Recently, The Boston Business Journal reported that, Gilbert & O'Bryan LLP, a Boston law firm, posted a job on Boston College's career website for an associate position. It's a full time job with benefits and a full case load from the beginning. Entry level attorneys at many law firms make over $100,000 each year, but this job didn't come with that kind of salary. The starting salary for this position is only $10,000. This salary works out to $4.80 per hour, which is far less than the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and half the salary of a retail sales representative. This one job listing doesn't appear to be the trend since the average salary for an attorney still remains nearly $113,000 with only 10% earning less than $54,000, but some careers have seen a drop in salary. Before changing careers, think twice about these jobs.

Before the housing collapse, selling real estate was easier than today. The housing market is trying to rebound, but that is hardly encouraging news to Realtors who have seen paychecks 35% lower than they once had. Even worse, selling a home is a lot more work for much less pay. According to the National Association of Realtors, Realtors now earn an average of $34,100.

The days of doctors earning big salaries are quickly coming to an end. As insurance companies become harder to work with and the government slashes Medicare payments, doctors are finding it increasingly difficult to justify the high cost of education and the expenses of running an office. According to The New York Post, one projection shows Medicare payouts dropping as much as 17% over the next three years. As the population continues to age, doctors will find themselves with an increasing amount of Medicare patients.

Teacher salaries have always been a heated political debate, but as state budgets tighten, teachers are finding freezing salaries and less attractive benefits packages. A Brookings Institute study found that teachers earn an average of 19% less than non-teachers, up from 7% in the 1970s. A National Education Association study found that teachers in 15 states are making less than they were a decade ago, taking inflation into account.

Investment Bankers
Increasing government regulations have made investment banking a dying field. According to Bloomberg, some banks are closing their trading divisions all together. Citigroup recently announced 1,200 layoffs in its trading division as well as up to a 70% decrease in bonuses. Morgan Stanley announced that it was cutting salaries for senior bankers by up to 30%.

The Bottom Line
Experts argue that cutting salaries may decrease interest in these fields, leaving a critical shortage of workers for these careers. With the American population aging, a steady supply of doctors is essential to meeting the medical needs of the baby boomers. Some politicians argue that in order to improve the American education, the teaching profession has to be attractive to the brightest and most talented college students. Regardless, economists believe that career demand is a function of supply and demand. As jobs become harder to fill, salaries and benefits packages will become more attractive.

Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    How Goldman Sachs Transformed Utah Into the 'Wall Street of the West'

    Learn how Goldman Sachs has built a substantial presence in Salt Lake City. Read about another major financial institution also located in the area.
  2. Professionals

    Career Advice: Financial Analyst Vs. Financial Adviser

    Read an in-depth review of the differences between a career as a financial Adviser versus a career as a Financial Analyst, including how to decide which is best.
  3. Professionals

    How Hard Is a Career Selling Life Insurance?

    Learn why selling life insurance is a difficult way to make a living, but also how agents who persevere are rewarded down the road with a strong passive income.
  4. Investing

    Top Investment Banks In The Energy Industry

    Many global Investment banks are highly involved in the energy industry, but there are also some smaller banks and boutiques that are strong players.
  5. Professionals

    What Accounts for One-Third of the Wage Gap

    Women who work full time still make less than men who have the same qualifications. One third of the pay gap may be due to gender bias and discrimination.
  6. Professionals

    Career Advice: Financial Planner Vs. Wealth Manager

    Understand the differences between a career in financial planning and wealth management, and identify which is better for you based on your goals and talents.
  7. Professionals

    Career Advice: Accountant Vs. Financial Planner

    Identify the key differences between a career in accounting and financial planning, and learn how your personality dictates which is the better choice for you.
  8. Professionals

    10 Must Watch Documentaries For Finance Professionals

    Find out about some of the best documentaries that finance professionals can watch to gain a better understanding of their industry.
  9. Professionals

    Career Advice: Investment Banking Vs. Corporate Finance

    Read an in-depth review and comparison of a career in investment banking and a career in corporate finance, with advice about which one to choose.
  10. Professionals

    Career Advice: Stockbroker Vs. Insurance Agent

    Compare and contrast careers as a stockbroker and insurance agent. Understand the skills and attributes required for success in each career.
  1. Does working capital include salaries?

    A company accrues unpaid salaries on its balance sheet as part of accounts payable, which is a current liability account, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do financial advisors have to find their own clients?

    Nearly all financial advisors, particularly when new to the field, have to find their own clients. An employer may provide ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do financial advisors get drug tested?

    Financial advisors are not drug tested by any federal or state regulatory body. This means you may receive your Series 6, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Is a financial advisor required to have a degree?

    Financial advisors are not required to have university degrees. However, they are required to pass certain exams administered ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Do financial advisors have to be licensed?

    Financial advisors must possess various securities licenses in order to sell investment products. The specific products an ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Do financial advisors need to meet quotas?

    Most financial advisors are required to meet quotas, particularly if they work for firms that pay base salaries or draws ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Ex Works (EXW)

    An international trade term requiring the seller to make goods ready for pickup at his or her own place of business. All ...
  2. Letter of Intent - LOI

    A document outlining the terms of an agreement before it is finalized. LOIs are usually not legally binding in their entirety. ...
  3. Purchasing Power

    The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. Purchasing ...
  4. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  5. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  6. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!