12 jobs that pay less than you'd expect
Sometimes, despite the importance of the role or the average salary within an industry, the pay for certain jobs just doesn't meet expectations.
Take childcare workers for example. As advocates for The Fight for $15 point out, research by the University of California, Berkeley's Center for the Study of Child Care Employment shows that childcare workers have experienced no increase in real wages since 1997, even though the cost to parents for early childhood care has nearly doubled since then.
Based on Glassdoor's list, as well as independent research using the Bureau of Labor Statistic's occupational data, here are 12 jobs that pay less than you'd expect (all salary data came from the BLS):
Average annual salary: $22,310
Child care is the biggest budget item for most families, and in a sad twist of ironies, many childcare workers, whom parents trust with their kids' lives for several hours a day, often can't afford child care for their own children. On average, child care workers earn almost 54% less than the average American worker ($48,320).
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Average annual salary: $35,430
Glassdoor's salary insight: If you think working in healthcare will bring in a big payday, that's not the case for every job. Paramedics, who are typically first to respond and treat people when emergencies happen, earn $36,000, substantially less than a physician ($175,929) or registered nurse ($63,070). However, a college degree is not required for this position, though specialized training is to be licensed and certified.
Average annual salary: $38,040
These professionals, many of whom have master's degrees or higher, work with people who have physical, mental, developmental, and emotional disabilities to help them become more independent and employable. While extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for the job, they make on average 21% less than the average American worker ($48,320).
Child, family, and school social workers
Average annual salary: $46,610
These social workers have the particularly difficult tasks of helping parents improve the social, psychological, and academic functioning of their kids, arranging adoptions, and finding foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they may address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. Even so, child, family, and school social workers make less than the average American worker ($48,320).
Chief executive officer
Average annual salary: $185,850
Glassdoor's salary insight: While CEOs at dozens of the world's biggest brands rake in more than $20 million each year, the average CEO earns far less. While these multi-million dollar leaders may get most of the attention, consider that most businesses in the US (89.6%) are actually very small companies, with less than 20 employees. Someone is still in charge — and still earning a handsome paycheck — just not several millions of dollars in most cases.
Average annual salary: $72,030
Glassdoor's salary insight: Though a food scientist's job is to enhance food products and make sure they're safe to eat, they bring in less than what the average life scientist ($81,920) or physical scientist ($85,180) earns. To get hired, a college degree is required and a master's degree is preferred, as this job combines biology, chemical engineering, and biochemistry.
Elementary school teacher
Average annual salary: $57,730
Glassdoor's salary insight: Tasked with educating today's young minds to help them grow into tomorrow's leaders, elementary school teachers earn $57,730 per year, less than their middle school teacher ($58,760 ) counterparts. Many people believe teachers at all levels should be paid more. Teachers and supporters at school districts from California to Virginia have already demonstrated for pay raises this year alone.
Graduate teaching assistant
Average annual salary: $32,510
Though they are often tasked with assisting college faculty in teaching lower level courses, developing teaching materials, preparing and giving exams, and grading exams and papers, and despite the fact that they have already acquired a bachelor's degree and must be actively pursuing a graduate degree, TAs make far less than the average college professor ($77,480).
Average annual salary: 27,580
These healthcare support workers who tend to the non-medical care of patients like transporting them to operating rooms or x-ray rooms earn 65% less than healthcare practitioners and technicians ($77,800) and about 40% less than the average working American ($48,320).
Home health aides
Average annual salary: $22,870
Though they work in the healthcare field, home health aides earn $22,870 for providing individualized healthcare to the elderly, convalescents, or persons with disabilities at their home or in a care facility.
President of the United States
Annual salary: $400,000
Considering the importance and difficulties of the job, you might think that the leader of the free world would also get paid the most in the US — but you'd be wrong.
News reporter or correspondent
Average annual salary: $46,560
Glassdoor's salary insight: You trust them to bring you the latest news as it happens — day or night, 365 days of the year — but the average news reporter earns less than the average working American ($48,320). With the rise of non-traditional ways to consume news these days, news reporter jobs are expected to decrease by 9% through 2024.
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