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The 10 Most Overpaid Jobs

Posted by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 3:28 PM
  • 11 Replies

Do you or your SO make this list? Would you add or take away something from this list?

The 10 Most Overpaid Jobs 

Jobs are hard to come by these days. Raises are puny. It's getting harder to get ahead, as most workers know.

But some employees still report to Easy Street when they punch in.

While average incomes have fallen during the last few years, CEO pay has continued to rise. Other executives and specialists with key skills earn top dollar, especially if they're willing to live on airplanes and make other tradeoffs that globalization demands. Some companies may even be willfully overpaying certain workers, since aggressive downsizing has left them more dependent than ever on fewer people.

To identify the most overpaid workers, U.S. News analyzed data provided by compensation experts at PayScale to highlight occupations characterized by relatively high pay for relatively easy work. This is admittedly an inexact science with subjective criteria. "Overpaid" means different things to different people, and many workers represented on our list have perfectly legitimate jobs requiring skill, talent and training.

What we tried to suss out are occupations that have been largely exempt from the do-more-with-less ethos so many workers are familiar with, and might even be considered enviable jobs. To help generate our list, PayScale sorted data on thousands of occupations to isolate those in which median pay is well above the norm. The final list includes jobs held by people who report relatively low levels of stress (a proxy for how demanding the work is) and who feel their job doesn't necessarily make the world a better place. (See a methodology note at the bottom of the story.) By those standards, here's our list of the 10 most overpaid jobs:

Consulting software engineer (median mid-career salary: $123,000). These high-end programmers design and maintain sophisticated computer networks for big companies and other large organizations. But the work can be dry and many such engineers question the value of what they do. Other types of programmers and software engineers rank high on the overpaid list as well.

Brand strategist ($90,700). These advertising or marketing specialists work to improve the image and reputation of companies and their offerings--whether deserved or not. Brand strategists rate the importance of their own work poorly compared with other professionals.

Interaction designer ($116,000). Many websites rely on these technical experts to make the user's experience engaging and fun--though often to lure users into a purchase or transaction rather than provide personal benefits to them. Other types of website architects and managers also made the overpaid list.

Marketing research director ($122,000). They're highly paid, but market-research pros these days increasingly slice and dice reams of data instead of interacting with focus groups or real people. Job stress is particularly low compared with other occupations, suggesting cushy work conditions, often in front of a computer.

Accounting consultant ($81,700). These specialized auditors have lots of expertise, but even they seem to think they're overpaid: Nearly three-quarters say their job has no positive impact on the world or makes it a worse place.

Portfolio analyst ($81,800). It's certainly not a job a monkey could do, but the value of portfolio analysts who continually recalibrate pools of investments to optimize their value has been questioned for a long time--even by analysts themselves. Some overestimate their expertise or fail to acknowledge their limited ability to predict what might go wrong.

Wholesaler, financial services ($109,000). Is one insurance policy or mutual fund really that much better than another? The sales pros who pitch financial products to businesses (which might offer them to their own employees or customers, in turn) strive to make their offerings seem best, but skepticism is an occupational hazard in this job.

Patent attorney ($170,000). We tend to think of patents as the breakthrough insights of revolutionary inventors, but they're increasingly a form of warfare among corporations seeking to prevent each other from gaining a technology edge. The lawyers who fight those battles are among the highest-paid professionals PayScale surveys.

Investment consultant ($111,000). Financial advisers can help develop a long-term investing strategy, but they sometimes hawk products on behalf of favored financial firms or advocate active trading--which racks up fees--rather than more proven buy-and-hold strategies. Consumers have become widely skeptical of financial professionals.

Data scientist, IT ($133,000.) Big data is the next big thing, and these quantitative experts--typically with doctorates in math or similar fields--earn big bucks for developing the models and algorithms that will help corporations gain a marketing or competitive edge. What's in it for the ordinary people whose data is being scrutinized is less clear.

[Read: The 10 Most Underpaid Jobs.]

by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 3:28 PM
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Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Mar. 22, 2013 at 6:50 PM
I have to disagree with number one. My hubby is a software engineer and number one it's an intense incredibly difficult degree. Number two the job can be difficult especially in regards to the companies who want software, they don't understand how it's made and so don't understand the time requirements or how difficult it is to change things 'whenever". And three, he's been averaging seventy hours a week for a year, fifty for the four years previously not including deadline weeks when he'll work eighty plus hours. Number one should be factory workers if u ask me.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Mar. 22, 2013 at 7:40 PM
Many of these jobs are way more than 40 hour jobs. Depends on who you work for. Sick of people getting put down for jobs they have. Used to be the land of opportunity now it is the land of the handouts and people who work are crap.
FoodIsLife
by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Funny. My husband is no. one also, when i showed him the list he said "i would say it's pretty accurate". They get paid for their time more than anything (a trend I see in this list) and not so much as product. Maybe your husband should come work with mine ;-) since mine seems to think he gets paid too much LOL! 

Factory workers? I can see that. A lot of them have unions and totally get over paid for the time they put it.

Quoting Anonymous:

I have to disagree with number one. My hubby is a software engineer and number one it's an intense incredibly difficult degree. Number two the job can be difficult especially in regards to the companies who want software, they don't understand how it's made and so don't understand the time requirements or how difficult it is to change things 'whenever". And three, he's been averaging seventy hours a week for a year, fifty for the four years previously not including deadline weeks when he'll work eighty plus hours. Number one should be factory workers if u ask me.



FoodIsLife
by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 9:41 PM

I think we live in a society that bases who and what we pay them off of our need for their doings and for the whole "Not anyone can do it" mentality. Look at Pro athletes. They are at the top of my list. There is no need for a Pro football player to be paid 10 million a year, but because thats how much value we put into them, its what they get. 

ugh lets not even get started on handouts lol!

Quoting Anonymous:

Many of these jobs are way more than 40 hour jobs. Depends on who you work for. Sick of people getting put down for jobs they have. Used to be the land of opportunity now it is the land of the handouts and people who work are crap.



FoodIsLife
by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 9:50 PM


lol, i just talked to him again about it. He thinks its possible they are over paid (just not worth as much as people make them out to be) but certainly agreed with EVERYTHING you said. :-)

He said he knows a guy that left their company for another to make a sweet salary and he averages 60 hours a week and since he's salary, he can't claim overtime so he actually makes less in theory than some of those on hourly wages at that company.


Quoting Anonymous:

I have to disagree with number one. My hubby is a software engineer and number one it's an intense incredibly difficult degree. Number two the job can be difficult especially in regards to the companies who want software, they don't understand how it's made and so don't understand the time requirements or how difficult it is to change things 'whenever". And three, he's been averaging seventy hours a week for a year, fifty for the four years previously not including deadline weeks when he'll work eighty plus hours. Number one should be factory workers if u ask me.



Clairwil
by Silver Member on Mar. 23, 2013 at 7:30 AM
Quoting FoodIsLife:

Would you add or take away something from this list?

Consulting software engineer (median mid-career salary: $123,000). These high-end programmers design and maintain sophisticated computer networks for big companies and other large organizations. But the work can be dry and many such engineers question the value of what they do. Other types of programmers and software engineers rank high on the overpaid list as well.

Investment consultant ($111,000). Financial advisers can help develop a long-term investing strategy, but they sometimes hawk products on behalf of favored financial firms or advocate active trading--which racks up fees--rather than more proven buy-and-hold strategies. Consumers have become widely skeptical of financial professionals.

A good investment consultant is worth a very high salary.   The problem is, the only way to tell if a particular consultant is good or not is often 10 years down the line, when you find out if their advice was a disaster or a gold mine.

Consulting engineers to design the architecture for large systems are the same.   Until you hit a problem that they should have forseen but didn't (eg scalability), you may not realise their advice was worthless.

rayroe2
by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 7:33 AM
So let's make it better...
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
rayroe2
by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 7:34 AM
I would be good interaction one.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
thatgirl70
by Carin on Mar. 23, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Why aren't entertainers and sports figures on the list?

FoodIsLife
by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 3:44 PM


I have no idea, that was something I was thinking. Pro football players getting paid 10 million a year? dang.

Quoting thatgirl70:

Why aren't entertainers and sports figures on the list?



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