10 Jobs You Thought Would Pay More

police officerEveryone has a different idea of what's a good or bad salary. Some people are happy just to make ends meet. Others won't settle for less than six figures. A lot of factors go into what makes a salary seem reasonable.

Therefore you can't really classify any single salary as high or low without bringing in your own bias. That said, sometimes salaries just don't seem large enough. We put together a list of 10 jobs that have salaries we thought would be bigger. Don't mistake these jobs for having salaries that are impossible to live on; instead, these are salaries that seem too low for the amount of work, time or risk they involve.

Here are 10 jobs we thought would pay more:

1. Court reporters transcribe arguments during trials, mediations and other legal proceedings.

What they earn: $48,968/year

Why it's surprising: Legal matters are important, and having an accurate record of what occurs is vital to almost any proceeding. Court reporters have to be attentive, speedy and accurate. That's not easy.

2. Dry cleaners get those stubborn stains out of our clothing when at-home scrubbing just won't do. Plus, they press our work clothes and formal attire so we look presentable in public and not like we're wearing wrinkled tissue paper.

What they earn: $22,641/year

Why it's surprising: Have you seen how much laundry your average dry cleaner is dealing with? Not to mention the fact that most people take their garments at the last minute, so the turnaround is usually very quick.

3. Maidsand housekeeping cleaners are responsible for cleaning up the messes we make at hotels and homes. They empty the trash, replace the linens and do other chores that make homes and workplaces livable.

What they earn: $23,922/year

Why it's surprising: It's common knowledge that maids and housekeepers don't earn as much as other occupations, but we'd probably expect someone whose job involves so much labor to be paid more.

4. Middle school teachers instruct children in grades six through eight. They sometimes specialize in one course, but often teach several.

What they earn: $50,963/year

Why it's surprising: Have you spent any time with an adolescent or teenager lately? Could you handle being trapped in a room with dozens of them, much less trying to keep them focused so you can teach them? A Nobel Peace Prize should be included in their compensation. Not to mention the amount of education most teachers are required to have, and they are usually required to take development courses every few years.

5. Paramedics respond to emergencies and provide medical care on-site. They also transport patients to health-care facilities if necessary.

What they earn: $46,184/year

Why it's surprising: Although putting a price on saving a life seems impossible, you would expect a paramedic's salary to be a bit higher.

6. Police officers protect citizens from criminals and help enforce laws that keep us safe.

What they earn: $53,428/year

Why it's surprising: Their lives are on the line and they never know what they're getting into. It's hard to imagine many jobs that deserve better pay.

7. Rehabilitation counselors work with patients to treat disabilities, which can range from social to physical ailments. They work closely with the patients' other health-care specialists to ensure they're making progress.

What they earn: $27,617/year

Why it's surprising: Rehabilitation workers are dealing with important issues that affect patients' lives in a significant way and often have irregular work hours.

8. Security guards keep watch over businesses, merchandise and buildings. They make sure no one steals items or breaks into closed offices.

What they earn: $33,195/year

Why it's surprising:Security guards have to be on the lookout at all times, and may be standing for their shifts. Their jobs involve little relaxation.

9. Teacher assistants do just what their title says -- they help teachers. They often help students with some basic tasks or grade papers and prepare materials so teachers can focus on more demanding issues.

What they earn: $24,448/year

Why it's surprising: Although these are assistants and not teachers, and therefore their education and experience requirements are less demanding, they are still highly involved in educating students and not paid as competitively as expected.

10. Veterinary assistants help veterinarians with caring for a variety of animals, which includes helping with examinations and treatments.

What they earn: $32,584/year

Why it's surprising: Animals aren't the easiest patients to deal with. They're finicky, often dangerous and definitely not something just anyone can handle.

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