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(ABC News)   The best and worst jobs of 2012. Subby's excited to see he has the third-best job on the list   (abcnews.go.com ) divider line
    More: PSA, LOVE Dairy Farming, software engineers  
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34426 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Apr 2012 at 4:43 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-13 09:16:53 AM  
I thought there would be more stuff on health care in these lists. After several years working for peanuts as a research assistant, I thought it would be nice to at least have some benefits, if not better pay. Anyone out there a medical technologist? I'm this close to getting my acceptance letter.
 
2012-04-13 09:17:50 AM  

Jadedgrl: I see social worker is missing from the list.

/long hours, stressful work, shiatty pay


I had a friend who did that job thinking she could help people, she quit in less than a year, the job was so depressing she couldn't take it.
 
2012-04-13 09:18:23 AM  
Damnit, my job isn't listed and I really like my job.

/ no, no bonuses. no paid vacations either - benifits? well, it's optional and takes some of my pay... stable? somewhat. bosses with goals? who doesn't have that?

// it's still awesome.
 
2012-04-13 09:18:58 AM  

MyRandomName: LOL, software engineer? Not all of us get lucky and "invent" a shiatty filter program for digital cameras to make 30 mil each.

/ Actual engineer
// Programming is 60% of job.


This

I'm sorry, but software engineer is a shiatty job in a shiatty field with high unemployment, high turnover, low pay, low respect, tedious work tasks, lots of office politics, and deteriorating market conditions. This isn't 1980. Tons of jobs have gone overseas, the market is flooded with experienced workers who have tons of experience, employers are driving down salaries and driving up work hours, and you're lucky if you can stay employed 3-4 years at the same company.

I have a ton of software engineer friends. I used to be one. Most of my former coworkers have changed companies 3-4 times in the last 12 years.
 
2012-04-13 09:21:24 AM  

mudesi: Software engineer at number one? I call shenanigans.

Long, boring, tedious hours sitting in front of a screen all day, every day. Money's good, but not worth losing my soul over.


You obviously weren't cut out for programming... For some of us, it's not "boring" or "tedious" at all; we love it! If I weren't getting paid for it, I'd have to do it on my own time, because it's just that damn compelling!
 
2012-04-13 09:21:46 AM  

fusillade762: #2. Actuary

So deciding who gets lifesaving medical treatments and who doesn't is a great job? Is it populated primarily by psychopaths?


You should really look up what an Actuary does. You've missed the mark there.


I'm an E&S Broker, I love what I do. All the perks of a sales job, but with a strong base salary and no chasing down leads.
 
2012-04-13 09:21:50 AM  
Broadcaster and Newspaper reporter are on there, because those jobs are quickly going away (and have been for 10+ years).

Pilot used to be a great job.....any new pilot will pay a fortune for training to make little better than survival wages flying a turboprop for a regional airline. Same with flight attendants. If you don't have 20 years of seniority, you're essentially (paid like) a fast food worker in the air.

The rest of the 'worst' jobs are on their becuase they're low paying, dangerous, or shorten your life-expectancy.

On the 'best'

I wouldn't put software engineer that high - too many jobs outsourced or off-shored, projects can be under-staffed or very stressful. If you get a good job in IT, it's great....but some aren't so great.

Actuary is on there and has been for a long time. I used to work for an actuarial / benefits company. The actuaries were treated like gods. The company was also one of the few (remaining) commericial companies with a defined benefit retirement program. You work an office job with good pay and decent upward mobility...retire at 52 with full benefits, then go off and start your own boutique consulting firm for 10 years or so....then retire for good (or work barely part time) for as long as you want...with a shiatload of money as a nest egg. If you're good at math and love working with numbers, get into an actuarial science program.
 
2012-04-13 09:25:24 AM  

OhioUGrad: The Envoy: Sorry subby, I don't know what it's like in the States, but here in the UK HR is the backwater where dimwit PA's who think they're smarter than they actually are end up. I deal with HR departments at all my clients and I find them to be 99% filled with vacuous, lazy, stupid, opinionated, ignorant and supercilious biatches, whether it's a government department or a private company.

THIS! HR in the US is full of incompetent fools as well, 95% of them with no clue what they are doing, no clue on how to interview (when actually hiring), and a huge amount of self importance.


This is why it's so high on the awesome job list. All you have to do is invent work to emphasize your own self-importance. I'm finally in a job where HR is put in its place, and I love it. There are others to take their place in terms of self-importance (I get daily emails with "information updates" about a purchasing system I don't even have access to), but all HR does here is process required paperwork and hand out packets about benefits. They have maybe 10 people total including admins for a very large organization.

I'm sure there are good people in HR, but vacuous is a generous term for most of them.

Oh, and software jobs are awesome because that's the place to be right now, and the work is challenging, fun, and rewarding. There's definitely some stress involved, but you can earn a decent middle-class income and feel like a bit of a superhero because you have a set of tech skills that is hugely in demand. What I don't get is butcher; it probably doesn't pay well, but it seems like the ideal job for the kid who shoved lit firecrackers into animals' orifices. I wonder if they are counting line workers at meat processing plants, typically grossly underpaid (and often undocumented) barely trained drones who are at a huge risk of slicing off something important.
 
2012-04-13 09:28:12 AM  

steamingpile: minuslars: Master's degree in Chemistry. Salary of a lumberjack. Where did I go wrong.

You sound like a buddy of mine, engineering degree from Georgia Tech and makes less than most of our friends who didn't finish college. Basically he says he does what he's told and he got pissed when I told him that's his problem, he didn't get it and that may be your problem. If you aren't making the money you expect then ask your boss what he expects to make what you would like, be specific and if he tells you there is no way or has no clue then you should just find a new job.


I don't know why, but your post made me think of this:
25.media.tumblr.com

It makes me laugh uproariously every time I see it!
 
2012-04-13 09:28:12 AM  

natmar_76: MyRandomName: LOL, software engineer? Not all of us get lucky and "invent" a shiatty filter program for digital cameras to make 30 mil each.

/ Actual engineer
// Programming is 60% of job.

This

I'm sorry, but software engineer is a shiatty job in a shiatty field with high unemployment, high turnover, low pay, low respect, tedious work tasks, lots of office politics, and deteriorating market conditions. This isn't 1980. Tons of jobs have gone overseas, the market is flooded with experienced workers who have tons of experience, employers are driving down salaries and driving up work hours, and you're lucky if you can stay employed 3-4 years at the same company.

I have a ton of software engineer friends. I used to be one. Most of my former coworkers have changed companies 3-4 times in the last 12 years.


The site is "Using a methodology that looked at physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook"; if you put Software Engineer up against Dishwasher or Butcher in those categories, I think it lines up.

I guess the Dishwasher Institute has had a low graduation count lately so there might be a market demand for Dishwasher Technicians now, but I think a Software Engineer with experience or a degree is probably still likely to be in a much better all around position when you look at the match criteria.
 
2012-04-13 09:28:42 AM  

oryx: Their methodology seems to have a heavy bias toward cubicle jobs.


You want me to work with my hands? Like...A P-P-PEASANT?!!!!!!

i881.photobucket.com

/ crane operator
 
2012-04-13 09:29:40 AM  
Wow! I have the third worst and the most stressful job on the list.

Maybe that's why I'm such a laid back, easygoing guy.
 
2012-04-13 09:31:33 AM  

steamingpile: ask your boss what he expects to make what you would like


I think we're all indebted to steamingpile for clearly stating what needed to be said. I'm particulary glad that these lovely children were here today to hear that speech. Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.
 
2012-04-13 09:32:25 AM  
How did comma user not make the most stressful list?
 
2012-04-13 09:37:44 AM  

RobSeace: mudesi: Software engineer at number one? I call shenanigans.

Long, boring, tedious hours sitting in front of a screen all day, every day. Money's good, but not worth losing my soul over.

You obviously weren't cut out for programming... For some of us, it's not "boring" or "tedious" at all; we love it! If I weren't getting paid for it, I'd have to do it on my own time, because it's just that damn compelling!


Agreed. It's good fun. It has highs and lows (writing a physics engine for game was a lot more fun than trying to meet Microsoft's XBox boot/load timing requirements). In the last year, I've implemented an offline map system for Android, as well as an indoor location tracker using known wifi hotspots. That's fun stuff.

Decreasing pay? No jobs? I live in Austin, and software is going just great out here. Lots of low 6-figure rates and steady raises if you know wtf you're doing.
 
2012-04-13 09:38:13 AM  

The Envoy: steamingpile: minuslars: Master's degree in Chemistry. Salary of a lumberjack. Where did I go wrong.

You sound like a buddy of mine, engineering degree from Georgia Tech and makes less than most of our friends who didn't finish college. Basically he says he does what he's told and he got pissed when I told him that's his problem, he didn't get it and that may be your problem. If you aren't making the money you expect then ask your boss what he expects to make what you would like, be specific and if he tells you there is no way or has no clue then you should just find a new job.

I don't know why, but your post made me think of this:


It makes me laugh uproariously every time I see it!


Well who doesn't want to be batman??!!!

I know its cliche and people hate to hear it but selling yourself is a bigger part of most jobs over doing the job and it is possible to sound over anxious. One of my best friends is not the best at his job but when part of his job is to get customers to buy equipment in the price range of $500k-$5 million then you move up if you are good at that type of shiat.

Yeah he makes a shiat ton of money, never finished his degree, flys everywhere for free with frequent flyer miles.

Also really jealous of him.
 
2012-04-13 09:38:34 AM  
Service Jobs are without a doubt some of the worst. Sadly it's not usually the customers that are evil but the owner, franchisee or manager.

Currently, the staff where I work would drive by a rape/murder on the side of the road if we recognized the manager as a "victim". By victim I mean a person getting their just rewards.

Two faced, lying, back stabbing, good for nothing, tightwad, crack whore. Those are the good points or as Chevy Chase says-

cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shiat.

Retirement? Yeah, to a coffin . . .
 
2012-04-13 09:40:22 AM  
What a crappy list?

All of the "worst" jobs sound 100x better to me than the "best" ones.

Meter reader? Boring, but hardly worst.

Butcher, dairy farmer, reporter? Seriously, Lyneka needs to do better research. How about coal miner, sewer worker, crime scene cleaner upper?

Who the fark wants to be a dental hygienist? Yay, I get to pick last week's meatloaf from your bleeding gums, woooohoooo!!

How articles like this get published is not easily understood. Lyneka really should be ashamed of this crap, I would expect a more thorough analysis of occupations by a ninth grade student.
 
2012-04-13 09:41:33 AM  

steamingpile: I know its cliche and people hate to hear it but selling yourself is a bigger part of most jobs over doing the job


Urgh. I know it's true but you realize that means we end up with a nation of salesmen after a while. You know... sociopaths.

While there's nothing wrong with selling yourself to get more X, I think there also shouldn't be anything wrong with being content with a decent job that you do well and don't have to shave off wafer-thin slices of your soul for.
 
2012-04-13 09:43:45 AM  

Pert: steamingpile: ask your boss what he expects to make what you would like

I think we're all indebted to steamingpile for clearly stating what needed to be said. I'm particulary glad that these lovely children were here today to hear that speech. Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.


You would be shocked how many bitter people work for companies because they aren't honest with their managers/supervisors.

In most companies the biggest issue with people is that they aren't honest with themselves or their bosses, it leads to being bitter so either the company needs to fire them or the employee has to change their goals.

Sometimes what is glaringly obvious to most people gets lost to a person that feels trapped.
 
2012-04-13 09:46:24 AM  
Try living in a town full of out-of-work lumberjacks...Meth labs and garage sales everywhere

/AberDEEN
//Kurt came by it naturally
///even with a beach, it suks
 
2012-04-13 09:46:29 AM  
A little late to the party here, but I need to add a job to the best list: State IT worker. Hmmm, combine the ability to fark all day with the absurd amount of days off (54, plus snow days!), and a pay scale that isn't too far behind my private sector peers, well, I don't know what else someone could ask for.
 
2012-04-13 09:50:18 AM  
I see no "God-Emperor of the Universe" here. THEY SHALL FEEL MY WRATH!!!
 
2012-04-13 09:50:45 AM  

Aidan: steamingpile: I know its cliche and people hate to hear it but selling yourself is a bigger part of most jobs over doing the job

Urgh. I know it's true but you realize that means we end up with a nation of salesmen after a while. You know... sociopaths.

While there's nothing wrong with selling yourself to get more X, I think there also shouldn't be anything wrong with being content with a decent job that you do well and don't have to shave off wafer-thin slices of your soul for.


I agree completely but I am not talking about endless sucking up, just making your impression at the right moments. If you suck up everyone realizes it, even bosses and they will just abuse that person.

I guess the easier way to say selling yourself is to show your self confidence, especially about your job. I hate salesmen too, there is a difference between certainty and just bullshiat, salesmen never know that line.
 
2012-04-13 09:54:25 AM  

Father_Jack: markie_farkie: Beerguy: retirement plan

We were in Maui in 2009, and I chatted up the hotdog cart vendor guy at the Marriott. He said his spot (had to rent access to their pool customers) went for $120 a day, and he was still clearing close to $300 in profit for 6 hours' work. He said weekends were typically crappier, since people were either flying in or leaving, so he let some other guy take those, and paid the rent just to keep the contract.

After watching him for several hours, raking in cash, I totally believed him.

"raking in the cash" = 300 a day?

Lets see here.... 300*5*52 = $78k, assuming he never misses a day or takes a vacation.

Taking 4 weeks off a year for vacations and illness... 300 * 5 * 48weeks... = 72,000.

Well, assuming that 300 he makes a day is indeed profit and he doesnt have too high costs with buying his own health care, that's not bad in many parts of the US id suppose, especially for 6hrs a day.

I wonder how far that would go in maui though?

i want to retire and open a beachside bar in thailand. i reckon a swiss franc pension coupled with US social security would go pretty far in asia. Spend the days serving overpriced heinekens to tourists and the evenings banging hot thai women until im washed out to sea by a tsunami


Locals hate it when rich westerners come open bars as their "retirement plan". Most are finanical failures, but because of your deep pockets you can keep it going in the red for a couple years, sucking money away from the legit local businesses, until you go bankrupt/get bored and sell it off to the next naive westerner. Same goes for hostels. I can't tell you how many hostels I've been in that are owned by some rich, absent westerner who thought it would be fun, run by a bunch of complete drunken young western bums (typically irish, australian, or american) with zero customer service skills. Then you find one owned locally, and its a dream.
 
2012-04-13 09:57:35 AM  

steamingpile: You would be shocked how many bitter people work for companies because they aren't honest with their managers/supervisors.

In most companies the biggest issue with people is that they aren't honest with themselves or their bosses, it leads to being bitter so either the company needs to fire them or the employee has to change their goals.

Sometimes what is glaringly obvious to most people gets lost to a person that feels trapped.


Sorry, I was just being a dick about this sentence, which doesn't make any sense to me no matter how I try to read it:

If you aren't making the money you expect then ask your boss what he expects to make what you would like, be specific and if he tells you there is no way or has no clue then you should just find a new job.

Why are you asking your boss what he expects to make?
What does "ask your boss what he expects to make what you would like" mean?

/not trying to be deliberately stupid or trolling, but I really have no idea what you're trying to say here.
 
2012-04-13 09:58:23 AM  

steamingpile: I guess the easier way to say selling yourself is to show your self confidence, especially about your job. I hate salesmen too, there is a difference between certainty and just bullshiat, salesmen never know that line.


Amen, to both parts.
 
2012-04-13 09:58:31 AM  
As someone currently working as a part system analyst, part software engineer, I'm getting a kick...

Coding isn't tedious.

Dealing with business partners to get defined requirements - that's tedious. Writing the code? That's fun - especially the moment you compile it, run it, and it works!
 
2012-04-13 10:05:08 AM  

steamingpile: You sound like a buddy of mine, engineering degree from Georgia Tech and makes less than most of our friends who didn't finish college. Basically he says he does what he's told and he got pissed when I told him that's his problem, he didn't get it and that may be your problem.


Simply completing a program of study for an academic or any other credential does not guarantee that someone has the emotional, professional, or intellectual maturity or even the temperament to work in any give field and pull down the big bucks. Lots of late boomers and GenXers are learning that now. This is a particular problem for first-generation college grads who have come from blue-collar roots. For lack of a better term, they lack the ability or will to do the schmooze. And the schmooze is paramount, unfortunately.

Of course, honesty about who you are and what you want to do with your time on Earth helps too.
 
2012-04-13 10:12:46 AM  

RobSeace: mudesi: Software engineer at number one? I call shenanigans.

Long, boring, tedious hours sitting in front of a screen all day, every day. Money's good, but not worth losing my soul over.

You obviously weren't cut out for programming... For some of us, it's not "boring" or "tedious" at all; we love it! If I weren't getting paid for it, I'd have to do it on my own time, because it's just that damn compelling!


this.

I write code all day every day, then i go home and play with my 2 year old until he goes to sleep, then i code more, then i goto bed, sometimes i wake up early before the 2 year old and wife are up so i can code before work. some of us really enjoy programming
 
2012-04-13 10:13:51 AM  

Beerguy: markie_farkie: So at what point in any job do you say "FARK THIS" and buy a hotdog cart, and set up shop on a beach somewhere?

That is my retirement plan, except that instead of the hot dog cart, I will be renting beach umbrellas.


I always wanted to buy one of those pump sprayers that they use for pesticides and fill it with suntan oil. Then walk around on a beach spraying people down for a buck each. Could be a fun retirement.
 
2012-04-13 10:14:17 AM  

Father_Jack: The American Worker has been voting against his own self interest and been getting screwed for so long its like theyve adopted a type of economic Stockholm Syndrome with the guys at the top who are screwing them.


THIS.
 
2012-04-13 10:19:56 AM  
I had 2 jobs on the worst list none on the best list. But a lot of those jobs looks just awful anyways like people have stated. Current job is meh. For the most part I am left alone in my building to run as I see fit. LAst year they thought anyone could run my building because it was so "easy". They pulled me from the building for 3 months, when I came back it was a mess. Took me a month and a half to fix my replacements mess. They nominated him for employee of the quarter.
 
2012-04-13 10:19:58 AM  

chasd00: then i goto bed


You really shouldn't be using gotos... Damn spaghetti coder! ;-)
 
2012-04-13 10:22:08 AM  

chasd00: I write code all day every day, then i go home and play with my 2 year old until he goes to sleep, then i code more, then i goto bed, sometimes i wake up early before the 2 year old and wife are up so i can code before work. some of us really enjoy programming


Sigh... I wish. You remind me of what it used to be like.

Too many things on my plate. Too much uncertainty. You know the drill.
 
2012-04-13 10:23:28 AM  

Pert: steamingpile: You would be shocked how many bitter people work for companies because they aren't honest with their managers/supervisors.

In most companies the biggest issue with people is that they aren't honest with themselves or their bosses, it leads to being bitter so either the company needs to fire them or the employee has to change their goals.

Sometimes what is glaringly obvious to most people gets lost to a person that feels trapped.

Sorry, I was just being a dick about this sentence, which doesn't make any sense to me no matter how I try to read it:

If you aren't making the money you expect then ask your boss what he expects to make what you would like, be specific and if he tells you there is no way or has no clue then you should just find a new job.

Why are you asking your boss what he expects to make?
What does "ask your boss what he expects to make what you would like" mean?

/not trying to be deliberately stupid or trolling, but I really have no idea what you're trying to say here.


He's trying to say..."Ask your boss what he needs from you to promote/get a raise to the salary you want."
 
2012-04-13 10:25:54 AM  
Those are the "best" jobs? I wouldn't want any of them, except maybe a mathematician, and I lack the skills for that.

"Human resources manager" Are you farking kidding me??
 
2012-04-13 10:34:21 AM  

tdunning: So, you don't actually know what an actuary is then?

Hint: It's not an insurance adjuster



So you don't know what an insurance adjuster is then?

Hint: It's not a recall coordinator

/it's funny when people correct others and are wrong themselves.
//this is about the protagonist in fight club, for those of you just joining the program
 
2012-04-13 10:34:45 AM  
Number 1, biatches!
 
2012-04-13 10:35:35 AM  
I apparently have the best job. In all honesty, it's a pretty good gig. I enjoy it quite a lot and if I'm being completely honest I'm ridiculously well paid for the difficulty of the job.
 
2012-04-13 10:38:42 AM  

RobSeace: chasd00: then i goto bed

You really shouldn't be using gotos... Damn spaghetti coder! ;-)



10 WRITE_CODE
20 GOTO 40
30 PROFIT
40 BED
 
2012-04-13 10:39:16 AM  
Software Engineer
Actuary
Human Resources Manager
Dental Hygienist
Financial Planner
Audiologist
Occupational Therapist
Online Advertising Manager
Computer Systems Analyst
Mathematician

What a completely FOS list of best jobs. 1 and 9 can pay reasonably well, but they can be pressure-cooker jobs and be very toxic. Worse, they are being sent to India and China at an alarming rate. Job no. 2 is just about gone, since computers can do actuarial analysis far faster and cheaper than a human. No. 3 are useless people and prime candidates for outsourcing. No. 4 has one of the highest turn-over rates of any profession because it sucks so bad. No. 5 is a ticket to the unemployment line. Nos. 6 and 10 require a lot of education for jobs that will top out at rather low salaries.
 
2012-04-13 10:44:12 AM  
Hm. Real engineer didn't seem to make the list at all.
 
2012-04-13 10:45:49 AM  
List fails without, "Any job at Conair that isn't upper management."

And yes, I held the #6 most stressful job there for 8 months. I was the 5th person to hold that position in 2 years and I lasted the longest. Pure harrassment hell (both sexual and the regular variety.) PRO TIP: when page 2 of the employee handbook starts off, "If you're thinking of leaving your position..." run, don't walk, to the nearest exit as if your ass was on fire.
 
2012-04-13 10:52:29 AM  

Slikk210: He's trying to say..."Ask your boss what he needs from you to promote/get a raise to the salary you want."


Thank you. I see it now. Must be having a slow day.

"ask your boss what he expects [from you in order for you] to make what you would like [to earn]"
 
2012-04-13 10:58:38 AM  

JackieRabbit: Software Engineer
Actuary
Human Resources Manager
Dental Hygienist
Financial Planner
Audiologist
Occupational Therapist
Online Advertising Manager
Computer Systems Analyst
Mathematician

What a completely FOS list of best jobs. 1 and 9 can pay reasonably well, but they can be pressure-cooker jobs and be very toxic. Worse, they are being sent to India and China at an alarming rate. Job no. 2 is just about gone, since computers can do actuarial analysis far faster and cheaper than a human. No. 3 are useless people and prime candidates for outsourcing. No. 4 has one of the highest turn-over rates of any profession because it sucks so bad. No. 5 is a ticket to the unemployment line. Nos. 6 and 10 require a lot of education for jobs that will top out at rather low salaries.


Um...[citation needed]

Actuarial employment has been and is expected to continue growing at a faster than average rate. Salaries continue to increase as well.

www.bps.gov/ooh/math/actuaries.htm
 
2012-04-13 11:05:10 AM  

32oz High Life: Hm. Real engineer didn't seem to make the list at all.


hells no! That crap is hard and you need a license for it. Go with the fake one!

/fake engineer of the software varietal
 
2012-04-13 11:08:17 AM  
Where does "Internet Surfer" fall on the list?
 
2012-04-13 11:09:57 AM  

The Wizard of Frobozz: Where does "Internet Surfer" fall on the list?


Only if you're paid to post. And that just makes you a sad, sad, sad panda...
 
2012-04-13 11:16:21 AM  

kendelrio: Keep in mind "oil rig worker" refers to roustabouts. (n00bs). Like any other job, the longer you put in, the more knowledge you get, the better your pay.

After 5-7 years it's entirely possible to be making anywhere from 50-70k working equal time.

/in the offshore oil industry
//not a roustabout or n00b


Uh, did you miss a zero in that??? That seems ridiculously low to me. You can get $75k/year with no experience doing laundry & housekeeping duties on mine-sites here in Oz. Oil-rig work pays a hell of a lot more ... about $300k/yr. (Mostly in the form of flat allowances, so skilled/experienced workers don't get all that much more.)
 
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