THE PHRASE “The work sucks, but the pay’s great” will never come out of their mouths. Below are six jobs where guys, and gals, show up every day (or nights and weekends) despite the lack of a comma in their bi-weekly paychecks. It ain’t the cash that keeps them coming back, instead these six jobs offer some of those “intangible benefits” that makes it all (almost) worth it.
Coach: Nearly all coaches at the recreation level are volunteer, and only the smallest percentages are in the college and pro ranks. That leaves the bulk of coaches plying their trade at the middle and high school levels. Many of them draw the bulk of their pay from their “day jobs” as teachers (most of them) or something else with the flexible hours needed to get to daily practices and games. Teacher/coaches are given a small stipend tacked on to their teaching salary. Say a coach gets a $2,000 check for a season: For a 20-week season (which includes preseason workouts and an average playoff stint, about two rounds), if a coach puts in 20 hours a week (and that’s on the low side) it works out to about $5 per hour. Needless to say, the coaches are doing it “for the love of the game.”
Sportswriter: Another “love of the game” job that sounds cooler in conversation than it does on your W2., about 99 percent of sports reporters are NOT the ones you see on Around The Horn. The bulk are the ones you see in tattered jeans and a T-shirt at a high school basketball game. And most are hourly employees (and that goes for many news reporters, too). WikiAnswers had the average sportswriter’s salary between $58,000 – $75,000, but was recently edited to show the actual average starting salary: about $18,000. And that even counts for college grads. Why be a sportswriter? Well, you get to sleep in and watch all the (high school) games you want (or your editor assigns you) for free. But honestly, most are great writers, love that writing and love sports. For them, it’s a good fit.
Bartender: Your average bartender brings home about $20,00 per year, according to CareerBuilder.com. While it’s a job filled with many of those intangible benefits – like exciting late nights, meeting interesting people and that free drink when the “Open” light goes off – it’s pretty hard to get rich off of slinging drinks. Your best bet, save up enough tips to buy the bar. That’s what happened in Greenville, N.C., where two bartenders at Christy’s Euro Pub bought out the owner and now they’re the ones taking home the profits.
Bike messenger: Meet new people, get a lot of exercise. That’s the life of a bike courier. But with bringing home about $21,000 per year on average, it’s a good thing there’s all that money they save on gas.
Park Ranger: Many people spend time in state and national parks on the weekends, but park rangers get to do it all week – for about $32,000 a year on average, according to simplyhired.com. The office hours are kept to a minimum, and it’s all-you-can-camp for free.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT): Despite the fact that they often have a person’s life in their hands, emurse.com says your average EMT brings home about $10 per hour. Hey, it’s high-intensity and definitely not in a cubicle.