Wages offered to Skilled workers in America are nothing short of insulting
By Stephanie L. Pyke on April 01, 2010
The wages paid to skilled professionals is nothing short of insulting. I have to go get the solid facts but starting from what I can tell based on what I have seen, but despite what the feds say, financially, there is no longer a real reason to go to college at all when looking at only the numbers.
I have payments due in excess of $1000 a month. For the sake of simplicity that is $12,000 per year. food costs average about $200 per month for two people (we budget really well) so that comes to $2400 per year. living expenses (rent) are a modest $600 per month for a total of $7200 per year. Oh wait, that does not cover utilities, so that will be another $79 per month power, $30 per month gas and water, $50 per month internet (because there is no getting a job without online networking these days) $60 per month phone service. So. Utilities come to $2600-ish per year.
Oh and that doesn't count the $40 per week in gas you will need to commute. so that's another $2080 on top of th $200 in licence and tax per year, and at an average of 20,000 miles per year, just for one car for the sake of simplicity, this comes out to roughly bi-monthly oil changes (3,000 miles between) at $30 a pop for a total of $180 in oil.
What are we up to now, just for basic necessities? $26,660. OK. Doing good, doing reasonably modest. Wait. I forgot insurance. Almost all states now require driver's insurance, and lets pick a decent average-ish amount for a female at $65 per month. Health insurance. You want that right? It's not good to be on a company plan considering the average American (1 in 2 people) has been at their job for less than five years, and you never know when you might be laid off any more, and yyou REALLY don't want that coverage to go away. $300 per month, per person seems about right for a relatively healthy individual, and you might even be getting some basic dental and/or vision with that. So, since there's two people in your house right now, that's 600 per month, plus the $50 per visit co-pay twice a year per person for bi annual checkups. Someone's going to have to tell me the average insurance rates, because this cost load is already over last years AGI in our household, $7400 for health insurance by these figures, which I have the feeling are on the light side. 780 for the car insurance, but that's only if your husband does not drive, and you have only the one car between the two of you. So just to be fair, I'm using the lightest possible figures here.
so, insurance is about $8100 if you have health and drivers insurance. Rental insurance is pretty negligable, so let's discount that. We're suddenly sitting at $34,000.
Unfortunately, this number has to be gross income, not net. Sorry. uncle sam and social security and medicare take your cut first. You're really going to need probably $36000 per year to be able to make enough to cover taxes so that you can take home that $34,000.
See, but this doesn't cover all of the other expenses you need to actually live. Such as 10-15% to put into savings, so that you can absorb the cost of emergencies, clothing, shoes, laundry money, repairs on appliances and cars, time lost to sick days, and at least a week of vacation, (which the rest of the world recognizes as necessary for mental health) prescriptions, pets, christmas, anniversary and birthday gifts, printer paper and ink, donation to charities and other unknown needs. This also does not cover money set aside for retirement, nor does it even touch other debt, such as car payments, credit cards, or other debt not realated to school debt, and it definitely does not cover child expenses. I would also like to point out that this is for a renter, not a homeborrower.
Realistically, a person getting a job after graduation should be getting over $40,000 at the bachelor level. Lets look at some real professional, skilled wages.
-- According to an article by Author Martha Chapin printed in the College Student Journal in Sept. 2004, the average salary for a person with a bachelor's degree in rehabilitation counseling is $26,849 per year. Depending on location and benefits, this seems like a somewhat decent starting wage. A master's degree in the same area yields an average starting salary of $33,618.
-- According to the National Association of Independent Schools,www.nais.org, the median starting salary for new teachers was $33,500 in 2008.
--look at this article detailing 52 other skilled labor salaries:
now, tell me how many of these you see that are making over $40,000 starting? The United states is full of employers whining about the lack of skilled workers, when the skilled workers of this nation cannot afford to work here. It's just not really worth it! Corporations have frozen wages, for the most part, for the last twenty years while inflation and cost of living has gone up at unprecedented rates.
In the meantime, business and the wealthy have overtaken our government, further distancing the people from a connection to their representation. There is no middle class any more. There is a wealthy class and a debtor class, and business and banking has performed every trick in the book to prevent the debtor class from escaping their bonds drawn of red ink.
So, to the employers of this country, stop insulting your workforce! Give us the wage that we deserve so that we can continue as citizens unburdened from the yoke of debt--debt that society provides no alternative for, but makes every requirement for.
The reason starting wage is so important is because 1 in 2 of us will never get much beyond that. A workforce full of people that only stay in a job for 5 years or less due to corporate decisions, layoffs, bankruptcy, and bad policy are not going to be making advanced rates.
If, however, nothing is done to alleviate student debt, there is no hope for our skilled workforce. Pay us what we deserve. Hire us based on our skills, not our results on personality inventories, and quit insulting the very people who can take your businesses into the next generation.
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