In some occupations,
workers clock unusually long hours. But these workers often
receive relatively high pay—perhaps due, in part, to the
time they spend working. According to data from the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), time-consuming occupations
often have average weekly earnings that are higher than
those of other occupations.
The chart shows the occupations with the
highest percentages of workers who spent 60 or more hours a
week on the job during the week in 2004 in which they were
surveyed. Topping the list for both hours and earnings are
physicians and surgeons. About 29 percent of these workers
logged 60 or more hours per week in 2004. And physicians and
surgeons had the highest median weekly earnings of any
occupation studied by BLS. Earnings data shown are for
wage-and-salary workers; earnings for self-employed workers are not
Management occupations dominate the list of
consuming careers. Of those listed, all but farm, ranch, and
other agricultural managers had higher-than-average
Even in time-consuming occupations, not all workers
devote such long hours to the job, and not all earn the
average in their field. Hours and earnings of individual
workers depend on many factors, including industry,
employer, and specific job tasks.