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The Almighty Buck United States

The Ten Most Overpaid Jobs In The U.S. 1130

Posted by simoniker
from the it's-a-gas dept.
misbach writes "Here is what the 'compensation experts' have to say are the ten most overpaid jobs [original article at CBS MarketWatch]. 'Almost no one in America would admit to being overpaid, but many of us take home bloated paychecks far beyond what's deserved. 'Fair compensation' is a relative term, yet human-resource consultants and executive headhunters agree some jobs command excessive compensation that can't be explained by labor supply-and-demand imbalances.'"
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The Ten Most Overpaid Jobs In The U.S.

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  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:40PM (#7436788) Homepage Journal

    I have to think about 9) Pilots for major airlines. If the plane hits inclement weather or other serious issues arise do you really care if the people behind the cockpit doors are making ~250K a year?

    Oh and 2) Washed-up pro athletes in long-term contracts? Crap. All major sports athletes are overpaid primadonnas. Paying them millions because they can throw a ball only fuels consumerism. "Did you watch the game on Sunday? Wow!" mindless sheep..
    • by Anonymous Coward
      is that the pilots for the non-major airlines are making so, so much less.

      Is this because the pilots for the major airlines are better? Is it because the lives they protect are worth more? No. It's because they have a better union.
    • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yBLUEahoo.com minus berry> on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:45PM (#7436871) Homepage Journal
      Athletes is about supply and demand. There are very few people who can supply an acurate, repeatable 50 yeard pass(or whatever) while 3 or 4 300 pound guys moving as fast as an elk bear down on them.
      The company that owns the team makes money from that, and the athlete gets a percentage.

      pretty simple actually.

      • by 0x20 (546659) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:00PM (#7437055) Homepage
        As fast as an elk? Is that some kind of Canadian measure of velocity? Can you get a speeding ticket for going 2 elks in a school zone? What is the speed of light in elks?
      • by Lucidwray (300955) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:51PM (#7437746)
        Everytime I hear the argument that Pro_Athletes are over paid it drives me crazy. What no one seems to realise is that pro athletes are nothing but advertsing draws for their owners. They are paid 10Million a year because the owner is hoping that that one player will contribute more than 10 million in advertising dollars. The better/bigger the players the more people go to the games. The more people at the games the more ad signs cost in the stadium, the more ticket sales, more tv viewers, more tv money, more radio money, more merchandising.

        It has NOTHING to do with an athletes ability to throw a ball, it has EVERYTHING to do with how good the fans think he is, therefore how much money they will spend on the team.

        Its nothing but business. You can complain all day long how fat and old XXX basketplayer is, But if he fills seats and turns on TV's, then thats all that matters.
    • by Thud457 (234763)
      "2) Washed-up pro athletes in long-term contracts? Crap. All major sports athletes are overpaid primadonnas. Paying them millions because they can throw a ball only fuels consumerism. "Did you watch the game on Sunday? Wow!" mindless sheep.."

      Actually, this is driven by advertising.
      Sports bring in viewers. Star athletes sell stuff people. Advertising corrupts anything it touches. (Just look at professional baseball or pop music for prime examples.)

      • by dboyles (65512) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:31PM (#7437469) Homepage
        "Did you watch the game on Sunday? Wow!" mindless sheep.."

        I was under the impression that I enjoyed watching sports purely as a form of entertainment (and that entertainment includes discussing sports with friends). Now, through the insight of your post, I realize that I have simply been following the herd. I shall hereby resign my fan status, and retire to Slashdot, where I will post only things that will be accepted as mainstream geek.

        Whew, I almost fell in with those sports fan sheep who always say things because they think that's what others want to hear. Good thing I'm away from that and safe here on Slashdot.
    • by antis0c (133550) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:46PM (#7436885)
      I agree. A major airline pilot holds the lives of a lot of people in their hands. I wouldn't mind if they got paid twice that as long as they were well trained and happy.

      Last thing I want is a depressed pilot worrying about bills when the left engine fails. Last thing I want to enter his mind is "fuck it" when that happens.
      • by NoOneInParticular (221808) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:56PM (#7437010)
        First of all, self-preservation is a fairly strong instinct you can count on in such a situation. As the article rightly points out, you should more fear the mechanic or the overseer to think "fuck it" if he sees that the left wing can fall of in mid-flight any flight now. He will not be on board when that happens. Why not pay him the 250K and the pilot a 100?
        • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:45PM (#7437647) Journal
          Cause it is the pilot who has the training and experience to land that aircraft on only 1 gear down. With half the engines off. With part of the control surfaces stuck. It isn't always bad maintenance that causes failures. Sometimes things just break. Then the pilot go to land it. No matter how much you pay the mechanics they can not fix the aircraft inflight.

          Plus of course there are a hell of a lot more mechanics for each plane then pilots. So it would be like pay several million more on maintenance or just a million more on pilots. Simple choice really.

    • by transient (232842) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:52PM (#7436973)
      Another thing to consider with airline pilots is the huge investment they have to make for initial training. And if you look at salaries for any pilot who isn't working for a major airline, you will begin to understand the sacrifices that have to be made to make it to the majors.
      • Huge investment? Next time you see a commercial airline pilot, ask him where he/she got their training and you will find that a majority of them will say either the Air Force or the Navy. Cost to former military pilot for training: Almost $0.00.
        Yes, there is additional training required to go from flying an F-14 to a 747, but some of these pilots have been flying modified 737's (Air Force) all their careers anyway. And it's not like becoming a doctor-which IS a much bigger investment in time and money tha
        • by StenD (34260) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:30PM (#7437448)
          Huge investment? Next time you see a commercial airline pilot, ask him where he/she got their training and you will find that a majority of them will say either the Air Force or the Navy.
          Only about half, actually.
          Cost to former military pilot for training: Almost $0.00.
          Aside from about 10 years of their lives, after training, with the added opportunity of being shot at.
          And it's not like becoming a doctor-which IS a much bigger investment in time and money than training to become a commercial airline pilot after being trained in the military.
          The military pays for medical school, too.
        • by kcbrown (7426) <slashdot@sysexperts.com> on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:47PM (#7437690)
          Huge investment? Next time you see a commercial airline pilot, ask him where he/she got their training and you will find that a majority of them will say either the Air Force or the Navy. Cost to former military pilot for training: Almost $0.00.

          That may be the case, but from what I understand it's rather difficult to become a pilot in the military. For one thing, your uncorrected vision has to be 20/20 or better, which eliminates a whole bunch of people. By the way, as I understand it, "uncorrected" means just that: no corrective surgery, no glasses, no contacts.

          If you want to become a pilot through civilian channels, you do indeed have to make large sacrifices. The training is quite expensive and quite extensive. You have to train for your private pilot's license, your commercial license, your twin engine rating, your flight instructor's license, and then you have to work as an instructor to build enough flight time (at least a thousand hours or so) before anyone (even cargo haulers) will consider you. And when you are finally hired, you won't be hired by the majors -- you'll be hired by the regionals at best. And those guys start off at about $30K per year. Captains in the regionals make around $70K per year. That's for putting in 12-16 hour days, with a "home base" that may change on a yearly basis and which may be quite far from home.

          It's ironic, really, because the kind of flying the regional guys do is harder than the flying done by the majors. The regionals typically operate turboprop equipment that flies in the 15,000 to 25,000 foot altitude range, where weather is much more of a factor than the 30,000 to 40,000 foot range the majors fly in. The regionals tend to fly into smaller airports that have fewer or older navigational aids and which also tend to be in areas of more dangerous terrain. And their equipment isn't as good as the equipment the majors fly, so icing (for example) is more of a problem.

          If it were up to me, the guys in the regional airlines would be making more than the guys in the majors, simply because their job is harder.

    • Where do you expect the money to go? I really enjoy watching football. The feats of athleticism and dedication required to play at the level of NFL players is just amazing. So, I'm willing to pay money to watch their games. I'm willing to sit through commercials, and the advertising are more than willing to pay to for my attention. So, who should get all that money? I mean, it's pouring in. Lot of people are paying it. Where does it go?

      I, for one, would MUCH rather have it go to the players, the gu
      • by 0x20 (546659) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:03PM (#7437100) Homepage
        Oh, I don't know, charge $3 for tickets and $1 for cokes, and let the idiots on the field make as much as schoolteachers or cops? Sounds fair to me.
        • by spruce (454842) on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:48PM (#7438399) Journal
          Professional athletes aren't government employees, so the government doesn't have any say in how much we the people are willing to pay them. If we follow your logic, why don't we take some of the cash from the bonehead CEO's who don't deserve what they get, or rich kids who don't ever work a day in their life. They obviously don't deserve the money they have.

          Just because you don't see the value of entertainment sports provide doesn't mean the rest of us should be punished by having less motivated less qualified athletes.
      • Where do you expect the money to go? I really enjoy watching football.

        That's fine, but how much is it worth to you? What would you say the average ticket costs?

        he feats of athleticism and dedication required to play at the level of NFL players is just amazing.

        You'd get more enjoyment out of going outside and doing it yourself, trust me on this one.

        So, I'm willing to pay money to watch their games. I'm willing to sit through commercials, and the advertising are more than willing to pay to for my at
        • Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

          by NDPTAL85 (260093) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:34PM (#7437495)
          Do you ever get dizzy from up there on your high horse?

          The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I know you "mean well" and all with your utopian plans of providing for the homeless and eduction but unfortunately due to the fact that we're HUMANS that means we need to arrainge our economies in a capitalist fashion.

          We could try socialism but obvious examples have already demonstrated the sheer humanitarian horror that that produced.

          And where do you get off telling someone that going outside and pretending to be as good at sports as a pro is would be enjoyable? Why put your body at risk of injury when you can watch others play a game better than you'd ever be able to? Don't you think thats a bit condescending?
    • by gaijin99 (143693) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:00PM (#7437053) Journal
      I'm inclined to agree with you. Airline pilots are highly skilled, and do work where a single screw up can kill people... $250,000/year puts them into the upper 1% of Americans (according to the US census). I'd argue that they're some of the few people in that income bracket who actually do work worthy of that much money.

      What staggered me about the list was that CEO's as a body weren't included. Yes, the CEO's of underperforming companies are horribly overpaid, but you can't tell me that Michael Eisner actually did work equal in value to $700 *million*. Honestly, I rather doubt that its possible for anyone to do work worth 700 million... Eisner is on the high side, but all corporate executives tend to earn well beyond what they are worth.

      You want to know why were in a recession? Its simple, really. The people earning that money don't spend it. Not because they're malicious, but because you *can't* spend $700M, not unless you're buying solid gold toilets every day, or something equally silly. Since the money doesn't get spent, it simply vanishes from the economy. The truth is that trickle down would work, if the upper 1% spent all (or even most) of their money. Since they can't, trickle down is doomed to fail, as is the economy unless money starts flowing *out* of Eisner et al, and into the general economy...

      • by Asgard (60200) <jhmartin-s-5f7bbb@toger.us> on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:21PM (#7437320) Homepage
        The money that doesn't get spent gets put into some sort of financial instrument, which then is put back into the economy in the form of money that can be used as capital. It certainly doesn't just 'dissapear' unless the owner keeps it all in larg bills under their mattress.
        • by j7953 (457666) on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:13PM (#7437976)
          The money that doesn't get spent gets put into some sort of financial instrument, which then is put back into the economy in the form of money that can be used as capital.

          Sure, but having a supply of capital for investments makes sense only if the investments that it can be used for make sense, and the investments make sense only if at the end of the chain, there are enough people who will actually consume the produced goods.

          A healthy economy needs consumers just as much as it needs investors.

      • by Eneff (96967)
        Wrong. So long as they don't stuff it under their bed, they're doing something with it.

        Saving can be as effective multiplier as spending it. If they invest in a company, then that company has the money to acquire capital (new machines, new computers) which creates manufacturing jobs, as well as creating jobs from the increased efficency.

        If they put it in the bank, the bank now has the additional money to loan to consumers, reducing interest rates.

        Now, it can be argued that trickle down doesn't work, but
      • by lysium (644252) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:29PM (#7437426)
        Since the money doesn't get spent, it simply vanishes from the economy. The truth is that trickle down would work, if the upper 1% spent all (or even most) of their money. Since they can't, trickle down is doomed to fail, as is the economy unless money starts flowing *out* of Eisner et al, and into the general economy...

        This is why estate taxes originally came about. The government was extremely worried that a de-facto aristocracy would form out of the money that Industrialists were accumulating. So in order to prevent assets from endlessly collecting interest, they decreed that a large percentage of an individual's wealth would return to society upon death. This would also ensure that, at some point, SOMEone would have to work to bring more money in. Not exactly what one would call a fair system, but since Rockefellers and Kennedys do not own GE and Microsoft today, I would have to call it a partial success.

        Now just recently estate taxes were repealed by the fiscal conservatives. Will this finally tip the scale to the point where wealth can endlessly create more wealth, so meritous, hard-working individuals like Ally Hilfiger [realitytvworld.com] can entertain us with their priviledge? Our children will find out!

        ===========

    • Did you watch the game on Sunday? Wow!" mindless sheep..

      I won't argue that some pro athletes in the top sports are overpaid, so lets not get into that discussion, but...

      You're calling me a mindless sheep, mearly because I enjoy sports, and dare to discuss a good game with a friend? Who's the primadonna now? Involvement in sport is a fantastic way to improve your overall physical and mental health, and build valuable social skills. Having athletes to mentor, whether it's a pro or the kid up the street,

    • by PPGMD (679725) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:07PM (#7437149) Journal
      9) Pilots for major airlines. If the plane hits inclement weather or other serious issues arise do you really care if the people behind the cockpit doors are making ~250K a year?

      Too bad the 250K a year is a myth, only the most senior pilots at the major airlines make that much money. The average co-pilot for the majors makes about $30k, while an average line pilot makes $45-55K.

      The commuters such as ASA, and Comair start their co-pilots at $18.5K, and their average pilost make about $30-40K, with the most senior making close the 6 figure.

      Note that this is after a pilot invests nearly $50K geting a Bachlors degree, and another $50-60K in flight training. Also the pilots generally spend 2-3 years making just better than McJob wages, doing flight training themselves or other jobs.

      Corporate pilots don't get as high pay wise, but they can move up more quickily to their highest pay scale if they are good.

      /karma whoring consultant that was once a broke pilot.

      • by ianscot (591483) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:51PM (#7437728)
        Salon.com's "Ask the Pilot" columnist has pointed this out a few times, and I think Michael Moore has a chapter about it in his "Stupid White Men" book. Pilots just don't make good money, not until they're high up on the list. Don't forget the money they pay for their own training while they're pulling in a grand $14k a year during those first few years.

        Somewhere there ought to be a comparable list: jobs you assume are worked by well-heeled professionals, but that are actually basically full of blue collar people who're doing it for other reasons. Pilots are there because they like the work. It sure as heck isn't the money. Paramedics -- you think they're in it for the money? They get hardly anything for the job they do, those people are in it for something else.

        (I'd rather read my imaginary article, frankly. This one's just a bitchy, demeaning piece of pop tabloid crap.)

    • by Kirby (19886)
      With respect to pro athletes, keep in mind that it's not a matter of greedy jocks taking the public for money, in reality.

      It's massive multi-billionaires (like pre-AOL Ted Turner, and Rupert Murdoch, and Walmart's Carl Pohlad) setting prices based on what the market can bear. That's 90%+ of what determines ticket price - salary concerns are a red herring.

      And most of the owners are making large, large amounts of money - much more than even the highest paid players. The accounting practices are such that
    • One more argument in defense of airline pilots. (We should really be able to edit our posts...) The article claims that flight is nearly completely automated, and that's true, just as long as nothing goes wrong. What if an engine comes apart in flight? What if the landing gear doesn't extend? That fancy category II ILS coupled autopilot might get you safely to the runway, but you still won't have any wheels. Flying a plane is relatively easy, until something goes wrong.
    • by cheezus (95036)
      disclaimer: I only know this because at my uni the dept of computer science is for some stupid reason in the school of aerospace sciences.

      Lots of kids come in going for a commerical aviation degree dreaming of making a quarter mil a year. The reality? For the ones lucky enough to get a job out of college it's flying some puddle jumping prop for less than $20,000 a year. The guys making the huge money are flying the big jets, and they only get to do that because they have an insane amount of flight hours. K
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:41PM (#7436798)
    thanks for slashdotting the site already, you ugly hairy subscribers
  • slashdotted (Score:5, Funny)

    by dtfinch (661405) * on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:41PM (#7436805) Journal
    So much for alwayson-network
  • by Joseph Vigneau (514) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:42PM (#7436812)
    AlwaysOn Network Web Site Architect/Administrator
  • by edwardd (127355) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:42PM (#7436815) Journal
    I mean, come on! are we all that afraid that WE'RE overpaid?

  • by tangledweb (134818) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:45PM (#7436868)
    Is it too late to nominate human resource consultant to the list?
  • by jaaron (551839) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:47PM (#7436900) Homepage
    This article seems slashdotted, but there's a similar (same?) article on the CBS site: Ten most overpaid jobs in the U.S. [marketwatch.com].

    Also, check a search on Google News [google.com]
  • by Brigadier (12956) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:48PM (#7436926)


    I work for an architecture firm that handles airport noise mitigation projects. and I'ved worked with several municipalities with regards to differnt programs accross the country. The majority of these programs are federally funded. I recently saw a job opening for a program director assistant type position paying over 80k a year. For someone not knowing the real requirments of the Job it may sound intence but the job is so easy and so useless. It blows my mind to see how over paid public servants are in the US it is crazy. Not only that but how many uneccessary jobs are created in adminitrative positions. Another area is State education systems and the amount of money paid to administrative professionals when teachers are in short supply and classrooms are under equipped.
  • by TrekCycling (468080) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:49PM (#7436938) Homepage
    Here's the list.

    #1 - Professional Athletes
    #2 - CEO
    #3 - CTO
    #4 - CIO
    #5 - Chairman of the board
    #6 - Generic Executives
    #7 - CEO
    #8 - CEO
    #9 - Guys at think tanks that produce articles like this
    #10 - CEO
  • by Glamdrlng (654792) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:49PM (#7436944)

    ...yet human-resource consultants and executive headhunters agree some jobs command excessive compensation that can't be explained by labor supply-and-demand imbalances.

    You gotta be fscking kidding. Did the HR consultants and executive headhunters point out that their own astronomical salaries can't be explained by anyone? Anyone that is, except for other HR consultants and executive headhunters...

  • Ironic (Score:4, Funny)

    by thomas.galvin (551471) <slashdot@thomasA ... inus threevowels> on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:50PM (#7436945) Homepage
    alwayson-network.com is a wonderfully ironic name for a webserver that just got slashdotted...
  • by sparkhead (589134) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:52PM (#7436976)
    Google cache [216.239.41.104]
  • Got this from a photography forum [pro4um.com]

    Quote


    There was some recent NEGATIVE PRESS about us as Professional Photographers being over paid.

    IF you would like to FLOOD this guys email box expressing your feelings, please go here:

    http://cbs.marketwatch.com/news/mai...3BF2A%7D

    Here is an a small amount of what he said about us professional photographers:
    --------------
    What follows is a list of the 10 most overpaid jobs in the U.S., in reverse order, drafted with input from compensation experts:

    10) Wedding photographers

    Photographers typically charge $2,000 to $5,000 to shoot a wedding, for what amounts to a one-day assignment plus processing time. Some get $15,000 or more. Yet many mope through the job, bumping guests in their way without apology, with the attitude: "I'm just doing this for the money until Time or National Geographic calls."

    They must cover equipment and film-development costs. Still, many in major metropolitan areas who shoot two weddings each weekend in the May-to-October marrying season pull in $100,000 for six months' work.

    Yet let's face it; much of their work is mediocre. Have you ever really been wowed flipping the pages of a wedding album handed you by recent newlyweds? Annie Leibovitz and Richard Avedon they're not, but some charge fees as if they're in the same league.

    --------------
    Come on gang...this guy can't get by saying this about us....let's send him a message!!!!!!

    End quote

    Interesting that he doesn't even consider that SOME (not all) photographers just MIGHT actually be over paid.
  • by Speare (84249) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:54PM (#7436992) Homepage Journal

    The bit about the wedding photographer sounds like he had some grudge against his (or his daughter's) photographer. Whine whine whine.

    If you hire a bargain-basement photographer's assistant, you might get stunning Annie-Liebowicz-level artwork. But the chances are that you'll get fifty images that are ill-timed, ill-posed, ill-conceived, ill-focused or ill-processed. You pay the money to someone who will get the best possible angle on the critical moments that the wedding couple will want to remember for the rest of their lives. Sometimes that requires a nudge to move Aunt Marge out of the way. It's not an occasion you're going to want to repeat if the photographer got it all wrong.

    The same goes for an airline pilot... think about all the training you're depending on. Sure, it's "routine" to fly from coast to coast, but emergencies happen and it's the pilot's experience and training that you're paying for. It's a little late to complain that you didn't get your money's worth, once you've landed safe and sound after a boring flight.

  • Jeez... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) on Monday November 10, 2003 @04:57PM (#7437026) Homepage
    Skycaps?

    OK, I get harshing on most of the others, but c'mon, skycaps? Let's smack down a bunch of guys who make $30k a year standing in the exhaust-drenched air at airport dropoff points, dealing with irate travellers, lugging overpacked suitcases around to the cries of 'Be careful with that!'...so they make tips, too--you think the surly, don't-give-a-damn ones are the ones raking in $300/day in tips? Right.

    Saying it takes less brains than stuffing fast food in a bag is rather insulting to skycaps, too--does this guy honestly think that a skycap can just kinda traipse around with a cart full of luggage, darned if he cares what happens to it? (This even without taking the crazy new security measures into account--I'm sure that makes their jobs oh-so-easy these days...)

    Pro atheletes? Sure. High-end real estate agents? Yep. Skycaps? That's...kinda reaching for a top ten list...

  • #10 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sckeener (137243) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:02PM (#7437080)
    10) Wedding photographers

    Photographers typically charge $2,000 to $5,000 to shoot a wedding


    I went to a wedding over the weekend. The cheapest price they could find for a wedding photographer was $1200 in the Houston area. They didn't want to pay that so they got the UH school paper photographer to come and do it for $200!
    • Re:#10 (Score:3, Insightful)

      there is a LOT of pressure to get it 'perfect' in this field. and the clients are usually picky as hell and annoying as hell, due to the tension.

      and having to shoot ugly people too and try to make them look good ;)

      • Re:#10 (Score:3, Informative)

        by TopShelf (92521)
        Not to mention the fact that photographers are usually on their own in terms of providing benefits like health insurance, etc. A friend of mine is a wedding photographer, and 1) he doesn't rake in obscene $$$, and 2) the guy has a genuine talent for taking great pictures...
    • Re:#10 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dalroth (85450) * on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:39PM (#7437578) Homepage Journal
      No kidding. My friend got married last spring and in his wedding the Photographer was a really horrid woman (late 30's early 40's). She did EVERYTHING that was mentioned in this article. She shoved people out of the way, she was rude, she hogged all the good pictures to herself. All while spending the entire evening bitching to anybody she possibly could about how digital cameras were ruining her business.

      You know what though, SHE was the one ruining her business, not the digital camers. You have to adapt with the times, and you have to adapt to the situation, and being a horrid cold bitch is not the way to sell yourself to potential future customers. You can't be complacent, no matter who you are or what job you do, times change.

      You want to take good wedding pictures? Hire a local college student who is going to school for Photography. You'll get a great price, great pictures, and the student will get some extra money for beer and some pictures for their art classes. I can tell you my college friends who were photography majors sure would've appreciated the work!!

      Bryan
  • by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:04PM (#7437114) Homepage Journal
    One glaring omission: operators/'editors' of popular internet sites. A certain one has maintainers/editors who:

    ignore user requests
    play games all day
    don't 'edit' anything
    don't read submissions
    don't read their own site
    don't properly test proposed site changes
    offend and namecall users

    No specific sites in mind

    (goodbye karma...)
  • Airline pilots (Score:5, Informative)

    by grotgrot (451123) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:04PM (#7437115)
    They ignored how pilots actually get paid. It is based ENTIRELY on length of service with their current airline. When they start. it is around $13,000 a year (yes, really). And don't forget they often have to pay back for flight school. The longer they serve, they more they get paid as they move up ("seniority"). Their career can be instantly over failing the six month physical/medical. And that isn't failing like ordinary folk would. The health standards are significantly higher. Oh, and if they have to leave an airline while earning $250,000 a year and start at another, they really do start at $13,000.

    The pay is definitely broken, but it isn't really apparent how to fix it. If they were paid on timely arrivals or lack of crashes, then there would be an incentive to buck the system to improve those in dangerous ways. They can hardly be blamed for maintenance, weather, in flight emergencies with passengers or any other "performance related" means. So seniority/length of service it remains.

    So why do pilots fight so hard for their pay. Simple. When you have been making $13,000 a year and growing slowly until you eventually hit bigger numbers many decades later, you feel like you have earned it. And all the pilots who have put in a decade at low pay don't want the future rewards they have sacrificed for taken away. You should also be aware that very few pilots earn those big bucks.

    Check out the series of articles "Ask the Pilot" on Salon which goes into way more detail. Quite frankly you would be insane to become a pilot for the money.
  • Malarkey (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdavidb (449077) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:08PM (#7437166) Homepage Journal

    "Overpaid" is an opinion. This article acts as if "overpaid" can be objectively defined. You may not think sports stars are worth it (hey, I sure don't), but apparently everyone else does and is voting with their dollars. If you want these people's salaries to be "corrected," you're going to have to sway public opinion.

    Honestly, I'm so tired of reading articles by people who never understood the intersection of a supply curve and a demand curve.

    Great reading [gmu.edu] on the subject from Walter Williams [google.com].

    I don't think the sports stars should make that much money. Sometimes I even resent them. But for me to decree that they're "overpaid" means I think I have the right to prohibit thousands of people from purchasing sports tickets. I don't have the right to that kind of control over people's lives any more than I have the right to choose their religion.

    • Re:Malarkey (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Noren (605012) on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:07PM (#7437907)
      Not quite, if you read the article it argues in come cases that the market isn't reaching equilibrium because of collusion or fraud.

      "9) Pilots for major airlines" and "8) West Coast longshoremen" are both claimed to be overpaid because of powerful unions controlling all the labor supply and acting as a monopolist.

      "4) Orthodontists" argues that the supply of orthodontists is kept artificially low by "U.S. Dental Schools". I don't necessarily agree with the whole of the argument here, but it's not based on misunderstanding of the funamentals of supply and demand.

      "1) Mutual Fund managers" is claiming the whole profession is guilty of fraud, may be an overreaction because of current events, but fraud is certainly a way to be paid more than your fair market value.

      Some of the examples cited are bad, but in situations of monopoly, artificial scarcity of supply, or fraud it does happen that people are paid more than their fair market value. (I do agree that most professional athletes are not overpaid... but the article doesn't cite the general case, rather "2) Washed-up pro athletes in long-term contracts", which is more arguable.)

  • by Savatte (111615) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:10PM (#7437178) Homepage Journal
    Have you ever really been wowed flipping the pages of a wedding album handed you by recent newlyweds?

    It takes more than just snapping photos to be a wedding photographer. It's like being a drummer: Do your job well and no one will notice, but mess up and you'll catch hell. I guarantee you can tell the difference between a professional wedding photographer's photographs and some doofus with a disposable. Wedding Photographers are also not only working against the clock, but they only get one day.

    Articles like these with the lack of repsect for profession's intricacies as are borderline offensive. Just because the author doesn't see what the big deal is is no reason to bash it.
  • by 2TecTom (311314) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:12PM (#7437212) Homepage Journal
    The gap between top and bottom salaries is at a historic all time high. The powerful simply bent the rules so they gain more than their fair share at the expense of all of the rest of us. This cripples our economy as it's a clear disincentive to labor. At the current rate of mismanagement, it surely won't be too long before the whole rotten house of cards collapses again. Excessive affluence is a sure sign of a corrupt society and I, for one, wish there was even some justice in America. Really, the real enemy isn't overseas, they inhabit the top floors of our institutions.
  • Airline pilots? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pcraven (191172) <paul@cPARISravenfamily.com minus city> on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:13PM (#7437228) Homepage
    I don't think top airline pilots are overpaid.

    Consider the fact that their 'off' hours are usually away from home. There is a LOT of work that they do outside of flying. This doesn't count in their per-hour charge.

    They spend a lot of time gaining hours in small aircraft and as co-pilots of large aircraft. And they get dirt-pay for that.

    They can't drink 12 hours before going on the job.

    They work odd hours.

    They are controlling a big gas tank with an aluminum shell and 300 people inside, all while moving 600+ mph in weather conditions that prevent you from seeing out side.

    Yea, I want a good incentive for the pilot up front in my aircraft. I want to get to my destination!
  • by meta-monkey (321000) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:16PM (#7437268) Journal
    I'm a wedding photographer (#10 on the list).

    They're right and they're wrong. First, you can spend as little or as much on a wedding photographer as you want. I know people who will show up for $300, shoot a few dozen rolls of film and hand them to the bride and groom on the way out the door. Will there be some good photos? Maybe, but you can expect an awful lot of crap.

    On the other hand, when my wife and I shoot a wedding, we make every photo a work of art: color correct, crop, edit, retouch, black and white, sepia, hand tinting, etc etc etc. Then we design a one of a kind album. This is not a "weekend" job. We spend probably about 3 hours before the wedding going over details and meeting with the couple, an entire day at the wedding (getting ready through the reception), and then about 40 to 50 hours the next week processing all the photos. Oh, and we also have to pay for our $40,000 of photo equipment, lights, computers, etc etc, not to mention all the rest of the stuff that goes along with running a business. Advertising, office space and supplies, promotional materials, phone line, fax line, internet, website, etc. Then, since we're working for ourselves, we have to provide our own benefits, so we're paying our own health insurance, and providing for our own retirement. Oh, and there ain't no two week's paid vacation, either.

    With the advent of digital imaging, the technical aspects of photography have increased many times over. I've actually got a Master's degree in electrical and computer engineering. These days, you have to be an artist, an engineer, and oh, yeah a businessman, too. Good luck finding somebody to do all that for $300.

    By the way, if you'd like to see our work (or need a photographer!) you can check out our website [korphoto.com].
  • by Alomex (148003) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:17PM (#7437282) Homepage

    Wedding photographer.

    Surely the most overpaid job in the world is supermodel photographer.

    I would gladly do the job for ten grand, so long as I can pay in instalments...

  • by wytcld (179112) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:44PM (#7437642) Homepage
    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....

    Luxury home agents live off the economy's fat, yet many put on airs as if they're members of the class whose homes they're selling, and eye underdressed open-house visitors as if they're casing the joint.


    Hello? Luxury home agents are members of the class whose homes they're selling, or within a step or two of it. And that class as a whole lives off the economy's fat. For the most part, people want to hire professionals who are of their class or better. That especially applies where fashion and taste are concerned. Decorators, landscape designers, architects ... if you wouldn't trust a decorator who didn't have the taste of your class, why would you trust a real estate agent? A realtor who acts like a used-car salesperson is not going to make it at the high end; having the same taste as the people you're helping find a home is essential to guiding them well.

    I don't much like realtors, and don't much hold by class, but I'm sure willing to see the realtor get a fee in proportion to the home I'm buying to avoid be steered towards the sort of place that would most appeal to trailor trash with the sales tactics appropriate thereto.

  • by DownTheLongRoad (597665) on Monday November 10, 2003 @05:47PM (#7437680)
    I'm collecting unemployment. Typical day includes sleeping till 3pm them playing Allied Assault for a few hours.
  • by gregwbrooks (512319) * <gregb AT west-third DOT com> on Monday November 10, 2003 @06:16PM (#7438028)
    Do what I did: Pick the local daily newspaper with the best photos, and hire one of their photojournalists to shoot the event. Spend as little time as possible on formal photos, and instead instruct the shooter to cover the wedding as if it were a photo essay.

    Negotiate to get the negatives and contact sheets at the end of the gig, and go make your own prints.

    We ended up with a wedding album that's the envy of every couple that sees it, and we spent around $500 total. Oh, and having the negs makes it easier to archive the negs and slides on a CD-ROM.

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