Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Writer Career: The Rich Life of the Poet (or How Much Money Does a Poet Make?)

This morning I took a test on the CareerBuilder.com website (there was a link from the MSN homepage, I wasn't thinking of switching jobs or anything).

The quiz was on who makes more money. I apparently have no idea of who makes what as I got a score of 50%. I even thought a prison guard earned more than a teacher, but no, the teacher earns about $20K more. Who knew?

After I took this this, I typed in "writer" into the career search engine and learned the national average salary of a writer is $53,800. Wow, I must really be dragging the average down.

So I decide to see if they had the career of "Poet" and lucky day, they did. Here's what they wrote:

Poet Job Description

Writes narrative, dramatic, or lyric poetry for magazines, books, and other publications: chooses subject matter and suitable form to express personal feeling and individual experience, or to narrate story or event. May write doggerel or other type verse. (Source: eDOT Job Description)

Yes, yes, and yes, that's me! I wonder how much my US National Average Salary is? Answer: $62,035!? What?!

Yes, dear Readers, you heard me right, our average salary for a poet is $62,035 a year (with a low being $43K and a high being $97,482.)

I had thought they had calculated the salary based on Maya Angelou and then the rest of us, but no, it seems this is their average.

Will the poets who are making the national average please contact me and tell me how you are doing it? And will the poet making $97K please let us in on your secret.

Could one of those poets be Wyn Cooper and his poem "Fun," which was later turned into the Sheryl Crow song? Could another poet be Billy Collins for speaking gigs? But the others? I'm scratching my head.

According to Career Builder, here are people poets are making more than:

writers
teachers
prison guards
building inspectors
firefighters
interior designers
bank tellers

I think someone needs to tell my bank account that I am running not only under the National Average of poets, but even below the lowest salary.

I also looked up "Clown" as a career: $30,500.

And "Mime." Yes, that is an actual mime. See their Job Description.

Mime Job Description
Presents serious, humorous, or burlesqued interpretations of emotions, dramatic actions, and various situations through body movements, facial expressions, and gestures. (Source: eDOT Job Description)

Salary? Just a little less than a writer at $53,278.

You know if my job as a poet didn't pay so well, I'd have a couple really good careers to fall back on.

BTW, if you do visit the website, do not be surprised if you get the "Internet Explorer cannot open this page..." error. I received it quite a lot. My thought is that it's been put together by mimes and clowns, as apparently these salaries have been.

Who knew we were all so rich?

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