Average Salaries of Common Professions

by on October 13, 2011

If you’re interested in money, then surely you’ll find this list of jobs and their salaries interesting.  We’ve researched dozens of careers, found information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, trade organizations, universities and other sources, and put together a list of common professions.  Browse through the list and we guarantee you’ll be surprised at how much or how little at least one of the professions makes!

There are some professions that we just don’t get.  Like making only $17,000 for risking your life for your country!  Or that a bartender can make $75,000!  We even found claims that some bloggers make over a million dollars a year (not this one)!

Air force

  • The Airman Basic E-1 Air Force starting salary is $17,600
  • The Airman E-2 is $19,700
  • Airman First Class E-3 make $21,000 – $23,000
  • The E-4 through E-9 (Chief Master Sargeant) make from $23,000 – $86,000


  • Average architect starting salary with a bachelors degree is $41,000
  • Average starting salary with a masters degree is $47,000
  • Average salary for an architect with 20 years of experience is $100,700
  • The mean annual wage is $76,750
  • The range of pay for architects is between $40,000 and $120,000


  • An Army Private E-1 makes $17,600
  • An Army Private E-2 salary is $19,700
  • Average Army salaries for Sargeants range from $22,000 – $34,000
  • Active Duty Officers (Lieutenants and Captains) can make $33,000 – $62,000


  • Bartenders earn an hourly wage of about $5 – $8 per hour, plus tips
  • Bartender tips average 2 to 3 times their wages
  • Average annual salary of a bartender is $30,000 – $60,000
  • At popular resorts and bars, bartenders can earn up to $75,000


  • This is difficult as there are no official stats to pull from
  • Some sources say that top bloggers are making over $3 million per year
  • The starting salary for a blogger is typically $0, as they don’t make money until they create traffic to their blog
  • Many bloggers report salaries between $10,000 and $60,000


  • Chef can mean a lot of different things.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average chef makes $32,000.
  • According to a cooking school, average salary for an executive or personal chef is $60,000 – $80,000
  • Famous chefs and chefs at popular restaurants make well over $100,000
  • Starting salary for a new chef is about $26,000


  • An experienced chiropractor’s salary ranges from $100,000 to $180,000
  • The average salary is $130,000
  • Starting salary for a chiropractor is based on the level of clientele they acquire, but is estimated to be between $35,000 and $60,000 the first year.

Delivery Driver

  • Average delivery truck drivers earn $26,000 per year
  • The typical range of pay for delivery truck drivers is between $20,000 and $40,000
  • Delivery truck drivers can reach a salary near $60,000


  • The median salary for dentists is about $145,000
  • Self employed dentists typically make more than their salaried counterparts, but need to provide for their own insurance and expenses.
  • Starting salaries for a dentist vary but are estimated to be around $100,000


  • Electrical engineers earn an average of $85,000 and range from $55,000 in starting salary to over $130,000
  • Mechanical engineers make an average of $80,000 and range from $50,000 starting salaries to over $120,000
  • Civil engineers start at $52,000, average $79,000, and can earn $120,000 with experience

Fast Food Worker

  • Fast food workers typically start at minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 per year.
  • With experience fast food workers can make up to $10 per hour or $20,000 per year
  • Fast food workers can also earn overtime and small bonuses


  • Fire fighters earn on average $45,000
  • Typical salary range for a fire fighter is between $31,000 and $58,000
  • The full range (90 percentile) is between $22,000 and $72,000

Flight attendant

  • Flight attendants median pay is $37,000
  • Salaries range from $20,000 to $65,000 and are typically $29,000 to $50,000


  • Chemists make $40,000 to $115,000 and average $66,000
  • Medical scientists earn $40,000 to $140,000 and average $73,000
  • Food scientists average $60,000 and range from $34,000 to $105,000
  • Environmental scientists earn an average of $65,000 per year

Graphic designer / Web Designer

  • Graphic desingers starting salary is around $30,000
  • The average salary for a graphic designer is $42,000
  • The range of salaries (90 percentile) is $26,000 to $75,000
  • Many graphic and web designers are freelancers and do not earn salaries

Lawyer / Attorney

  • Starting lawyers earn between $35,000 and $40,000 for a typical attorney position
  • With a good degree and working for a large firm, a lawyer could start out at $100,000 or more
  • The average salary for all lawyers is $111,000
  • 50 percent of lawyers make between $75,000 and $165,000 per year

Mechanic / Repair Technician

  • Starting salaries for a mechanic average around $25,000 per year
  • The average income for a mechanic is $33,000
  • The typical pay range for a mechanic is $25,000 to $45,000 and the full range is $20,000 to $60,000


  • Starting salaries for nurses are about $45,000
  • The average salary for a nurse is $63,000
  • The low high range is $40,000 to $95,000

Paramedic / EMT

  • Starting salaries for a paramedic are around $20,000 according to BLS, however, I also saw that the starting EMT position at FDNY is over $40,000.  The starting salaries for paramedics vary widely.
  • The average EMT makes about $29,000 per year
  • The range of paramedic salaries is from $18,000 to $50,000


  • Starting salaries for pharmacists range from $75,000 to $85,000
  • The average salary for all pharmacists is $108,000
  • The range of pay for pharmacists ranges from $75,000 to $135,000

Physician / Doctor

  • Primary care physicians earn an average of $190,000
  • Specialized care physicians (such as surgeons, dermatologists, cardiopulmonary, etc.) average $340,000
  • Starting salaries for general medicine doctors are around $130,000
  • Starting salaries for specialists range from $160,000 to $350,000


  • Airline pilots earn an average of $112,000
  • Starting salaries for commercial airline pilots are usually about $90,000
  • Airline pilot salaries range from $75,000 to $180,000


  • Instructors average $47,000 in salary
  • Assistant professors salary is $65,000 on average
  • Associate professors make an average of $65,000
  • Professors average salary is about $110,000
  • Salaries are slightly higher at private institutions versus public universities
  • Salaries are higher at 4 year universities than at 2 year or technical colleges

Security guard

  • Security guards average wage is about $25,000
  • The salary for security guards ranges from $17,000 to $45,000

Social Worker

  • Median annual wages of child, family and school social workers is $40,000 and range from $27,000 to $68,000
  • Medical and public health social workers make an average of $48,000 and range from $28,000 to $73,000

Software Engineer / Programmer

  • The average starting salary for someone with a bachelors degree in computer programming is $62,000
  • Application software engineers earn on average $85,000 (range of $55,000 to $130,000)
  • Systems software engineers annual wages average $93,000 (range of $60,000 to $140,000)
  • Computer programmers average earnings are $70,000 (range of $40,000 to $112,000)


  • Starting salaries for a school teacher is about $36,000
  • Average teacher salaries are $51,000
  • The range of annual earnings for teachers is $35,000 to $85,000

Truck Driver

  • Truck drivers make average annual wages of around $35,000
  • The typical salary range for a truck driver is $28,000 to $45,000
  • Some experienced truck drivers make $60,000 or more


  • Starting salaries for veterinarians range from $45,000 to $65,000
  • The average veterinarian earns $80,000 per year
  • The range in earnings for veterinarians is from $45,000 to $145,000


Sources: SalaryList.com, DesignIntelligence Compensation Survey, US Dept of Labor Statistics, US Airforce, US Army, Bartending.org, Salary.com, eHow.com, Ask.com, American Association of University Professors, American Federation of Teachers, American Veterinary Medical Association

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamal December 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm

As an electrical engineer, i’m underpaid now if based on this average salaries….so sad..
Jamal recently posted..Kencana win Wheatstone LNG contract worth RM1 billionMy Profile


Ryan March 31, 2012 at 9:57 am

I was looking for information about the Pharmacy Technician Salary, Do you have it? Correct me if I\’m wrong. The base salary ranges of Pharmacy technician in North America is around 24,000 – 35,000 per year? Do you have data that verifies this?
Ryan recently posted..PHARMACY TECHNICIAN SALARYMy Profile


Terry May 28, 2013 at 5:16 am

Thank you for a very useful post. It is especially interesting for me to see the average salary for security guards. Comparing to other sources the averages to tend to vary a bit. But this post is close to what I have seen reported elsewhere.


Houston Chiropractor August 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Hey Chris,
Your mentioned salary ranges for chiropractor are really life-like. Thanks for your hard-work for mentioning the salary ranges for various occupations here. Keep up great posting. Thanks again.
Houston Chiropractor recently posted..Chiropractic and AddictionMy Profile


Ali Mughal March 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm

All information about mechanical world and also all types of mechanical vales and tube and boilers to enjoy all king of interesting about machines and others things. And also very good information about jobs in this article.


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