Friday, February 17, 2006

Copy editor salary vs. lawyer salary

A magazine copy editor who loves her job writes in to a Salon advice columnist:
How do I get my husband to stop telling me that I make too little money? I am a full-time copy editor at a magazine, making what copy editors make when they first start out in their careers. I love my job and feel that I am well suited for it; unfortunately, the pay is crap (you're well aware of this, I believe). ...

He associates with a lot of attorneys whose wives are also attorneys or hold high-paying positions, and these people live it up in a way that we can't. This frustrates my husband and sometimes when we're confronted with this, he'll ask me why I can't get a better-paying job, perhaps go to law school and become an attorney myself. ...

Do I need to suck it up, start bringing home half the bacon? Am I being a slacker? My heart tells me no, but maybe that's just because my mind is screaming, "I don't want to work any harder than I have to!"
Read the response here. It has little to do with the tribulations of a copy editor's salary and more to do with solving relationship problems, but you may easily be dealing with both.


At 7:44 AM, February 17, 2006, Blogger tom said...

Seems to me Ann Landers would've said dump the bozo and marry another copy editor: if it's a problem now it'll be a problem later.

At 6:42 AM, February 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you have to do what works best for you. There's no point being in a high paying job that you either don't like or causes so much stress that you end up becoming ill or that causes your marriage to breakdown, although if your husband keeps going on about getting a higher paid job, that may well be the outcome anyway.

When you do what works for you, in your case, copy editing, stick with it. It's nice to be able to get up each day looking forward to going to work. Besides the downside to a salary that's alot higher is usually the extra hours one has to put in, the extra crap one has to put up with, or just that one has to suck up to the boss all the time and also the fear of losing one's job.

Look it works for some people but not for most. Do what you do well and what you enjoy - it's worth more than money.

Just as well your husband wasn't married to Mother Theresa. Or is that a non sequitur.

At 2:00 PM, November 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but your hubby sounds like a royal ass. You live only once and must do what makes you happy. If you enjoy copy editing, you should be a copy editor. If you enjoy running a non-profit that pays even less but gives you a very rewarding experience, you should do that. If your main goal in life is to get rich, get an MBA and become a hedge fund manager. It depends on what a person's goals are.

It sounds like you're very happy working as a copy editor with the exception of the pay, but the pay will increase as you continue to work in that position (albeit not to the level of an attorney, but it sounds like you wouldn't be happy as an attorney).

If he isn't happy with your combined income, tell HIM to get a better job that pays more for the both of you. Better yet, tell him to take a hike.

At 12:49 PM, April 07, 2007, Blogger Stephen St. James said...

Girl--I feel for you.

Did he marry you for the beautiful woman you are, or for the bountiful income you're capable of generating?

If you are using the unique, God-given talents you've been blessed with, in a way that allows you to fulfill His purpose for your life, then what else matters?


If hubby continues lusting for lawyers, I'd introduce him to one--a divorce attorney.

At 8:21 AM, May 04, 2007, Blogger Unknown said...

What a douchebag. I'm getting my bachelor's degree in journalism this summer and then pursuing a career in copy editing, and if my boyfriend ever complained to me about that, I'd dump him. I realize that being married makes this a bit more complicated, but you've got to be happy. Don't put up with him forever if he can't stop.

Life isn't all about money, as many people believe it is, but you should show him some of the median salaries for copy editors. It's really not bad. Not as bad as if you'd wanted to be a reporter.

And besides, not everyone is cut out to be a lawyer! I know I wouldn't be able to do it. I wouldn't be able to defend people I know are wrong.

At 3:38 PM, July 20, 2008, Blogger LP3 said...

You all are being very unrealistic.

The PRIMARY purpose of a job is not life fulfillment. Do you think the husband works simply because it is rewarding?

No. He works to have a warm place to live and to put food on the table and to maintain a certain standard of living.

The FIRST reason to get a job is to get paid. Otherwise you are volunteering.

It is great if you can find a job that you love, that is rewarding, that allows you to feel good about yourself and make the world a better place and all of that good stuff.

But that is extra gravy. You need to be realistic and pursue a career path that will allow you to maximize your earning potential. And don't search for life fulfillment through your day job. There are many pathways to fulfillment. And working on the copy desk is not the only one.

I think copy editors are some of the most important people in the world. But like teachers, they are also some of the most undervalued and underpaid people in the world too.

But you can make a lot more money applying the exact same skill set you use as a copy editor to other industries. Think about it.


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