Have You Considered Being an Air Traffic Controller Today?

OITNBThe 13 best-paid non-executive jobs in America have one thing in common: They’re all in health care,” says the Atlantic. The worst-paid jobs, not surprisingly, are mostly in food service or agriculture. 

Some interesting facts: midwives (average salary $92,200, or as the chart puts it, 92.2) get paid less than physician assistants (94.3). Don’t feel bad for podiatrists (135). Despite setbacks during the Reagan years, air traffic controllers rake it in. And actors score hilariously well (87.2), to remind us that in certain fields averages are not useful metrics. In a similar vein, “writers and authors” do better than editors. Er, sure. Anyway, perhaps the chart can help inspire some of the late-blooming adolescents living at home throughout their twenties, as profiled in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine:

Kasinecz admits that she fears that her mom’s house in Downers Grove, Ill., half an hour west of the city, has become a crutch. She has been living in that old bedroom for four years and is nowhere closer to figuring out what she’s going to do with her career. “Everyone tells me to just pick something,” she says, “but I don’t know what to pick.”

Nurse anesthesist (157)! There you go. You’re welcome.


13 Comments / Post A Comment

acid burn (#113)

Now let’s talk about how Nurse Anesthesiologists (the highest-paid type of nursing) are disproportionately male, and how male nurses out-earn female nurses even within the same specialty! (I might be a wee bit crabby about this)

Allison (#4,509)

@acid burn …I wish I were surprised.

acid burn (#113)

@Allison They call it the glass escalator! Another fun fact: men are also given preference in nursing school admissions, because they are “minorities” in the field!

samburger (#5,489)

LOLOLOLOL averages


garli (#4,150)

@acid burn Ugh, I feel like your user name is appropriate for delivering that tidbit.

@fo (#839)

@acid burn: not “Nurse Anesthesiologist” nor ‘nurse anesthesist’, Nurse Anesthetist.

acid burn (#113)

@@fo I knew something looked weird about it, whoops. The curse of the five-minute edit window!

sony_b (#225)

I did want to be an air traffic controller. I worked my way through college and a few years when I tried to start a business by dispatching tow trucks for AAA in LA and then San Francisco. I was really good at it (consistently one of the top 2 volume dispatchers in California) and loved it, but there’s no career there. The next step is either 911/police dispatching or air traffic control. I didn’t want to do 911.

I don’t know if it’s changed, but at the time they required you to be younger than 29 (I think, it was a long time ago) and I was too old by the time they lifted the hiring freeze.

Samantha (#6,738)

So, uh, can you become a midwife or a physician’s assistant even if you didn’t study STEM in undergrad? Are there post-bac programs where you can learn to do medical/science stuff?

acid burn (#113)

@Samantha Yes! You can do your prereqs wherever, it doesn’t have to have been during your undergrad degree. In my experience, PA school wants a LOT of science credits before you apply; it’s very similar to med school in that way. So it’s totally possible and fairly common for people to have non-STEM undergrads, it’s just that you might need to spend several years taking your prereq classes before you can apply to school.

I wrote a super long convoluted explanation about midwifery education but basically this page says it better: http://www.midwife.org/Midwifery-Education-Programs
If you are actually curious I’ll tell you about the process of going to nursing school for my second bachelors (Cliff Notes: I’m glad I’m doing it, even if it’s gonna take a long time to get where I want to be).

Samantha (#6,738)

@acid burn I’m super interested in hearing about your experience with going to nursing school! What made you want to do midwifery? What were you doing before?

acid burn (#113)

@Samantha Ok! So, my first degree was in media production (video/animation/broadcasting stuff) and I had worked in that field for about five years but my first love was healthcare (I had started out pre-med in college but did not succeed because school was not my jam at that particular time of my life) so I decided that it was the right time to change careers if I was going to do it. My first degree had zero science or math credits, so I had to do two years of prerequisities at a community college, although I only took two classes at a time because I was working full-time (I also started volunteering during that time because admissions depts like that and the nursing schools in the Pacific Northwest are super competitive; I hear that this is not so in some other regions). So I could have powered through that faster if I’d taken a heavier class load. As previously mentioned, I was not the world’s greatest student the first time around but I worked really hard and got the grades I needed this time. Anyway, I lucked out and managed to get into a school right as I was finishing up my prereqs, but the dates didn’t quite match up for the 15-month program for people who already have a non-nursing degree, so I ended up in the regular nursing program. It’s four semesters with summers off, so I started last September and next May I’ll get my BSN right as I turn 30. The program is hard but in a way that’s kind of difficult to describe; there’s a huge emphasis on clinical judgment and critical thinking rather than memorizing signs and symptoms and medications and treatments (although you do still need to memorize that stuff). Clinical rotation is awesome and I love working with patients; that’s my favorite part of nursing school by far. The weirdest part is being in a program with a bunch of 20-year-old college students who are in a very different life stage from me but they’re also very nice so I’ve adjusted.

So my main interest is in reproductive health, specifically abortion work, and in my state nurse practitioners and CNMs can do first trimester procedures, so after I get my BSN I plan to either work for a bit as an RN or go straight into a grad program. I’m not sure right now which road is the best for what I want to do; I’m leaning toward something like a Women’s Health NP, but an FNP or a CNM are also paths I’m considering. I figure once I get more clinical experience I’ll be better able to make the decision about what I want my day-to-day practice to be about (translation: although birth seems rad and I love babies, I will wait until after my labor & delivery rotation before I decide if labor & delivery is actually a thing I want to spend a lot of my time doing, or if I’d like to be more about primary care because I’m also real into community health and health promotion/education and all that jazz).

WOW THAT WAS LONG-WINDED. Did I answer your questions fully? Nursing definitely isn’t for everyone, but I love it and I think people who are interested should not be afraid to change careers to pursue it!

Samantha (#6,738)

@acid burn Thanks for telling me about what you’re doing! That’s super cool. Is your program full-time/are you still able to work while you’re in that? It seems like it would be harder to make going to school full time/working part time work when you’re in your late 20’s than your early 20’s. Do you feel like you have a better idea of what you’re looking for in a career/what your goals are than the younger people in your program? (Translation: Does anyone ever feel like they have it figured out?)
I’m in school right now (studying PR and Creative Writing) and I’m interested in what I’m studying, but I sometimes wonder if I’ll end up feeling…less than satisfied with the effects that my work would have on others. Nursing/Midwifery seems interesting because there’s a real, direct impact, and I’m interested in the ways that it can be empowering for women.

Comments are closed!