In response to: LOW PAY posted by DJ on November 10, 1998 at 08:52:23:
I'm "raking it in" (everything's relative) in the private sector, so I'll have to use my wife as an example.
Even though she earned far less (almost 30% less) in the Southeast than she does here in Northern VA, her pay went far farther than her current salary does here. Housing costs alone eat up way more than her increase in salary.
Be careful ruling out ANY locale based on starting salary. Believe it or not, most of the my planning friends still working in the public sector started at well above the minimum posted, and none are living in poverty. Go where you want to live and work, keeping an eye on the cost of living relative to the pay. Things are a little more "even" out there than you might imagine.
Stay away from jobs in West Virginia?....Try Louisiana. The starting salary for an entry-level planner in the New Orleans area is $19,500, and they have the audacity to require a masters degree. It cost me nearly that much in tuition, books, travel, etc. to earn the masters and that is what I'm offered? It's no wonder that many of my friends opted for other careers.