News Science

First born? Only child? Your parent’s decisions effect your future job and salary options

Birth Order Book, The: Why You Are the Way You Are
Birth Order Book, The: Why You Are the Way You Are

“Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” said Jan, lamenting the fact – again – that she’s the ignored middle child on The Brady Bunch.

So while it was played for laughs, maybe she did know a little bit about what her future held.  And it’s not pretty.

At least, that’s what a recent survey from CareerBuilder had to say, when they took a look at SIBLING RIVALRY: WHAT BIRTH ORDER TELLS US ABOUT FUTURE JOB PROSPECTS.

Some of what they found might surprise you, but most of it — especially those of you who are the First Born, Middle Child, or Baby of the Family roles – may be something you’re living already, no survey needed to tell you what’s what.

  • First born children are most likely to earn six figure salaries and hold top executive positions
  • Middle children most often hold entry-level jobs and earn less than $35k per year
  • Children born last often find themselves in middle management
  • Only children are most likely to earn six figures as well, and be a top executive.  It’s all about having to do things on ones own, as opposed to with a team of siblings.

As for career choices:

  • First born are often in government, IT, engineering, or science jobs
  • Middle children are into legal, firefighting, construction, or education jobs
  • Last born tend to be more creative – they’re often in art, editing/writing, IT, or sales
  • Only children run the gamut from IT, engineering, nursing, and legal.

First borns tend to have a higher IQ than the rest of the siblings. 

For men, first borns earn about 1.2% more than the next born.  For women, that’s about 4.2% more for first borns.