Darn I Didn’t Make This List: The Top 10 Overpaid Jobs

by Michael Haberman on April 11, 2008 · 0 comments


Looking back through some old newsletter mail, I ran across this BLR article reporting on an article in CareerJournal.com. It was written by Chris Pummer of MarketWatch. The title of his December 2007 article was “The 10 Most Overpaid U.S. Jobs And the Little Effort They Require.” His list looks like this (and includes some of his comments)(mine are included in bold):

  1. Mutual fund managers (Does anyone actually understand what they do?)
  2. Washed-up pro athletes in long-term contracts (Whoa, this hits home as a Braves fan ala Mike Hampton)
  3. CEOs of poorly performing companies. “These long-time losers draw multimillion-dollar severance packages as a reward for their failed stewardship.” (Again hits home here in Atlanta with Home Depot.. watch out GM!)
  4. Orthodontists. “This isn’t brain surgery: Orthodontists simply manipulate teeth in a growing child’s mouth — and often leave adjustment work to assistants whose handiwork they merely sign off on.”
  5. Motivational speakers and ex-politicians on the lecture circuit. “Former President Reagan raised the bar back in 1989 when he took $2 million from Japanese business groups for making two speeches.” (This is the one I really wanted to do!)
  6. Real estate agents selling high-end homes. “While most agents hustle tail to earn $60,000 a year, those in affluent areas can pull down $200,000-plus for half the effort, courtesy of the fatter commissions on pricier listings.” (Well we know Real Estate is location, location, location. Guess that applies to where the real estate agent lives too.)
  7. Skycaps at major airports. “Many of the uniformed baggage handlers who check in luggage at curbside at the busiest metro airports pull in $70,000 to $100,000 a year–most of it in cash.” (See how this one turned into a lawsuit at Kris Dunn’s blog.)
  8. West Coast longshoremen. “Unlike their East Coast union brethren who compete with non-union ports in the South and Gulf of Mexico, the West Coast stevedores have an ironfisted lock on Pacific ports. Given their rare monopoly, they can disrupt U.S. commerce…and command exorbitant wages…”
  9. Major airline pilots. “The pilot’s unions are the most powerful in the industry…In what amounts to a per-passenger commission, the larger the plane, the more they earn–even though it takes little more skill to pilot a jumbo jet.”
  10. Wedding photographers. “Photographers earn a national average of $1,900 for a wedding, though many charge $2,500 to $5,000 for a one-day shoot, client meeting and processing time that runs up to 20 hours or more, and the cost of materials. The overpaid ones are the many who admit they only do weddings for the income, while quietly complaining about the hassle of dealing with hysterical brides and drunken reception guests.” (Hmmm.. I like photography, maybe a part-time job is in order.

I had mixed feeling about this list. First, I was happy my profession was not on it. I would hate to take all the flack from friends for being overpaid. Secondly I was envious, HOW CAN I GET ON THIS LIST! LOL

I wonder if any of the workers on this list have any “equity” issues??? Hmmm … my guess is NO!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

michael April 11, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Great!! Motivational speakersand there advice of the day was well worth going. Thank you to everyone who has involved with us and wished us luck – the support has been amazing

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Lela April 14, 2008 at 11:20 am

Wow. The Skycap earnings surprised me. This weekend Parade magazine (in the newspaper) did their annual salary survey. It’s hard to explain to the kids over pancakes why education is so important when Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana is on the cover. At 15 she makes something like $19 million a year.

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