Career field salaries

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ryanb, Jan 6, 2019.

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  1. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Why is it that public servant jobs (ie., police) are often paid so little?

    According to the web, the average police officer in my city has an annual salary of $48,800. Seems to me like a job with high risk should be rewarded with a significantly higher salary...I’ve never understood it. Government restrictions?

    Than you have these desk jockeys who are paid $80k+ for sitting on their duff all day. What gives?
     
  2. falconkidding

    falconkidding Line Up and Wait

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    Cause your average cop in many towns is the easiest "good" job to get. Theres a large supply of kids who want to do it. It comes with some prestige, and power. Lot of kids I went to HS with dropped out of college worked a few odd jobs retail, labor etc then in their early 20s decided to be cops. Doesn't require much other than minimal physical fitness and a GED to be one in many cities. Pay goes up further in your career and many have pensions so some guys do their 20 retire in their 40s then get another job in government.
     
  3. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Police salaries are based on the training / recruitment standards, size /wealth of the community, and if the state allows public unions.
     
  4. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    ~50K isn’t bad considering you only need a HS diploma or GED to become a police officer in most places.
     
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  5. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Pattern Altitude

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    Not to mention the free medical and retirement perks.
     
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  6. Hacker

    Hacker Pre-takeoff checklist

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  7. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Because people care how much public employees make because its their tax money. No one cares too much what a private sector worker is making.

    <- Public employee
     
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  8. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Lack of union representation. At least that’s what a pilot union has told us in their solicitation efforts. :D

    Seriously though, some government service jobs do pretty well. $127K a year average for ATC and I have friends approaching $180K...without a degree.
     
  9. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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    Most first responder positions are civil service, therefore fall under local civil service pay rules.

    But, salaries are only a portion of the total
    compensation package. There may be differentials for night, weekend, holiday, hazardous duty, extra qualifications/capabilities.

    There’s also the ‘total cost of ownership’. Your tax dollars are putting a not inexpensive specialty vehicle on the street, as well as training and equipping the officer and all the support staff that goes with it.

    And finally, there’s circumstances like occur in my area. The city requires a police presence to control traffic for all road construction and in certain high density traffic inject areas (think sports arena, mega church, etc). The city does not and will not freely put a cop out there, but requires the private sector to pay for an off duty police officer to be present to control the traffic and the police union is the only place you can go to get this service and they get to set the pay rate.
     
  10. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    When you add in the overtime many of them are paid pretty well.
     
  11. SoonerAviator

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    Yup, OT and pension plans are what make it worthwhile. You can't just look at base salary.
     
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  12. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I thought I read somewhere that the need for a degree in order to be considered is becoming much more common.
     
  13. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    I wonder where they get their stats...I often ask people to guess what I make as a detective...Usually, if you take their answer (which is similar to the stat the OP quotes), and multiply it by x3 (or x2.5 when I was "just" an officer), you get a much closer answer to the truth...
    But I kinda like people not knowing exactly what I make...let them think I need a raise ;)
     
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  14. Brad Haggett

    Brad Haggett Filing Flight Plan

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    I am a 30 year LEO and a recruiter for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Our current starting pay is 48k, double what it was when I joined years ago. Our hiring process takes about 9-12 months, then if your hired we have a 25 week training academy that is high stress like boot camp with college thrown in as well. Many of the younger generation do not desire that environment. We have many career avenues within, regular patrol, investigations, gaming (casino regulation), marine, aircraft. Numerous opportunities, few takers. We are even losing our pilots to the private/commercial world.
     
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  15. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    My brother is in Law Enforcement and I have a friend of mine who is a LEO. While he doesn't make a huge salary, his benefits are really good. They paid for his housing when he lived out in BFE, so he had very little living expenses. Great retirement. Salary isn't everything/isn't the whole picture. But yea your right...there are more lucrative careers.

    I've known quite a few fire fighters who had/have had a great career and had an excellent retirement. That seems like a pretty good gig.
     
  16. kayoh190

    kayoh190 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Funny - it's completely the opposite with pilots. Not sure what it is about this profession that makes people so inclined to misrepresent their income, time off, and so on.
     
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  17. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Line Up and Wait

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    Yeup... look a the total comp plan and they do pretty well....

    Had a conversation with a friend that is a teacher that bitched about his pay.... after we distilled it down to the hours he actually works a year, retirement, and other benefits, etc... his hourly rate was pretty down good...
     
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  18. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    My dad, a career middle school teacher, used to say, "There are three good things about being a teacher: June, July, and August."
     
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  19. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

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    Depends where you go what the qualifications are and what the pay is. I spent 29 years a deputy sheriff on the California central coast. We had a hard time recruitment quality people. With Silicon Valley next door, there are agencies over there that pay 20-30% more than we could.

    That limited our applicant pool off the bat. Then there is the hiring process: Standard civil service application, written exam, physical agility test (should be mandatory yearly throughout one’s career - don’t get me started), oral panel interview, background investigation, psychological screening, medical exam.

    Once hired, training begins. A 25-week academy, two weeks of orientation (computer systems, policies, departmental firearms qualification, intro to all our stations and facilities), and then field training.

    Field training consists of three five-week phases, each with a different Field Training Officer. Anofficer can be remediated at any phase, but never pushed forward early. After completing Phase 3, there is two weeks of checkout with the first FTO in plainclothes acting solely as an evaluator. Throughout field training, there are daily evaluations (33 areas evaluated with a checkbox 1-7 - Unacceptable- Outstanding - format plus a written eval), weekly evals and phase reviews with the training officers and sergeant,

    If the trainee passes, he completes his one-year probationary period with monthly evals and a written development plan.

    There is a fairly high washout rate. Of every 100 applicants, about 10 at he most will be offered a job. The testing process removes a lot of people initially due to substandard written communication skills, lack of physical fitness and failing the oral interview. The background gets a lot, too. Criminal history, bad credit (bad money management historically is a risk factor for corruption), and poor work history eliminate a lot of people.

    Of the 10 who are hired, only eight will make it through the academy. Of the eight graduates, only six or seven will complete field training. Of those seven, within five years two of them will have transferred to higher-paying departments or moved to another part of the state with a much lower cost of living. The five remaining will see one of their compadres leave law enforcement altogether within their first five years. Another will be medically retired from on-the-job injuries before he hits the 10-year mark (spinal and knee injuries are the most common). So, after 10 years, three of the 100 people who took the test are still around.

    Officers get ongoing training throughout their careers. California requires something like 24 hours a year, although most places exceed it. Our patrol deputies have a monthly 10-hour training day, plus there specialized schools available that run anywhere from three days to two weeks.

    I have learned that not everywhere has the same standards and training. Apparently there are still places in the country where hiring is much easier, they don’t go to an academy until they’ve already worked a year and then the academy is maybe half of what they’d get on the west coast.

    Sorry to ramble. I figgered that maybe it would be enlightening to see what the hiring and training is like for us.
     
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  20. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

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    I was a field training officer for several years, and trained 40 new deputies. Along with being a firearms instructor for 11 years, and having been through a number of instructor schools, I had a strong background for becoming a CFI. Doing the math, I had 5,000 hours of instruction given.

    The field training program structure gave me some ideas. What if flight training was structured the same way? A student pilot advances through multiple training blocks, each with a different instructor. This puts a different set of eyes on him, brings in different personalities and ways of explaining details, and may lead to a more rounded product.

    Valid for flight training, or is one instructor from start to finish still the most effective?
     
  21. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Maybe. I have no idea. I know the two counties in Long Island are pretty competitive to get into and they make decent coin.
     
  22. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That's very regional. Cops in the Northeast and in CA make good money.

    Add in the pension and lifetime medical after 20-23 years of service and I wonder who the idiot is when I look at peers my age who are retired and dabble in jobs they can do for of the fun of it.
     
  23. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    That’s what I’m thinking. Bob in the boonies is pulling in a lot less and bringing the average down.
     
  24. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    And...ummm....maybe by getting caught boinking the secretary at the airport...on duty

    (not that I personally know a former MSHP pilot who might have done that, mind you...nahhhhh...)

    ;)
     
  25. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Do they though? Those are both high cost of living areas.
     
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  26. JCranford

    JCranford Pattern Altitude

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    Last I checked my retirement package doesn't pay my day-to-day living expenses, so no, I don't factor that in with my base pay.

    Yes degree requirements are getting more common, at least in the larger cities.

    Where are you guys getting the 'free medical for life' thing? Not a thing where I an employed.

    Its not a bad gig, but its getting very hard to find qualified applicants these days. No one wants to be a cop in the current environment (i'm sure James will be along shortly to demonstrate 'the current environment'. Nate too if he was still around more). I'm a little over 30 years in and I cant wait to get out and do something else.
     
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  27. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    True for CA, not true for most of the NE. Many cant afford to live in the jurisdiction they work for, but you can find affordable housing in commuting range from anywhere in the NE (with the exception of Long Island, but thats why they pay a rookie 100k).
     
  28. texasclouds

    texasclouds Line Up and Wait

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    Every fire fighter I know spends money like mad. I assume they are getting paid well.
     
  29. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Not necessarily. But add up TWO firemen’s incomes and now you’ve got some cash to spend on a new chili pot from a Williams Sonoma. Not there’s anything wrong with that. ;)
     
  30. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Those who dont have a public service pension to look forward to have to put away a double digit percentage of their income for retirement. You certainly can so too, but you don't have to.
     
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  31. texasclouds

    texasclouds Line Up and Wait

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    Beans or no beans?
     
  32. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Ask your bunk mate. :)
     
  33. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    My wife, a RETIRED 5th/6th grade teacher said the same thing before she retired. And those who think teachers have limited hours have never lived with one. There's a bunch of unpaid OT grading papers, etc. that go with the job.
     
  34. Zeldman

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    A friend of mine spent 30 years in law enforcement. All in the same county. He was considered a county employee, and at retirement the county pays his and his wife's health insurance. That may be what some people are mistaking as "free'' health insurance.
     
  35. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Reading, 'riting and 'rithmatic for sure. But PE, band and home ec?
     
  36. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    But it's not "unpaid" if it's part of the job.
     
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  37. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    The real question is why people who play with a ball for a living get paid X million/s per year?
     
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  38. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    It's actually not such a high-risk job. Most cops never shoot their gun at someone.
     
  39. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    I would consider getting shot at a higher risk than shooting someone else.
     
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  40. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Most job studies would disagree with you.

    As Tim said, it’s not you having to shoot at someone else...it’s someone else shooting at you.
     
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