Top 10 Most Prestigious Jobs

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					                      Top 10 Most Prestigious Jobs
                            “When I grow up, I want to be a principal or a caterpillar.”
                                                                          - Ralph Wiggum
Though most people probably don’t grow up wanting to be a farmer, a minister, or a
caterpillar - farmers and ministers are considered by many to have some of the most
prestigious occupations in America. On the other hand, while occupations such as being
an actor or an entertainer may seem glamorous, these are not occupations that are held in
as high regard by the American public. Below, you will find a list of the ten most (and
least) prestigious jobs in America, how much they earn, and how you can land them.
The following jobs listed below are considered by more than half of Americans to be of
“very great” or “considerable” prestige. Unsurprisingly, many of them are also some of
the most difficult jobs in terms of training, educational requirement, and work

        Firefighters are viewed by 61% of the public as having “very great prestige,” and
rightly so – with an occupation that puts them decisively in harm’s way in order to save
lives and properties, it’s of little wonder why firefighters stand firmly at the top of the
occupation prestige list.
        If you’re interested in this career path, you should note that fire fighting involves
hazardous conditions and long, irregular hours. Applicants for city fire fighting jobs
generally must pass written, physical, and medical examinations. One should expect
heavy competition for this job since it attracts many qualified candidates, but there are
opportunities for fast career growth.
        Most fire fighters have a high school diploma; however, the completion of
community college courses, and in some cases, an associate degree in fire science may
improve an applicant’s chances for a job. There are specific colleges and universities that
offer programs for 2-4 year degrees in fire engineering or fire science.
Based on 2006 numbers, the median annual earnings of fire fighters was $41,190.
Average salaries in 2006 for sworn full-time positions as an engineer were, at a minimum
of $43,232, and a maximum of $56,045. For a fire captain, the minimum average annual
base salary was $51,808 with a maximum of $62,785. Finally, for a fire chief, the
minimum average annual base salary was $73,435 and at a maximum of $95,271.

        From medical scientists, computer scientists, to chemists and material scientists –
the occupation of being a scientist scoops up the 2nd place prize for the most prestigious
occupation in America, with 54% of the American public viewing the job as having “very
great prestige.”
        Depending on the specific industry you’re interested in, many “scientist” jobs will
require, at a minimum, a Bachelor of Science in the respective field, but having a Master
of Science is the industry norm. Research or applicable-based jobs will also determine
the specific academic training you should consider, as earning a Ph.D. has become the
usual requirement for careers as a university professor or researcher in most fields.
In accordance with 2006 numbers, medical scientists earned a median annual income of
$82,600 if they were in the pharmaceutical or medicine manufacturing industry, while
medical scientists earned a median annual income of $71,490 in industries that research
and develop physical, engineering, or life sciences. For chemists and material scientists,
their median annual earnings were $88,930 if they worked for the federal executive
branch, while those in scientific research and development services earned a median
annual salary of $68,760.

         Teachers are one of the most important jobs out there since they help shape our
younger generation by imparting knowledge and practical skill sets, so it is unsurprising
to see them ranked highly on the list of the most prestigious occupations.
         A teacher can have a broad range of responsibilities depending on whether the
teacher is at a preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, or secondary school. All
public school teachers must be licensed, which typically requires a bachelor’s degree and
a completion of an approved teacher education program. Employment of school teachers
is expected to grow by 12% between 2009 and 2016, about as fast as the average for all
occupations. Though its growth outlook is the average of all occupations, the size needed
in this occupation group will create a demand that’s unmatched by all but a few other
occupations. Job prospects are especially favorable for high-demand fields such as math,
science, and bilingual education.
         For teachers in post-secondary positions, educational qualifications range from
expertise in a particular field to a Ph.D., depending on the subject being taught and the
type of educational institution. The job opportunities are expected to be very good, with
growth at 23% between 2009 and 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations,
though many of the new openings will be for part-time or non-tenure-track positions.
Median annual income for primary education teachers ranged from $43,580 to $48,690
(with preschool teachers earning a median annual income of $22,600). For post-
secondary teachers, median annual income was $56,120, with the highest 10% earning
over $113,450. For college faculty, income will range widely based on the field, type of
institution (private/public), geographic area, and rank of the institution.

         As one of the classic prestigious occupations, a doctor comes in at a close 4th
place on the most prestigious occupations list, with 52% of Americans viewing this job as
having “very great prestige.” The reason is an obvious one, as the very nature of their job
is to diagnose illnesses and to prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering
from injuries or disease.
         Because of the nature of their work, many physicians and surgeons work long,
irregular hours, with more than one-third of full-time physicians having worked more
than 60 hours a week. Regardless if it’s a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic
Medicine degree, the formal education to become a physician or surgeon can be very
demanding, as acceptance into medical school is highly competitive.
        The job outlook for doctors is expected to grow 14% from 2009 to 2016, faster
than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities should be very good, particularly
in rural and low-income areas. A doctor’s earnings are amongst the highest over all
occupations, with those having less than two years in specialty still commanding a
healthy 6-figure salary: a physician specializing in anesthesiology will have a median
compensation of $259,948, while a family practice physician (without obstetrics) will
have a median compensation of $137,119. For those with more than two years of
experience in their specialty, the compensation increases dramatically, with those in
anesthesiology earning a median compensation of $321,686, and $156,010 for a family
practice physician.

Military officer
        Military officer comes in 5th on this list. The specific job of a military officer can
contain a broad range of responsibilities and skills – from infantry officers to doctors,
lawyers, and nurses – and; thus, depending on the specific type of specialty you’re
considering, the education and training required can vastly vary.
Regardless of the specific type of officer, many job opportunities in the armed forces will
involve you in training and duty assignments that may be hazardous, even in peacetime.
The working hours and working conditions can be very arduous and change substantially
based on the necessity and needs of the armed forces.
        Earnings for a military officer can vary greatly depending on an officer’s training,
years of service, and advanced formal education (for example, physicians and dentists).
Based on the Department of Defense Pay Grades, most commissioned officers will start
at the O-1 pay grade (Second Lieutenant/Ensign) , with a monthly pay of $2,469 for those
with less than 2 years of service ($29,631 annually), and a monthly pay of $3,106 for
those with 4-8 years of service ($37,278 annually).
        For those with an advanced education, many will start at the pay grade of O-3
(Captain/Lieutenant). Starting monthly pay will be $3,292 for less than 2 years of
service, and $4,392 monthly pay for 4-8 years of service ($39,504 and $52,704 annually,
respectively). These numbers are based on 2007 numbers, and, we should note that
beyond receiving their basic pay, military personnel are provided with free room and
board (or a tax-free housing and subsistence allowance), free medical and dental care,
and 30 days of paid leave per year, amongst other benefits.

        As an occupation that treats and educates patients and the public about various
medical conditions, along with providing advice and emotional support to a patients’
family members; the occupation of a nurse can find itself easily on the most prestigious
occupations list.
        Like many other health care workers, nursing has a broad range of responsibilities
and specialties, with two of the nursing occupations being a LPN/LVN (Licensed
Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse) and a Registered Nurse. Because of the
difference in the scope of their work, their educational and training requirements and
earning potentials each vary as well.
        A Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational Nurse will require about 1 year of
training at a program offered by a vocational, technical school, or a community and
junior college. For registered nurses, a major educational path is a Bachelor of Science
degree, an Associate Degree, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. All
nurses must pass a national licensing examination, known as the NCLEX-PN for
LPN/LVN and the NCLEX-RN for registered nurses.
        Since registered nurses constitute the largest health care occupation (with 2.5
million jobs), the growth in this occupation is expected to be 23%from 2009 to 2016,
much faster than the average for all occupations. Registered nurses are projected to
generate 587,000 new jobs in the coming years, amongst the largest number of new jobs
for any occupation.
        Median annual earnings of registered nurses were $57,280 in 2006 based on
Department of Labor data, while national averages were from $55,960 to $67,931 based
on data. Depending on the specific specialty (ER, ICU, Pediatric) and years
of experience, the salary figure can vary greatly, with the highest 10% earning over
$80,000. In contrast, median annual earnings of a LPN/LVN were $36,500 based on
2006 numbers, with the highest 10% earning more than $50,000.

Police officer
        Putting their lives in danger to ensure the public’s safety solidifies a police
officer’s placement on the most prestigious occupation list. A police officer’s work can
often be dangerous and stressful, even beyond the dangers of confrontations with
criminals. Police officers and detectives need to be constantly alert and ready to deal
appropriately with many other threatening situations. Be forewarned that a career in law
enforcement may take a toll on your private life.
        Applicants for a police officer job must usually have at least a high school
diploma, and some departments require 1 or 2 years of college coursework, or, in some
cases, a college degree. Most law enforcement agencies will encourage applicants to take
courses or training related to law enforcement after high school. Officers usually will go
through a period of training before their first assignment. In state and large local police
departments, recruits get trained in their agency’s police academy, often for 12 to 14
weeks. For smaller departments and agencies, recruits attend a regional or State
        Median earnings for a police officer will vary widely depending on the region,
demand, and experience level. Police and sheriff patrol officers had a median annual
income of $47,460 based on 2006 data. For detectives and criminal investigators, the
median annual income was $58,260. Generally, the pay will scale based on rank and
experience too. For police corporals, the minimum median annual base salary was
$44,160, with the maximum median being $55,183. For police sergeant, the pay
increased to $53,734 at minimum, and $63,564 at a maximum median annual base salary.

        As the shepherd for the people to conduct religious worship and perform other
spiritual functions, a minister, priest, or those in the clergy occupation are another group
of occupation that’s held in high regards by the American public. Because of the vast
ranges of religion and denomination, qualifications and training for a minister, priest, or
clergy can greatly differ. Some will emphasize natural gifts and others will also require
post-secondary education such as degrees from a seminary or theological college or
university. The median annual earnings for clergy work was at $41,730, with the top 25
percentile earning over $55,810, and the top 10 percentile earning over $74,280.

         Though many may not consider the occupation of farming to be a glamorous job,
it is held in high regards by many people, with 41% of Americans considering the job to
have “very great prestige.” A modern farmer will require extensive knowledge of new
developments in agriculture. Although this is a job that’s held in high regards by the
public, overall employment of farming jobs is expected to decline due to increased
productivity per yield, and consolidation of the farming industry.
         In terms of education and training, many farmers may receive their training on the
job, but the completion of a 2-year associate degree or a 4-year bachelor’s degree at a
college of agriculture is becoming more important for farm managers. Despite the fact
that the employment growth of the farming industry may be in decline, job prospects are
expected to be favorable compared to other industries since fewer people are considering
farming as a profession and a large number of farmers are expected to retire within the
next decade – thus opening more opportunities for people to own or lease a farm.
Because of the nature of their work, the income of farmers and ranchers will vary greatly
from year to year, as food products and corps change prices based on weather conditions
and market pricing. Based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture data, a full-time
salaried farm manager earned a median weekly income of $1,001 (annual median income
of $12,001) and the highest 10% earned more than $1,924 weekly (annual median
income of $23,088).

         Rounding out the top 10 most prestigious jobs in America are engineers. From aerospace
and agricultural to chemical and civil, engineers are the workforce that help shape our societal
and consumer needs. Engineers develop, implement, and create products in a wide range of
industries. Regardless of the industry, all engineers apply the principles of science and
mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems.
         Depending on the specific field you’re interested in, you will need a Bachelor of Science
in the engineering specialty you’re interested in. Some basic research position may require a
graduate degree, while some engineers who offer their service directly to the public will be
required to have a license. For many of the engineering specialties, such as nuclear, mechanical,
and computer hardware engineers, a Master of Science degree in the respective field may be the
industry norm.
         The growth of the occupation is expected to grow as fast as the average of all
occupations, although the growth will vary by specialty. Specific specialty such as environmental
engineers should experience the fastest growth, while civil engineers will see the largest
employment increase. Regardless of the specific field, job outlook and opportunities are expected
to be good as the number of graduates is in estimated balance with available job openings.
         Earnings for an engineer will vary significantly by industry and education. From 2007
numbers, the average starting salary of an aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineer with a
Bachelor degree was $53,408, $62,459 with a Master degree, and $73,814 with a Ph.D. For
chemical engineers, the average starting salary was $59,361, $68,561, and $73,667 for a
Bachelor, Master, and Ph.D., respectively.
                                              Name: ______________________

                         Prestigious Jobs

1. Firefighters: How much money: ________________; Educational training: _____
   __________________________________________; Why is this considered a
   prestigious job? ____________________________________________________

2. Scientist: How much money: ________________; Educational training: _____
   __________________________________________; Why is this considered a
   prestigious job? ____________________________________________________

3. Teacher: How much money: ________________; Educational training: _____
   __________________________________________; Why is this considered a
   prestigious job? ____________________________________________________

4. Doctor: How much money: ________________; Educational training: _____
   __________________________________________; Why is this considered a
   prestigious job? ____________________________________________________

5. Military: How much money: ________________; Educational training: _____
   __________________________________________; Why is this considered a
   prestigious job? ____________________________________________________

6. Nurse: How much money: ________________; Educational training: _____
   __________________________________________; Why is this considered a
   prestigious job? ____________________________________________________

7. Cop: How much money: ________________; Educational training: _____
   __________________________________________; Why is this considered a
   prestigious job? ____________________________________________________

8. Minister: How much money: ________________; Educational training: _____
   __________________________________________; Why is this considered a
   prestigious job? ____________________________________________________

9. Farmer: How much money: ________________; Educational training: _____
   __________________________________________; Why is this considered a
   prestigious job? ____________________________________________________

10. Engineer: How much money: ________________; Educational training: _____
    __________________________________________; Why is this considered a
    prestigious job? ____________________________________________________

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