During the fourth Republican debate, Marco Rubio picked up a point touched on by Rick Santorum in the undercard debate earlier in the night. "Welders," Rubio said, "make more money than philosophers." Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler looked at the idea, but we thought it could use a visual.

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.


Santorum's point was that there were a lot of welder positions available, which is a very fair point. Philosophy majors may make more — but if you can't get a job, that won't do you much good.