The $10,000 Apple Watch vs. 10 U.S. Incomes

by Clarissa-Jan Lim

Monday's highly-anticipated Apple event saw the unveiling of some of the most cutting edge products that technology has to offer, mostly building on the company's previous products — thinner, lighter MacBooks, more advanced softwares, etc. — but the event centered around Apple Watch, the company's new offering that is capable of so many things that it has pretty much rendered your wallet obsolete. You can choose between three options: Apple Watch Sports, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition, which, at $10,000, is one of the most expensive Apple products ever sold.

Why is the Watch Edition so expensive, you ask? As far as its functionality goes, it offers all the same things as the other two options — except for the fact that it comes in 18-karat yellow or rose gold with sapphire watch. But who can afford the $10,000 Apple Watch Edition? Will there be a market for such frivolity? If you are in any way attuned to the excesses displayed in pop culture at all, you will know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that there are people who can — and unquestionably will — dish out upwards of $10,000 for the fanciest Apple Watch that money can buy.

While you might be desensitized to such extravagances by now, $10,000, to the middle- and lower-income earners, is a lot of money. Here's a look at the mean or median salary of a range of professions, just to put into perspective what those five figures mean for different people.

1. Anesthesiologist — $235,070


The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that anesthesiologists earn the highest mean annual salary in the country. An Apple Watch Edition weighing down on their wrist is nothing more than a rustic reminder of their wealth.

2. Chief Executive — $178,400

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CEO salaries frequently make headlines, but a chief executive earns a mean salary of slightly under $200,000 per year. An 18-karat gold watch though, is still largely chump change.

3. Lawyer — $131,990

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Attorneys earn slightly over $10,000 less than anesthesiologists, the top earners in the country, but they still make enough to be able to afford an Apple Watch Edition without breaking a sweat.

4. Software Developer — $93,350

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At a median hourly wage of $44.88 per hour, computer programmers earn close to six figures, and are some of the higher earners in technology industry.

5. Nurse — $65,470

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Here's where an Apple Watch Edition becomes beyond reach. Registered nurses earn a median of $31.48 an hour, which means $10,000 would take up about 15 percent of their annual median wage.

6. Middle school teacher — $53,430

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Educating America's youth (in their precarious years) is no small feat, but if you're a teacher in middle school, you can forget about splurging on gold wearable technology.

7. Heavy or tractor-trailer truck driver — $38,200


Long weeks on the road and sluggish salary increases can be unforgiving — a $10,000 Apple Watch is likely the last thing on the minds of many truck drivers.

8. Secretary/Administrative Assistant — $35,330

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A median hourly wage of $16.99 means you probably can't afford to spend $10,000 — or almost one-third of your salary — on such extravagances.

9. Customer Service Representative — $30,870

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If you're struggling even get by on a median salary of $14.84 per hour, acquiring the latest piece of technology probably won't figure in your daily thoughts.

10. Fast Food Worker — $18,330

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Those who work in the food and beverage industry seem to have it the worst. Food preparers and servers, including those who work in fast food joints, earn an hourly median of $8.81. Forget the Apple Watch Edition — it's likely they aren't even able to afford its comparatively cheaper counterparts.

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