High Earners - What's Your Profession?

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:47 am

Finance in a large Fortune 500 company.
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by bltkmt » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:48 am

Snapper wrote:Chief Financial Officer.

+1

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by Call_Me_Op » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:53 am

vesalius wrote: I would suspect even here most physicians, and Livesoft is correct there are a lot of them on this board, are reticent to discuss how much they make.

Physician
The same may be said about many engineers.

-Engineer
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by tnbison » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:02 am

FoolishJumper wrote:
Tyrobi wrote:Engineer

Easy way to clear 100k hurdle is to involve with the oilfield after getting any engineer degree.
+1

I recommend the oil industry to pretty much anyone with a technical background - I've worked with everyone from engineering to physics to math backgrounds, even a few finance-backgrounded people who made the jump to engineering. Oil companies don't much care for what school you went to. I know a few people who went to MIT and they're no better off than a graduate from Kansas State.

I broke $100k at 23 in my first job out of university. Currently work in London as an engineering manager at an oil company making $200k salary plus $100k bonus/benefits at 31.

Wife is the same background, but she waited until 27 to break the $100k mark. Currently works as a senior engineer and makes slightly below me, but has significantly more benefits, as her employer pays our rent and provides a signficant ytravel budget to fly home each ear.
Question for you, your wife, and Tyrobi: Do you have any advice on breaking into the oil industry? I have an construction engineering degree(about half civil eng, half construction management) and work in the construction field(contract management, project management, etc). Unfortunately I never took my FE exam so I don't have PE certification. Make a decent living but definitely well below 100k base salary. Would really appreciate some tips. Thanks

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:52 am

jlgrandam wrote:Ph.D. in biology and I make $45K. Oh wait, am I in the wrong thread?
Ha ha, same here. PhD in public health and I make a bit more than you, but have hit the salary ceiling in my field (short of $100k). On the other hand, I doubt there is a single individual in this thread who has a more flexible work schedule, better work environment, and less job stress than I do. Those are the trade-offs of working for a public organization. Between my wife and I (who has no college education, but has the potential to make more than me based upon bonuses) we make enough.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by stemikger » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:22 am

I think I may need to find a site for average Joes like me. I just realized I don't belong after seeing what you all do for a living. I guess that is why the Dave Ramsey's and David Bach's are so popular.
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by Garco » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:25 am

Professor (PhD), nearing emeritus status. Social scientist. I think I reached $100K about 20 years ago. Starting tenure track positions at R1 university in my field are typically >$80K now. I started ~40 years ago at $11,500.
Last edited by Garco on Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by FoolishJumper » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:31 am

Nathan Drake wrote:What kind of engineer, and have you hopped jobs?
My BS was in Engineering Mechanics (i.e. theoretical engineering) and my MS was in Aerospace Engineering - didn't work in either career field. I currently work as a 'petroleum engineer', which I learned through on-the-job training. My first job in the industry moved me around multiple times (I officially lived in 3 different places, although ended up working in 10 different countries over about 4 years). Hopped from there to a super-major in a small(er) western European country. Spent 5 years there (including a 1-year assignment in Eastern Europe). Recently hopped a third time when I took on my current engineering management role. Each time I moved companies I saw a 20-30% salary increase; more importantly, each move saw significant responsibility increases, which is the reason for my current position and salary, as I have people working for me with more than twice my experience level.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by FoolishJumper » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:51 am

tnbison wrote:Question for you, your wife, and Tyrobi: Do you have any advice on breaking into the oil industry? I have an construction engineering degree(about half civil eng, half construction management) and work in the construction field(contract management, project management, etc). Unfortunately I never took my FE exam so I don't have PE certification. Make a decent living but definitely well below 100k base salary. Would really appreciate some tips. Thanks
I wouldn't worry much about the FE exam; I don't work in the US, but most younger (under 40 year old) engineers (in the US, but even same for Chartered Engineers here in the UK) don't have it. There is no legal (or insurance related) requirement, so it's only an additional title - it's like getting a PhD for a non-academic/research career, it's frankly pointless for external reasons.

The difficulty with the oil industry (for an engineer) is you either enter in technical sales (so your salary is extremely variable) or you start at the bottom, which few people are willing to do and is feasibly impossible if you have a family. You'll be unlikely to enter as Project Manager, as even 'small' projects in the industry can be $10s of millions, so companies will want you to prove yourself as you work up the ranks. You could certainly enter in contracts and procurement, but you're unlikely to see a sizeable salary increase - less than 1% of contract engineers will likely earn more than $100k.

If you are willing to put in the work and effort to see the increase in salary, then you need to apply for a graduate program with any of the big companies (Schlumberger, Halliburton, Shell, Exxon, BP, etc) - to be honest, it's pretty difficult to get a new-graduate job for anyone much over 30. The salary won't be amazing initially (unless you can swing an international job, but those will be in places which aren't much fun to live in - Iraq, Nigeria, etc.), but I know plenty of smart people in Houston who can earn $120k+ after 3 years.

If you want to earn good money, then your safest route is in operational roles - drilling engineer, completion engineer, petroleum engineer, etc. Don't get stuck in the construction/engineering side of the business (they are the ones who build the facilities which allow production to occur), at least if you're after the money.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by ofcmetz » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:53 am

Police Lieutenant. Overtime is what does it for me. Although at one point I was paid $9.41 an hour. (1999)
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by ofcmetz » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:13 am

HomerJ wrote:I make a little over 100k... Senior IT guy (non-management) in the Mid-west.

In this part of the country, 100k+ is king's money. I'm ridiculously blessed.

It's the same in the deep south where I'm from. Amen
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by Bogle101 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:40 am

i banking
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by Cellardoor621 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:56 am

Healthcare IT (Epic, in my case) consultant. Highly variable based on when I'm on contract vs. off of course. I still work "PRN" for the organization I was last full time with, so that offsets my down periods some.

In my experience, there's a huge variance in talent/productivity/motivation and a lot of dead weight moving around in my professional space. We'll see how that goes when the government's subsidies run out.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:58 am

I was a high earner for many years in my area of the world earning 50k a year. But the average wage in my area is below poverty and a mansion of a house costs about 100k. I still live here but before I retired I surpassed the 100k mark by working for an employee owned S Corporation. I still earned way less than 100k as a salary but the pre-tax money given to me by our company instead of paying taxes on it doubled and even tripled my salary on a yearly basis. Because I still live in a cheap area of the world and love it here, I retired at 39 though if I moved to the east or west coast, I would still probably be working.

Edited to state that I was an engineer.
Last edited by lthenderson on Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by ausmatt » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:59 am

Mid-level exec/mgmt in sales/business development at big technology company. Engineering undergrad + MBA. $275 - $375 all-in (excluding healthcare, but including equity). Get to work from home but lots of travel :-(.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by zaboomafoozarg » Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:06 pm

stemikger wrote:I think I may need to find a site for average Joes like me. I just realized I don't belong after seeing what you all do for a living. I guess that is why the Dave Ramsey's and David Bach's are so popular.
I have seen people on early-retirement.org say the same thing re: this forum.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by Pattray » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:37 pm

Custom Home builder.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by femur » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:39 pm

Very specialized IT consultant in Texas: 140k/yr

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by 3Wood85 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:51 pm

I wonder how old the average Boglehead forum member is, whenever I see threads like this it makes me wonder.

I am 25 and made about 75k last year, I think I will be at 100k by the time I hit 30. I work in Finance.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by investingdad » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:55 pm

Just remember...when it comes to wealth building starting super early (like early 20s) goes a LONG way in making up salary differential. I started out making low 30s back in the mid 1990s. My wife was making around 40K. Not high earners. But we set aside large percentages of our salaries right off the bat. The snowball effect of a stupidly early start CANNOT be over-stated. I speak from experience. So folks shouldn't be discouraged.

LBYM + Early 20s + Investing = almost as good as high earner decade or two later


Obviously, there's a limit to my little folksy equation but...you get the idea. Early compounding for the win.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by pteam » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:01 pm

I second investornewb's - Internet entrepreneur with periods of volatility, also sold a business that was internet related but alot of it was offline with employees.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by fareastwarriors » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:03 pm

zaboomafoozarg wrote:
stemikger wrote:I think I may need to find a site for average Joes like me. I just realized I don't belong after seeing what you all do for a living. I guess that is why the Dave Ramsey's and David Bach's are so popular.
I have seen people on early-retirement.org say the same thing re: this forum.


=/
I got a long way to go...

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by yo gabbapentin » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:08 pm

Pornstar. I'm wealthy in a different kind of way;)

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by absauston » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:15 pm

Controls Engineer.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by livesoft » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:15 pm

tnbison wrote:Question for you, your wife, and Tyrobi: Do you have any advice on breaking into the oil industry? ….Would really appreciate some tips. Thanks
You have to apply for jobs. If you don't apply, you have no chance.

An acquaintanence graduated from college recently with an engineering degree. He applied for jobs with big oil companies and got a high-paying job just right out of college. His job is driving around to sites in North Dakota delivering drill bits and parts and things like that and picking up things for analysis. Eventually, I suppose he will move up to something else in the same company.

There are lots of jobs in North Dakota. See, e.g., http://www.engineerjobs.com/jobs/north-dakota/
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by Tex » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 pm

Tax consultant - CPA - 150K not including bonus or solid benefits
Same for wife.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by technovelist » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:42 pm

Software Engineer. And since I'm in Texas, that goes a LOT farther than it would in NYC, for example.
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by Nowizard » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:47 pm

Interesting that neither my wife or I have ever averaged 100k, and only one of us ever made over 100K in a year once. We have typically approximated about 75-80% of that (each) but are in the top 5% for our area of the country and a little above that nationally in net worth due to fortunate investments, including much benefit from this site, low cost of living, no state income tax, and the miracle of compounding. Add in an excellent climate, relatively low pollution, low housing costs, a strong support system and group of friends, and you have one formula for some grateful folks that does not depend on being a high earner as defined here.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by HeadHunter » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:58 pm

4 day weeks, 6 hour days (now but not the first 15 years)
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by fposte » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:07 pm

stoptothink wrote:
jlgrandam wrote:Ph.D. in biology and I make $45K. Oh wait, am I in the wrong thread?
Ha ha, same here. PhD in public health and I make a bit more than you, but have hit the salary ceiling in my field (short of $100k).
Yet another PhD in the Bogleheads' Low Earning Club here! No regrets on the choice for me either, and I find it interesting to see what people do on the high earning side. I'd really hate for people to think the site wasn't for them just because there are some high earners here (logically posting in a high earners' thread), though. I like the fact that there are people of disparate incomes sharing this interest--it's a diversification that adds value.
Last edited by fposte on Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by C319 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:30 pm

Oral Surgeon

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by Dutch » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:45 pm

Nathan Drake wrote:What's the easiest way to get into these sales jobs that command 200-500K+ compensation, work at home, get all your travel expenses paid for, and generally only spend an honest 30 hours towards work a week?

Sounds like a pretty sweet gig.
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by feh » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:45 pm

Software Developer.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by ivyinvestor » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:23 pm

Finance...

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HighFive
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by HighFive » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:24 pm

Officer in the military. Not quite at 100K. But if you count the "free" healthcare, extra money/tax breaks from deployments, it comes out to probably something around 100K.

Being an officer in the military pays well, but it is definitely a tough lifestyle.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by AustenNut » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:26 pm

jaj2276 wrote: As a totally different anecdote, my wife is a teacher where we live and looking at her salary schedule, she'll never hit $100k/yr (and won't even come close). But I look at the hours she works (7-3, 9 months of year) and the benefits she gets and I think she's getting a good deal. If I were a teacher too (I've always thought about "retiring" to this profession), our combined salaries would come close to hitting the $100k mark and I would also consider that reaching the $100k level.
Does your wife think her job ends at 3? Do you ever see her grading papers and doing lesson planning in the evenings and on the weekend? Does she spend her spare time doing readings and other things to enhance (or heck, even meet) the changing curriculum demands? June, July, and August are no longer the top three reasons for being a teacher. Where I live, some teachers are down to July while others still get June & July, but are expected to do a significant amount of curriculum planning during their "time off." With a Master's degree, 30+ additional graduate hours, and 10 years experience you're at $45k. With another 10-15 years experience, we'll be seeing $55k. Somehow I don't think this is what the OP had in mind when asking for $100+k professions (when two people would be needed just to approach the $100k mark).

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by bigred77 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:29 pm

I work for a large Oil and Gas company in relatively unique corporate role.

I broke the 100k mark in total compensation about 4 years in. I have MBA that my employer heavily subsidized from a decent State school (they are not churning out top consultants and I bankers).

I had about 20k in student loans after i graduated undergrad and about the same amount after grad school. I like the one and only employer I've ever had and want to stay with the same company very long term. I know I could increase my salary 10%-20% if i wanted to jump ship right now but i think showing some company loyalty is fairly rare nowadays (especially with people my age) and will hopefully pay off down the road.

My wife is a teacher and she puts in longer hours than I do (except Summers and Winter Holidays obviously) for less than half the pay. It is what it is I guess.

I was able to start stuffing retirement accounts since the age of 23 and am hopeful this will pay off.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by Meaty » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:18 pm

Banking
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by fareastwarriors » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:57 pm

Dutch wrote:
Nathan Drake wrote:What's the easiest way to get into these sales jobs that command 200-500K+ compensation, work at home, get all your travel expenses paid for, and generally only spend an honest 30 hours towards work a week?

Sounds like a pretty sweet gig.
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I like that!

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by stilts1007 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:03 pm

Another pharmacist here. Working in healthcare definitely has its drawbacks but pay and job security are tough to beat.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by joelly » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:36 pm

burt wrote:$100k certainly doesn't feel like a high earner........especially when surrounded by high end German auto's and $1,000,000 homes. burt
Agreed!

Certainly don't feel like a high earner here. Both DH and I earned almost $170K. I am a cant.pass.again, if you can call it a profession.:oops: I'd like to know what I should do to earn mid $200K.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by 6miths » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:38 pm

stemikger wrote:I think I may need to find a site for average Joes like me. I just realized I don't belong after seeing what you all do for a living. I guess that is why the Dave Ramsey's and David Bach's are so popular.

Remember that the thread was directed specifically at 'high earners'. Not necessarily representative of everyone here.
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by jaj2276 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:11 pm

AustenNut wrote:
jaj2276 wrote: As a totally different anecdote, my wife is a teacher where we live and looking at her salary schedule, she'll never hit $100k/yr (and won't even come close). But I look at the hours she works (7-3, 9 months of year) and the benefits she gets and I think she's getting a good deal. If I were a teacher too (I've always thought about "retiring" to this profession), our combined salaries would come close to hitting the $100k mark and I would also consider that reaching the $100k level.
Does your wife think her job ends at 3? Do you ever see her grading papers and doing lesson planning in the evenings and on the weekend? Does she spend her spare time doing readings and other things to enhance (or heck, even meet) the changing curriculum demands? June, July, and August are no longer the top three reasons for being a teacher. Where I live, some teachers are down to July while others still get June & July, but are expected to do a significant amount of curriculum planning during their "time off." With a Master's degree, 30+ additional graduate hours, and 10 years experience you're at $45k. With another 10-15 years experience, we'll be seeing $55k. Somehow I don't think this is what the OP had in mind when asking for $100+k professions (when two people would be needed just to approach the $100k mark).
You are the second person who has latched on to this particular paragraph of my post, so I'll respond. Sometimes she's done by 3, other times a bit later. But it's not significantly later nor frequent enough to skew it past 3 (i.e. it's more incorrect to say 7 to 4 as opposed to 7 to 3). My wife has Master's + 30 and with 3 yrs of exp she is at 45k. She gets access to a pension. I did misspeak, her summers are only 2.5 months, not 3 months. But the amount of time she gets off during the 9.5 months she's on dwarfs my time off (easter break, winter vacation).

We live in a low-cost state so even if it was two teacher's salaries, we'd be living very well. The OP asked for $100k jobs and while a teacher doesn't make that money (although go look at Suffolk County in LI and you'll see a much different story), two teacher's jobs would come close to that with a good lifestyle and job security to boot. Maybe OP and OP's wife would enjoy teaching and maybe they live in a low-cost area. A lot (although not all) of these responses require people to live in HCOL areas to achieve $100k. A couple who are both teachers does not.

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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:14 pm

stemikger wrote:I think I may need to find a site for average Joes like me. I just realized I don't belong after seeing what you all do for a living. I guess that is why the Dave Ramsey's and David Bach's are so popular.
Let me also reiterate. You are certainly welcome here. I don't care how much anyone makes or if you are behind in payments. The idea is that you are living below your means and have a plan to stay (get back on) the course.

You need to start somewhere, which is here: Getting started, the rest will follow.
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by livesoft » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:28 pm

stemikger wrote:I think I may need to find a site for average Joes like me. I just realized I don't belong after seeing what you all do for a living. I guess that is why the Dave Ramsey's and David Bach's are so popular.
I see the possibility of another thread getting started. Do you want to call it the "Average Joe" thread?
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:34 pm

I'd rather that we didn't focus on how much everyone makes. It can be intimidating to others and that's not what this forum is about.
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by Tyrobi » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:41 pm

tnbison wrote:
FoolishJumper wrote:Question for you, your wife, and Tyrobi: Do you have any advice on breaking into the oil industry?
There're many ways, but some of the sure ways to get in is to meet up with the recruiters that come to university, network with someone you know personally that currently work in the industry, or move to the oil boom towns.

Expected to travel a lot and work long hours when starting out at first. The plus side is the financial reward is huge so you can figure out your "enough" salary and then see how much you can cut back in terms of time/effort and still maintain that level of salary.
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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by TRC » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:04 pm

Software Sales.

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macchiato
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:32 pm
Location: California

Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by macchiato » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:12 pm

stemikger wrote:I think I may need to find a site for average Joes like me. I just realized I don't belong after seeing what you all do for a living. I guess that is why the Dave Ramsey's and David Bach's are so popular.
Hang out with who you aspire to be. I aspire to be like many here :)

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joe8d
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:27 pm
Location: Buffalo,NY

Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Post by joe8d » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:16 pm

stemikger wrote:I think I may need to find a site for average Joes like me. I just realized I don't belong after seeing what you all do for a living. I guess that is why the Dave Ramsey's and David Bach's are so popular.
Not to worry ,the "Average Joe" can do quite well :happy . Also wondering how much debt load the high earning professionals are carrying?
All the Best, | Joe

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