Paul L. Caron

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Report: The Highest Paying Jobs With The Most Time Off

24/7 Wall St., The Highest Paying Jobs With The Most Time Off:

The vast majority of high-paying jobs require a significant initial commitment in the form of education, training and tuition, and then hard work while on the job. Most high-paying jobs require significantly more hours on the job than the average American puts in. 24/7 Wall St. has identified nine jobs that pay well above the national median income, while requiring less working hours than average. ...

After reviewing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24/7 Wall St. identified jobs that pay the most for the least amount of work. Most of these positions still require a great deal of training, but once completed, the amount of work drops significantly.

Law professors are #2 on the list, with reported hours worked per year of 1,608:

While the entire list could have just been comprised of different types of college professors, we listed only the highest-paying position. ... Becoming a law professor only requires a law degree, although many today also have a Master of Laws and even a PhD. The time spent seems well worth it. Besides the generous salary, the enjoy unique benefits, “including access to campus facilities, tuition waivers for dependents, housing and travel allowances, and paid leave for sabbaticals,” according to the BLS. Between these sabbaticals and the summer vacation, most professors work nearly 400 hours less than the average U.S. employee.

Whatever the accuracy of these figures, 24/7 Wall St. dramatically underestimates law professor salaries:

  • Median salary: $94,260
  • Top salary: $145,990

For a more accurate picture of law professor salaries, see here and here.

The #1 job is pilots, copilots, and flight engineers with reported hours worked per year of 1,090 and a $103,210 median salary. Judges and Magistrates are #9 (1,935 yearly hours, $119,270 median salary).

Update: Paul Campos (Colorado) blogs the 24/7 Wall St. report and notes that it "understates massively the perks of this thing of ours," citing these examples of law professor salaries (presumably culled from the link above):

Florida -- 2009
Median: $144,200
4 of 48 making $200K+

Illinois -- 2009
Median: $162,000
15 of 49 making $200K+

Ohio State -- 2010
Median: $171,746
11 of 36 making $200K

Texas -- 2010
Median:  $198,000
33 of 69 are making $200K+

Michigan --2009
Median salary: $218,000
38 of 63 are making $200K

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The Ruling Class ... takes care of itself. And pretends it is doing it all for the good of others. Always it has been.

Posted by: Greg Ransom | Sep 5, 2011 11:25:43 AM

"The #1 job is pilots, copilots, and flight engineers with reported hours worked per year of 1,090 and a $103,210 median salary"

Just to correct the record, airline pilots are paid for block time only, not total time at work. Saying an airline pilot works 1090 hours/yr (an odd number, as pilots are limited to 1000 block hours per year by law) is like saying Bill O'Reilly only works 260 hours a year because he's only on the air five hours/wk.

Posted by: J | Sep 5, 2011 12:17:45 PM

Sounds like a bubble in the making to me.

Posted by: Tartan69 | Sep 5, 2011 12:37:03 PM

Have to agree with Greg. More than a little navel gazing going on here.

Posted by: Milpundit | Sep 5, 2011 12:39:00 PM

Airline crews are paid by the hour, but they are only "on the clock" when the door to the aircraft closes just before pushback from the gate and until the door opens again at the destination. Preflight, postflight, going through security at each end and customs internationally, delays, and time at airports between flights do not count, even though they pretty much double the time at work. The unpaid hours only "count" in the "pilot fatigue" calculations that make pilots legally not able to work more than a certain number of hours in a "crew day".

I think the monthly limit of paid hours flying is 75. (I know it is impossible for my husband to schedule more than 75 hours.)

Here's a scheduling example. This morning he woke up at 4 a.m. to go to the airport and fly the second or third flight of the morning to Miami. Flying time about 3 hours 20 minutes. (If it's the first flight, he's up at 2:30 a.m.) He has a turn from Miami to the Dominican Republic in the morning then flies back to Boston and gets in at 9 p.m. His paycheck will be based on about 12 hours of time the aircraft door was closed, though he has been "at work" in airports and in the plane for double that time, and away from home for about 41 hours.

Posted by: Amy | Sep 5, 2011 4:47:13 PM

Another comment on the #1--pilots and variations thereof. If you're a military pilot, you're usually putting in at least 60 hours a week in peacetime. If you're in combat, then number goes up, and as an added attraction you can be killed.

Posted by: KBeck | Sep 5, 2011 5:58:04 PM

Are these inflated numbers for full professors only?

Perhaps the Wall Street Journal looked at all professors for its median? Surely the WSJ's "top salary" number is incorrect, but Paul Campos is just as wrong about his low number by excluding the salaries of clinical profs. At the very least, an explanation of whose salaries are being averaged here would be nice.

Posted by: LLM | Sep 12, 2011 9:36:54 AM