The 10 low­est pay­ing jobs in the U.S. for col­lege grad­u­ates

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The health of the job mar­ket cer­tainly has an im­pact on start­ing salaries of stu­dents, but some peo­ple will­ingly choose ca­reers that gen­er­ally do not pay well. 24/7 Wall St. re­viewed wage data from the Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics’ (BLS) Oc­cu­pa­tional Em­ploy­ment Statis­tics (OES) data­base to iden­tify the ten oc­cu­pa­tions that re­quire at least a bach­e­lor’s de­gree and pay the least.

Hav­ing a de­gree typ­i­cally im­proves the earn­ings prospects of grad­u­ates, yet many of th­ese oc­cu­pa­tions paid lit­tle more, if not less, than the me­dian for all jobs in 2013.

While the typ­i­cal Amer­i­can worker earned $35,080 in 2013, only one of the low­est-pay­ing jobs for col­lege grad­u­ates, mu­seum tech­ni­cians and con­ser­va­tors, paid a me­dian wage of more than $40,000 last year. Legislators, whose oc­cu­pa­tion was the low­est­pay­ing for col­lege grad­u­ates, had a me­dian pay of just $20,620.

Many work­ers in th­ese rel­a­tively low-pay­ing jobs may be mo­ti­vated by fac­tors other than pay. Mu­seum tech­ni­cians likely choose their pro­fes­sion be­cause they have some in­ter­est in pre­serv­ing items. Sim­i­larly, re­li­gious direc­tors, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion coun­selors and recre­ation work­ers may be more in­clined to help peo­ple. Ac­cord­ing to Martin Kohli, chief re­gional economist with the BLS, “There are al­ways go­ing to be peo­ple who choose ca­reers for rea­sons other than money.”

Other jobs, such as grad­u­ate teach­ing as­sis­tants, are tem­po­rary. “Those are things that peo­ple typ­i­cally do for a year or two [be­fore] they will hope­fully go on and grad­u­ate,” said Kohli.

To iden­tify the jobs that re­quire the most ed­u­ca­tion but pay the least, 24/7 Wall St. re­viewed wage and em­ploy­ment data from the Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics’ 2013 Oc­cu­pa­tional Em­ploy­ment Statis­tics data­base and job de­scrip­tions from the Oc­cu­pa­tional Out­look Hand­book. We screened for jobs that re­quire at least a bach­e­lor’s de­gree, ac­cord­ing to the BLS. We also looked at job de­scrip­tions from the O*Net On­line data­base, an oc­cu­pa­tional in­for­ma­tion data­base de­vel­oped by the Depart­ment of La­bor. Fig­ures from the OES do not ac­count for self-em­ployed work­ers.

Th­ese are the jobs that re­quire the most ed­u­ca­tion and pay the least.

1. Mu­seum Tech­ni­cians and Con­ser­va­tors (me­dian in­come: $40,020, bot­tom decile in­come: $23,440)

Mu­seum tech­ni­cians, also known as regis­trars, pre­pare and care for mu­seum items, while con­ser­va­tors pre­serve and treat the ar­ti­facts and spec­i­mens. Na­tion­ally, there are only 9,860 peo­ple em­ployed in th­ese po­si­tions. While both re­quire at least a bach­e­lor’s de­gree spe­cific to the type of mu­seum, as well as sig­nif­i­cant ex­pe­ri­ence, em­ploy­ers of­ten look for con­ser­va­tors with a master’s de­gree in con­ser­va­tion. Grad­u­ate pro­grams in mu­seum con­ser­va­tion, how­ever, are rel­a­tively rare in the United States. And yet, tech­ni­cians and con­ser­va­tors re­ceive low com­pen­sa­tion rel­a­tive to their ed­u­ca­tion.

2. Direc­tors Ed­u­ca­tion $18,780) of Re­li­gious Ac­tiv­i­ties and ($38,160, bot­tom decile:

In ad­di­tion to cre­at­ing ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams and lead­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for a re­li­gious con­gre­ga­tion, direc­tors of re­li­gious ac­tiv­i­ties and ed­u­ca­tion may also pro­vide health, mar­i­tal and re­li­gious coun­sel­ing. While they were typ­i­cally paid only $38,000 last year, em­ploy­ers usu­ally look for at least a bach­e­lor’s de­gree and prior ex­pe­ri­ence. Yet, out­side of re­li­gious or­ga­ni­za­tions, this po­si­tion shows more prom­ise. For in­stance, re­li­gious direc­tors work­ing for so­cial ad­vo­cacy groups earned far more than those em­ployed by re­li­gious groups.

3. Re­porters and Cor­re­spon­dents ($35,600, bot­tom decile: $20,710)

The job out­look for re­porters and cor­re­spon­dents is not es­pe­cially op­ti­mistic. Tra­di­tional me­dia al­ready suf­fered a se­vere blow with the dawn of the In­ter­net. Rev­enue is ex­pected to con­tinue to de­cline and, com­bined with con­sol­i­da­tion, the num­ber of re­porter jobs is ex­pected to con­sid­er­ably drop be­tween 2012 and 2022. Pay is also hardly stel­lar, with a typ­i­cal re­porter or cor­re­spon­dent earn­ing just $35,600 last year, or only slightly above the me­dian for all oc­cu­pa­tions. Re­porters and cor­re­spon­dents usu­ally have a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in a field such as jour­nal­ism or com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and many em­ploy­ers look for on-cam­pus ex­pe­ri­ence such as work­ing for a col­lege ra­dio sta­tion or news­pa­per. A rel­a­tively high num­ber of re­porters are also self-em­ployed - 13% as of 2012 - and take on free­lance work.

4. Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Coun­selors bot­tom decile: $21,170)

Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion coun­selors help peo­ple with emo­tional and phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties cope with every­day life. Be­com­ing a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion coun­selor of­ten re­quires a master’s de­gree and a state li­cense that calls for be­tween 2,000 to 4,000 hours of su­per­vised clin­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. Ad­di­tion­ally, can­di­dates must pass a writ­ten exam and com­plete con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion cred­its each year. Be­com­ing a Cer­ti­fied Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Coun­selor, a des­ig­na­tion some em­ploy­ers re­quire, in­volves fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion and clin­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. Even after re­ceiv­ing a master’s de­gree and gain­ing the nec­es­sary ex­pe­ri­ence, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion coun­selors earned a me­dian in­come of $34,230 in 2013, just be­low the na­tional me­dian in­come of $35,080.

5. Proof­read­ers and Copy Mark­ers ($33,130, bot­tom decile: $19,430)

Proof­read­ers and copy mark­ers mostly work in the news­pa­per and book pub­lish­ing in­dus­tries. Their jobs re­quire them to iden­tify and cor­rect gram­mat­i­cal, ty­po­graph­i­cal or com­po­si­tional er­rors. There were roughly 11,000 proof­read­ers and copy mark­ers em­ployed in the coun­try in 2013, not count­ing those who were self-em­ployed. In the same year, me­dian in­comes of proof­read­ers and copy mark­ers were slightly more than $33,000, be­low the na­tional me­dian earn­ings for all oc­cu­pa­tions. The top 10% of earn­ers in this field fared slightly bet­ter, mak­ing at least $54,620.

6. Grad­u­ate Teach­ing As­sis­tants ($29,950, bot­tom decile: $17,730)

Grad­u­ate teach­ing as­sis­tants help col­lege and univer­sity fac­ulty by teach­ing lower-level classes as well as by pre­par­ing and grad­ing exams. Teach­ing as­sis­tants are typ­i­cally not paid ex­cep­tion­ally well.

The me­dian pay for a teach­ing as­sis­tant was just less than $30,000 in 2013. How­ever, as the BLS’ Kohli said, grad­u­ate stu­dents do not gen­er­ally make a ca­reer out of be­ing a teach­ing as­sis­tant. Kohli noted that grad­u­ates typ­i­cally find other jobs after they com­plete their grad­u­ate pro­gram.

7. Coaches and Scouts ($29,150, bot­tom decile: $17,340)

Not only are coaches and scouts re­quired to reach a high level of ed­u­ca­tional at­tain­ment, but they also of­ten work long and ir­reg­u­lar hours. Many coaches have of­ten played their sport at a high level, such as in col­lege or pro­fes­sion­ally. A coach or scout will typ­i­cally work well over 40 hours a week, es­pe­cially dur­ing the sports sea­son. Ad­di­tion­ally, coaches also work evenings, week­ends and hol­i­days. And yet, coaches earned a me­dian salary of just $29,150 last year. The BLS es­ti­mates that more 200,000 peo­ple were em­ployed in this field as of 2013, the majority of whom worked for ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions.

8. Ra­dio and Tele­vi­sion An­nounc­ers ($29,020, bot­tom decile: $17,450)

Ra­dio and tele­vi­sion an­nounc­ers typ­i­cally hold a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in jour­nal­ism, broad­cast­ing or com­mu­ni­ca­tions and must have sig­nif­i­cant work ex­pe­ri­ence to de­velop their on-air per­son­al­i­ties. De­spite the nec­es­sary ex­pe­ri­ence, ra­dio and tele­vi­sion an­nounc­ers earned a me­dian in­come of a lit­tle more than $29,000 in 2013, be­low the na­tional me­dian of $35,080. In­come fig­ures may be skewed by the fact that many an­nounc­ers work part time, and by the fact that nearly one­fourth were self-em­ployed as of 2012.

9. Recre­ation Work­ers decile: $16,990)

($22,390,

bot­tom

Recre­ation work­ers lead leisure ac­tiv­i­ties for groups in play­grounds, parks, camps and se­nior cen­ters. The roughly 317,000 recre­ation work­ers in the United States earned a me­dian salary of $22,390 in 2013. Only half of all recre­ation work­ers were em­ployed full time as of 2012. And while many em­ploy­ers re­quire that recre­ation work­ers have a bach­e­lor’s de­gree, they may also re­quire ad­di­tional cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for life­guard­ing, CPR or first aid. Camp coun­selors, a sub­set of recre­ation work­ers, of­ten­times work ir­reg­u­lar hours or are only sea­son­ally em­ployed.

10. Legislators $16,620)

($20,620,

bot­tom

decile:

Legislators in­clude all elected of­fi­cials who de­velop and pass laws at lo­cal, tribal, state and fed­eral lev­els. Typ­i­cally, legislators have at least a bach­e­lor’s de­gree and gain ex­pe­ri­ence on the job. The me­dian salary of a leg­is­la­tor in 2013 was $20,620. The range of pay for legislators varies con­sid­er­ably, with mem­bers of Congress earn­ing $174,000 per year, while legislators in New Hamp­shire earn just $100 each year. There were roughly 56,000 legislators em­ployed in the coun­try as of 2013.

Re­porters are paid much less than what they risk their life for

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