When we think of high-paying jobs, we think of doctors and lawyers, professionals who work long hours and deserve every cent of the money they make.
However, some professionals make tons of money for not doing much of anything. Many of us scratch our heads, wondering why they make so much, while others ask, “How do I get that job?”
While scrolling through my favorite Reddit community, R/askreddit, I found a thread asking users to share which jobs are overpaid and overvalued.
Obviously, Redditors aren’t fully aware of all the responsibilities each job entails, so take their opinions with a grain of salt, but the answers give an interesting glimpse into what regular folks consider over-valued.
Upper-Level University Admins
Many folks claim the high price tag associated with college tuition is partly due to over-inflated salaries for college admin staff.
We’re not talking about the low-level employees who get things done, but instead, middle management and university presidents and deans.
One user earned gold and over 30,000 upvotes by replying, “About two-thirds of the upper-level admins at the university I work for.”
Others agreed. “I am the payroll person at a state university, and I completely agree with this,” said one. “The people in upper management aren’t even in union-protected jobs who, in theory, should be the first ones gone when we need to settle the budget problems we have. Instead, they were the only ones who got raises during COVID.”
“Administrative bloat is ruining universities. Good programs canceled so we could have a third Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion. Just utterly unreal,” added another.
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Commercial Airline Pilot
Whether airline pilots are overpaid or underpaid depends on the flight.
“My uncle was a commercial airline pilot. He described his job as “vastly overpaid in normal circumstances and vastly underpaid in emergency situations,” said one user.
Others mentioned the cost of becoming a pilot is insane, and the large salary helps make up for it.
“Don’t most commercial pilots have to pay crazy money to do schooling and licensing to even start working?” asked one user. “Most high-paid jobs may be relatively easy one you’ve dedicated years to learning it. You’re being paid for your investment in the skill and ability to perform it with ease,” they added.
The President of FIFA
Redditors singled out a single position in a giant organization, claiming the president of the most prominent futbol association in the world makes far too much money considering his performance.
“There is no organization that I can think of that is as openly and transparently venal as FIFA,” stated one user. “It’s astonishing; it’s practically baked into their mission statement.”
“I dunno. Must be stressful covering up all that corruption,” snarked another.
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International Olympics Committee
Sticking with the sports theme, another user mentioned that the International Olympics Committee members are vastly overvalued.
“They make very few decisions, all of which are politically motivated. They travel extensively and are paid well for it,” they claimed.
Another said the entire IOC is overstated. “I’d probably go further and say the IOC full stop. World sport would be a much better place without the IOC, with sooooo much more money going back to the athletes if they didn’t clip the ticket. Genuine scumbag organization,” they shared.
Health Care CEOs
Rather than strictly answer the question, one user posted the names and salaries of healthcare company CEOS.
Apparently, the CEO of Clover Health makes $389 million, while the CEO of Bright Health makes $180 million. All this while over 500,000 families file bankruptcy over medical debt each year.
“They’re hired to make unpopular changes that the board of directors wants so they can be the sacrificial lamb when they get fired. It’s just a shell job of hiding responsibility while their employees and patients get robbed,” claimed one user.
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CEOs at hospitals also make way too much for restricting access to healthcare.
“There are so many layers of management that many of them barely step foot into a healthcare facility EVER, let alone EVER speak to a patient, yet all of them make 6, 7, 8 figure salaries plus mega bonuses,” replied one user, of the overpaid CEO position. “My hospital network CEO makes $11 million salary not including bonuses,” they added.
“I also work for a healthcare organization, and our CEO also makes $11M annually; one of many, as you said. In December, we had a meeting about the financial results, and leadership discussed how the healthcare industry is in trouble; how our salaries and wages are our biggest problem,” shared another.
Users who work in fintech admitted how easy their lucrative roles are.
“I work in fintech, and I literally do nothing during 9-5. I wake up in the morning, start my computer, check emails, morning meetings, then play video games, go to the gym, invite friends over or go out for brunch, and at the end of the day, message everyone a good afternoon,” shared one user.
Another added, “Am in Fintech too. I work super hard, actually, like mind-meltingly hard…for about 45 mins a day. Rest of the time is easy.”
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Some government contractors get paid boatloads of money because they have security clearances but don’t do much deserving of the high price tag.
“Entry-level pay isn’t that high, but once you’re cleared, other contractors will offer bigger bucks because you can get cleared with them quickly. Jump from one to another, wait two years, do it again, lather, rinse, repeat,” said one user.
“I have a very close friend that falls into this category,” shared another user. “He literally sits at a desk overlooking a beautiful lake and once a month drives 60 miles to visually inspect a dam. Like just drive to it and look at it.”
Multiple positions get paid tons of money because they work with tons of money. They don’t add much value, but they get paid as they do.
“Anything that could be reduced to “I make a lot of money because I move a lot of money,” like brokers, insurers, wall street stuff, real estate agents,” replied one user.
Other users disagreed, saying the respondent brushed with broad strokes, and many of those positions are critical.
“Lol, brokers and wall street stuff,” snarked one. “That’s a massive, massive range of industries and jobs. Many jobs and all of your 401K are related to “Wall Street stuff,” they added.
“I can’t believe the comment got so many upvotes when it’s clear they have no idea what any of those careers do or why they’re compensated. I worked in investment banking, and we get compensated the way we do because of our insane hours and the role we provide in connecting capital, but it’s clear people in this thread who just say “Wall Street, etc.” have no clue why there are large salaries,” replied another.
Although realtors used to work hard for their commissions, one user pointed out that modern technology makes them less valuable.
“While I believe they can provide value in some situations, technology has put a lot of the work into the buyer’s hands,” shared one user. “You find places you like, send them to a realtor, they walk you through and point out which rooms are bathrooms, print out a mountain of paper for you to sign and … BOOOM $50,000 commission,” they added.
“The paperwork is a lot, but in general, I agree,” replied another. “Every time I do a house tour, I look up all the photos on Zillow, zoning laws, Property lines, and all previous sales on the local government site. Then I get there and get relator comments are like… this looks like a nice new faucet or the paint looks nice.”
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Lots of Over-Valued Jobs
The thread received over 20,000 comments overall, so clearly, there are a lot of discussions on which jobs are overvalued. Although there was some agreement in the thread, other responses received plenty of debate, showcasing there’s no consensus over whether all these jobs are overvalued.
Do you agree with Reddit that the jobs on this list tend to make too much money for the value they offer, or do you have a different perspective?
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.