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March 18, 1994|Michael Flagg, Times staff writer

Crime Does Not Pay but Law Does: Who gets the best pay in Orange County--lawyers, engineers or accountants?

If you guessed lawyers, you're right. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most highly skilled and experienced engineers earn a mean weekly salary of $1,270 in the county.

For accountants, it's $1,234 a week.

But for lawyers, it's $1,676.

And remember, that's mean --it's an average of all the law firms and lawyers surveyed, many of whom make much more.

In administrative jobs, the federal government found, budget analysts made $1,013 a week. The most skilled computer systems analysts earned $984.

Those are the figures from last year, the latest available. The federal Labor Department surveys each metro area in the country once a year.

By contrast to the professionals, the most experienced cops in Orange County make a mean paycheck of $922 a week, the federal government found, while firefighters receive $1,012 and prison and jail guards $722.

At the bottom of the rung in the survey, security guards made a mean $10.63 an hour, or $425.20 for a 40-hour week.

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