Saturday, August 20, 2011

"When I Grow Up" Occupations and Their Actual Incomes

In first grade, I wanted to be an artist after having my non-impressive, watercolor painting of a farm-esque scene posted in the hallway of my school. I realized soon afterwards that this would never work seeing as I (1) don't have any talent and (2) did not enjoy art. Six-year-old me just wanted some attention. 

But what if I had stuck to it? What if I had stuck to any of the countless "When I Grow Up" dreams I had back in my elementary school days?

Well, let's see...

*All this information comes from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Online Edition.

1. Artists: It vary's greatly depending on whether you're on a salary. The 50-middle percent of salaried fine artists makes between $29K and 60K. Not bad! But then there's this tidbit about freelancers:  "Many, [freelance artists] however, find it difficult to rely solely on income earned from selling paintings or other works of art."

2. Magicians: Unavailable on OOH. (Guess it's a good thing I didn't follow that one...)

3. Lawyers: The middle 50 percent earn anywhere from 75K to 160K. (This still does not give me the desire to take the LSAT.) 

4. Doctors: This one has a quite a range, but they are all in the high five- and six- digits. Your general, first-year practitioner makes about 87K, while your veteran anesthesiologist makes about 230K. (If only I had learned to embrace anatomy at a young age, rather than go "Eww!")

5. Teachers: Average of 47K to 51K. Not bad, but a teacher's work is no joke. That seem's to be on the low side considering most teachers job descriptions go something like, "Needed: Teacher who can also be mind-molder, philosopher, cheerleader, mother, father, aunt, uncle, social worker and all around miracle worker. Other's need not apply." (I'd be "other's".) 

6. Dolphin trainers: Couldn't find this one either, although, other animal trainers make about 20K to 38K. Too bad I can't swim. AND that I am now morally opposed to making animals, who should be out in the wild, entertain people. (Double dag-nabbit!) 

7. Writers: Pretty much the same story as artists. Salaried writers do pretty well, with the middle 50 percent making 38K to 75K. But most freelancers "support themselves from income derived from other sources." (BTW, I stuck to this dream if you couldn't tell...)

How about you? What did you want to be when you grew up? Happy you made an alternate decision or that you stayed true to your pre-puberty self? 

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