Glassdoor Releases Its Most Surprising Job Salaries And Most Of Us Are Screwed

Glassdoor Releases Its Most Surprising Job Salaries And Most Of Us Are Screwed

As my loyal readers may know, my area of expertise involves covering salary data, and luckily for you, I have yet another study to share. Glassdoor, the website we can thank for giving us hard data to help us in our salary negotiations, recently conducted a review of many of the positions listed on their site and found some pretty surprising data. Many times when looking at a job description, you can at least guess a ballpark figure for what the pay will be. On the other hand, sometimes your employers can come back with numbers that make you say, “WTF?” – in either a good or bad way. Below are eleven of the positions Glassdoor has found with some pretty shocking salary numbers. If you have one of these jobs, well, let’s just hope you have one of the surprisingly high ones.

Glassdoor’s Shockingly High Salaries



While we all know careers requiring an MD come with a nice price tag, anesthesiologists are the ones rolling in the dough at around $300K per year. On top of that, they have little interaction with patients who are actually awake, which can only be a huge plus, and they come with a substantially lower risk of liability. If you aced your o-chem class, it may be worth looking into anesthesia as a specialty, because any career that lets you pay off your med school debt in one year of employment is certainly worth considering.

Software Engineer Intern

Salary: $68,576

If you’re tech-savvy with little to no work experience, it may be worth looking into one of Glassdoor’s many job posts for a software engineer intern. Roles currently pay a median of $5,275 a month, but when considered fulltime, you’re likely to be bringing in more money than a decent percentage of our parents. As someone who took a public sector communications internship for the total compensation of zero dollars and one letter of recommendation, this is looking like a really good deal.

Railroad Conductor

Salary: $66,238

Considering railroads are primarily a transportation method of the past and involve little to no technical skills at all, it’s a little surprising that this role brings in almost $70K a year. From my understanding, all you have to do is make sure the train keeps moving forward and not run into anything else, and apparently you’re eligible for a salary substantially higher than the US median.

Elementary School Teacher

Salary: $46,967

So $46K may not be a lot in the grand scheme of things, but for managing 7-year-olds for naptime, recess, and spelling, it really doesn’t seem that bad. There’s always the option to further your education to grow into a higher position, and besides, can you say three months of vacation time? All in all, not a bad gig for extended coloring time.

School Principal

Salary: $100,438

This was the most shocking salary to me. You can make six figures for managing teachers? Honestly, sign me up. In most cases, this does require a Master’s degree, but most can be completed part-time while working in under two years. If you need any additional persuading, please reference the above argument for three month vacations.

Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games when it comes to shocking salaries. Thanks to Glassdoor’s policy of anonymously publishing salaries, we see the scary side of employment when it doesn’t pay as well as it should.

Glassdoor’s Shockingly Low Salaries


Salary: $36,000

This number seems absurdly ridiculous to me. While anesthesiologists are making nearly $300K to do some math in an air-conditioned operating room, paramedics are making receptionist money for being in charge of keeping injured patients alive until they reach the hospital. Honestly, if my life is in the hands of a paramedic in an ambulance, I’m going to want them to be making a decent amount of money to feel a commitment to their job, as well as, you know, keeping me alive.


Salary: $35,310

They tell you about starving artists, but damn, I didn’t know that was supposed to be taken literally. While there’s always the chance you could “make it,” a life full of being an extra and occasionally gaining a speaking role in a toothpaste commercial doesn’t pay anything at all. Take note: when your Tinder options start talking about “following their dreams,” swipe left.

News Reporter

Salary: $34,746

Considering news reporters are often local celebrities who need to exert a strong public appearance and have excellent communication skills, I’m surprised that they’re paid so, so, poorly. Sorry if you thought your journalism major would take you to great heights – instead, you can use your degree to wipe your tears from never climbing out of the bottom tax bracket.

Chief Executive Officer

Salary: $177,800

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a figure to laugh at, but it’s also substantially lower than what you would probably expect. When you hear of CEOs of large corporations making millions of dollars with bonuses to match, it sucks that after 20 years of climbing the corporate ladder, you’re looking at less than a quarter of a mil when you reach the top.

Food Scientist

Salary: $58,085

Even though this number is above the median income for America, a job that requires such detailed scientific knowledge and an advanced degree should probably earn you more than an annual $60K. On the plus side, your job probably comes with a lot of food tasting, so you might save some money on your grocery bill to stretch that sad salary a little further.


Salary: $400,000

So you’re telling me that after years of convincing millions of people to hire you, having your personal and family life destroyed in the media, and becoming the leader of the free world, I’m not even going to make half a million dollars? You’ve gotta be kidding me. Of course, this job does come with a few perks, like free public housing (surprisingly nicer than it sounds for us common folk), Secret Service protection for life, an almost-guaranteed post-office career of high-paid speaking gigs, and, of course, international fame. Still though, if this salary is what it comes down to, I think I may start taking a look at anesthesia again.

[via Glassdoor]

Image via Shutterstock

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Steph W.

Steph W. is a new Master's degree graduate with an intern's salary and six-figure taste. She realizes her expectations far exceed reality, so she spends her days pinning away Loubs she pretends are in her physical closet instead of her virtual one. Her hobbies include attempting to trapping her boyfriend into marriage before he finds out how insane she is and pretending that Black Box wine tastes as good as the kind she could afford when she was gainfully employed. Send her tips for getting out of student debt at

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