Real people, real salaries

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paradeThis week, our friends at Parade magazine published their annual “What People Earn” issue.

I’m fascinated by how many diverse and real people are willing to divulge their salaries. We often hear from readers who don’t agree with the salary info that we report, which are often national averages. But people want to know what they can earn in their specific professions in their towns.

From the accounting manager in Woodville, Ohio to the security specialist in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Parade features 120 everyday people and what they earn.

Want to know what Jennifer Aniston or Jay-Z is raking in? Parade also gives you a sneak peek at what some of today’s most famous faces earn.

If you want to see if your salary measures up, try checking out one of the numerous salary calculators online like

Something to keep in mind about the economy, however. Tightened budgets are restricting pay increases and, in some cases, resulting in pay reductions.’s latest job forecast found that, while 42% of employers expect to increase salaries for full-time, permanent employees in the second quarter, 46% of employers anticipate no change in compensation levels and 7% expect a decrease.

Tell us: Would you tell America what you earn?

  1. CEO of a small company overseas. Make $230k per year plus a car & driver. Have a bonus that I likely won’t get because of the bad economy. Have to work 14 hours a day to keep things moving… so it’s really not that much compensation for the effort given.


  2. $230k per year plus a car & driver isn’t much compensation? Give me a break! Most people would love to be in your shoes.

  3. I work as a stockroom replenisher for a major national retailer. $7.80/hr and not considered full time but average 35 hours a week with fudging on my hours some. (No real full time positions available. We have been told there will be no merit/cost of living raises this year for anyone in the company nationwide. I live in rural Alabama, small city of about 9000.

  4. yeah, i have a BS in biology and work full time as a lab tech, i make about 14.00/hr. At a company that requires me to stay till everything is done, some days from 8am till 9pm. my average week is 40+ hours. i would kill to make 230k

  5. I am a Security Supervisor for a gas refinery overseas. I make $84K/year. Bennies are good, like food and lodging, but I work 12 hrs/day, 7 days a week for 6 weeks then get 3 weeks off, company pays travel (business class). It’s a decent gig.


  6. Thanks for the laugh! Even at 14 hours a day x 5 days a week you’re pulling down $68.+ per hour. Beat me, hurt me, where do I sign up?

    Some people don’t know how good they’ve got it!

  7. To Mike Hunt,
    I work 10 hours a day my husband works on ave 14 hours a day and we drive ourselves to & fro if you will. We do not make 230K a year but we are happy with what we have. We appreciate everything we have and own. I hope your situation improves so you can get everything that makes you happy. I have not had a raise in a while…but I seem to be keeping my head above water and I am not complaining because at least I have a job…career. good luck to you.

  8. It is a joke because salaries are so diverse state to state city by city, but then so is the costs of living. However current tax structure decides who is wealthy and who isn’t, without those same guidelines. So from a federal perspective the whole thing is ridiculous, you cannot compare and average a profession in California to a profession in Wyoming, and then say it is what people earn, its ridiculous.

  9. Charles –
    I think you are an idiot, you are right about the fair compensation to this CEO, however when was the last time you worked 14 hour days?

  10. I agree with Charles This guy earns almost a 1/4 million (not incl chauffeur)a year “claiming” 14 hours a day… Thats @$65 if he works all 14 hrs 5 days/wk 52wks/yr. Surely a nice vacation package is included in the rest of his benefits. Give me a break! This guy is what is wrong with America.

  11. I earn $10.00 an hour as a bookseller for an independent California based bookstore. I live in a city with a floor wage of $9.47 per hour, considered a livable wage as compared to a minimal wage. However, the cost of living is very high and my job is part time – no benefits. I have earned more and done relatively well in the past, but sidelined by breast cancer, these days I am simply glad to have a job that I can handle and enjoy with a company in which eventually, I may succeed. Soon I will have to file bankruptcy, mostly for the unpaid medical/surgical debt. There is no where to go but up! I see that my glass has water in it and I am confident that my situation could improve. (I’m idealistic like that.) Meanwhile, my part time job does not allow me to move out of my sister in law’s home. I guess that makes me ‘homeless,’ or temporarily sheltered with family and part of that invisible but growing class of Americans called the working poor. I could do wonders on an annual salary of $200,000+ thousand! Wealthy and middle class (truly middle class Americans, not those living on credit and above their means!) complain entirely too much. It’s a shame.

  12. Last I checked we still live in a market economy where supply/demand determines the price. If the market determines that Mike Hunt gets $230k a year, so be it. It tells me things are just fine in America. Maybe one day I can make that kind of money. In the meantime, I have a pretty cushy R&D job for a biotech company and pull down $74k a year while averaging only 10-12 hrs a day x 5, no weekends.

  13. Mike is Ceo-Bone-Head. I made what he makes about 4 years ago and now I make 1/5 of that even if he lives in NY, LA or DC he has no clue about real american income at 50K or real life at 50K. Wow 2hr for lunch, 1hr work out, 5 hrs of conf calls, 4 hrs on email, 2hours of work not a bad day… many would take your 14 for their 10 standing and lift. Wake-up and thank who ever you choose.

  14. Mike Hunt (if that’s even your real name)
    Yeah, I feel real sorry about your bonus, boo hoo. Why don’t you shut up and be thankful for what you have instead of complain about all the long, tired hours of work (sob) that you have to put in to make all your money and have to be driven around in your big fancy car. If the money isn’t worth all the work then why don’t you downsize?

  15. I make between $200 and $300k per year as a loan officer and I pay nearly half in taxes while living in a ratty apartment while people making $15k per year are buying $500k mansions and new BMW’s. Oh…I came to this country at 20, joined the army and worked as a security guard while going to school for 10 yrs. Unlike some people, I do have ambition. Instead of trying to limit what someone could make, why don’t you try to get there yourself. I do know what $50k salary is, however, in LA that would give you a 1 bedroom apartment and cup of noodles a couple of days per week.

  16. I make 75k a year and work 40 hours a week and my job is only a 20 minute walk from my home. I work at a local hospital that is affiliated with the state I live in. The benefits are great and the only time that it’s a little stressful is during month end. I oversee all operational aspects of my area but only have one employee that currently reports to me. Not a bad gig.

  17. I understand everyone’s perspective, as much as I can, of course. I too worked very hard my whole life to get to where I am today. There were times that I worked 3 jobs and went to school. There were times that I supported four people (2 adults and 2 children on 17,000/year.)by working full time and I attended college full time (I paid my own way through college). There were days that we were lucky to have broccoli on the table; it was a luxury. There were times I dug in the back seat of my ’78 pinto to find pennies for gas to get to work. I bought the Pinto for $126, because that was all I had to my name. However, I have a friend who slept in the back seat of her mother’s car with her sister and her brother, because they had no home and their father left them. She lived in drug infested section 8 housing when her mother finally did find a home. She now happens to be my best friend. We struggled through school together. After all of our trials, I am now a dentist and she is a doctor. We, I believe, have earned what we make currently with blood, sweat and tears when people said that we would never make it. Currently, she supports her mother and helps her sister with money. I support my father 100%, because the IRS takes his social security and the Bank that he worked for would not pay out his pension, because it was merging (froze all their assets).
    We all have our stories. Please consider what I have said before jumping to judgements of other people. I think it is great for all of us to hear each other’s stories so that we can have empathy, compassion and acquire a different perspective. Afterall, thank God I never had to live in the dirt under plastic or cardboard as some do (including others that pray a mortar might not hit them).

  18. I work as a Project/Business Controller in the Finance department. I make a $74k per year with potential of 12% bonus. I am truly blessed…several of my co-workers (including my team lead) were recently laid off due to the economy.

  19. It just goes to show that your perception of what’s a fair income depends on your situation. No matter how much you make, within reason, you eventually live up to it and want more. You look at the guy or gal who makes a little more and focus on that. I see Goldman has reserved 4.7 Billion for Q1 bonuses. Now that is what I call unreasonable.
    I’m an accountant in Georgia making $62k. One income family of 3.

  20. Amy, good for you. shows what hard work can do. I also believe God works for those who are in need. Been there- the different cycles of austerity and abundance.
    Graduating soon with an MBA. I am absolutely brilliant, GREAT results (so my past bosses have told me). Been without a job for year and half since had my baby. I have been given every excuse on why I can’t get the job- overqualified, not exactly what we are looking for, your resume is 2 pages” etc. Sometimes it is not excuses but circumstances and timing (company relocating, just hired someone).
    A lot of people don’t know how good they have it but then each one knows where the shoe pinches. When I had a job I worked nights and weekends- going to sleep just to wake and head back to work. I even missed my own marriage introduction- when he and his family comes to ask my family formally. Mike may think he has it bad- he knows why.
    However, give thanks to God, take care of your family, keep looking for an upgrade. Be content because whether good or bad, no condition is permanent- this too will pass.

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