So one of the factors that figures into how much you get paid for a job is how many people can do the job. If there are only two people in the world that can do your job, you are going to get paid a lot more than if there are two billion people in the world that can do your job. Education, talent, skills, and experience all play into how unique your skills are. For example, the more education you have, the smaller the pool of people that have the same amount and kind of education.
Another factor that plays into how much you get paid is how desirable your job is. Supposedly, an indoor job is more desirable than an outdoor job, but as a recent interview of a cowboy in the New York Times showed, that’s not always true for everybody.
Traditionally, my job, managing a team of software engineers, has been seen as very desirable in terms of working conditions. I sit in an air conditioned office surrounded by educated, congenial people. However, I’m starting to think that maybe the 200+ emails/day, numerous meetings, phone calls and interruptions might not be the most desirable of working conditions. While I’d like to think I’m being compensated primarily for my skills and talents, maybe I’m being compensated for the stressful working conditions. (And my ability to cope with them! 🙂
6/23/05 Correction: The article about the cowboy was in the WSJ, not the NYT!