors below:

Financial advisors in securities and commodity contracts: $133,910

Financial advisors in grantmaking and giving services: $127,470

Financial advisors in nondepository credit intermediation: $113,140

Financial advisors in management of companies and enterprises: $111,910

financial data on tablet

As you can see above, the highest paying financial advisor salary falls under the umbrella of security contracts. The job of connecting financial buyers and sellers together can involve extremely high-dollar transactions, which explains the commanding average salary for financial advisors in the industry.

In the case of companies and enterprises, financial advisors will be in demand because of the high number of transactions and employees involved in a larger enterprise or corporation. The more potential accounts to deal with, the bigger the need for a financial advisor, and with it, the potential to command a bigger salary, so it’s a win-win!

Your salary as a financial advisor will also differ depending on where you find employment in the United States. Let’s take a look at the highest-paying financial advisor positions by state:

Financial advisors in New York: $166,200

Financial advisors in California: $141,100

Financial advisors in Connecticut: $137,120

Financial advisors in the District of Columbia: $135,770

Financial advisors in Maine: $134,380

Looking at these numbers, it shouldn’t come as a big shock that New York is, by far, the highest on the list of states that pay financial advisors well. The amount of money circulating through Wall Street is immeasurable at any given moment, and financial advisors are needed at all times to keep track of the constant activity happening on the stock market throughout the business week.

California is next on the list, which makes perfect sense, given the number of celebrities wanting to protect their financial assets while maintaining multimillion-dollar homes in the state.   

Financial Advisor Employment Numbers

macbook and iPhone

Okay, so New York and California have the highest financial advisor salary on each end of the country, but how likely are you to be able to secure a job in these areas? Let’s find out by listing the states with the highest employment number of financial advisors:

Financial advisors in New York: 28,000

Financial advisors in California: 24,790

Financial advisors in Florida: 12,600 (average salary of $126,700)

Financial advisors in Texas: 11,530 (average salary of $111,640)

Financial advisors in Illinois: 10,650 (average salary of $121,750)

Unsurprisingly, the employment numbers directly correlate to the high salary for a financial advisor in New York and California. While Florida doesn’t rank in the top five highest annual salaries for financial advisors, the large retiree population in the Sunshine State attracts a high number of financial advisor positions. Those who decide to spend their later years in Florida after the end of a long career will need the expert advice of someone who understands how to keep funds secure for retirement savings and pension plans.

A state the size of Texas, home to several major metropolitan areas (Dallas, Houston, and Austin), will always see the need for financial advisors. Chicago is a thriving city for many demographics, and those fresh to the city as well as Chicago natives can find the need for financial advisors during different parts of their lives.

When we adjust the numbers to look at employment density within a given state, you can see the potential for a great career in a few other locations:

Financial advisor positions per thousand jobs in New York: 3.04

Financial advisor positions per thousand jobs in Connecticut: 2.89 (average salary of $137,210)

Financial advisor positions per thousand jobs in Massachusetts: 2.08 (average salary of $109,370)

Financial advisor positions per thousand jobs in Illinois: 1.80

Financial advisor positions per thousand jobs in Missouri: 1.79 (Average salary of $89,710)

We’ve discussed the large areas of New York City and Chicago, but what about the other three states on this list? Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Missouri all contain extremely busy financial sectors in comparatively smaller locations; Connecticut has Bridgeport, whose population density is comparable to that of the Los Angeles metro area.

In the case of Massachusetts, Boston’s financial district rests in the heart of the historic city, and financial advisors would feel right at home in the busy, vibrant part of the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Meanwhile, Missouri is home to St. Louis, one of the bigger cities in the center of the United States, and whose population is confined to a larger metropolitan area surrounded by sparser suburban sections.

Financial Advisor Characteristics

lady holding bitcoin

Now that you know what kind of financial advisor salary to expect, you might also ask yourself: what type of person becomes a financial advisor?

Earlier, we discussed the need for you to be excellent with numbers, and skilled with interpersonal relationships. Ideally, you’ll study finance or math in a university, but a deep understanding of psychology is just as beneficial as knowing to how program algorithms into a computer. For a successful career as a financial advisor, you want to be just as in touch with your clients’ needs as you are with market trends and economic forecasts.

Financial Advisor Job Forecast

As attractive as those financial advisor salary numbers are, they don’t mean a whole lot without a steady potential for job growth. Fortunately, you’re in luck, because a 15% increase is expected for the number of financial advisor positions in the United States, a number much higher than the national average for all occupations.

In the coming years, a huge number of baby boomers will be retiring, and with retirement comes the need to settle down and secure a financial future for the family. On top of this, the country is seeing personal retirement accounts rise to prominence as an added benefit of a full-time career. These aren’t as transparent as pension plans, and the use of a financial advisor to accurately utilize and plan a retirement account will become more essential as time continues.

Even though technology has replaced the human element in many industries, nothing will ever replace another person who has a knack for psychology and can relate that knowledge to the emerging trends seen in the marketplace.


What Will Be My Real Estate Agent Salary?

Are you a fan of house flipping, remodeling, and interior design shows on TV? Have you ever thought about what it might be like to sell these finished products to eager new homeowners?

If you’re in the market for a new job (no puns here!), beginning a life as a real estate agent not only affords you the opportunity to study new sales techniques, but a real estate agent salary is as high as you are able to command through your skills as a sales representative.

Becoming a Real Estate Agent

aerial photography architecture building

Before we get into the detail on the typical real estate agent salary, you’ll need to make sure you’ve obtained a high school diploma or an equivalent such as a GED. While a lot of real estate agencies tend to prefer candidates with degrees from a college or university, it’s entirely up to you – you’ll want to look into programs in business administration or a dedicated real estate degree.

From here, your requirements are going to vary according to which state you live in. You’ll have to obtain some kind of license or certification, which may require you to take some additional courses and pass an exam. Make sure you also look into what’s needed for license/certification renewal – the last thing you need is an expired credential when you’re so close to closing a big sale!

Determining Your Real Estate Agent Salary

All right – now that you know what it takes to become a real estate agent, let’s get to the important part: how much are you going to make as a real estate agent?

The answer is a common one when you are asked a vital question: “It depends.”

The national average salary for a real estate agent, as of May 2017, is $59,630. Here’s the thing, though – that number is going to vary greatly for you because of the nature of the position. Selling real estate is largely commission-based, and your salary is going to fluctuate based on many different conditions. As we’ve seen in the last ten years, the real estate market can go from one extreme to another overnight, and you could find yourself living very comfortably with the right decisions and knowledge of the marketplace.

Salary by State

How much can your salary vary? Let’s take a look at the highest-paying real estate agent salaries, according to their location across the United States:

Average salary for real estate agents in New York: $102,310

Average salary for real estate agents in Texas: $72,480

Average salary for real estate agents in Hawaii: $72,470

Average salary for real estate agents in Alaska: $71,030

Average salary for real estate agents in Rhode Island: $70,450

agent salary

It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to you that New York tops this list. If you’ve been to Manhattan lately, or have looked at an Instagram photo of the New York City skyline, you’ll have some idea of how much the price of real estate commands in the Big Apple. If you secure a position as a real estate agent in New York, your potential for earnings could be unlimited with the right client list and a market that is begging for you to sell and them to buy.

Meanwhile, the giant state of Texas not only has tons of opportunity for residential home sales, but you should also consider the amount of business property in the three major cities of Houston, Dallas, and Austin. There’s no shortage of opportunity to deal in real estate in the Lone Star State!

If you’re looking at potential vacation property sales, Hawaii and Alaska are going to be as much of a dream destination for you as it will be for those looking to call these exotic locations their new home. Keep in mind that this is Alaska and Hawaii we’re talking about, so it’s going to be a pretty drastic relocation if you decide to make a career out of real estate sales in either state.

Meanwhile, Rhode Island’s oceanfront properties will command top dollar, and your commissions will always see higher returns when potential buyers are looking for the best view of the water.

Real Estate Agent Employment

Aside from a real estate agent salary, you’re likely wondering where you’ll find the most opportunity for a position as a real estate agent. Have a look at the states with the highest employment rates:

Real estate agent employment in Florida: 17,750 (average salary of $57,520)

Real estate agent employment in Texas: 15,770

Real estate agent employment in Georgia: 11,170 (average salary of $46,220)

Real estate agent employment in California: 10,380 (average salary of $68,860)

Real estate agent employment in Washington: 7,800 (average salary of $59,590)

Your client list in Florida as a real estate agent can be expansive when you include those who are born and raised in-state, as well as potential buyers who find their way to the Sunshine State through new employment or retirement.

Plus, Florida is a deceptively large state – it’s easy to forget how much land exists from Pensacola to Miami. You might find yourself selling a fixer-upper in the swamps, or a coveted beach house along the Eastern coast. If you decide that one part of Florida isn’t for you, there’s always the option to set up shop in another part of the state.


Similarly, Georgia offers a wealth of options for cities and real estate sales options. The major metropolitan area of Atlanta has a lot of potential for commercial and residential property all throughout the surrounding area, while historic areas like Savannah attract tourists and longtime residents alike.

Out in California, the possibilities are endless – one day, you could find yourself marketing to famous actors, then selling the next day to people on the mountainous areas associated with the Gold Rush in earlier times.

Meanwhile, Washington’s mild climate and thriving economy continues to attract new homeowners, and the value of property has also increased with the appeal.

Now that we’ve covered the best places to land a job as a real estate agent, let’s also check out some of the more densely-populated areas where you might not have expected to look for a career in real estate:

Real estate agent employment per thousand jobs in Georgia: 2.60

Real estate agent employment per thousand jobs in Washington: 2.45

Real estate agent employment per thousand jobs in Oklahoma: 2.33 (average salary of $49,380)

Real estate agent employment per thousand jobs in South Carolina: 2.24 (average salary of $52,070)

Real estate agent employment per thousand jobs in Florida: 2.11

We’ve covered three of the states in the previous paragraph, but Oklahoma gets on this list primarily due to the density surrounding Oklahoma City. Combine this with the nearby town of Norman, home to the University of Oklahoma, and you have the perfect formula for a hot pocket of real estate for both university students and all the businesses that can cater directly to the needs of a bustling college town.

Elsewhere, South Carolina’s entire east coast touches the Atlantic Ocean, and is home to many resort locations such as Hilton Head Island, Myrtle Beach, and Charleston, making it a prime location for those looking for a summer home, or a new place to settle down after retirement.

Both states don’t come without their share of natural risks, however – Oklahoma is right in the heart of Tornado Alley, and South Carolina has seen its share of coastal storms over the years. As you pitch your marketplace listings, be sure to remind those who are not familiar with the area of the inherent risks that comes with investing in a new home in plains states like Oklahoma or shoreline areas such as South Carolina.

What Makes a Good Real Estate Agent?

Now that you’re well-versed on real estate agent salary information, you may still want some general tips on how to make it in the marketplace. As we discussed earlier, your real estate agent salary and your ability to successfully close deals will go together, and without the ability to convert leads into sales, you won’t be maximizing your profits.

You need a natural ability to sell, which might come from experience in other markets like retail or vehicles, and a winning personality that engages people when you meet with them. If you’re going to be interacting with potential homeowners, you want to develop a bond that exists throughout the duration of the sales pitch, whether that takes weeks or months.

As you earn more leads and take on more responsibility as a real estate agent, you will need careful attention to detail when keeping records of transactions, property deeds, and all the other critical information that comes with the sale of a home or office. Instinct and insight on who is willing to buy and who could potentially buy again in the future are an asset, as you can spend less time seeking a lead and more time converting a lead into a sale.

Finally, a drive for success is necessary in all sales positions, and real estate is no exception. The houses aren’t going to sell themselves, and your salary will reflect that once you find the right location to begin a career as a real estate agent.

welder salary

Welder Salary: Make The Right Move And Get Some Experience!

Welder Salary

Welding dates back thousands of years to the Bronze Age, though it really became refined with the advent of blacksmithing in the middle ages. Welding is used to heat and join metal together, making metal constructions possible in the first place. Welding practices and tools have greatly evolved over the ages as technology has advanced and projects have changed. Despite this evolution, however, welders still play an intricate part in modern infrastructure and other processes.

Welders are a skilled class of worker associated with cutters, solderers, and brazers. They primarily use welding tools to heat metal to bind them together, fill holes, and shape metal. Due to the hot nature of the tools, welding can be dangerous work and requires highly trained workers to properly do it.

Despite the importance of welding in our modern society’s construction and functioning, welders aren’t paid that much in reality, though their pay is decent compared to other physical workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average welder salary as of May 2017 is $40,240 per year.

The welding profession is almost entirely male-dominated, as are most related positions. According to statistics gathered by, men make up roughly 97% of the welding industry.

What Welders Do

welder doing his job

What welders are primarily known for is using specialized welding tools to heat metal until it’s malleable. This allows them to bind two pieces of metal together. They also fill holes, create seams, and straighten out indentations in metal. In addition to this, they also frequently perform the duties of cutters, solderers, and brazers. They can perform their work both manually and through using remotely controlled tools.

The work that welders do is largely used in construction, as they bind metal beams and other pieces together to create the bones of buildings, bridges, pipes, and more. The metal pieces they weld together are also used in cars and other heavy metal machinery. The work that welders do is everywhere we look, just covered up in a fancy package.

Lower-level welders will often stick to the more remedial tasks of binding large pieces of metal together in the same way multiple times, doing repetitive and less complex work.

Highly trained welders perform work with a much higher complexity level. They are responsible for reading and interpreting blueprints, determining from them how best to complete a project, and directing their team. They also often design projects themselves. Additionally, welders in position of greater dexterity perform welding projects that are on a physically smaller scale and therefore require more technical work.

Work Environment

welding in scaffolding

Welders may work both in and outdoors. Indoor work usually takes place in a confined and controlled area to ensure that there aren’t any dangerous materials or distractions going on around the work. When working outside, welders sometimes must deal with inclement weather. They may not even perform their work on the ground—sometimes they are required to go up high on a scaffold into a construction project and do their welding there.

Job Satisfaction

fulfilling life of a welder

Due to its status as a job that requires physical labor, welding sometimes gets a bad rep as a profession to be avoided. Those that work as welders and are passionate about their work strongly fight against this. Welding is that rare career path that engages both body and mind, the position requiring the evaluating of blueprints and design alongside the satisfaction of working with their hands. The work that welders do also have real, tangible results. Welders are proud of their craft and love seeing their work in finished projects.

How to Become a Welder

a certified welder

Take Advantage of Welding Courses in High School

To first become a welder, you do not need a bachelor’s degree. Instead, as you obtain your high school diploma, you should make sure to take plenty of math and science classes. If your high school offers them, you should also take shop and welding classes to acquaint yourself with welding equipment and techniques. Some high schools also offer career and technical training, which is perfect if you’re considering starting a welding career.

Further Your Training Through Specialized Schools

If you’ve already completed high school and didn’t get that welding training in beforehand, don’t worry. There are a variety of ways that you can get training and certification. The military provides training programs, for one, and you can also go to a variety vocation, training, and technical schools in addition to community college.

Even if you did receive some training in high school, you should still further your education past it before actively pursuing a welding career. Some companies may provide training on the job, but most will want prior experience.

Get Some Experience!

Once you have some training under your belt, go out and apply it! Look for jobs in construction and infrastructure, or in machine manufacturing. Real-world job experience is the best form of education.

Advancing Your Career

You should consider getting a formal certification, which will increase your value as a welder. Some companies provide internal certifications, but you can also receive certification from the American Welding Society's Certified Welder Program.

In terms of career advancement, obtaining your bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field can allow you to apply your skills as a welding engineer, obtaining a leadership position and greatly increasing your welder salary.

Job Market

job market welding

The job outlook for welders is growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an estimated 6 percent increase for welder positions between the years of 2016 to 2026. This is roughly on par with the national average of the overall job market, which is expected to grow 7 percent.

So, if you’re interested in becoming a welder, now’s a decent time to do it. With the improving economy and aging infrastructure, more construction projects are being undertaken, therefore requiring more welders. Of course, to improve your shot of landing a job, try to get as much formal training and real-world experience under your belt before you start officially job hunting.

Welder Salary Range

average salary of a welder

While the average welder salary is $40,240, most welders receive a salary that falls within the range of $27,354 to $64,394. These calculations are based on a 40-hour work week. It is not uncommon for welders to work overtime and receive bonuses for contracted work.

Salary Factors

By far the greatest factor in salary level is years of experience. Those with little to no experience starting out can’t be expected to make much, but with a few years under their belts, their pay will dramatically increase. Alongside this are the welder’s education and certification level. Those with higher education degrees and professional certifications will be worth a higher value to a company. With a bachelor’s degree, a welder may become qualified to work as a welding engineer, further boosting them to the top of the pay range.

Highest Welder Employment Levels by State

For welders and other construction workers in particular, where they’re located greatly determines whether or not they’ll find work. If you’re a welder or a prospective one, you’ll want to be in an area that has a lot of construction projects not just currently, but continuously on-going to ensure future employment. Some of the best areas to work in, therefore, will be states that have decent-sized metropolitan areas and are the most in need of new infrastructure.

Below, we’ve listed the five states with the highest number of employed welders, as presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from data finalized in May 2017.

welder employment

Highest Welder Salaries by State

Of course, just because a state might employ the most welders, that doesn’t mean they pay them the most. In fact, you’ll find that the below list of the top five highest paying states for mean welder salaries doesn’t overlap with the above list at all. So, when looking for employment, weigh your location options carefully.

welder salaries by state

Highest Welder Salaries by Metropolitan Area

Now that we’ve looked at the top-paying states, let’s look at the top-paying metropolitan areas. We’ll see a little bit of overlap here, but some of the placements on this list might surprise you.

salaries in the metropolitan area

Final Thoughts on Welders

If you’re looking into becoming a welder, now’s a decent time to do it. With a steady uptrend in the job market on par with the rest of the nation, jobs shouldn’t be as scarce as a few years ago. Welding is a great profession for those who enjoy working with both their hands and mind, and welders take pride in their work as they see it become a part of something greater. The welder salary is pretty decent compared to some other construction jobs, and if you obtain higher degrees of education you can really make the most of it.

orthodontist salary

The Orthodontist Salary: A Candy Treat From A Tooth Fairy

Orthodontist Salary

Orthodontists are a specialized type of dentist. Dentists in general focus on the health of individual teeth and gums, preventing and treating cavities and ensuring dental hygiene. Orthodontists, on the other hand, take a closer look at the structure of the teeth and jaws. The orthodontist profession has dramatically grown over the last fifty or so years, with braces and other orthodontic work now becoming a common part of childhood (though adults continue to have braces later in life).

Orthodontists typically own their own office, or they share with a few other orthodontists. Orthodontic assistants assist them in their offices, much as dental hygienists assist dentists. Depending on the area and competition, they typically serve a great number of people in their area.

Orthodontists are one of the highest-paid positions, typically making more than their dentist counterpart. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average orthodontist salary as of May 2017 is $229,380, over $110 an hour.

This is a male-dominated field, with men making up approximately 62 percent of orthodontists across the nation. As with most medical professions, however, the number of women in this field has been consistently on the rise.

The Work of an Orthodontist

Orthodontists mainly focus on teeth and jaw alignment. The most common way that they do their work is through braces. There’s a lot more to braces, though, than simply gluing down some metal onto teeth. Orthodontists must first identify whether or not braces are necessary for the patient, or if other means may better suffice. Once the need for braces has been determined, they and their assistants are responsible for taking x-ray images, making teeth molds, and taking measurements to accurately apply the braces.

Alternatives to braces that orthodontists work with include head gear to correct jaw alignment, screws to increase movement, and other tools to shape tooth and jaw construction. Because each patient and their dental needs are unique, they must frequently come up with modified, new, and outside-the-box equipment and solutions to best help them. Orthodontists, therefore, are a creative bunch.

Aside from doing orthodontal work, orthodontists are also responsible for making an overall plan and checking in with progress of their patients throughout it. For children with braces, orthodontic appointments may be as often as every six weeks, or even more frequently near the beginning and end of the process.

Orthodontists are not only responsible for creating individual plans for their patients. They also need to be adaptable with each plan depending on how the patients are progressing. They coordinate differing rubber band alignments with braces and how long each cycle should last, determine if additional orthodontic action is necessary, and make recommendations for how best to treat and take care of your teeth.

Post-braces, they are also responsible for determining what retainers are necessary and sculpt them to fit each individual.

Aside from the technical work, orthodontists are also responsible for forming relationships with their patients. Dental work can be nerve-wracking, so it’s important that orthodontists develop trust with their patients and put their minds at ease.

Job Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction

Overall, orthodontists are highly satisfied with their careers. Being an orthodontist is rated as one of the best healthcare professions overall. Orthodontists like that they do meaningful work, creating beautiful smiles for both children and adults. They get to make meaningful relationships with their patients, keeping in periodic contact with them and watching them grow as their orthodontic work progresses.

Orthodontists report below-average stress-levels, and their schedule is typically more flexible than most. There’s an average amount of room for promotion once they’re established doctors. The high-paying orthodontist salary certainly doesn’t hurt when it comes to job satisfaction, too.

How to Become an Orthodontist

It takes a lot of work and schooling to become an orthodontist. After high school, you first must obtain a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a science or related field. Next comes four years of dental school. After that, prospective orthodontists must complete an additional two to three years in an orthodontic residency position, during which time you’ll receive extensive education and training.

After the residency has been completed, you must then pass the American Board of Orthodontics written exam before finally becoming certified as an official orthodontist. Once you’ve become certified, you should then seek to join an orthodontic office, or, if your funds allow it, establish your own.

Additionally, it’s also important for orthodontists to be personable so they can create trusting relationships with their patients. Furthermore, it is imperative that they have the steady hands required for the technical work of orthodontistry.

It takes a lot of hard work to become an orthodontist, and it’s certainly not a job that just anyone can do. Take long and thoughtful consideration before determining to pursue this career path.

Job Market

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report the job growth for orthodontists specifically, they do provide data for dentistry as a whole. Between the years of 2016 and 2026, they estimate that the job outlook for dentist professions will increase by 19%. This is significantly greater than the national average of a 7% increase.

Orthodontist Salary Range

The mean orthodontist salary is exceedingly high, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recoding it at $229,380. This is significantly higher than the average dentist salary, which is recorded at $158,120. If you’re thinking of going into a dental profession, consider taking the orthodontic route.

Most orthodontist salaries fall somewhere within the wide range of $78,243 to $296,747, the salary level largely determined by experience level, clientele, and area.

Salary Factors

The number one factor that affects salary level is of course experience, but there are also several other factors that play a key role. One of these is location—not only does the area of an orthodontist office affect the general salary and economy levels, it also affects the number of patients the orthodontist services.

Man reading with coffee on table

Another key factor is the office out of which orthodontists work out of. For instance, orthodontists working out of a dentist’s or health practitioner’s office will likely make less on average than one working from a physician’s office or one who owns their own specific orthodontic office.

Highest Orthodontist Employment Levels by State

As touched on above, location is a large factor when it comes to salary level of orthodontists, as well as employment opportunities. Location determines not only the economy that an orthodontist will be working in, but also the size and composition of the clientele that they will be servicing.

When looking at the states with the highest employment rates, therefore, weigh this information carefully. While this data shows the areas where orthodontists are successfully working, you also want to avoid jumping into an over-saturated market.

The information provided below is a list of the top five states with the most orthodontists along with their corresponding amounts, as provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

1. California: 500

2. Texas: 500

3. Massachusetts: 450

4. Florida: 420

5. Maryland: 270

Highest Orthodontist Salaries by State

And now for the more economy-centric information. Aside from knowing where orthodontists are getting work, everyone of course wants to know what they’re making. Interestingly, none of the top paying states match the list above.

Listed below are the five highest paying states for orthodontists. For the top three, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide direct information, only that the salaries exceed those in the fourth and fifth places on the list.

1. Washington

2. Virginia

3. Nebraska

4. Alabama: $289,740

5. Arizona: $284,310

Highest Orthodontist Salaries by Metropolitan Area

Naturally, in terms of highest paid orthodontists by metropolitan area there is some overlap with the list of states, but not entirely. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report the direct mean orthodontist salaries of its top five metropolitan areas, but each average is higher than the salary of the sixth-place area: Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division, where the mean salary is $283,100.

Here are the top five metropolitan areas:

1. Yakima, WA

2. Stockton-Lodi, CA

3. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

4. Columbus, OH

5. Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ

Final Thoughts on Orthodontists

Going into orthodontics is a very big decision that you shouldn’t take lightly. There are a lot of great benefits to becoming an orthodontist: the meaningful work, the flexibility, the healthy work-life balance and lack of extreme stress, and, of course, that high-paying orthodontist salary.

To reap all these benefits, however, you must first sow plenty of hard work. The additional four years of schooling after undergrad are enough to turn many off from the career, let alone the additional years of required residency and training. To be successful in an orthodontist role, you have to be smart and dedicated, and have steady hands capable of doing intricate and precise work.

If you possess these traits, then becoming an orthodontist very well may be the best career choice for you. With the dentistry industry as a whole going through a major uptrend in the job market, now is a better time than most to start out that career.

executive assistant smiling - describing the executive assistant salary

Executive Assistant Salary: A Guide On Compensation and Your Demanding Role

Executive Assistant Salary

The term “assistant” opens up a wide umbrella of possibilities. Because of the versatile nature and meanings of the role, assistants can be found in almost any industry. They provide support to all different levels of a business and support one or multiple staff members. Assistants are often the unsung heroes in any business—without assistants, their bosses wouldn’t be able to do everything they need done, and their jobs would be much more stressful for it.

When it comes to executive assistants, then, the stakes are raised even higher. Executive assistants are just as they sound: assistants to company executives. Due to the nature of executive work being crucial for business operations, the role of the executive assistant becomes even more critical. Executive assistants often provide support not only by maintaining office tasks, but by creating reports, channeling correspondence, and a variety of other important tasks that their bosses require them for,

Because of the important nature of their work, executive assistants typically make more than the average assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average executive assistant salary is $59,400, as of May 2017.

The majority of the executive assistant field, just like the assistant field in general, is almost entirely female-dominated. According to data collected by, women make up approximately 95% of the executive assistant workforce.

Executive Assistant Duties

discussion between executive assistant and the ceo

The duties of an executive assistant can vary widely depending on what business sector they’re in, but for our purposes. we’ll try to stick to some of the major ones here.

Office Duties

In terms of office duties, executive assistants are similar to office assistants in general. Executive assistants are frequently the front desk face, in charge of meeting and greeting those that walk through the door. They help clients and customers before passing them along to one of the executives they assist, doing as much work as possible beforehand to take it off the executive’s plate.

They also tend to perform more mundane office tasks such as filing and record keeping. An executive assistant will likely oversee the office space, and is therefore in charge of ensuring everything is kept tidy and operations are running smoothly. They also make sure that the office is supplied with everything it needs.


Whether an executive assistant assists just one or several people, they tend to be in charge of managing schedules. Formulating a schedule can include setting meetings with clients, other team members, or other companies, while also making sure that none of these conflict and leave the executives time for their other work. They also frequently schedule business trips, taking care of meetings, flight times, and hotels.

Providing scheduling assistance takes a load off the work of the executives they support, so though this task may seem small it shouldn’t be undervalued.

Company Representation

Along the lines of providing the face of the front office, executive assistants are often responsible for providing positive company representation both directly and indirectly. By providing friendly and helpful customer assistance, executive assistants thus promote a positive public image. They provide the frontlines of communication both in-office and on the phone, so it is important that they make a good first impression for the company.

Executive assistants are also often responsible for interacting with other business professionals, and therefore must provide quality and professional company representation in this aspect as well.


Lady talking on phone

As touched on above, executive assistants provide early company representation because they’re the first line of communication for many trying to get in contact with the company. Channeling communication is another seemingly simple but very important function of an executive assistant, allowing the executives they’re assisting to only have to deal with matters that specifically require their attention and freeing up a lot of work time.

Executive assistants will answer the company phone, respond to emails, and even draft general copy and correspondence in the forms of reminder emails and newsletters. It is therefore important that executive assistants are not only personable, but also have good written communication skills.

Report Preparation

Now we’ll dive a little deeper into tasks that are a bit more geared toward executive assistants specifically. Dealing with company data and forming reports are part of what set executive assistants apart from lower-level assistants. They’ll typically spend time dealing with company databases and analytics, compiling them into reports for the executives they’re supporting so that they have the information they need.

Executive assistants may also create reports on a variety of topics that aren’t directly related to the company’s business data. These may concern competitors, other businesses they intend to meet with, or whatever else the executive might request.

In addition to taking information and synthesizing it into a report for short-term use, executive assistants are also in charge of record keeping to make sure all that information is safely stored and on hand at a moment’s notice.

Holding Confidential Information

Executive assistants work very closely with the executives they support. As a consequence, they sometimes become privy to very sensitive information. This information may concern on-going business deals or even such internal drama as layoffs. Whatever the case, executive assistants are expected to keep this information confidential.

Additional Duties Assigned

Due to the nature of different companies, every executive assistant job is a little different. They may be asked to do a variety of specific tasks at any given time, such as event preparation, media outreach, training other assistants, and more. Executive assistants must, therefore, be very flexible and prepared to work with anything that’s thrown at them.

Job Satisfaction

Most executive assistants find their work very satisfying. They see how their work influences the functioning of the company on a day-to-day basis, and this translates into fulfilling work. Of course, there’s always the risk of working for a less-than-ideal boss, so it’s important for executive assistants to find an environment where they are appreciated and are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

What it Takes to Become an Executive Assistant

a lady executive assistant

A bachelor’s degree isn’t always required to become an executive assistant, but it certainly can’t hurt your likelihood of getting a job. Some employers also specifically require a degree. Aside from education, those looking to advance to an executive assistant position should typically have at least three years of working as an assistant in a professional environment.

Necessary skills include excellent oral and written communication, experience with computer programs such as Microsoft Office, good time management, organizational skills, and whatever else a company might request.

Job Market

Unfortunately, with technology increasingly taking over, the assistant positions available are decreasing. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t have information for executive assistants specifically in terms of job growth, they expect that assistant positions in general will decrease by 5% between 2016-2026.

So, if you’re looking into becoming an executive assistant, make sure that you have the skills, education, and experience necessary to set you apart from the rest of the applicants looking for increasingly limited positions.

Executive Assistant Salary Range

While the average executive assistant salary is $59,400, the general range of most salaries is from $36,261 to $75,727. This is largely affected not only by location but also by the company they’re working for. A large corporation, for instance, will naturally have more funds allocated to an executive assistant than a smaller business likely will.

Highest Executive Assistant Employment Levels by State

Executive Assistant Employment Levels by State

If you’re intending to go into a profession that it is declining, it’s more important than ever that you’re in a location where more of these positions are available. Listed below are the states with the highest amounts of executive assistants as of May 2017.

Highest Executive Assistant Salaries by State

highest salary as executive assistant

In addition to knowing where you can get hired, of course, you want to know where you should get hired. Here are the top five highest paying states for executive assistants.

Highest Executive Assistant Salaries by Metropolitan Area

Executive assistants salary in metropolitan

Not all the top-paying states house the top-paying cities. Take a look at these metropolitan areas that offer the highest executive assistant salaries.

Final Thoughts on Executive Assistants

Executive assistants bring a lot of valuable skills to the table. They make the jobs of their employers significantly easier, and their work ensures the continued smooth operation of the company. With technology increasingly taking over, however, assistant positions in general are on the decline. Therefore, if you’re looking into becoming an executive assistant, it’s a good job with decent pay, but you should be fully aware of the difficult job market. To make yourself stand out from the crowd, be sure to lead with a confident personality and brush up on your software knowledge.

neurosurgeon salary

Neurosurgeon Salary – How Much Do They Make?

Taking a look at the average neurosurgeon’s salary will likely make your jaw drop. While surgeons in general are among the highest-paying categories of careers, neurosurgeons top that list, making on average of $583,583 as of 2018 according to the national data compiled by

And it’s no surprise: To become a neurosurgeon, the doctors must go through intensive schooling and six to seven years of residency before finally being a neurosurgeon in full. Neurosurgeons work on the organ of greatest importance and complexity: the brain. Therefore, they require extensive training, both mentally and physically. It is imperative that a neurosurgeon has steady hands.

Most current neurosurgeons have been in the game for a while. According to the data gathered by, over 49 percent of currently working doctors have over 10 years of experience, 19 percent of which have over 20 years of experience. Naturally, those doctors that are more experienced earn higher pay, increasing the median salary of neurosurgeons reported.

Neurology is a very difficult and precise science where mistakes cannot be afforded, and that’s why only the best make the cut and earn that top-notch salary.

What Do Neurosurgeons Do?

Neurosurgeons are brain specialists, treating and operating on the most important human organ. The typical work of a neurosurgeon includes operating on the brain to remove tumors, work on vascular systems, treat pain, and treat neurological diseases such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. In addition to their focus on the brain, neurosurgeons also treat and operate on the spinal cord and any peripheral nerves that might be impacting the brain or causing neurological problems.

Lead neurosurgeons are likewise responsible for directing a team while operating, ensuring that everyone is working smoothly together and that no mistakes are made. While operating, a neurosurgeon must make sure that their hands are very steady and precise. One false move even a fraction of a centimeter off could cause severe damage on such a complex and critical organ as the brain. For this reason, all neurosurgeons must be in possession of superb manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination.

Outside of the operating room, neurosurgeons are responsible for diagnosing their patients prior to operating. Diagnosis is just as critical as operating itself—an incorrect diagnosis can lead to further damage or a problem left untreated. So, in addition to being smooth and collected during surgery, brain surgeons need to be very knowledgeable about the brain and its maladies in the first place to back it up.

What Does it Take to Become a Neurosurgeon?

Lots and lots of schooling and training, that’s what. After completing a four-year undergrad degree, neurosurgeons go to medical school for another four years. After that, they then take on a residency position for another six to seven years before officially becoming an independent and licensed neurosurgeon.

a fractured leg

The first year of the residency is geared towards training, while the years following are more focused on hands-on action and learning through experience. Some residency programs require that their neurosurgeon-trainees pass the standard exam provided by the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) to become fully certified. Lots of residents also spend a year of their residency devoted to research.

Aside from the schooling and smarts required, it is also imperative that neurosurgeons have excellent hand-eye coordination and dexterity to be an effective physician.

A lot of work and effort goes into becoming a neurosurgeon, and certainly not everyone can do it. That’s why the neurosurgeon salary is immensely high.

The Demand for Neurosurgeons

Demand for Neurosurgeons

The demand for neurosurgeons is actually quite high. As mentioned above, not everyone is fit to be a neurosurgeon, and even fewer go through all the schooling and residency requirements to make it happen. And so, the high salary for neurosurgeons makes even more sense: With a high demand and little supply, this is a naturally well-paid position.

The market for neurosurgeons and surgeons in general is increasing. Between the years of 2016 to 2026, there is an estimated job growth of 13% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, if you have a sharp mind and steady hands and plan to begin a medical profession in the next ten years, you might want to consider becoming a neurosurgeon.

Neurosurgeon Salary Range

Salary Range

While the national average of a neurosurgeon’s salary is $583,583, most fall within the range of $439,315 to $738,493. This isn’t a comprehensive range, with some neurosurgeons’ salaries falling below or even rising above it, but those are the outliers.

Salary Factors

There are, of course, multiple factors that affect a neurosurgeon’s salary.


Perhaps the biggest factor is years of experience, and rightly so. While a starting neurosurgeon may make around $300,000 or so a year, within five or six years this will have drastically grown to potentially almost double that.

Training and Specialization

Further training and knowledge, of course, make a neurosurgeon more valuable. If they go through special training programs, their value is sure to increase. While neurosurgery is already a specialized field, some specialize even further. This specialization in a particular area can drastically increase the salary of a neurosurgeon.


Location is an obvious factor. Different states and even different cities within those states have largely varying economies and demands, so these regional factors can have a decent impact on salaries. Furthermore, the actual physical type of hospital that neurosurgeon works in can have a great effect on their salary: a neurosurgeon would be likely to earn more in a specialty or private hospital, for instance, than in a public one.

How Neurosurgeon Salaries Compare to the Surgeon Salary Average

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary of a general surgeon is $208,000. While this is certainly no small number, it is much lower salary than average neurosurgeon salary of $583,583.

Top 5 Neurosurgeon Average Salaries by State

Average Salaries

As mentioned above, neurosurgeon salaries, just like those of any other profession, can be subject to location. Listed below are the five states that have reported the highest average neurosurgeon salary.

  • California
  • New York
  • Florida
  • Massachusetts
  • Illinois

Though pay can still vary greatly between multiple cities within each state, these states still maintain an average salary well above the national average in their major cities.

Top 5 Neurosurgeon Average Salaries by City

Neurosurgeon Average

Of course, the pay in individual cities can differ greatly from that of their overall state, but some of the top paying cities on this list do match with their top-listed state above. The cities with the highest average neurosurgeon salary according to research conducted by SumoSurvey are:

  • San Jose, CA: $641,308
  • New York, NY: $640,656
  • Los Angeles, CA: $595,722
  • Boston, MA: $586,811
  • Chicago, IL: $571,380

Neurosurgery Specializations

We mentioned earlier how one way to make more even more money as a neurosurgeon is by specializing in a particular subfield. But what are those subfields, and what does each entail?

1. Pediatrics


Most of the specializations you’ll see on this list revolve around a particular type of procedure or practice, but in this case, it revolves around the type of patient. Children’s brains are still developing as they grow, and because their brains are a bit smaller and more susceptible to change, neurosurgeons have to be extra careful when treating children. That’s why pediatrics in neurology falls under its own specialization, and an important one at that. Aside from treating head injuries and brain illnesses, neurosurgeons who specialize in pediatrics also treat birth defects.

2. Cerebrovascular

consulting a physician

Those who specialize in cerebrovascular surgery focus on the circulatory system of the brain. They monitor and adjust the brain’s blood flow to treat and prevent strokes and aneurisms.

3. Spine and Nerves


Of course, the brain is made of nerves, and it has a close relationship with the spinal cord. Those that specialize in spine and nerves, then, are looking closely at the brains relationship with the body. They treat and prevent spinal conditions such as paralysis and other nerve impairments that are connected to the brain.

4. Trauma


Neurosurgeons who specialize in neuro-trauma also have a close relationship with the spine. They treat patients who have recently undergone an accident and work to minimize damage to the brain and nervous system. They also treat patients that are in critical care.

5. Oncology

spine check up

An oncologist is the type of doctor you seek out if you find out you have cancer. A neurosurgeon with a specialization in oncology, then, works specifically on brain tumors. While all neurosurgeons have some background in this capacity, those who have studied and researched oncology deeply are of course preferred for such a sensitive manner and are therefore well-paid and in high demand.

Final Thoughts on Neurosurgeons

There’s no denying that neurosurgeons are paid an outrageous amount, but it is because they likewise have a high value and are in demand. Neurosurgeons go through vigorous training before they are certified, including extensive education and a long residency term, to ensure that they are as ready and capable as possible to treat patients on their own. Not many are fit to be a neurosurgeon, but if you have the skillset for it this might be a career path to consider, especially since its undergoing great amounts of job growth.

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Actuary Salary – Highest Actuary Employment Levels and Salaries by State

One job in the business world that is often overlooked is that of the actuary. Actuaries are business professionals who analyze statistics to determine the best risk management plans and policies. Actuaries make a pretty comfortable wage – the average salary for an actuary being recorded as $101,560 per year as of May 2017 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Actuaries are well-educated, typically having studied actuary sciences while in school. They can be imperative to a business’ success by providing sound advice through statistical analysis and knowledge of current trends. Actuaries are particularly valuable to insurance companies, though they also frequently work on a consulting basis.

Your typical actuary will have several years of experience, though this is a position that is continually rising so there are a lot of new faces out there just getting started. As of 2018, over 48% of actuaries have a minimum of five years of experience, while 20% have at least ten years, and 8% have over twenty years, according to data compiled by

This is a male-dominated field, but the proportionate percentage of women in this role is definitely on the rise.

What is an Actuary and What Do They Do?

An actuary is a business professional who analyzes the latest statistics and trends to provide the best advice for their clients. Actuaries typically deal in risk management and mitigation, as well as measurement of costs and the likelihood of incidents happening in the first place.

The typical place for an actuary to work for is an insurance company—this follows natural logic, as the backbone of insurance companies is determining the likelihood of risks and what rates they should charge to cover them, or whether or not they will cover them at all if the risk is determined to be too high.

Insurance companies, of course, are not the only setting where an actuary can hope to apply their skills. By working with business clients, they can put their statistical and risk analysis skills to good use by consulting about different business strategies and investing options. Many actuaries work in a consulting fashion, working with their own set of clients. This can be more fun as you get to choose who you work with and develop close personal relationships with them. Working with certain clients may also require traveling, which can be considered as a great perk.

Some actuaries also choose to apply these skills by helping the everyday man. They offer consulting services to help adults plan out how best to invest in their retirement.

The Life of an Actuary

Actuaries seem to greatly enjoy their line of work. This is largely due to a feeling of satisfaction and impact—what they do matters. Important companies value their opinions, and they will consult with them before moving forward. They are also the minds that drive the function of insurance companies. The work of actuaries provides real, tangible results as they help shape the business world and make their clients succeed.


Without actuaries, there would be a dearth of knowledge and the statistical foundation upon which businesses rest would become unstable. Actuaries ensure the financial security of the business world. This knowledge and satisfaction make the intellectually stimulating work of actuaries well worth it.

Actuaries also express happiness with this role because of the work setting and atmosphere. Actuaries are needed everywhere, so this is a job that can move for you, rather than the other way around. Current actuaries report a low-stress work environment and a healthy work-life balance, and they have a comfortable salary to boot.

How to Become an Actuary

The first step to becoming an actuary is obtaining a bachelor’s degree. A great major to have is actuarial science, as this naturally trains and educates you for the job. Seeing as this is a fairly specialized major, however, many colleges might not offer it. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to major in another area with a quantitative focus such as math, computer science, finance, or a related field. If possible, try to gain some internship experience as an actuary while in school.

Once you’ve obtained your degree you may need to take a few extra relevant courses or trainings, depending on the qualifications necessary of where you’re applying.

graduation day

You’ll need to take an exam or two to become certified and apply for membership with an actuarial establishment. Once you’ve proven that your certified and well-qualified, you can begin the process of finding a job as an actuary.

It’s probably best that you look first in insurance and corporate settings for beginning your career. Once you’ve proven yourself and gained some experience, you can try to branch out and do consulting if that’s more your style.

Job Market

young executives

The job market for actuaries is actually pretty great as more and more businesses are recognizing the value of consulting with an actuary for before making any decisions. The actuary position is consistently ranked among top jobs in the United States. The market is quickly and drastically growing, too. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that they expect to see a 22% growth in this job between 2016-2026, which is much higher than the national average, which is only 7%.

Actuary Salary Range

dollar bills

While the average salary of an actuary in the US is $101,560 per year, the majority of salaries fall somewhere in the range of $50,141 – $145,810. Starting out, actuaries tend to earn between $45-$50,000, according to research conducted by CNN.

Salary Factors

As with any job, there are a variety of factors that account for the differences in salary between people of similar positions. Listed below are some of the primary factors that affect actuary salaries.


This is, of course, a huge factor in the salary level of an actuary. For a position like this in particular, where the work is all real-world application, you need the experience and the positive track record to show that you know what you’re doing and are worth the money.

statistical data on iPad

The entry-level salary of an actuary is still pretty good, but once you’ve got a few years of good experience under your belt you can expect it to drastically increase.


location symbol

Location is another prominent factor in salary discrepancy. Both the general economy of each state and the need for actuaries in it play a key role in determining salary.

Work Environment


The environment where you apply your actuary skills also has an impact on salary. For instance, an actuary can work for an insurance firm, in a corporate setting, or as a consultant. Within each of these categories are further subcategories, such as how large the business is the actuary is working for. The salary of an actuary consultant has a particularly wide range, due to the nature of working with different sets of clients and setting an independent schedule.

Highest Actuary Employment Levels by State


Of course, it’s not enough just to be certified as an actuary. They need to find employment, too. Below are listed the states that have the highest actuary employment levels as compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.

  • New York: 2,580
  • Pennsylvania: 1,450
  • Illinois: 1,320
  • California: 1,200
  • Ohio: 1,190

Highest Actuary Salaries by State


As we noted above, the job’s location can greatly affect salaries. Here are the top five highest paying average salaries of actuaries by state.

  • New York: $145,180
  • District of Columbia: $127,960
  • Connecticut: $127,380
  • Georgia: $127,380
  • Washington: $121,330

Highest Actuary Salaries by Metropolitan Area


A state’s overall average salary can be greatly influenced by the average of its main cities and metropolitan areas, though sometimes these don’t quite match up and there’s a big difference between state and city. So, it’s worth noting what cities, rather than states, have the highest earning actuaries on average.

  • New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division: $146,740
  • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $145,560
  • Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY: $132,820
  • San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Division: $132,750
  • Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, PA Metropolitan Division: $130,750

Final Thoughts on Actuaries

All in all, being an actuary seems like a pretty sweet gig. There’s generally high satisfaction among those that work this job, the least of which has to do with the high paying actuary salary. Actuaries love their job because it is intellectually stimulating, often flexible, and the work they do matters.

If you’re looking into becoming an actuary, make sure that for your bachelor’s degree, you major in something quantitative. Or, if you’ve already gone through schooling and are looking to make a career change, consider taking business, finance, and statistics courses to increase your knowledge and prepare you for the actuary exams.

Great places to be as an actuary are naturally some of the bigger cities and populous states in the country, New York topping the list in terms of state and city wages in addition to employment levels.

The actuary career is on the rise, so don’t be afraid to jump in and be a part of it.