It's sometimes hard to be practical when you're working from the heart. And sometimes, you may want or need to work as a volunteer without pay to gain experience and contacts. But you also need to keep in mind your financial needs when planning your career.
How Much Would I Earn?
It's not such a simple question.
Salaries depend on many factors including:
- Education Level
- Previous Experience
- Employment Sector
- Specific Job
- Geographic Location
For information on income potential in various occupations based on survey data, check:
Sample Salary Statistics
|Occupation||Lowest Paid 10%||Median Annual Salary||Highest Paid 10%|
2002 data from U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics
Interpret Salary Data Carefully
- Learn starting salaries as well as the median and range in each field.
- Check salary data in the area where you will be working.
- Investigate medical, vacation, retirement and other employer-funded benefits.
- What's the top salary? What education, experience, or other factors result in higher pay?
- How do salaries in each field compare with the cost of living near you or where you want to live?
The most important benefits may not be $$$.
Benefits that don't show up in surveys include:
- Working directly with animals.
- Working outdoors often.
- Working with other people who share your values.
- Being creative, using your skills, and following your passion.
- Knowing you are making a difference.