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Summer 2005 Vol. 49, Number 2

Time-consuming occupations and what they pay

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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 included.

Management occupations dominate the list of time-
consuming careers. Of those listed, all but farm, ranch, and other agricultural managers had higher-than-average earnings.

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.

Occupations and earnings of people who worked 60 hours or more per week, 2004

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: November 18, 2005