Salary Information by Occupation

Beginning Salary Information by Occupation
Beginning Salary for English Majors
Median Salaries by Occupation
Analysis of the Salary Curve for Engineers and Scientists
1997 Salaries for Internet / Software Industry
Top Five Paying Jobs
Southern California Salaries for Technological Jobs

Beginning Salary Information by Occupation

OccupationBeginning Salary ($)Year
Electrical Engineer (Stanford Ph.D.)75,0001997
Ph.D. Physicist (National Lab)64,4001996
Computer Science (Stanford MS)60,0001997
Electrical Engineer (Stanford MS)57,2001997
Ph.D. Physicist (NASA/GSFC tenure-track)
(Ph.D. + 2-4 years)
Computer Science (Stanford B.A.)45,0001997
Operations Research Analysts44,1001996?
Chemical Engineer42,7581997
Ph.D. Physicist (University)42,0001996
Mechanical Engineer39,8521997
Electrical Engineer39,8111997
Computer Science39,9641997
Occupational Therapists38,3001996?
Physical Therapists38,0001996?
Computer Engineers37,3011996?
Ph.D. Physicist (Post-doctoral Jobs)31,000-39,0001996
Systems analysts35,2221996?
Speech/language Pathologists34,0001996?
Management analysts33,3641996?
Civil Engineer32,1701997
Speech/language Audiologists30,0001996?
Employment Interviewers29,9001996?
Social Workers27,0001996?
Hotel-restaurant management25,1761997
Special Education Teachers24,5071996?
Kindergarten Teachers24,5071996?
Liberal Arts24,0811997
Medical Scientists23,5001996?
Guidance Counselors23,0001996?
Residential Counselors18,0001996?
Preschool Teachers11,3751996?

Sources: Michigan State University's Collegiate Employment Research Institute, in NCT, 4/29/97, D1;
PHYSICS NEWS UPDATE (The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News) Number 321, May 13, 1997, as corrected by Raymond Chu, AIP, personal communication, 5/21/97;
Bureau of Labor Statistics data reported in extraMoney, 1997, 56;
GSFC Advertisement 8/8/97;
PC Magazine Online, 9/1/97 (Stanford data).

Beginning Salary for English Majors

The average starting salary for 1998 college graduates with majors in English, classics and related majors was $27,608, up almost 16% from 1997.

Source: Survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, quoted in LAT 8/20/98, A5.

Median Salaries by Occupation

OccupationMedian Salary ($)Median AgeYear
Ph.D. Physicist (National Lab)78,500 1996
Ph.D. Physicist (Industry)77,000 1996
Ph.D. Physicist (all)65,000461996
Software Industry60,000 1996?
Ph.D. Physicist (4-year college)49,200 1996
Ph.D. Physicist (Post-doctoral Jobs)~35,000~271996

See below for internet / software industry.

Source: PHYSICS NEWS UPDATE (The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News) Number 321, May 13, 1997, as corrected by Raymond Chu, AIP, personal communication, 5/21/97;
Business Software Alliance, as reported in Computerlink, SDUT 6/10/97, 22.

1997 Salaries for Internet / Software Industry

OccupationSalary ($)
Creative Director61,917
Software Engineer57,668
Technical Writer51,422
Web Programmer50,978
IS/Network Administrator45,448
Web Instructor44,810
Technical Support32,489

These salaries are derived from a self-selected sample, and thus may be biased. However, note that the salary quoted for software engineer is very close to the median salary in the previous table, and hence the results may be fairly reliable. The methodology used to derive the "average" salary is not clearly stated, but involves "a mean of the salary ranges and then an average of those means", whatever that means.


Top Five Paying Jobs

This list was published in extraMoney, 1997, 56, a publication by Money magazine for high-school students. They stated that they "excluded the pay of the highest 10% or so earners".

OccupationSalary Range ($)Year
Doctors100,000 - 175,0001996?
Lawyers 59,319 - 326,7811996?
Chemical Engineers 45,500 - 148,0001996?
Aerospace Engineers 50,804 - 105,0001996?
Pharmacists 50,598 -   60,8531996?

Southern California Salaries for Technological Jobs

OccupationSalary ($)
CEO of a start-up company200,000 + 6-10% of the company
Chief Technology Officer of a start-up company190,000 + 4% of the company
Vice President of Marketing for start-up company175,000 + 1.5-3% of company
Biotech Researcher20,000-30,000 beginning
Computer Animator30,000-50,000
Computer Chip Designer35,000 beginning; 80,000 with experience
Computer Designer40,000-50,000 beginning
Computer Technician32,000 average
Corporate Product Support17,000-39,000 average
Database Specialist32,000 average lower-level; 47,000-75,000 senior
Electrical/computer engineer47,712 average
Graphic Designer21,000-24,000 beginning
Graphical User Interface Designer28,000 beginning; 40,000 experienced
Help desk support and training personnel20,000 entry-level; 42,000 managers
Management Informaton Systems Manager60,000 (small businesses); 75,000 (large businesses)
Manufacturing Engineer35,000 beginning; 70,000 experienced
Multimedia Producer30,000 beginning; 100,000 for talented freelancer
Network Specialist53,750 average
Programmer37,056 average
Quality Assurance Specialist16,000-32,000 average; 30,000-65,000 with computer engineering degree
Software Engineer25,000 for experienced engineers working in a hot area
Systems Analyst42,768 average
Technical Support Specialist17,000-39,000 average
Webmaster20,000 beginning; 50,000 experienced

Source: LA Times "Careers" 3/24/97, 7, 9 from Bureau of Labor Statistics; "100 Jobs in Technology" by Lori Hawkins and Betsy Dowling; Jeff Christian, Christian & Timbers; Jack Kyser, Economic Development Corp. of L.A. County. and, yes, the salaries seem quite low for reality!

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Copyright © 1997, 1998 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Last update: 20 August 1998