There are at least two characteristics of a job that are important: the salary and the prospects for increases in the salary. In today’s Economic Perspective, N.C. Cooperative Extension economist Mike Walden focuses on salary gains, discussing which jobs had the best salary gains in the last decade.
“This is something perhaps people don’t pay enough attention to. But we have a new study that looked at all the occupations that are out there. They looked at the change in the salaries of those occupations for the decade of the 2000s, from 2000 to 2009. Here are the occupations that had the biggest percentage gain in their salaries: managers, nurses, accountants, pre-school teachers and pharmaceutical technicians. They all had salary gains over that 10-year period of 35 percent or more.
“On the other hand, at the bottom end of the rung, those occupations with the smallest salary gains were electricians, insurance agents, telemarketers, store clerks and drivers. They all had salary gains of under 20 percent over that decade.
“So … when you go look for a job it is important, obviously, what the starting salary is, but it is also important perhaps equally important if you are going to be there a long time what the prospects are for salary increases. And this report speaks exactly to that.”