10 Jobs that Overpay

March 25, 2013 |

Stuffed piggy bank

These days, whenever people talk about jobs, they usually discuss how bad the economy is and how few paid positions there are. With all the doom and gloom, it might seem inconceivable that some positions might actually overpay. We’re not just talking about executive positions — there are plenty of desk jobs that may overcompensate. U.S. News reportedly “analyzed data provided by compensation experts at PayScale to highlight occupations characterized by relatively high pay for relatively easy work.” They admit that the process to determine what jobs potentially overpay is not an exact science. Aside from the fact that different people have different ideas about what’s considered overpaying, it’s important to remember that the list is derived from averages and there are plenty of individuals who hold these positions who are getting paid below the median.

1. Consulting software engineer: Some of the most high-end programming isn’t seen on store shelves, it can take place inside the network of a highly successful company. These engineers help build and maintain advanced and intricate communications networks to keep businesses running. Considering that many companies operate from different offices around the world and real-time data transfer is a must-have, experts in this field can are in high demand.

Average salary: $123,000

2. Brand strategist: Some companies maintain a carefully crafted and finely tuned public image. Brand strategists are integral to this process: they understand how the public will process information and how to deliver the right mix of media to deliver what a company wants to portray. For better or worse, these jobs are highly compensated since quite often a companies image affects sales more directly than the quality of their product or the integrity of their operations.

Average salary: $90,700

3. Interaction Designer: Websites are often the central hub of information a company wants available to the public. Whether consumers are learning more about the company  trying to find specific information, or researching how to contact them, website are critical portals of public outreach. Interaction designers make sure that websites are easy to use, engaging, and direct users appropriately.

Average salary: $116,000

4. Marketing research director: A marketing research director is key to successful sales. It’s their job to understand what markets the company is targeting and how to branch out to others. Rather than conduct loads of scut-work, these days marketing research directors can gather, analyse, and package most or all the data they need right from a computer.

Average salary: $122,000

5. Accounting consultant: Navigating the financial records of a company is no small task. It’s difficult enough to mange personal finances, but a company sprawling across the globe with numerous executives, managers, workers, and freelancers have a monster of a task in ensuring that their expenses and revenue are accurately maintained. Accounting consultants are responsible for keeping a business financially kosher with the government — taxes must be paid accurately and on time or else fees will be levied.

Average salary: $81,700

6. Portfolio analyst: Investing can be difficult, and portfolio analysts are tasked with ensuring that investment portfolios are optimized. Analyzing the stock market is not an easy task, but accurate predictions are difficult to make. While many are willing to pay top dollar to ensure that their money is spent wisely, Yahoo! reports that “the value of portfolio analysts who continually re-calibrate pools of investments to optimize their value has been questioned for a long time–even by analysts themselves.”

Average salary: $81,800

7. Wholesaler, financial services: Companies often don’t generate their own financial services, they purchase them from a wholesaler. Whenever you partake in company insurance policies or mutual funds, you’re using a service that was successfully pitched to your employer. These wholesalers are high-powered salesmen charged with overseeing deals that are worth a lot and often last for long periods of time.

Average salary: $109,000

8. Patent attorney: A patent can represent a brand new invention that will better mankind, but more often it’s a weapon of corporate warfare. If a company can secure a patent for a product, then they hold the rights to it which prevents others from creating something of a similar fashion. If patent attorney discovers that another company’s product infringes on a patent, then they can take them to court and potentially win a large settlement.

Average salary: $170,000

9. Investment consultant: Discerning the best places to invest your money takes a lot of time, research, and knowledge. Instead of stretching yourself thin in this process, it can be easier to hire an investment consultant to do the work for you. However, many investment consultants won’t recommend what’s actually best for you because they have deals with different financial services and firms. Their recommendations may more greatly reflect who’s paying them then your best interests.

Average salary: $111,000

10. Data scientist, It: The internet is a two-way street: companies gather as much data about you as you can learn from browsing. The information you generate online is sometimes referred to as big data, and data scientists are advanced-degree holders who generate techniques to process and analyze this information.

Average salary: 133,000

About Stephen Bajza


  1. Gordon Oreskovich says:


    • Walt says:

      money isn't everything, although I know it helps. Some of those jobs I do not want to have, despite the attractive salary. on that list, I only see one/maybe two that I could do/would like. So I must put in the effort to learn/be able to fill that role such that I help the company and the company takes care of me.

  2. Keith says:

    If all politicians in the US took a 5% pay cut the deficit would disappear.

    • Greg in KC says:

      Sorry but you did not do the math. Let me be generous and say there are 100000 people in the US that would fall into the elected politicians group, then again being generous pay them $250000 a year (not many elected officials make that much). That gives you a $25B total payroll, take that by 5% and that gives you $1.5B savings. The deficit and debt would not change enough to matter. What needs to happen is to spend smarter and tax more, there is no single place to cut or tax but cutting aid to other contries. Just me time on the soapbox.

      • paulymoe says:

        I agree with the "spend smarter", but at what point has the gov taken enough in taxes? The gov must learn to live on a budget just like normal Americans. We are sending Billions overseas in aid, giving Billions to highly abused social program i.e. free cell phones. The truth is, hard decisions have to be made and to survive we are going to need to stop being a nanny state. I am all about giving back my fair share if it is spent wisely

    • Paul T says:

      Terminate All Pay & Benefits To All Politicians & Their Cabinet Staff Members (Active & Retired) Retroactive to 1998 and until our Government's Financial Books are 25% in the Black for 10 Years or more.., then reevaluate what Pay & Benefits these Government Positions truly Deserve!!

    • Dude… Please tell me your just trolling! For love of god I can't figure out why someone say something as stupid as this!

  3. Mike K. says:

    You forgot “Politician”. One of the most over-rated jobs around.

  4. CWJ2 says:

    What the entry level jobs pay in the same skill set then take away 20%, 5% or even more.

  5. John says:

    Wow, if you left out the postal service you need to re-write this whole report. $25 to $35 for a labor job? Unless you considered having to work for the most unappreciative, overpaid, untrained, back-stabbing harassment from management in all of business, then it really is not enough pay.

  6. batrsb says:

    Take a look at a janitors position in the government working in Washington D.C. he pulls in about 90,000.

  7. Chuck says:

    To all political employees: Elected, appointed, or hired. It is your responsibility to represent ALL the people of these United States. If you will not do your job; whatever your rationalization, Give It Up! We can not afford your ineptitude. —The Boss (overpaid & ineffective)

  8. John says:

    Chuck, of course we can't afford it, the government is broke! And all of the "Boss" types are supposed to fix it! Training, fairness, planning, organizing, getting rid of the lazy, are part of upper management responsibility. And it is not happening. The "Bosses" are worse than the government employees I have seen literally sleeping on the job, and the weight falls on the workers with good work ethic .
    Government, state, and city services need reform, and the wealthy need to be taxed. Oh, and I wouldn't complain about mopping floors for $37k a year, there are Americans losing their houses out there and they would take half of that to feed their family

    • Scott says:

      That's what he said! he is grateful! If you want to bash someone, bash our elected representatives, not the hard working folks out there working for US!

    • top dog says:

      "there are Americans losing their houses out there and they would take half of that to feed their family"________________________________________________Then tell the knuckle heads in the house to get off their lazy a$$ and pass a budget so these people can get paid and feed their families. This furlough is no joke, it's going to hurt a lot of people, and it will reflect in 2014.

  9. Pete says:

    This has to be the worst lead-in thesis I've read in awhile.
    Yes, any Washington employee could probably be on this list, but "relatively easy", for these jobs????? Every one of these listed takes years of education, requires continuous skills upgrades and involves hours of research. Patent attorney easy…really?

    • A-Rod says:

      Could not agree more. I am a professional with an MBA and you are right…it takes years of education, experience in the job as well as the right credentials and designations behind your name to even be considered for these positions. If you dont have the years invested then you will hit the six figure mark in any of these positions. You have to go through the valley's to get to the mountain tops…

  10. top dog says:

    How can anybody, that have nothing to do with the work you do, and basically know nothing about the work you do, say you are overpaid? Employers pay their employees based on how much the work they(workers) do, mean to their companies. If somebody get paid six figure saleries, apparently they are worth it. according to who they work for. You get paid for the work you do, the only people thar complain about somebody else pay, are the ones that don't make as much money. I do believe that if the teabaggers get their way, everybody will get paid the same amount….except them, they will get more. I am so tired of hearing them(teabaggers)say "The Government is broke"….thats a lie, the Government is never broke, if that were not the case, nobody, not even the President would ever get paid…..some of the teacups in congerss should not get paid, because they don't do any work.

  11. Bob says:

    Some good things are being said here and some people just like to hear themselves, but could you please use decent spelling and grammar.

    • top dog says:

      Hey, we're not professional writers here, at least I'am not. Nobody is perfect, if we were the wheel would never have been invented. And besides, I don't get paid to do this, like some do, I just voice my opinion.

  12. Rob Davison says:

    Having a nephew who has done one or more of those jobs for the past fifteen years I'd have to think that the boosted salaries of some of them are to compensate for the extra Maalox one needs sitting beside the keyboard in large size bottles. The pay isn't just for the skills you have but the stress level you endure.

  13. Grammar Nazi says:

    Based on the number of spelling errors, the author of this piece is probably overpaid.

  14. Commo says:

    Crap…. you jokers left out CEO. Extremely overpaid!!

  15. Steven says:

    How about government contractor, politician and lawyer.

  16. Marie says:

    They burned there eyes studying for years to make a good salary; What is the problem with jealous critics ? These is a country of endless opportunities.Go to colleges use your benefits and stop feeling so useless.

  17. Fed up Willie says:

    Don't hate the player…hate the game.

  18. Stun says:

    Compare pay of an E3-E6 on a ship or forward deployed serviceman to fireman/policeman in larger urban areas…See who is overpaid.

  19. Kim Jung says:

    Add: University Basket Ball Coach $650,000/year.
    Rutgers State University has an opening.

  20. The title of this article alone was enough to disuade me. Jobs that overpay? Not if you consider the education (currently the debt you'll incur), the long hours that you will spend working and all the sacrifices required to obtain and (hopefully) keep most of these jobs.

  21. Chumpper58 says:

    DC Janitor you sometimes have to leave ignorance where you find it. Ask that idiot what would he/she cut in the budget and they wouldn't have a clue. They sit around all day listen to FOX noise and talk radio and think gov't workers are fleecing the gov't. How many of these folks cheat on their taxes or how many of them are willing to cut Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security and unemployment. Even these folks who are on welfare want to cut welfare for everyone except themselves…strange! Also they never speak about taxes imposed on them by their state, county and city governments or about their bloated bureaucracy. That's why you must leave idiots where you find them, because they'll never understand…they refuse too!

  22. Brent says:

    Hahahahahahaha. Now that’s hilarious!

  23. paulymoe says:

    I agree with your first statement, but now lets talk about the media. I suppose you gain your wisdom from MSNBC or CNN? Just the fact that you single out Fox leads me to believe you are a bleading heart Obama coolaid drinker. Do some research and make informed decisions rather than spewing the liberal party line that Fox is the evil network trying to undermine the world.