labor http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9008/all en-US Crime Scene Cleaner and 4 Other Trades That Pay Surprisingly Well http://www.wisebread.com/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/crime_scene_tape_000032312458.jpg" alt="Crime scene cleaner and other trades that pay well" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, the dream of owning a home with two dogs, a gaggle of kids, and a white picket fence will cost you something fierce. In most pockets of this country, the <a href="https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/demo/p60-249.pdf">median U.S. household income</a> of $52,000 simply won't cut it. But you needn't enroll in law or medical school to earn a fine living. In fact, there are several high-paying jobs floating under the radar that can help you earn a desirable salary &mdash; without all those lectures on ethics and anatomy. Read on for our roundup of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-more-places-to-buy-sell-and-trade-books">top trades</a> that pay surprisingly well.</p> <h2>1. Elevator Repairer</h2> <p>The median pay for an <a href="http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes474021.htm">elevator repairer</a> in the U.S. is $78,620, and can be as high as $110,000 in places where the job is in demand such as New York, California, Illinois, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, and Hawaii. While only 27 people a year <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/woman-crushed-york-elevator-accident/story?id=15153573#.T5W5J-3U7zI">die in elevator crashes</a> &mdash; you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning &mdash; more than 10,000 people a year are injured in elevator malfunction incidents. When something goes wrong, an elevator repairer is one of the first people called on the scene for help. Even more common than injuries and deaths are cases of inconvenience: People get stuck inside elevators quite often, which is why this job is well-paid as well as important.</p> <h2>2. Geographer</h2> <p>The job of mapping the world may seem gone with the wind, but there are actually 1,700 modern-day Alexander von Humboldts in the U.S. who track human activity, chart demographic trends, study migration patterns, and, of course, sketch and edit maps of points of interest across our planet. If you're lucky enough to secure a geographer gig &mdash; they are few and far between &mdash; the rewards are handsome. In addition to enjoying a contemporary job rooted in the age of global exploration, you'll earn a <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/geographers.htm">median salary</a> of about $75,000. There's more good news: Geographer jobs have a rapid growth forecast rate of nearly 30%, which means new job opportunities are sprouting across the country.</p> <h2>3. Crab Fisherman</h2> <p>If you're looking to make fast cash, a crab fisherman's life may be for you. The dangerous work of collecting crabs from freezing, tumultuous waters is handsomely rewarded. Crab fisherman can earn $60,000 in just two to three months. If that kind of money seems worth the risk of taking on the most dangerous job in the nation, you may want to head to Alaska. Crab fishermen in the 49th state tend to be the highest earners. You do not need a high school degree for this craft, but strength and guts are all but required.</p> <h2>4. Crime Scene Cleaner</h2> <p>Crime doesn't pay. But crime cleanup certainly does. The job of <a href="http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/crime-scene-cleanup-job-duties-2469.html">cleaning up blood and shattered glass</a> and toxic hazards takes a strong stomach, but with a few years experience you can earn upwards of $80,000. It's also not a 9-to-5 gig; you need to be ready to jump into action at a moment's notice. But there are few other occupations that can give you the thrill of feeling like you're living in an episode of <em>CSI: Crime Scene Investigation</em>.</p> <h2>5. Landfill Gas Operator</h2> <p>Landfills contain tons of garbage that produce methane gas, a byproduct of the natural breakdown process. Landfill gas operators remove the gas, which can be dangerous if left unchecked. It's a stinky job &mdash; literally &mdash; but what doesn't stink is the take-home pay. You can <a href="http://www.insidejobs.com/careers/landfill-gas-collection-operator">earn as much as $148,000</a> by monitoring gas levels and diverting excess fumes that could become hazardous.</p> <p><em>Do you work in a high-paying trade? Tell us about it in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-become-a-contractor">8 Good Reasons to Become a Contractor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-unexpected-costs-of-a-higher-paying-job-offer">4 Unexpected Costs of a Higher-Paying Job Offer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-careers-that-pay-women-more-than-men">7 Careers That Pay Women More Than Men</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essential-facts-women-should-know-before-asking-for-a-raise">5 Essential Facts Women Should Know Before Asking for a Raise</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building employment income labor pay salary trades Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:00:15 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1469200 at http://www.wisebread.com Capital Substitutes for Labor — and Vice Versa http://www.wisebread.com/capital-substitutes-for-labor-and-vice-versa <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/capital-substitutes-for-labor-and-vice-versa" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/factory_worker.jpg" alt="Woman working in a factory" title="Woman working in a factory" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're hoping to retire early or worried that you won't be able to retire at all, this is something you need to understand. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-buy-your-way-out-of-the-rat-race">Can You Buy Your Way Out of the Rat Race?</a>)</p> <p>Did you know there used to be a return on capital? Sorry, a little joke there. With interest rates down near zero, it's starting to seem like a safe income on capital is an old-fashioned concept. Dividend rates had been low for some time &mdash; meaning that even the risky income was low &mdash; and then the stock market lost 40%, wiping out a couple decades of that low income. All in all, it's been a bad few years for income from capital.</p> <p>It used to be easy. You could talk about the 4% rule, which said if you had a diversified portfolio, you could spend 4% of your capital this year &mdash; and increase that spending with inflation &mdash; and reasonably expect that your portfolio to grow enough to keep up.</p> <h2>Planning Purposes</h2> <p>Even though <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-end-of-the-4-rule">the 4% rule is looking a little iffy</a>, I think the principle remains sound. At some ratio, capital substitutes for income from labor, and vice versa. For planning purposes, I think 4% is as good a ratio as any.</p> <p>If that's the right ratio, you need about $25 of capital to support every $1 of spending that you're not going to earn from your labor (because 4% of $25 is $1).</p> <p>On the one hand, this calculation can be pretty discouraging. If you see retirement age bearing down on you like an express train and your retirement savings has barely reached five figures...well, a $10,000 portfolio can be expected to support annual spending of around $400. Not the sort of dream retirement that most people had in mind when they first started putting money in their 401(k).</p> <p>In fact, the reality is much brighter, because the calculation also works in reverse.</p> <p>Let's say that your financial advisor has told you that, to supplement what you're expecting from social security (and maybe a pension, if you're getting one), you need to have retirement savings of $X. And let's further say that you're coming up short. And not just a little short. Let's finally say that even if you work a few extra years and save as hard as you can, you're going to be short by $100,000.</p> <p>There's going to be a gap, and using the 4% rule, we can estimate just how big that gap will be. In this case, the gap is going to be $4,000 a year.</p> <p>My point here is that filling a $4,000 gap isn't so very hard. One option would be to earn that much money. Another option would be to cut spending by that much. Neither option will be what you'd expected when you made your retirement plan, but neither option is necessarily a great burden. Lots of people choose to work in retirement. Lots of people find that they need to cut back on spending to stretch their retirement savings.</p> <p>Of course, there's every option in between &mdash; for every $100 you can cut spending, that's $100 you don't need to earn in retirement.</p> <h2>Tradeoffs</h2> <p>There's nothing new in these tradeoffs &mdash; you're already making them. Every economic decision you make has its roots in this sort of thinking: Which college to go to (indeed whether to go to college), which jobs to apply for (and which job offers to accept), where to live, what car to buy (or whether to go car-free), how often to eat out, how often to eat rice and beans, what brand of coffee to buy.</p> <p>The key takeaway here is that you can, within rough limits, make long-term plans based on these tradeoffs.</p> <h2>Insight</h2> <p>Without this tool, if your financial advisor (or some retirement planning website) tells you you need to triple your contributions to your 401(k), or else you're not going to be able to retire, you have no idea what that really means.</p> <p>With this tool, you can make a good, albeit inexact calculation. For each $1,000 you don't save, your spending in retirement will have to fall by about $40 a year.</p> <p>It is, of course, entirely up to you how you act on that insight. Maybe looking at an impoverished retirement will inspire a bit of frugality now. Maybe you'll try to work extra hours or find a second job. Maybe you'll look to a new career that pays better &mdash; or a new career with better options for continuing to earn some money in retirement.</p> <p>Do remember that it's just a rough calculation. The return on capital is so low right now, anyone spending 4% of their capital this year is probably spending at unsustainable levels. The 4% rule is a planning tool, not a guarantee &mdash; but it's a very useful planning tool.</p> <p>Knowing how you can swap labor for capital or capital for labor can help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/designing-your-life">design your life</a> to meet your goals.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-substitutes-for-labor-and-vice-versa">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-do-i-need-to-retire-how-much-can-i-spend">How much do I need to retire? How much can I spend?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad">Tiny Nestegg? Retire abroad!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-despair-over-small-retirement-savings">Don&#039;t Despair Over Small Retirement Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/understand-capital-costs">Understand Capital Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-on-the-installment-plan">Retirement on the installment plan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance capital labor retirement accounts social security Fri, 21 Dec 2012 10:48:38 +0000 Philip Brewer 955721 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Target Really Just as Bad As Wal-Mart? http://www.wisebread.com/is-target-really-just-as-bad-as-wal-mart <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-target-really-just-as-bad-as-wal-mart" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/targetcart.JPG" alt="Target shopping cart with teeth" title="Is Target Just a Smaller Shark?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I caught some flack here recently when I expressed a very common attitude: I won&#39;t shop at Wal-Mart due to their well known labor problems, but I love to shop at Target.</p> <p>Is there really any moral difference between shopping at the two big box stores? Or is it just that Isaac Mizrahi and Jovovich-Hawk blind us to the store&#39;s values?</p> <p>Here is how the two stores stack up:</p> <ul> <li>Both have fought off employee unionization efforts, so far with 100 percent success in the United States. Target employees are shown an <a href="http://www.alternet.org/workplace/35610/?comments=view&amp;cID=118628&amp;pID=118609">anti-union video as part</a> of their orientation. </li> <li>Neither store pays a living wage. A 2005 <a href="http://reclaimdemocracy.org/walmart/2005/target_better.php">newspaper article</a> quotes the United Food and Commercial Workers, which had tried to organize some Target workers, saying that wages and health plans at the two stores are similar, but Target&#39;s plan is more restrictive. &quot;We feel they are worse than Wal-Mart because they are masquerading as this benign employer,&quot; said Bernie Hesse, a UFCW leader, in a <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/18/news/companies/reingold_target.fortune/index.htm">Fortune piece</a> published this month.</li> <li>Both <a href="http://www.coopamerica.org/programs/rs/profile.cfm?id=295">Target</a> and <a href="http://www.coopamerica.org/programs/rs/profile.cfm?id=306">Walmart</a> use factories with poor human rights records. </li> <li>Both stores present obvious environmental problems with all the packaging used, etc. Both have initiatives to improve their record in this area; Wal-Mart&#39;s promises go farther, according to the <a href="http://aliberals-hitlist.blogspot.com/2007/08/target-and-wal-mart-try-to-get-green.html">Minneapolis Star Tribune</a>.</li> <li>With their low prices, both stores have the effect of putting smaller, more specialized and often locally owned retailers out of business.</li> </ul> <p>There are plenty of reasons in there to justify boycotting both chains. However, there are also arguments for focusing on just one store: A boycott of one store is more effective. People have to buy things someplace, and for many, especially those outside urban areas, that someplace is going to be a big box store. A boycott is an easier sell if it isn&#39;t an undue burden on those who are asked to participate.</p> <p>And if just one store is chosen, Wal-Mart is the obvious choice. Although both companies have labor problems, it&#39;s Wal-Mart that has shown in legal cases to abuse its workers by coercing them to put in <a href="http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0625-04.htm">unpaid overtime</a>, and its Wal-Mart that faces a class action lawsuit on <a href="http://www.walmartclass.com/public_home.html">discrimination against female employees</a> (Target was found guilty in an <a href="http://www.eeoc.gov/press/12-10-07a.html">EEOC suit</a> on racial discrimination in Wisconsin stores). </p> <p>Wal-Mart&#39;s <a href="http://www.coopamerica.org/programs/rs/profile.cfm?id=306">rap sheet</a> at Co-Op America is as long as my arm, much longer than Target&#39;s. It&#39;s true that as a larger and higher profile company, Wal-Mart has been the subject of more scrutiny, but still -- there are many more documented reasons to avoid Wal-Mart than Target.</p> <p>Finally, Wal-Mart&#39;s sheer size makes it the better candidate for a boycott. It&#39;s Wal-Mart&#39;s size that is allowing it to dictate changes in the retail supply chain worldwide. It&#39;s the size, and its 1.9 million employees, that make its wage-lowering influence on the labor market so powerful and its uncared-for workers such a burden on the public health system.</p> <p>This last fact, the size, is what keeps me away from Wal-Mart while still caving occasionally to Target&#39;s siren song. Even if Wal-Mart was a model of good labor practices, I would feel uncomfortable adding to this behemoth&#39;s coffers and helping it become more powerful than any world government. Personally, I feel that no company should be as big or powerful as Wal-Mart has become, and, no matter what the sins of the other retailers out there, I know for sure that I&#39;m not adding one more cent to the Wal-Mart world domination fund.</p> <p>By the way, if you are looking for a big-box retailer with a reputation as a fair employer, <a href="http://www.laborresearch.org/print.php?id=391">look no farther than Costco</a>, where employees make more, get better health care, and see a smaller difference between their own wages and those of executives than workers at either of the two leading retail chains. Costco is <a href="http://www.coopamerica.org/programs/rs/profile.cfm?id=207">far from perfect</a>, of course -- choices that truly benefit communities, the environment, etc. don&#39;t involve big boxes at all. But in a relative world, shopping there will cause you less guilt than shopping at Wal-Mart or Target.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-target-really-just-as-bad-as-wal-mart">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-store-credit-card-target-redcard">The Best Store Credit Card: Target REDcard</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-things-that-are-always-cheaper-at-target">The 8 Things That Are Always Cheaper at Target</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-perimeter-perusing-at-target">Tips for Perimeter Perusing at Target</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/special-holiday-return-policies-of-popular-stores">Special holiday return policies of popular stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pursenalized">Pursenalized</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping justice labor target Wal-Mart Thu, 27 Mar 2008 19:37:59 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1953 at http://www.wisebread.com