Money is a sensitive topic but one that many of us are very curious about. Odds are that if someone were to ask any of you Pandas if you’re being underpaid for the work you do, you’re likely to answer that you’re undervalued at your job. This goes for people in most careers, as we tend to think we deserve to get more than whatever sum we’re receiving now. After all, we’re truly great workers, aren’t we? We deserve more doubloons for our valuable time!
However, even though we don’t think we’re being overpaid, we might have a different opinion about folks in other sectors of the job industry. Redditors have been opening up about which professions they believe are vastly overpaid in a series of threads on the r/AskReddit subreddit, and we’ve collected the most interesting comments to share with you.
Scroll down, have a read through these internet users’ opinions, and let us know which of these you agree and disagree with, dear Pandas. Just remember, someone’s opinion about a certain profession potentially being overvalued, overpaid, and overentitled doesn’t necessarily make it true. On the flip side, some opinions are so accurate, it’s spooky.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the national annual mean wage for a full-time worker in 2021 at $53,490 year. This translates to $1,028 for a full 40-hour workweek.
I reached out to financial expert Sam Dogen for a chat about what determines the vast differences between salaries in different professions and how we can all increase our earnings potential. Sam is the founder of the Financial Samurai project that helps people achieve financial independence. Read on for Bored Panda’s full interview with the expert.
“Big” time preachers! I’m not saying all preachers, but the ones with mega churches.
“In general, the people who create more economic value (profits) tend to get paid more. However, at some point, the compensation amounts become ridiculously out of touch with reality. The clear case is CEO compensation at large, publicly-traded companies,” financial expert Sam told Bored Panda that some salaries simply don’t make sense, given the value they don’t provide.
“For example, Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai’s compensation was over $280 million in 2019, largely consisting of stock awards. Nobody reasonably believes that Sundar deserves to earn that much. There are plenty of well-qualified people who could have done what he did on 1% of his total compensation.”
Meanwhile, the people who bring the most value to our society don’t necessarily get paid as much as they contribute. “Then you have some of the most important professions in the world, like teachers getting paid less than $100,000 a year. If children are our future and our most valuable assets, teachers should get paid way more. Society’s extreme focus on profits fails to fully appreciate the work people do where immediate gains are not as clear. We need to appreciate more our stay-at-home parents, educators, nurses, and social workers,” Sam said.
Estate agents. I’ve been trying to rent a house (UK) for 5 months now, during which time I’ve spoken to over 50 estate agents. I’m yet to receive a helpful, let alone grammatically correct email
According to Sam, increasing our earnings potential, at its core, is about increasing our value to the company. A large part of this is using our social skills to our advantage and putting in the extra effort at work. “We must be well-liked, grow our network of supporters, work longer than the average employee, and manage our managers. I believe most of us have the ability to make six figures a year,” the expert shared with Bored Panda.
“If we cannot get that raise and promotion we deserve, absolutely job hop for better opportunities. Job hopping tends to reset your value to market rate, which helps you keep climbing. Once you master the six-figure income opportunities, it’s time to learn about who makes over $1 million a year to get really motivated! The top 0.1% income-earners are more ubiquitous than we think.”
Software developers, and I am one.
Seriously, I work like 2 hours a day and get paid nearly 6 figures
Of course, salaries don’t just stick to whatever the national average or mean is. They fluctuate. They deviate. Some wages make others as jealous as can be while others make them frown and mumble about how unfair life can be. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about not earning enough to get by or enough to put a roof over our loved ones’ heads. However, this isn’t a perfect world and some professions appear to be vastly under/overpaid when you consider the amount of sweat, tears, and effort the workers put in.
According to Jobted, some of the professions that greatly deviate from the national average salary include pharmacists (they get roughly $112,800 per year), data scientists ($97,200), nurse practitioners ($96,285), and software engineers ($89,200).
On the flip side, some underpaid professions include electricians (they earn around $47,800 per year and are roughly 11% below the national average), pharmacy technicians ($35,800), medical assistants ($34,672), and certified nurse assistants (barely $29,286 which is 45% below the average).
Any ‘professional player’ of any kind of sport is overpaid. Meanwhile, teachers, who are the absolute base of society, need to have part-time jobs just to be able to pay their electric bills.
Politicians should be very well-paid by the government and absolutely forbidden from any other revenue streams. No donations to the politician, no lobbying, no gifts, no grifts. No speaking fees, no book deals, no consulting gigs. Nothing. For their entire duration in office and for five (maybe 10) years after leaving office. Politicians should be forced to disclose every single gift they receive; even a birthday card from their mom with $5 inside needs to be tracked and monitored.
When my family moved cities when I was 5 our new neighbours had kids the same age as my sister and I so my dad wanted to meet them (he did not want his girls around weirdos). When he met the mother she asked what he does and vice versa. She told him she’s a life coach. His response was “what the hell is that?”. She stopped letting her kids play with us.
What blows my mind is that jobs that sound similar have a financial gulf between them. Nurse practitioners and pharmacists earn several times more than pharmacy technicians, medical assistants, and certified nursing assistants. And it makes you wonder whether there haven’t been a few oversights here.
Previously, I reached out to financial expert Sam, the founder of the Financial Samurai blog, for a chat about why CEOs get paid so much money for what they do, compared to regular employees.
“CEOs have no magical powers. Yes, they have the operational experience to run big companies. However, they are often just spokespeople and ambassadors of the firm. One person cannot make that big a difference in a large organization. If Tim Cook from Apple steps down, the company will be fine. Another overpaid CEO will take his place,” he told Bored Panda during an interview.
Reality TV stars.
The cast of Jersey Shore are making anywhere from $80,000 to $150,000 per episode.
High school and college head football coaches in the United States. You don’t even have to be good. Once you land a head coaching job, you can have a losing record and still make bank. In many high schools, the head coach will be the highest paid employee even if they don’t teach a class. College head coaches are often the highest paid public employees in any state.
“The reason why CEOs can get paid so much is due to the direct correlation of the size of the company. When a company is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, it’s easier to pay a CEO tens of millions of dollars a year, which comprised mostly of stock options,” Sam said.
“At the end of the day, the CEO and the Board of Directors’ goal is to provide as much value and returns as possible for its shareholders. And if that means firing thousands of employees, then that is what they will do. It is a sad reality of extreme capitalism,” he shared.
Big name Actors, I’m sorry but I just don’t see why anyone needs to earn 25million+ for two months worth of work. And I’ve worked in both film and theatre and understand all that goes on to make productions, just seems crazy to me. Great work if you can get it.
Home inspectors charge hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars to miss obvious flaws in the home you’re about to purchase.
Worthless as tits on a boar.
High ranking military officers.
From experience, I’d say a vast majority of the ones I’ve dealt with are just glorified politicians, who are nothing more than yes men for their next promotion.
After a certain point they’re practically not even in the military anymore, they tend to have no concept of what’s going on at the lowest levels whatsoever.
They are the people who spent two years in the classroom, couldn’t handle it, then started some online blog/following with some appealing catchphrase. They get paid $3000+ per speaking gig that districts fork up and force teachers to listen to.
My last job in college, before starting my career. I was an overnight shelter staff for transitional housing. Since these clients were basically back up on their feet by the time they arrived, they were pretty self-sufficient. I was paid about 25% higher than other night-shift jobs I could get at the time, and on most nights all I had to do was make one pot of coffee. The rest of the time I could watch TV, play video games, do personal chores, etc… The one job that I know was better was their overnight sleeper, since we had to have two staff at all times. As implied, this dude made a well-above minimum wage rate to just sleep there on the weekends
Everyone saying realtors. Wait til you find out about the guys at the desk job who REALLY make the money.
MORTGAGE LOAN OFFICERS.
Don’t get me wrong, the stuff they do is important to ensuring successfully run businesses. But it’s not “99% of the company’s adjusted salary and benefits payments go to these 7 people” important.
Most jobs in the financial services industry; brokers, wholesalers, hedge fund managers, home lenders etc. all they do is trade money and bring little value to society.
HR, you basically sit on your a*s all day figuring ways out to justify your job (must of which ends up as a pain in the ass for the rest of the staff)
Recruiters. Seriously, quite a few recruiters have salaries well into the triple digits while the people they are recruiting for big companies hardly make $40K
Hedge fund managers and investment bankers. Even if it requires tons of skill and intelligence (which I don’t know if it does), making rich people richer using obscure financial instruments that don’t actually fund any production or innovation is not something we should reward by making people millionaires and billionaires.
Even CEOs can’t, under pressure, justify their pay. I will never forget how stupid that JP Morgan CEO looked when Congresswoman Katie Porter pulled out her white board then grilled him about his salary vs. a teller at his own bank.
Some therapists. I know that therapy is very important and some therapists are incredible at what they do and have to endure working through their patients’ horrible traumas. But some therapists should not work in that field and make things legitimately worse while getting paid an arm and a leg.
‘Creatives’ at ad agencies. These are among the least creative people I work with on a regular basis.
Consultants. I get paid too much money to make pivot tables and PowerPoint decks.
I work in digital marketing as an account manager. All I do is respond to emails and Skype people all day. I make over $100k a year just relaying stuff in emails and Skypes. We generate leads off co-registration sites like the crap where you can win a gift card if you spin the wheel then answer a million questions and your data is sold 10 times. It’s all bullshit and I have no idea why it pays so much.
I have been working for three years and I’m not entirely sure what I do. Sometimes I write code. Mostly I sit in meetings where I say nothing. But I work for the government so I’m pretty safe from being fired or let go.
Definitely the most I’ve ever been paid for the least work.
Political commenters. They should have to pay us to listen to their propagandist drivel.
As a bartender I must say: bartenders. I pour drinks. I should be paid a livable wage by my boss, but no, I just kiss ass to rich people and make $500 a night to literally destroy lives. Have it your way society.
Intelligence and security contracting.
An equivalent role in the military or intelligence community pays half as much as what private industry pays.
Car salesmen. I’d rather just order online. I don’t own or want a Tesla, but I LOVE their sales model.
Mine. I’m a welders helper. I make $36.21 an hour to sit there and occasionally grind something with an angle grinder. I also unpack and pack up tools at the start and end of the day. That’s pretty well my entire job.
One day last year I got paid over $1600 to do absolutely nothing. No on call. No “maybe something will need to get done later”. Just sit on your phone for 12 straight hours
liability attorneys. They collect huge hourly fees or commissions and don’t do anything productive. They just move money from one party to another.
Everyone at every layer of health insurance professions and any government job that never does any work because there hasn’t been an audit in a decade.
Nurse practitioners in the US. Seriously, they make 6 figures after doing online degrees which barely cover the clinical or educational rigor of physicians but are then used by health admins to bill for physicians services while paying them a fraction of a physician. The end result? health corps make more money while patient outcomes are questionable at best.
So many higher management jobs. People with no actual skills bullying people with skills to do more with less.
Firing them and investing in having the right tools to do the jobs every time would make nearly every company better.
Once you are about two spaces removed from operations, you’re completely useless.
Hospital administration. Specifically in the US. Making $300,000 a year to scam the people and pretend to care about the workers.
Superintendents. It’s solely political and ridiculous how much they get paid compared to the teachers they’re over.
One night I babysat three kids for about 2 hours or so. The kids went to bed when I got there, and the parents had left dinner out for me, so all I did was eat their food and watch their TV and pet their dogs.
When they got home the mom paid me $100. I told her that was way too much. She slurred “Don’t worry about it, I’m drunk.” And then I noticed her fly was down.
So that was the most over paid job ever lol.
Me. I make $100k to manage a small team. They do all the work and I just sign off on some decisions every couple weeks. Everyone loves me because all the work they do and I watch YouTube/Reddit all day.