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Career Salaries and Salary Ranges of Overpaid Jobs


Most people will probably not admit that their vocation falls into the "overpaid jobs" category, nor will they tell you that they actually perform little work for their high pay, except for the readers at According to the web site, workers in overpaid jobs (or "bullsh*t jobs" as they are called on the site) sent in descriptions of their duties and career salaries. From a huge list of careers and high salary ranges, the web site picked 20 overpaid jobs that “are the most satisfying, lucrative and least useful.”

The first one listed is Communications Manager, which sounds pretty respectable to me.  According to our PayScale Research Center, a Communications Manager earns a median salary of $70,819 in San Francisco. According to a Communications Manager on, his/her job is to "write e-mails, memos and articles for senior management that their employees have no interest in reading. Oh, and through these written communications, we’re supposed to inform and engage employees so that they’re proud of the company they work for."

How does your salary compare to this first of many overpaid jobs?  Check it out with our salary calculator.

Career Search Engines in Overdrive

At number 2 on the list of careers is a Software Quality Assurance Analyst. This worker says that they “make sure everyone else is doing their job up to some standard – using some methodology, employing some practices that only you know of and can decide whether are appropriate for ‘this project’ or not. Review how other resources are performing their job vis-a-vis methodology they are following and picking fault with an appropriate number of things they do and can ‘improve.'” 

Do You Know What You're Worth?

According to our PayScale Research Center, a Software Quality Assurance Analyst with 10-19 years of experience earns a median salary of $65,118. At first I thought this was clearly wrong, since the PayScale Software QA Engineers are very useful to the success of our company, and have a hard job: if someone else’s screw-up breaks the site, QA is still blamed.

The distinction may be between Analyst and Engineer. I could see how analysis of QA, rather than actual finding (and often fixing) bugs, could be a job of questionable value.

Coming in at number 6 is a Robot Operator. According to the site, this job entails the following: “Sit and watch the robot do all the work, record statistics of the work and every once in a while, call maintenance to come fix it for you. Sitting for eight hours a day for a couple of weeks straight hurts after a while, plus it is incredibly boring. You get lots of time to think, you start plotting ways to actually do some work.” The hourly wage is reportedly $13 to $20.

More Overpaid Jobs: High Career Salaries

Clocking in at the 10th position is a Relay Operator, who describes their job as: “Relay is supposed to be a service for the deaf, hard of hearing, and speech disabled where a person using the Internet, cell phone or text telephone reaches an operator, I dial a number for them and relay conversation between a text and voice user. 90 percent of the calls we get are from people who are not deaf, most of them are scam calls or prank calls, so for eight hours a day, 40 hours a week I relay bogus conversations. The benefits are good though. The turnover rate is extraordinary. A few weeks of Nigerian scam calls and teenagers with nothing else to do can take a toll on some people.”

The starting pay is reportedly $10-10.50 per hour with a possible promotion after 6 months (since no one else wants the job?)

An Academic Advisor for student-athletes ranks at number 13. The Academic Advisor says, “Basically, what I do is find the easiest classes on my college’s campus and enroll my student-athletes in them. Then, if one of my students stops going to class, I call up the professor and beg him/her to give Star Jock the benefit of the doubt and pass them with a ‘C’. If the prof isn’t immediately cooperative, I happen to notice we have some decent seats to a couple home football/basketball games available for the upcoming season.” According to the PayScale research Center, an Academic Advisor in New York earns a median salary of $41,767/year, but that includes non-student-athlete advisors as well.

Salary Ranges above Average Job Salaries

At number 14 is a Payphone Account Manager. This worker says they only work 15 minutes out of the day “because there are 150 million cell phones in the country and only 300,000 payphones. Plus, when was the last time you made a collect call from a payphone? Also (you) get to spend plenty of time staring at the wall.” The annual salary is reportedly $50K because collect calls are so pricey, 3 minutes for $25!

Coming in at number 15 is a Research Budget Analyst. This worker says his/her job is to “monitor medical research budget. If the researcher spends more money than budgeted, notify the NIH grant manager to get more money for said budget. If the researcher doesn’t spend enough, notify the researcher to spend more money or risk losing future money to said budget.” For a reported one hour of actual work per day, the Research Budget Analyst says the salary is $60K a year! According to the PayScale Research Center that’s about right; a Budget Analyst, all types, in Washington D.C. earns a median salary of $64,177.

List of Careers: Above Average Job Salary

Finally at number 17, is a Door Monitor who says, “For a few months, I had a wonderful part time gig. My job was to sit in a building just inside the door from 5 to 8, after the receptionists went home, and occasionally look up from my reading to let in people who knocked (usually fewer than five per day). I could have been replaced by a buzzer.” The Door Monitor says the hourly wage was $8-10, which is more than minimum wage. It appears there are jobs out there for underachievers; you just have to know where to look.

Are you overpaid? Let’s hope so! The PayScale Salary Calculator is a quick and easy way to compare positions. But when you want powerful salary data and comparisons customized for your exact position, be sure to build a complete profile by taking PayScale’s full salary survey.


Dr. Al Lee

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