Sweet Jobs But Surprisingly Small Salaries

by on October 15, 2012

Here are some jobs that most people agree are cool jobs, but just don’t pay well.

NFL Cheerleaders
The beautiful women who get paid to smile and wave pom-poms on TV actually only earn $50-75 per game. After two preseason and eight regular season games, that’s just $500-750 for the year. So why take the job? For many, it’s about the networking and using the experience as a stepping stone. Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher was once a cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers.

Magazine Editors
Picture the life of a magazine editor in NYC. Busy days meeting deadlines for stories and nights out for cocktails at exclusive clubs before crashing in a posh penthouse apartment. Easy to picture, right? Now try to picture that editor making $28,000 per year. That’s the realistic picture, and the nationwide average is just $19,000. Climb the company ladder and your salary comes with you, but even so, magazine editors aren’t exactly printing money.

sweet jobs that have small salariesModels
A job that for many is a lifestyle, modeling doesn’t pay everyone glamorously. Victoria’s Secret models Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Heidi Klum each earn $6-8 million per year. By contrast, your simply average model makes just $42,560 per year, according to Forbes.

Reporters and Correspondents
Ann Curry: $2 million per year
Glenn Beck: $80 million
Average reporter or correspondent for your local TV station: $43,780
Lowest 10% of the pay scale: $19,970
With those wages, don’t you feel like you should be tipping your news anchor?

Private Detectives
William Peterson earns $500,000 per episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. A real private investigator working for justice and uncovering the truth bring home just $47,830. They must work for adrenaline rush or the satisfaction of the job, because clearly pay and pleasant work environment aren’t the motivating factors.

Embalmers
Knowledge of chemistry and anatomy is required, as well as a strong stomach. Those who prepare the bodies of the recently deceased for burial earn $44,280 for their work.

Computer Support Specialists
A good one is a lifesaver and an unhelpful one is a menace, but for a highly technical, in-demand field, computer support specialists aren’t paid as much as you might think: mean annual income is $49,530 with the bottom 10% earning just $23,870.

Marriage and Family Therapists
Think you’re paying way too much to the person going over your marriage issues? There’s not much overhead, just the office and the paperwork, right? Generally, becoming a therapist requires a master’s degree and various licensing procedures, depending on the state. Advanced degrees carry a hefty price tag, but the median salary for a marriage and family therapist is $47,530. Higher-paying option? Occupational therapists, those who help patients recover from illness or injury to begin performing normal activities again, pull in $72,320 per year on average, and the demand is projected to grow 33% in the next ten years.

Still interested (or feeling nosy about someone else’s salary)? Check out Forbes slideshow of low-paying careers or the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for more in-depth reports and statistics.  Or read our earlier post about low paying jobs or easy and unsusual jobs.

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