The average U.S. orthodontist earns $196,270. The average CEO makes $178,400.
Those numbers, released by the Labor Department, might come as a shock in some boardrooms. But they probably don’t catch parents of crooked-teeth teenagers off guard. Both positions counted among the nation’s ten best-paying occupations last year, according to a ranking of 821 jobs tracked by the government.
The discrepancy likely reflects the fact that the nation’s 248,760 chief executives far outnumber the 5,570 orthodontists. A good number of those CEOs likely earn modest salaries at small companies. (The Labor Department calculates wages as a worker’s base pay plus tips, commissions and bonuses tied to quotas or job completion. The figure excludes stock and year-end bonuses, overtime pay, clothing and tool allowances and other perks.) (click below to read more)
The comparison is among several tidbits found in the latest data covering 2013. Here are 10 more:
1. The median pay for an athlete or sports competitor is $39,050, which is less than the Miami Heat pays LeBron James per quarter (of a basketball game.)
2. One out of every 17 jobs in America is held by a retail salesperson or a cashier. There are 4.5 million retail salespeople, the most of any occupation. That’s followed by cashiers at 3.3 million. Average pay for those jobs: $12.20 per hour for retail sales and $9.82 for cashiers.
3. Anesthesiologists make the highest average salary of any profession: $235,070 a year. They even earn more than the doctors performing the operations. Surgeons have the second-highest average salary at $233,150.
4. The average annual pay of a nonfarm animal caretaker ($22,510) exceeds that of a child-care worker ($21,490).
5. Of the 10 largest occupations, only registered nurses — with an average annual salary of $68,910 — earn more than the national average for all occupations ($46,440).
6. Both athletic trainers and service-unit operators in the oil, gas and mining industry are precisely at the median annual salary for all U.S. occupations: $42,790.
7. The job with the lowest average hourly pay is a fast-food cook, at $9.07. Those burger flippers (and their peers) are in one of just three occupations with average annual pay of less than $19,000 a year. The others are shampooers – yes, shampooers — and fast-food servers.
8. Operators of nuclear-power reactors earn an average of $78,410 annually. That’s less than real-estate brokers ($82,380) and funeral-service managers ($80,250).
9. The U.S. boasts 4.6 public-relations specialists for every reporter or correspondent. Those PR pros earn 40% more a year on average than journalists.
10. The median annual salary for economists is $93,070, which they’d probably say is more meaningful than their average salary of $101,450.