Career considerations


Graphic design teacher Jim Finch assists senior Jeff Dickens with a graphic design assignment during class. An online resource has named graphic design as one of the lowest paying college degrees.

Marley Butcher, Connect Editor

From the first day of seventh grade, students
are required to choose a career.   Whether it’s science, criminal justice, or accounting,
minds are already set in motion.   Some careers pay much better than others, graphic design, social work, and elementary education are the lowest paying careers in America.
Starting graphic designers earn about $29,480 a year according to PayScaleResearch.

Over the course of the career, the pay increases four thousand dollars. Jim Finch, the school’s computer graphics teacher, majored in graphic design.

“I went into graphic design because I loved it,”   said Jim Finch.   “I took an advertisement design elective and it was everything I wanted to do.   Graphic design has a full salary range.” He said.   “It all depends on what you do and if you make it big.   If you love something do it, no matter the pay.”

Social work is another lowest paying job.   PayScaleResearch says the starting salary is $28, 493 and raises $15,000 over the course of the career. Many social workers are psychological counselors, such as Paul Seitz.
“I went into social work to make a difference.” Seitz said. “I love working with people. A normal day is pretty busy. I’m making calls, returning them, and have about 6 sessions, 1 hour each. I didn’t go into this profession to be a millionaire.” He said. “If you want to go to bed feeling good, this is the job for you.”
Elementary school teachers are next for lowest paying careers. PayScaleResearch lists an elementary school teacher’s salary at $30,440 and an increase in pay of about 10 thousand dollars. Jeannine Bell works with fourth grade children at Gemini Elementary.
“I like working with little kids,” Bell said.   “It’s disappointing that [elementary school teachers] work so hard and barely get appreciated,” she said. My day is long, I’m on my feet all day teaching, have a 20 minute lunch break, then go home and grade papers. I definitely don’t think I get paid enough to do my job.”
However, Bell says there is an upside to teaching.
“Even though the pay is bad, there’s something
about making a difference in a child’s life that makes me feel good,” she said.                    “Whatever career you kids pick, make sure you do it because it’s something that you love.”