# Best job?

1. Jul 3, 2009

### ideasrule

"Best" job?

Unlike most of the people here, I'm a high school student who hasn't even applied to university yet, but I'd like some advice on future job prospects.

What science-related jobs offer the highest salary for the least amount of dedication? (I'd consider engineering and What would the answer be if I restrict myself to jobs where I'll actually do scientific research? What if I narrow the list down even further, to jobs involving physics/astronomy/cosmology research? How difficult is it to find the aforementioned jobs? I live in Ontario, Canada.

You probably think that I'm incredibly lazy or greedy after reading the preceding paragraph, but I assure you I am not. I'm simply interested in all areas of science, so one of the factors I'm using to decide which area to focus on is the salary I can expect to earn. It's not by any means the only factor I'm considering, or even the most important one.

2. Jul 4, 2009

Staff Emeritus
Re: "Best" job?

Lottery winner who buys his own research lab.

3. Jul 4, 2009

### ideasrule

Re: "Best" job?

I don't find it unreasonable to take salary and work hours into consideration when deciding what career to go into. I'd like a serious answer, not mockery.

4. Jul 4, 2009

### Freddy_Turnip

Re: "Best" job?

something computer/IT related maybe?

5. Jul 4, 2009

### Wax

Re: "Best" job?

All engineering degrees pay very well, especially if you have 3+ years under your belt. Just pick one that you believe you will enjoy. If you want to go where the jobs are then pick Civil Engineering. Obama administration is planning to reinvest in American infrastructural so there will probably be more demand for them.

6. Jul 4, 2009

Staff Emeritus
Re: "Best" job?

Then you should ask a serious question. "the highest salary for the least amount of dedication" is not serious.

Why did you think this is mockery? Because it's highly improbable? So is a successful career in the sciences without some serious dedication. If you had told us you wanted to be a professional athlete and asked what field required the least amount of athletic ability, what kind of answer would you expect?

Indeed, the sine qua non of a professional scientist is dedication.

7. Jul 4, 2009

### ideasrule

Re: "Best" job?

If you read my second paragraph carefully, you'd see I'm not afraid of dedication in any way. But since you insist on answering "serious" questions, here's the "serious" question that I originally posted, framed in a way that sounds more aesthetically pleasing:

Which jobs in the sciences offer good pay and relatively short work hours?

If you think that question is not serious, don't answer it, but I'm sure most people would give those two factors at least a passing consideration before devoting themselves to a career. I'd be surprised if the athlete in your example devotes his life to, say, playing on a national level without taking a moment to research how much athletic ability or dedication would be required for various sports teams.

I'm well aware that my original question was blunt. That's my style; I don't beat around the bush to ask a simple question. Let's face it: all else being equal, we'd all rather have 80K a year rather than 14K. All else being equal, we'd rather take weekends off. Dedication or lack thereof does not alter the truth of those statements.

8. Jul 4, 2009

### Freddy_Turnip

Re: "Best" job?

Is this a convoluted way of saying you'd like a good work/life balance?... LOL

9. Jul 4, 2009

Re: "Best" job?

A lot of people use their science qualifications to go into careers other than science so you may wish to extend your search.

10. Jul 4, 2009

### Choppy

Re: "Best" job?

If you want to pursue academia, it's best not to do it for the money. Being a successful reasearcher requires extreme dedication (and even that is sometimes not enough), and the financial payout is often quite low when compared to other professions.

11. Jul 4, 2009

### mal4mac

Re: "Best" job?

If you *are* lazy & greedy (with zero morals) then go work in a bank. The politicians are not dealing with the current financial crisis as they should by coming down hard on bankers, instead the bankers are still getting bonuses after losing billions and decimating the real economy. What other profession gives such high rewards for failure? It's like being paid to go gambling in vegas with someone else's money, then if you lose it being given more money. If you fail a physics exam, or don't do the research, you get kicked out of physics. If you have the ability of Einstein & works as hard as galley slave you *might* make it in physics, but you will earn a fraction of a low-IQ, greedy banker in a cushy 9-to-5 job. Of course you must have no moral qualms about joining a community that gambled away the money of millions of hard working citizens, and in helping them do the same. Personally I'd rather hang out with drug dealers and pimps...

12. Jul 4, 2009

### Civilized

Re: "Best" job?

I'd say that if you are at all concerned about high salaries, or about short work hours, then you will be disappointed by nearly any career in science.

13. Jul 4, 2009

### Heresy

Re: "Best" job?

... you clearly don't know anything about what happened, and have been brainwashed by the media into becoming one of the drones who bash the bankers because they need someone to blame. You also know nothing about the banking industry or what it requires - as the first thing you should know is that they have nothing close to a "cushy 9-to-5 job", with three times that amount of work being the norm for analysts. Please do not post inane bullsh1t without proper knowledge, thank you very much.

14. Jul 4, 2009

### ideasrule

Re: "Best" job?

I find that hard to believe. Are you saying that people who work in science don't care at all about salaries or work hours?

15. Jul 4, 2009

### TMFKAN64

Re: "Best" job?

No, but there are easier ways to make more money than a career in science.

16. Jul 4, 2009

### ImAnEngineer

Re: "Best" job?

If you don't want to get dedicated to anything, it might be better to take a sabbatical year and try to find out what you'd really like to do. You have to pursue what you love to do, not what costs you the least effort. It doesn't get you where you want to be.

Also, you shouldn't be concerned about salaries at all at this point. So many things and interests can change during college, because of which you may very well end up somewhere you've never even thought off.

So my advice is, follow your interests. If you're good at something (and dedicate yourself to it) your work will be satisfying disregarding salaries and working hours.

17. Jul 4, 2009

### Wax

Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
18. Jul 4, 2009

### lisab

Staff Emeritus
Re: "Best" job?

That was my first thought, too, Civilized. Don't go into science for money...do it because you really can't imagine being happy doing anything else.

19. Jul 4, 2009

### Wax

Re: "Best" job?

If you really want a career with the least amount of effort that pays very well, then become an Aviation Mechanic. It only requires 2 years of school and after 3 years of experience you earn an average salary of 50k to 60k a year. After an average of 6 years experience and you'll be making around 90k a year. During the Iraq war, you could contract with the military to work over seas for a nontaxable salary of 100k a year.

This is probably the fastest way I know to make a high level salary but it's not something I can see myself doing.

Don't believe me? Here's a link for head Aviation mechanics. You only make head mechanic if you have 5+ years of experience.
http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layouthtmls/swzl_compresult_national_TR20000021.html

Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
20. Jul 4, 2009

### ideasrule

Re: "Best" job?

Just to clarify: I'm definitely not going into science for the money, and I definitely don't mind working long hours. However, after reading the "Cosmologist: good career choice?" thread, I decided I have my limits. I'm not willing to live in poverty just to do scientific research; if I can't make a tolerable living out of a certain career, I'd avoid it. Of course, there's ambiguity between a job that I wholeheartedly enjoy that pays 40K and one that I only half enjoy but pays 80K, and I'm not interested in a lecture on how to decide between the two. For now, I'd like info on salary and working hours only; I'll consider other factors by myself.

21. Jul 6, 2009

### mal4mac

Re: "Best" job?

So who would you blame? The politicians and financial regulators take some of the blame, but the bankers were at the coal face. Are you a banker? You appear to be floating down a very large river in Egypt...

I take your point on modern-day analysts. I was thinking more of old-school bankers, who didn't earn as much as analysts, but were more relaxed and didn't break the bank!

22. Jul 6, 2009

### SonyAlmeida

Re: "Best" job?

Chemical and Electrical Engineers tend to make $50k to$70k with a bachelor's, I think.

23. Jul 6, 2009

### Locrian

Re: "Best" job?

Well to be clear, this isn't just more aethetically pleasing - this is quantifiable in a way that "dedication" is not. Measuring dedication by number of hours worked is not an unreasonable first order approximation, but there are lots of other factors to consider. A PhD working a government job may well have a very good salary/hours ratio, but if they put in 11 years of college education, 6 years of postdoc work and 4 years of untenured university work (these last 10 years at less than \$45k a year and having incredible hour requirements) before they were qualified enough to get it then it might be silly to say their career path didn't require a lot of dedication. That job would meet your above criteria, but not your initial post.

The truth is that there isn't hard data that answers any question you have asked here. There's data that sounds useful and isn't, and there are responses (like what you've gotten) that don't sound useful, but are.

Cherry-pick away.

24. Jul 6, 2009

### symbolipoint

Re: "Best" job?

From ideasrule:
The trouble with this question is that the job name and its identity does not correlate well to amount of dedication nor amount of preparation. The amount of hours to dedicate to any job really depends on the institution (or company) where you work. Some companies will make you leave after the eight-hour end of the day or shift; you may have more tasks which you would like to start, continue, or complete, but you must put a strict stopping point at the end of the day and arrange for this expected stopping point of the day. Other places may let certain employees keep working two or three hours longer, everyday, five days per week - and nobody tells them to go home.

The amount of time a person puts in each day then really may depend more on the way the company needs to operate than on the identity of the job.

25. Jul 7, 2009

### Tibarn

Re: "Best" job?

If you're looking for money, get into medicine or patent law. If those don't suit you, there are well-paying jobs in the private sector, but they will require lots of work. Government jobs pay a bit less, but you get good benefits and job security.

Of course, you might be able to make a killing peddling atomic devices to certain shady organizations...