by Patrick Appel
A reader writes:
I happened to be looking at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics Survey just now on an unrelated topic, and found some national data on firefighters and police officers. According to BLS, the 305,500 firefighters in the country earned an average of $47,270 (this is from a May 2009 survey, so it probably refers to 2008 wages). The 641,590 "police and sheriff's patrol officers" earned an average of $55,180, and the 110,380 detectives and criminal investigators earned an average of $65,860. In other words, solid, unexceptional middle-class incomes.