Wage Survey gives salary details

State’s 10 highest paying occupations found in health care

September 25, 2008


If you are a medical doctor working in Kansas, you are in the highest paid occupation in the state.

If you work as a counter attendant or in a cafeteria or coffee shop, you have one of the lowest paying jobs in the state.

The 2008 Kansas Wage Survey released Wednesday by the Kansas Department of Labor is based on information from the second quarter of 2007.

The 10 highest paying occupations are all in health care-related fields. At the top of the list are oral and maxillofacial surgeons with an hourly wage of $98.66.

The survey results didn't surprise Bruce Liese, a professor in family medicine at the Kansas University School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kan. Liese isn't a medical doctor, but he has a doctorate in psychology, and he has a part-time practice in addition to being an instructor.

"I love to teach, but the competition for pulling us away to private practice is incredible," said Liese, who lives in Lecompton. "There are so many complexities and so many demands placed on us as faculty that if the pay didn't compete, I don't know that we'd have any good faculty."

Kansas' average hourly wage was estimated at $17.45 in May 2007. That was $2.11 less than the national mean average.

Other details in the wage report showed that people in management occupations in Lawrence earn an average of $37.11 per hour. That's higher than lawyers in Lawrence, who average $34.40.

There are a lot of issues besides pay that people consider in choosing an occupation, said Liese, who also owns Kansas City Sailing, 725 N. Second St. He said it is important for him to have a diversified career.

"I see many, many physicians go into sports medicine because they love sports; they want to work for the Kansas City Chiefs," Liese said. "I see people go into psychiatry because they are interested in the mind and human behavior and other aspects of medicine."

Coffee shop workers earn an average of $7.08 per hour, among the lowest paying jobs in the state. That doesn't bother Sarah Zimmerman and Sarina Geist, managers at The Java Break, 17 E. Seventh St. They say they make $8 plus tips, boosting them to about $11 an hour. And there are other benefits, they said.

"We don't have a dress code or wear a uniform," Geist said. "We work downtown."

"And we get free drinks and food," Zimmerman said.


Confrontation 9 years ago

Obviously, you don't think, ithink. Think about how much money the football and basketball coaches bring into this stinking town. That money even benefits the coffee shop employees.

hipper_than_hip 9 years ago

Welcome to Lawrence - The Land of Low Wages.

gccs14r 9 years ago

If we lower taxes any farther, we'll default on our national debt. The dummies in Washington are about to make it $11 trillion dollars.

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years ago

A decrease in taxes yields greater national productivity. Greater productivity yields greater federal receipts. Couple this with decreased federal expenditures (Iraq, welfare, spending on the arts, etc) and we will see greater prosperity in this country.

Chris Ogle 9 years ago

I wonder if the coffee shop workers can afford a cup after Fed, State, Local taxes?

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years ago

If we dramatically lower income taxes on all wage earners and have a corresponding reduction in the size of government, we will see our local, state and national economy take off.

ithink 9 years ago

Basketball coach:$1,442.34 per hour -- $3,000,000 per yearFootball coach:$1,105.79 per hour -- $2,300,000 per yearFootball assistant coach:$132.21 per hour -- $275,000 per yearLowest paid assistant football coach:$74.76 per hour -- $155,500 per yearSee:

del888 9 years ago

SettingTheRecordStraight says: "A decrease in taxes yields greater national productivity. Greater productivity yields greater federal receipts. Couple this with decreased federal expenditures (Iraq, welfare, spending on the arts, etc) and we will see greater prosperity in this country."I remember Bush (bubya) saying that giving all Americans a Economic Stimulus check would boost the economy - and now look at! Fact: the government is run on tax dollars. The only way to pay down this HUGE debt that the current republican administration has put on the country is to raise taxes. To believe that lowering taxes will increase productivity is just wrong. The reason is because the interest that is building up on the national debt will far out-weigh any reduction in taxes and the national debt will continue to increase and the value of the dollar will drop. Thus, even if you have more money, you will only be able to buy less (because your dollar value is less). So there is no increase in purchasing power because you are actually buying less goods with the same amount of money. Buying less goods leads to economic slowdown.

KsTwister 9 years ago

Match it up to other cities and Lawrence is dismal to say the least. A survey of Lawrence salaries would not fair well if the state as a whole was removed from those figures. Average in Kansas City and average in Lawrence is not the same thing.

gccs14r 9 years ago

If lowering taxes is so good, why have we gone from $900 billion in debt (and being the world's largest creditor nation) to $9.3 trillion in debt (and being the world's largest debtor nation) since Ronnie sent us down the path of voodoo economics?

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years ago

dell888,You may want to follow this link to KU's economics department and consider enrolling in a couple of their introductory courses:

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