Here’s a more detailed analysis of salaries and a ranking of careers based on ROI (return on investment).
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers detailed data on wages across the US economy, and even breaks it down by industry and occupation:
The data is updated annually, and is available by region and industry. Though it doesn’t include information on bonuses and benefits, which can be a substantial component of compensation, the BLS data is a great starting point for quality salary data. Keep in mind that these statistics tend to underestimate the total compensation of those in corporate jobs, since bonuses and benefits are generally greatest in large companies. Where available, the median wage is provided.
Here are some highlights:
Assorted Salaries by Occupation (Incomplete):
- CEO – $170,000 (Private sector only; since BLS data excludes bonuses, real CEO pay is somewhere between 2 and 10 times this number)
- Management Positions – $105,000 (For white-collar management positions, excluding CEOs)
- Doctors, Primary Care – $153,000 (Family Practice, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine)
- Doctors, Specialists – $180,000 (All other specialties)
- Attorneys – $125,000 (Private sector only)
- Petroleum Engineers – $114,000
- Pharmacists – $100,000
- Computer/Software Engineers – $85,000 (Excludes technicians and other less-skilled positions)
- Chemical Engineers – $82,000
- English Professors – $54,000 (All post-secondary teaching positions)
- Farmers – $54,000