career and job

Rabu, 11 Agustus 2010

4 Secrets to Maximizing Your Salary

by Lila Daniels,

Want to know the secret to maxing out your salary? Sometimes, it's as simple as picking the right industry or knowing which state pays the best. If you're not willing to settle with being average, here are four salary secrets you can take to the bank.

Secret #1: Geography

Teaching is teaching, right? Typical basic credentials for a public school teacher are a bachelor's degree from a teaching program and state certification. From Springfield, Illinois, to Spartanburg, South Carolina, the job is essentially the same. So, would you be surprised that where you teach can make as much as a $30,000 difference in what you make?

Here's your first lesson in maximizing your salary. High school teachers in the top-paying state of Illinois make an annual mean wage of $69,830, according to May 2008 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Teachers in nearby Iowa, meanwhile, make $39,150 annually. This gap is true for elementary education, too. Rhode Island's mean annual salary for elementary school teachers is $66,790, while North Carolina's elementary school teachers earn a mean annual salary of $41,610.

Want to know which states top the pay list? In addition to Rhode Island and Illinois, here are your best bets:

* New York
* Connecticut
* California
* New Jersey

To find out where your state ranks, log on to the BLS website. If your pay lands on the low end of the spectrum, you're not stuck. Many states have reciprocal agreements -- meaning your teaching certification might move with you. Otherwise, find out what it takes to get certified in your target state.

Secret #2: Management

If you want a real jump in salary, making your way up to management is a tried-and-true solution. Just look at the numbers.

With a bachelor's degree in engineering, the average engineer starts at an annual salary in the $50K range for most specialties, according to 2007 BLS statistics. Now, tack an MBA. or master's in engineering on to additional job experience, and what do you get? On average, engineering managers earn over two times more than the entry-level professionals they manage. Recent data show that mean salaries are $120,580, and the top 25 percent earn over $140,000.

Want to know another benefit? Some employers will pick up at least part of the tab when you head back to school.

It's not just the MBA that brings the management salary bump. The pattern holds true for degrees in a variety of fields. For instance, the average medical records technician has an associate's degree and earns around $30,000. A medical information manager generally holds a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as health informatics. These managers earn a mean salary of $88,750, and the top 10 percent make $137,800.

Secret #3: Industry

Training and development specialists always have something they can teach us. In examining their salaries, we uncover the next secret: Find the top-paying industry in your profession.

So, what is the top-paying industry for trainers? Surprisingly, it's the performing arts. Training and development specialists in this field earned mean salaries of $120,460 in the most recently reported figures. That's way above the $54,830 mean salary for the profession as a whole. Don't have a flair for the dramatic? The federal government and energy sector are other top-paying options.

To make the best use of this salary secret, you should target your industry while you are still in school. For instance, if you're earning a human resources degree in training and are aiming for a top-paying industry when you graduate, incorporate course work or extracurricular activities that show your interest. You'll not only impress your potential employers, you'll also gain a far greater understanding of the work being done in your chosen field. Search for internships within the industry you've set your sights on. If one doesn't exist, create it yourself through networking. Few companies turn down "free" help.

Secret #4: Hourly Wage

Sometimes the secret to a higher salary is not getting a salary at all. Jobs at the top of the hourly-wage scale can offer the same benefits as a salaried job with the added enticement of "time-and-a-half" for overtime and double time on holidays. Another draw is that many of these well-paying gigs require an associate's degree or certification rather than a bachelor's degree.

Here are a few to consider, along with their mean wages:

* Dental hygienists: $32.19 an hour, equivalent to $66,950 annually
* Electricians: $23.98 an hour, or $49,890 annually
* Court reporters: $24.98 an hour, or $51,960 annually
* Graphic designers: $22.48 an hour, or $46,750 annually

Timing Can Help

The time to negotiate your pay is before you accept the offer. In a troubled economy, many job seekers are afraid to ask for more, but it never hurts to make an informed case. Knowing these secrets and doing your research beforehand mean you can plan ahead, choosing your education and field carefully. This way, you might be well on your path to maximizing your pay before you even reach the negotiating table.

Job Info , Jobs Sources , Career Opportunity

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