Philosophers make much more than welders

In the fourth Republican Debate of the 2016 election, candidate Marco Rubio made the comment that “Welders make more than philosophers,” suggesting that students should pursue trade occupations rather than the arts and humanities. The Washington Post investigated Rubio’s claim and what they found was that welders not only make less money than philosophers, but they make substantially less than philosophers.

Using data from the Web site PayScale, we can look at the introductory and median incomes of both professions. In 2008, philosophy majors started at about $40,000 a year — about the same as what the Bureau of Labor Statistics says first-year welders make.

But over the longer term, philosophy majors make more. Mid-career welders make $22 an hour, according to PayScale, compared with over $80,000 for philosophy majors.

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