4. Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists
> Hours worked/year: 1,736
> Median hourly earnings: $32.40
> No. employed: 100,000
> Hours worked/week: 37.4
> Median annual income: $66,810
> Top annual income: $108,670
Psychologists are responsible for assessing the emotional well-being of their patients. Most psychologists have doctorates, which, according to the BLS, “generally requires about 5 years of full-time graduate study, culminating in a dissertation based on original research.” However, unlike medical doctors, the vast majority of psychologists set their own hours and appointments, and while many work nine to five, this is not a requirement. Also, more than 40% of people in this position work in schools, meaning they are afforded the same summer vacation to boot.
3. Speech-Language Pathologists
> Hours worked/year: 1,638
> Median hourly earnings: $32.74
> No. employed: 112,530
> Hours worked/week: 37.6
> Median annual income: $66,920
> Top annual income: $103,630
Speech-language pathologists work on correcting stutters, lisps, and other speech impediments. According to the BLS ,“Typical licensing requirements are a master’s degree from an accredited college or university; a passing score on the national examination on speech-language pathology … 300 to 375 hours of supervised clinical experience; and 9 months of postgraduate professional clinical experience.” Like psychologists, the lion’s share of speech-language pathologists work in schools, with young students. Roughly 56,000 of the 112,000 work in elementary or secondary schools. Also like psychologists, speech pathologists are able to set their own appointments and schedules. The average speech-language pathologist works 37 hours per week, and because of the summer vacation many enjoy, the average number of hours worked each year is 1,638, nearly 300 hours less than the average U.S. worker.
2. Law Teachers, Post-secondary
> Hours worked/year: 1,608
> Median hourly earnings: $82.85
> No. employed: 14,620
> Hours worked/week: 40.3
> Median annual income: $94,260
> Top annual income: $145,990
While the entire list could have just been comprised of different types of college professors, we listed only the highest-paying position. Law professors have a median income approaching $100,000, and have a top range of nearly $150,000. 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. Money Magazine and Salary.com rated college professors at No.2 in their 2006 Best Jobs in America annual report.
1. Aircraft Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
> Hours worked/year: 1,090
> Median hourly earnings: $119.12
> No. employed: 68,580
> Hours worked/week: 21
> Median annual income: $103,210
> Top annual income: $139,330
According to the BLS, “FAA regulations limit flying time of airline pilots of large aircraft to a maximum of 100 hours a month and 1,000 hours a year. Most airline pilots fly an average of 75 hours a month and work an additional 140 hours a month, performing nonflying duties, which includes waiting for delays to clear and their aircraft to arrive.” According to the BLS’s national compensation survey, only two jobs have shorter annual hours worked — flight instructors and lifeguards. Pilots work almost 50% fewer hours than the average America, but make the 21st highest median annual salary among the 819 positions listed on the BLS list of occupations.
Michael B. Sauter