High Earner Careers?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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VictoriaF
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by VictoriaF »

An ideal path:
- Become an academic economist.
- Win a Nobel Prize.
- Start a consulting business on the side.

This path combines intellectual challenge, fame and money.

Victoria
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Cramerica
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Cramerica »

Vilgan wrote:
Cramerica wrote:
A-Commoner wrote:Hi guys. Interesting thread. My daughter who is a HS junior is considering taking up computer science or some IT related degree for college versus premed, then medical school. I've done some crude calculations of which career would lead to a higher net worth by age 52. I hope you would check my assumptions and calculations to see if my thinking is correct.

Assumptions A:

1. she finishes computer science at age 22, and starts working right away
2. no student loans to pay off, zero debt and zero net worth at 22
3. CS salary at $100K, saving 10% of salary per year ($10k)
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized return of 7%
5. works for 30 years until age 52
6. ends career at age 52 due to ageism in tech sector
7. her portfolio at 52 is $1,020,726.64

Assumptions B:

1. she goes to premed, then med school, then residency training, finishing that at age 30
2. no students loans or other debt, zero net worth at age 30
3. starts practicing right away, makes $200k per year, saves 10% ($20K) per year
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized returns of 7%
5. works for 22 years until age 52
6. her portfolio at age 52 is $1,068,718.90

She comes out ahead at age 52 if she worked as a doctor even though she only had 22 years to compound her money.

BTW, I used this investing calculator http://investor.gov/tools/calculators/c ... calculator

Thoughts?
Just wanted to reiterate here that your assumptions for B are fine except for not including the average 55k annual salary during residency. If she does a 3 year residency, that's an extra 165k. This also does not take into account food, retirement, health, and disability benefits during residency. Some programs also offer subsidized housing, concierge, and other free or discounted services. It also does not account for moonlighting during residency, which is common and lucrative.

I think it is fair to say that option B comes out significantly ahead on average from a purely financial perspective.
I think the main takeaway from the tech vs medical comparison is that its close and either way is very practical.
It is not close actually. It is only close assuming she retires at 52, which is unlikely. If you assume an average age of retirement of 65, medicine is way ahead. They are not even in the same ballpark.
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Will do good
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Will do good »

blackjack4808 wrote:I don't make nearly what some of these high earner careers but as a UPS driver; i personally think i got it way better than most high level careers; I make close to 100k and could make up to 120k; I have fantastic health insurance which i pay nothing for and i have a fantastic pension; oh and i never spent a dime on education. oh the best part is i drive around delivering stuff... :D
That's a great way to look one's career. Cheers!
Vilgan
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Vilgan »

Cramerica wrote:
Vilgan wrote:
Cramerica wrote:
A-Commoner wrote:Hi guys. Interesting thread. My daughter who is a HS junior is considering taking up computer science or some IT related degree for college versus premed, then medical school. I've done some crude calculations of which career would lead to a higher net worth by age 52. I hope you would check my assumptions and calculations to see if my thinking is correct.

Assumptions A:

1. she finishes computer science at age 22, and starts working right away
2. no student loans to pay off, zero debt and zero net worth at 22
3. CS salary at $100K, saving 10% of salary per year ($10k)
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized return of 7%
5. works for 30 years until age 52
6. ends career at age 52 due to ageism in tech sector
7. her portfolio at 52 is $1,020,726.64

Assumptions B:

1. she goes to premed, then med school, then residency training, finishing that at age 30
2. no students loans or other debt, zero net worth at age 30
3. starts practicing right away, makes $200k per year, saves 10% ($20K) per year
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized returns of 7%
5. works for 22 years until age 52
6. her portfolio at age 52 is $1,068,718.90

She comes out ahead at age 52 if she worked as a doctor even though she only had 22 years to compound her money.

BTW, I used this investing calculator http://investor.gov/tools/calculators/c ... calculator

Thoughts?
Just wanted to reiterate here that your assumptions for B are fine except for not including the average 55k annual salary during residency. If she does a 3 year residency, that's an extra 165k. This also does not take into account food, retirement, health, and disability benefits during residency. Some programs also offer subsidized housing, concierge, and other free or discounted services. It also does not account for moonlighting during residency, which is common and lucrative.

I think it is fair to say that option B comes out significantly ahead on average from a purely financial perspective.
I think the main takeaway from the tech vs medical comparison is that its close and either way is very practical.
It is not close actually. It is only close assuming she retires at 52, which is unlikely. If you assume an average age of retirement of 65, medicine is way ahead. They are not even in the same ballpark.
Many tech workers I know retire in their 30s or 40s as well. "Work until 65" is the average, it would be pretty absurd to work until 65 in tech OR as a doctor unless you really really loved your job. From talking to people (admittedly a small sample size), early 50s is when a lot of people feel pretty "done" with work and would happily retire/do something else if they were able to financially. If they continue to work in their 50s, any model has completely broken down anyway. They could be making 120k/year in tech or 500k.

I'm not arguing that tech is absolutely the path to more money - it will probably be a popular career field for a LOT of people and someday the supply issue may be somewhat fixed. However, the same might become true of doctors. Maybe there will be a Big Hero 6 style robot that replaces most doctors/surgeons/specialists. I'm sure all those people going into law school a decade ago didn't expect the demand to drop out of the law profession.

At the end of the day, the important things are: choosing an option that is financially reasonable which both of these paths are, and picking an option that is a fit for strengths and interests which none of us can evaluate. If sticking to the theme of the OP of what can make 300k, interest/experience in starting a business would also be useful.
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dziuniek
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by dziuniek »

Big4 - Audit, Tax, or Consulting/Advisory.

If you're on track and make partner in 12-15 years, you're looking at (educated guess) 400k+ minimum to even something like over 1Mil.

Make no mistake, this comes at a pretty hefty price though.

EDIT: That's what I would do, but I love life ;)
Keenobserver
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Keenobserver »

Thought I should revive this tbread. Anyone wanna have a go?
bonglehead
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by bonglehead »

I work for a large bank in South East, doing data analytics and make more than $300K income, and there maybe 1000 or more people at my company who make significantly more than me.
stereotaxis
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by stereotaxis »

I think Sam at financial samurai did a nice recent summary of very high income jobs:

https://www.financialsamurai.com/who-ma ... e-earners/
TheBeanCounter
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by TheBeanCounter »

My boss at a small CPA firm (<20 employee), which also does wealth management, pulled in right under 400k this year. Firm is in MCOL area in Pacific Northwest.
mr_brightside
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by mr_brightside »

jjbiv wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:58 pm If you want to make a lot of money as an employee, get a job selling something with generous profit margins, like software, to enterprises and other large customers. Technical people are also needed to keep the sales people out of trouble when the discussion turns to specifics. But the sales people will always earn more than the technical folks. Caution: if you don't hit your number, you'll be looking for a new job. This is not a field for people who cannot deliver.
yes. technical sales is an 'under the radar' path to lucrative earnings

medical device for instance -- many equipment / device reps can make $150k +; plus big company benefits : car / 401k / medical etc

and many (most) of these positions are field-based so the work conditions are favorable

but you must have an engaging personality -- the ability to interface favorably with strangers, new customers, etc

------------------------------------------------
remember Enron?? I do
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geerhardusvos
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by geerhardusvos »

dziuniek wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:47 pm Big4 - Audit, Tax, or Consulting/Advisory.

If you're on track and make partner in 12-15 years, you're looking at (educated guess) 400k+ minimum to even something like over 1Mil.

Make no mistake, this comes at a pretty hefty price though.

EDIT: That's what I would do, but I love life ;)
Yep, my buddy who sells a lot of work to us at the mega corp is a partner at a top consultancy and he makes $1.5 million a year. His path to get there was brutal and I would never do it, but his current role is mostly remote and 50 hours a week. He’s 38 years old.

Family member is VP at a fortune 500 company and probably makes $600,000 a year, and even more during good stock appreciation seasons.
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vfinx
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by vfinx »

ctraveler wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:36 pm Hi everyone,

I hope I’m posting this in the correct area.

First I want to thank everyone for sharing so much knowledge, I’ve learned a lot from reading on these forums but as I read through the posts I’m always amazed at how much some of people on this forum make for a living. I’ve seen many making over $300k. I know some are doctors and lawyers which makes sense but I’m curious what the other people making these very high salaries do for a living? Is it all from a day job? Do you have a side job or are you in business for yourself? How did you end up in these positions/what training was required etc? How long did it take you to reach these levels?
I didn't read all the other pages, but I'll just try to respond to your original question OP.

I work in tech and have rolled the dice with 4 companies. 2 of them failed, and 2 of them had IPOs. I've never done a megacorp though I hear they are much more lucrative on average, so if money is a priority, I would pursue that. I do have some regrets about not doing that myself if I'm honest. Income during the 2 failures came nowhere near your $300k threshold, while income during the 2 IPOs exceeded it comfortably. I've been in the industry for 15 years, but I wouldn't say there was a particular amount of time that was required for getting to the higher income levels. Rather, it was more about being in the game consistently to be lucky once in a while.

I don't have a side job or have a business myself, but will say that the people I know that do, earn orders of magnitude more than I.
moneybags
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by moneybags »

A-Commoner wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:00 am Hi guys. Interesting thread. My daughter who is a HS junior is considering taking up computer science or some IT related degree for college versus premed, then medical school. I've done some crude calculations of which career would lead to a higher net worth by age 52. I hope you would check my assumptions and calculations to see if my thinking is correct.

Assumptions A:

1. she finishes computer science at age 22, and starts working right away
2. no student loans to pay off, zero debt and zero net worth at 22
3. CS salary at $100K, saving 10% of salary per year ($10k)
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized return of 7%
5. works for 30 years until age 52
6. ends career at age 52 due to ageism in tech sector
7. her portfolio at 52 is $1,020,726.64

Assumptions B:

1. she goes to premed, then med school, then residency training, finishing that at age 30
2. no students loans or other debt, zero net worth at age 30
3. starts practicing right away, makes $200k per year, saves 10% ($20K) per year
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized returns of 7%
5. works for 22 years until age 52
6. her portfolio at age 52 is $1,068,718.90

She comes out ahead at age 52 if she worked as a doctor even though she only had 22 years to compound her money.

BTW, I used this investing calculator http://investor.gov/tools/calculators/c ... calculator

Thoughts?
If your daughter is smart enough to get into med school, she would be able to command a salary far higher than $100k. A talented graduate can get a starting offer ~$150K and quickly be making $250K within 5-8 years. While I agree that going the doctor route has a longer earning potential, she'll get to 2M faster via CS.
DoubleComma
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by DoubleComma »

mr_brightside wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:50 pm
jjbiv wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:58 pm If you want to make a lot of money as an employee, get a job selling something with generous profit margins, like software, to enterprises and other large customers. Technical people are also needed to keep the sales people out of trouble when the discussion turns to specifics. But the sales people will always earn more than the technical folks. Caution: if you don't hit your number, you'll be looking for a new job. This is not a field for people who cannot deliver.
yes. technical sales is an 'under the radar' path to lucrative earnings

medical device for instance -- many equipment / device reps can make $150k +; plus big company benefits : car / 401k / medical etc

and many (most) of these positions are field-based so the work conditions are favorable

but you must have an engaging personality -- the ability to interface favorably with strangers, new customers, etc

------------------------------------------------
Sort of fun to see a thread from 5 years ago come back to life...

I agree with Sales being a great path with low barrier to entry.

I've earned >$300k for several years in Medical Capital Equip Sales. Currently I'm a Region VP in the same industry, have 10 reps working for me, the lowest paid is ~$250k with all the benefits above including cars...My highest rep this year will make close to $400k

Its not easy work, but highly skilled reps make it look effortless which why so many people believe the myth a sales rep works 10-2 Tues-Thurs and then spends their day on the golf course, lake, slopes what it is...when in reality my team is putting in long hours and managing a lot of stress. Our equipment literally has patients lives at stake, we take is very seriously.
Gus Chiggins
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Gus Chiggins »

DW is a Director of Finance (FP&A) at a tech company, and her target compensation (salary, bonus and RSU refresher) is just under $500k. The stock price really drives her annual gross income, though. At the current stock price, she’d gross just under $1M next year due to significant stock price growth over the last 18 months.
Last edited by Gus Chiggins on Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
goos_news
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by goos_news »

This old thread is a fascinating read.

In tech, it is possible to hit the equivalent level of 300K+ for 20 years, but the more likely trajectory is highly sloped, and maybe with some plateaus. And it doesn't have to involve VP level status at the end or an IPO, but it may require outperforming your peers. So I do believe the generalization that a tech career can lead to comparable earnings over a career to medicine (and can also lead to far less). They both take a lot of work and the slope of the curve is going to vary. Is it reproducible today? I don't know.
SouthernFIRE
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by SouthernFIRE »

William Million wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:44 am
SouthernCPA wrote:So many angry people in this thread....

I've had many clients who make well north of $300k a year and they have varied backgrounds and fields. Doctors (usually specialized), some Law Partners (although law seems to be feast or famine - some attorneys are crushing it, others are making less than my teacher wife), Dentists, Orthodontists, etc. Even a lowly little CPA could make north of $300k if they rose to partner in the right firm.

Aside from the big professions (dentist, surgeons, orthodontists, etc) the way to make $300k is to utilize cheaper labor/costs below you and sell at a higher price and keep the spread. This is how Law partners, CPA partners, etc get to those income levels because they essentially are building a business that just happens to sell their professional service that they went to school to learn. The technical aspects of their education and training are great, but the real money is made in the growing of a client base and then leveraging lower paid associates to produce the work and then replicating.

One of the wealthiest clients I've ever dealt with doesn't even have a college degree and if you saw him pull up to a restaurant in his used F250 and blue jeans many educated professionals would probably not think much of him, even though he's got a blue collar business and has around $35 million in cash or cash equivalents.

I'm not saying that we all need to skip college by any means, but the point is to say that selling a service that is in demand and leveraging lower costs to provide the service are the key to big incomes. Whether you are a W2 surgeon working for a hospital group or a blue collar business guy who rents out heavy equipment, you're selling something for a higher price than you paid for it. The surgeon is selling his time and expertise to a hospital (that also must stay in business), the blue collar guy is selling his product/service directly to customers.

No matter what you do, you've got to be dedicated and ready to sacrifice a lot of time either in education or building a company.
Difference between doctors and lawyers seems to be even a mediocre doc earns well, but not a mediocre lawyer. However, doctors start their earning rather late. Anyway, I would go into either profession solely for the money. If money was my sole motivator, I'd start a business and work my butt off.
I think you are correct at the low end. There is much more upside with law at the high end. Big law and high end boutiques (specifically plaintiffs lawyers) are well into seven figures. I imagine many surgeons make seven figures but it is standard at the top law firms.
Firemenot
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Firemenot »

SouthernFIRE wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:08 pm
William Million wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:44 am
SouthernCPA wrote:So many angry people in this thread....

I've had many clients who make well north of $300k a year and they have varied backgrounds and fields. Doctors (usually specialized), some Law Partners (although law seems to be feast or famine - some attorneys are crushing it, others are making less than my teacher wife), Dentists, Orthodontists, etc. Even a lowly little CPA could make north of $300k if they rose to partner in the right firm.

Aside from the big professions (dentist, surgeons, orthodontists, etc) the way to make $300k is to utilize cheaper labor/costs below you and sell at a higher price and keep the spread. This is how Law partners, CPA partners, etc get to those income levels because they essentially are building a business that just happens to sell their professional service that they went to school to learn. The technical aspects of their education and training are great, but the real money is made in the growing of a client base and then leveraging lower paid associates to produce the work and then replicating.

One of the wealthiest clients I've ever dealt with doesn't even have a college degree and if you saw him pull up to a restaurant in his used F250 and blue jeans many educated professionals would probably not think much of him, even though he's got a blue collar business and has around $35 million in cash or cash equivalents.

I'm not saying that we all need to skip college by any means, but the point is to say that selling a service that is in demand and leveraging lower costs to provide the service are the key to big incomes. Whether you are a W2 surgeon working for a hospital group or a blue collar business guy who rents out heavy equipment, you're selling something for a higher price than you paid for it. The surgeon is selling his time and expertise to a hospital (that also must stay in business), the blue collar guy is selling his product/service directly to customers.

No matter what you do, you've got to be dedicated and ready to sacrifice a lot of time either in education or building a company.
Difference between doctors and lawyers seems to be even a mediocre doc earns well, but not a mediocre lawyer. However, doctors start their earning rather late. Anyway, I would go into either profession solely for the money. If money was my sole motivator, I'd start a business and work my butt off.
I think you are correct at the low end. There is much more upside with law at the high end. Big law and high end boutiques (specifically plaintiffs lawyers) are well into seven figures. I imagine many surgeons make seven figures but it is standard at the top law firms.
I’m an in-house lawyer. I know lots of doctors and lawyers and follow both payscales. Medicine is much more lucrative on average. Very few lawyers make specialist doctor money.
lessismore22
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by lessismore22 »

DoubleComma wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:55 pm
mr_brightside wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:50 pm
jjbiv wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:58 pm If you want to make a lot of money as an employee, get a job selling something with generous profit margins, like software, to enterprises and other large customers. Technical people are also needed to keep the sales people out of trouble when the discussion turns to specifics. But the sales people will always earn more than the technical folks. Caution: if you don't hit your number, you'll be looking for a new job. This is not a field for people who cannot deliver.
yes. technical sales is an 'under the radar' path to lucrative earnings

medical device for instance -- many equipment / device reps can make $150k +; plus big company benefits : car / 401k / medical etc

and many (most) of these positions are field-based so the work conditions are favorable

but you must have an engaging personality -- the ability to interface favorably with strangers, new customers, etc

------------------------------------------------
Sort of fun to see a thread from 5 years ago come back to life...

I agree with Sales being a great path with low barrier to entry.

I've earned >$300k for several years in Medical Capital Equip Sales. Currently I'm a Region VP in the same industry, have 10 reps working for me, the lowest paid is ~$250k with all the benefits above including cars...My highest rep this year will make close to $400k

Its not easy work, but highly skilled reps make it look effortless which why so many people believe the myth a sales rep works 10-2 Tues-Thurs and then spends their day on the golf course, lake, slopes what it is...when in reality my team is putting in long hours and managing a lot of stress. Our equipment literally has patients lives at stake, we take is very seriously.
Sales. Agreed.

My social circle is filled with specialist type salespeople. From software to manufacturing equipment to insurance. Most earn in the 300-500k+ range and spend a LOT of time on the golf course and at their cabins.

'If you're good at sales, you'll never be unemployed' - Abraham Lincoln
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calvin+hobbes
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by calvin+hobbes »

moneybags wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:42 pm
A-Commoner wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:00 am Hi guys. Interesting thread. My daughter who is a HS junior is considering taking up computer science or some IT related degree for college versus premed, then medical school. I've done some crude calculations of which career would lead to a higher net worth by age 52. I hope you would check my assumptions and calculations to see if my thinking is correct.

Assumptions A:

1. she finishes computer science at age 22, and starts working right away
2. no student loans to pay off, zero debt and zero net worth at 22
3. CS salary at $100K, saving 10% of salary per year ($10k)
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized return of 7%
5. works for 30 years until age 52
6. ends career at age 52 due to ageism in tech sector
7. her portfolio at 52 is $1,020,726.64

Assumptions B:

1. she goes to premed, then med school, then residency training, finishing that at age 30
2. no students loans or other debt, zero net worth at age 30
3. starts practicing right away, makes $200k per year, saves 10% ($20K) per year
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized returns of 7%
5. works for 22 years until age 52
6. her portfolio at age 52 is $1,068,718.90

She comes out ahead at age 52 if she worked as a doctor even though she only had 22 years to compound her money.

BTW, I used this investing calculator http://investor.gov/tools/calculators/c ... calculator

Thoughts?
If your daughter is smart enough to get into med school, she would be able to command a salary far higher than $100k. A talented graduate can get a starting offer ~$150K and quickly be making $250K within 5-8 years. While I agree that going the doctor route has a longer earning potential, she'll get to 2M faster via CS.
The average medical student now graduates with something like 200-250k in debt. Why has this been overlooked so far?

It is much harder to get scholarships for med school and those loans are an anchor because you can make a dent in them during residency and rates are 6-8%. They can be a significant barrier to accumulating wealth (ask me how I know).

Maybe the original poster doing his back of the napkin math was planning to pay for everything, in which case it could be more valid but if money was everything, he could put her through college for a CS degree and let that 250k continue compounding to add to the pot which would make that pathway significantly ahead of the physician.
SouthernFIRE
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by SouthernFIRE »

Firemenot wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:24 pm
SouthernFIRE wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:08 pm
William Million wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:44 am
SouthernCPA wrote:So many angry people in this thread....

I've had many clients who make well north of $300k a year and they have varied backgrounds and fields. Doctors (usually specialized), some Law Partners (although law seems to be feast or famine - some attorneys are crushing it, others are making less than my teacher wife), Dentists, Orthodontists, etc. Even a lowly little CPA could make north of $300k if they rose to partner in the right firm.

Aside from the big professions (dentist, surgeons, orthodontists, etc) the way to make $300k is to utilize cheaper labor/costs below you and sell at a higher price and keep the spread. This is how Law partners, CPA partners, etc get to those income levels because they essentially are building a business that just happens to sell their professional service that they went to school to learn. The technical aspects of their education and training are great, but the real money is made in the growing of a client base and then leveraging lower paid associates to produce the work and then replicating.

One of the wealthiest clients I've ever dealt with doesn't even have a college degree and if you saw him pull up to a restaurant in his used F250 and blue jeans many educated professionals would probably not think much of him, even though he's got a blue collar business and has around $35 million in cash or cash equivalents.

I'm not saying that we all need to skip college by any means, but the point is to say that selling a service that is in demand and leveraging lower costs to provide the service are the key to big incomes. Whether you are a W2 surgeon working for a hospital group or a blue collar business guy who rents out heavy equipment, you're selling something for a higher price than you paid for it. The surgeon is selling his time and expertise to a hospital (that also must stay in business), the blue collar guy is selling his product/service directly to customers.

No matter what you do, you've got to be dedicated and ready to sacrifice a lot of time either in education or building a company.
Difference between doctors and lawyers seems to be even a mediocre doc earns well, but not a mediocre lawyer. However, doctors start their earning rather late. Anyway, I would go into either profession solely for the money. If money was my sole motivator, I'd start a business and work my butt off.
I think you are correct at the low end. There is much more upside with law at the high end. Big law and high end boutiques (specifically plaintiffs lawyers) are well into seven figures. I imagine many surgeons make seven figures but it is standard at the top law firms.
I’m an in-house lawyer. I know lots of doctors and lawyers and follow both payscales. Medicine is much more lucrative on average. Very few lawyers make specialist doctor money.
[/

The average doctor makes more. The ceiling is higher with law and it’s not close. Average profits per partner at AmLaw 100 was $2mil in 2019.
Afty
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Afty »

SouthernFIRE wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:36 pm The average doctor makes more. The ceiling is higher with law and it’s not close. Average profits per partner at AmLaw 100 was $2mil in 2019.
I was curious how average profit per partner translates into compensation for the partner. I found this interesting survey:
https://law.yale.edu/sites/default/file ... ey-web.pdf

Average compensation for all respondents was $877,000, up 22% from 2014 ($716,000). Median compensation
also rose dramatically, climbing 21%, from $475,000 in 2014 to $575,000 in 2016.


The large difference between median and mean point to extremely high compensation for a small fraction of partners. Unfortunately they don't provide a breakdown by percentile.
Firemenot
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Firemenot »

Afty wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:49 pm
SouthernFIRE wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:36 pm The average doctor makes more. The ceiling is higher with law and it’s not close. Average profits per partner at AmLaw 100 was $2mil in 2019.
I was curious how average profit per partner translates into compensation for the partner. I found this interesting survey:
https://law.yale.edu/sites/default/file ... ey-web.pdf

Average compensation for all respondents was $877,000, up 22% from 2014 ($716,000). Median compensation
also rose dramatically, climbing 21%, from $475,000 in 2014 to $575,000 in 2016.


The large difference between median and mean point to extremely high compensation for a small fraction of partners. Unfortunately they don't provide a breakdown by percentile.
The percentage of attorneys that make that sort of money is tiny. And I should add that most attorneys wish they had done something else. The dirty little secret of law is that substance abuse is a widespread problem.
phxjcc
Posts: 782
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:47 pm

Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by phxjcc »

Will do good wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:06 pm
blackjack4808 wrote:I don't make nearly what some of these high earner careers but as a UPS driver; i personally think i got it way better than most high level careers; I make close to 100k and could make up to 120k; I have fantastic health insurance which i pay nothing for and i have a fantastic pension; oh and i never spent a dime on education. oh the best part is i drive around delivering stuff... :D
That's a great way to look one's career. Cheers!
This.

1000*this.

Be a plumber or HVAC tech and start your own company.

Signed,
Tech C-level (retired before FAANG)
Switched from medical research.
Ex-DW was in big law, same building as L.A. LAW.
Bama12
Posts: 404
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Bama12 »

blackjack4808 wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:56 pm I don't make nearly what some of these high earner careers but as a UPS driver; i personally think i got it way better than most high level careers; I make close to 100k and could make up to 120k; I have fantastic health insurance which i pay nothing for and i have a fantastic pension; oh and i never spent a dime on education. oh the best part is i drive around delivering stuff... :D
My best friend works as a UPS driver.
Last edited by Bama12 on Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
toofache32
Posts: 2220
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by toofache32 »

calvin+hobbes wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:21 pm
moneybags wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:42 pm
A-Commoner wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:00 am Hi guys. Interesting thread. My daughter who is a HS junior is considering taking up computer science or some IT related degree for college versus premed, then medical school. I've done some crude calculations of which career would lead to a higher net worth by age 52. I hope you would check my assumptions and calculations to see if my thinking is correct.

Assumptions A:

1. she finishes computer science at age 22, and starts working right away
2. no student loans to pay off, zero debt and zero net worth at 22
3. CS salary at $100K, saving 10% of salary per year ($10k)
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized return of 7%
5. works for 30 years until age 52
6. ends career at age 52 due to ageism in tech sector
7. her portfolio at 52 is $1,020,726.64

Assumptions B:

1. she goes to premed, then med school, then residency training, finishing that at age 30
2. no students loans or other debt, zero net worth at age 30
3. starts practicing right away, makes $200k per year, saves 10% ($20K) per year
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized returns of 7%
5. works for 22 years until age 52
6. her portfolio at age 52 is $1,068,718.90

She comes out ahead at age 52 if she worked as a doctor even though she only had 22 years to compound her money.

BTW, I used this investing calculator http://investor.gov/tools/calculators/c ... calculator

Thoughts?
If your daughter is smart enough to get into med school, she would be able to command a salary far higher than $100k. A talented graduate can get a starting offer ~$150K and quickly be making $250K within 5-8 years. While I agree that going the doctor route has a longer earning potential, she'll get to 2M faster via CS.


The average medical student now graduates with something like 200-250k in debt. Why has this been overlooked so far?
Not to mention physicians require a minimum of 7 years of training after college while law school is like 1 or 2 years and can be done through correspondence school.
SouthernFIRE
Posts: 114
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by SouthernFIRE »

Firemenot wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:53 pm
Afty wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:49 pm
SouthernFIRE wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:36 pm The average doctor makes more. The ceiling is higher with law and it’s not close. Average profits per partner at AmLaw 100 was $2mil in 2019.
I was curious how average profit per partner translates into compensation for the partner. I found this interesting survey:
https://law.yale.edu/sites/default/file ... ey-web.pdf

Average compensation for all respondents was $877,000, up 22% from 2014 ($716,000). Median compensation
also rose dramatically, climbing 21%, from $475,000 in 2014 to $575,000 in 2016.


The large difference between median and mean point to extremely high compensation for a small fraction of partners. Unfortunately they don't provide a breakdown by percentile.
The percentage of attorneys that make that sort of money is tiny. And I should add that most attorneys wish they had done something else. The dirty little secret of law is that substance abuse is a widespread problem.
Substance abuse among lawyers is not a secret. Has been a problem for decades. Not really germane to the discussion. That survey is consistent with the highest earning tier of attorneys substantially out earning doctors. This survey has the salary for the highest paid medical specialities in the $400k range.

https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/practi ... y-for-2019
corpgator
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:00 pm

Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by corpgator »

Firemenot wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:53 pm
Afty wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:49 pm
SouthernFIRE wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:36 pm The average doctor makes more. The ceiling is higher with law and it’s not close. Average profits per partner at AmLaw 100 was $2mil in 2019.
I was curious how average profit per partner translates into compensation for the partner. I found this interesting survey:
https://law.yale.edu/sites/default/file ... ey-web.pdf

Average compensation for all respondents was $877,000, up 22% from 2014 ($716,000). Median compensation
also rose dramatically, climbing 21%, from $475,000 in 2014 to $575,000 in 2016.


The large difference between median and mean point to extremely high compensation for a small fraction of partners. Unfortunately they don't provide a breakdown by percentile.
The percentage of attorneys that make that sort of money is tiny. And I should add that most attorneys wish they had done something else. The dirty little secret of law is that substance abuse is a widespread problem.
Percentage of specialist surgeons making that money is also tiny.
Trader Joe
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Trader Joe »

Radiologist. High earner and easy work.
qwertyjazz
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by qwertyjazz »

corpgator wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:14 pm
Firemenot wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:53 pm
Afty wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:49 pm
SouthernFIRE wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:36 pm The average doctor makes more. The ceiling is higher with law and it’s not close. Average profits per partner at AmLaw 100 was $2mil in 2019.
I was curious how average profit per partner translates into compensation for the partner. I found this interesting survey:
https://law.yale.edu/sites/default/file ... ey-web.pdf

Average compensation for all respondents was $877,000, up 22% from 2014 ($716,000). Median compensation
also rose dramatically, climbing 21%, from $475,000 in 2014 to $575,000 in 2016.


The large difference between median and mean point to extremely high compensation for a small fraction of partners. Unfortunately they don't provide a breakdown by percentile.
The percentage of attorneys that make that sort of money is tiny. And I should add that most attorneys wish they had done something else. The dirty little secret of law is that substance abuse is a widespread problem.
Percentage of specialist surgeons making that money is also tiny.
Some doctors who run hospitals, infusion chains, medical device companies etc etc also make a lot of money. The key thing is that they are running something. Like the high earning lawyer who have a lot of associates who bill under them.
G.E. Box "All models are wrong, but some are useful."
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anon_investor
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by anon_investor »

Firemenot wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:53 pm
Afty wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:49 pm
SouthernFIRE wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:36 pm The average doctor makes more. The ceiling is higher with law and it’s not close. Average profits per partner at AmLaw 100 was $2mil in 2019.
I was curious how average profit per partner translates into compensation for the partner. I found this interesting survey:
https://law.yale.edu/sites/default/file ... ey-web.pdf

Average compensation for all respondents was $877,000, up 22% from 2014 ($716,000). Median compensation
also rose dramatically, climbing 21%, from $475,000 in 2014 to $575,000 in 2016.


The large difference between median and mean point to extremely high compensation for a small fraction of partners. Unfortunately they don't provide a breakdown by percentile.
The percentage of attorneys that make that sort of money is tiny. And I should add that most attorneys wish they had done something else. The dirty little secret of law is that substance abuse is a widespread problem.
The other secret that big law doesn't want overworked associates to know is that you can go in-house at a mega corp and still make good money and work half as much. With better work life balance comes reduced chance of burn out, and an in-house lawyer can work a long time and make big bucks the whole way.
Firemenot
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Firemenot »

Agree that in-house is generally much better. Most lawyers at firms basically hate their jobs.
Livehard1234
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Livehard1234 »

Vice President at a large tech company bringing in ~$1.1M per year. Was stressful with long hours as I rose up the ranks, now it’s mostly stressful with reasonable hours. I enjoy the strategic parts of my job, but most of it is dealing with people/org issues and politics. I’m good enough at it, but no longer passionate. It’s become a means to an end.
PowderDay9
Posts: 277
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by PowderDay9 »

Trader Joe wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:17 pm Radiologist. High earner and easy work.
I'd be concerned artificial intelligence would substantially reduce the number of radiologists needed.

I was at a large conference last year and the keynote speaker said, "you can just stop training new radiologists now because by the time they get out, AI will be doing their jobs." Maybe that was a little extreme but I think the risk of substantial disruption can't be ignored.
jaqenhghar
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:24 pm

Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by jaqenhghar »

Livehard1234 wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:36 pm Vice President at a large tech company bringing in ~$1.1M per year. Was stressful with long hours as I rose up the ranks, now it’s mostly stressful with reasonable hours. I enjoy the strategic parts of my job, but most of it is dealing with people/org issues and politics. I’m good enough at it, but no longer passionate. It’s become a means to an end.
Any suggestions / resources on how to get good at the politics of the job?
Frank the Tank
Posts: 42
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Frank the Tank »

anon_investor wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:24 pm
Firemenot wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:53 pm
Afty wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:49 pm
SouthernFIRE wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:36 pm The average doctor makes more. The ceiling is higher with law and it’s not close. Average profits per partner at AmLaw 100 was $2mil in 2019.
I was curious how average profit per partner translates into compensation for the partner. I found this interesting survey:
https://law.yale.edu/sites/default/file ... ey-web.pdf

Average compensation for all respondents was $877,000, up 22% from 2014 ($716,000). Median compensation
also rose dramatically, climbing 21%, from $475,000 in 2014 to $575,000 in 2016.


The large difference between median and mean point to extremely high compensation for a small fraction of partners. Unfortunately they don't provide a breakdown by percentile.
The percentage of attorneys that make that sort of money is tiny. And I should add that most attorneys wish they had done something else. The dirty little secret of law is that substance abuse is a widespread problem.
The other secret that big law doesn't want overworked associates to know is that you can go in-house at a mega corp and still make good money and work half as much. With better work life balance comes reduced chance of burn out, and an in-house lawyer can work a long time and make big bucks the whole way.
This was the path that I took. Going from BIGLAW to in-house was the best professional decision of my life.
Frank the Tank
Posts: 42
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Frank the Tank »

toofache32 wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:44 pm
calvin+hobbes wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:21 pm
moneybags wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:42 pm
A-Commoner wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:00 am Hi guys. Interesting thread. My daughter who is a HS junior is considering taking up computer science or some IT related degree for college versus premed, then medical school. I've done some crude calculations of which career would lead to a higher net worth by age 52. I hope you would check my assumptions and calculations to see if my thinking is correct.

Assumptions A:

1. she finishes computer science at age 22, and starts working right away
2. no student loans to pay off, zero debt and zero net worth at 22
3. CS salary at $100K, saving 10% of salary per year ($10k)
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized return of 7%
5. works for 30 years until age 52
6. ends career at age 52 due to ageism in tech sector
7. her portfolio at 52 is $1,020,726.64

Assumptions B:

1. she goes to premed, then med school, then residency training, finishing that at age 30
2. no students loans or other debt, zero net worth at age 30
3. starts practicing right away, makes $200k per year, saves 10% ($20K) per year
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized returns of 7%
5. works for 22 years until age 52
6. her portfolio at age 52 is $1,068,718.90

She comes out ahead at age 52 if she worked as a doctor even though she only had 22 years to compound her money.

BTW, I used this investing calculator http://investor.gov/tools/calculators/c ... calculator

Thoughts?
If your daughter is smart enough to get into med school, she would be able to command a salary far higher than $100k. A talented graduate can get a starting offer ~$150K and quickly be making $250K within 5-8 years. While I agree that going the doctor route has a longer earning potential, she'll get to 2M faster via CS.


The average medical student now graduates with something like 200-250k in debt. Why has this been overlooked so far?
Not to mention physicians require a minimum of 7 years of training after college while law school is like 1 or 2 years and can be done through correspondence school.
To be sure, law school is 3 years and the legal profession is *much* more prestige-oriented regarding schooling compared to the medical profession. Getting into any medical school in the US in and of itself is an achievement, so the variance in career outcomes between going to Harvard Medical School and an in-state directional medical school isn't as large as you would think. In contrast, the difference in job opportunities between the top 14 law schools (emphasis on the top 14 - it's not top 15 or 20) and the rest of the pack is a huge gulf.

I didn't attend one of those top 14 schools and, looking back, I essentially had to pull the professional equivalent of an inside straight in poker to get to where I'm at today (e.g. I needed to finish at the very top of my law school class that still had a lot of other smart and ambitious people to get opportunities that the bottom half of the classes at top 14 schools could receive easily). Frankly, the emphasis on law school prestige has actually gotten worse over the past decade as the legal job market has become tougher. For most professions, overspending for undergrad and graduate school tuition doesn't make much sense, but when it comes to becoming a lawyer, you need to pay to go to the very best law school that you can get into (and if it's not a top 14 school, you should reevaluate whether it's worth the cost at all).
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anon_investor
Posts: 5399
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by anon_investor »

Frank the Tank wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:34 pm
anon_investor wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:24 pm
Firemenot wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:53 pm
Afty wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:49 pm
SouthernFIRE wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:36 pm The average doctor makes more. The ceiling is higher with law and it’s not close. Average profits per partner at AmLaw 100 was $2mil in 2019.
I was curious how average profit per partner translates into compensation for the partner. I found this interesting survey:
https://law.yale.edu/sites/default/file ... ey-web.pdf

Average compensation for all respondents was $877,000, up 22% from 2014 ($716,000). Median compensation
also rose dramatically, climbing 21%, from $475,000 in 2014 to $575,000 in 2016.


The large difference between median and mean point to extremely high compensation for a small fraction of partners. Unfortunately they don't provide a breakdown by percentile.
The percentage of attorneys that make that sort of money is tiny. And I should add that most attorneys wish they had done something else. The dirty little secret of law is that substance abuse is a widespread problem.
The other secret that big law doesn't want overworked associates to know is that you can go in-house at a mega corp and still make good money and work half as much. With better work life balance comes reduced chance of burn out, and an in-house lawyer can work a long time and make big bucks the whole way.
This was the path that I took. Going from BIGLAW to in-house was the best professional decision of my life.
Going from BIGLAW to in-house was also the best decision I ever made.
chillwill120
Posts: 36
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by chillwill120 »

anon_investor wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:50 pm
Frank the Tank wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:34 pm
anon_investor wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:24 pm
Firemenot wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:53 pm
Afty wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:49 pm

I was curious how average profit per partner translates into compensation for the partner. I found this interesting survey:
https://law.yale.edu/sites/default/file ... ey-web.pdf

Average compensation for all respondents was $877,000, up 22% from 2014 ($716,000). Median compensation
also rose dramatically, climbing 21%, from $475,000 in 2014 to $575,000 in 2016.


The large difference between median and mean point to extremely high compensation for a small fraction of partners. Unfortunately they don't provide a breakdown by percentile.
The percentage of attorneys that make that sort of money is tiny. And I should add that most attorneys wish they had done something else. The dirty little secret of law is that substance abuse is a widespread problem.
The other secret that big law doesn't want overworked associates to know is that you can go in-house at a mega corp and still make good money and work half as much. With better work life balance comes reduced chance of burn out, and an in-house lawyer can work a long time and make big bucks the whole way.
This was the path that I took. Going from BIGLAW to in-house was the best professional decision of my life.
Going from BIGLAW to in-house was also the best decision I ever made.
The problem is that landing an in-house gig is difficult.
Firemenot
Posts: 479
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:48 pm

Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Firemenot »

chillwill120 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:28 pm
anon_investor wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:50 pm
Frank the Tank wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:34 pm
anon_investor wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:24 pm
Firemenot wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:53 pm

The percentage of attorneys that make that sort of money is tiny. And I should add that most attorneys wish they had done something else. The dirty little secret of law is that substance abuse is a widespread problem.
The other secret that big law doesn't want overworked associates to know is that you can go in-house at a mega corp and still make good money and work half as much. With better work life balance comes reduced chance of burn out, and an in-house lawyer can work a long time and make big bucks the whole way.
This was the path that I took. Going from BIGLAW to in-house was the best professional decision of my life.
Going from BIGLAW to in-house was also the best decision I ever made.
The problem is that landing an in-house gig is difficult.
I’m probably stating the obvious but the best way to get hired in-house is to impress a client with your work product and service. And most importantly for them to like you as a person. That’s what happened with me. They basically called me up and told me they’d like to consider me for a new position and would like for me to apply.
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anon_investor
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by anon_investor »

Firemenot wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:48 pm
chillwill120 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:28 pm
anon_investor wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:50 pm
Frank the Tank wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:34 pm
anon_investor wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:24 pm

The other secret that big law doesn't want overworked associates to know is that you can go in-house at a mega corp and still make good money and work half as much. With better work life balance comes reduced chance of burn out, and an in-house lawyer can work a long time and make big bucks the whole way.
This was the path that I took. Going from BIGLAW to in-house was the best professional decision of my life.
Going from BIGLAW to in-house was also the best decision I ever made.
The problem is that landing an in-house gig is difficult.
I’m probably stating the obvious but the best way to get hired in-house is to impress a client with your work product and service. And most importantly for them to like you as a person. That’s what happened with me. They basically called me up and told me they’d like to consider me for a new position and would like for me to apply.
I got my in-house gig via a recruiter and I was a finalist for another that I applied for via their website; so there are definitely multiple routes. The issue is that there are likely less in-house openings compared to law firm openings and many probably are not in the largest legal markets (i.e. may be not in the most desirable geographic locations).
Cruise
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Cruise »

I'm in consulting, with PhD and MBA. Wife is Ph.D. Education (acquiring specialized knowledge and applying it in unique ways) was the key to our high-earning careers. Also, it took time to put it all into place...so patience, perseverance, and perspiration are important factors in getting to be a high earner.
Broken Man 1999
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Sales worked for me.

I was a sales engineer in my last assignment at MegaCorp. In the nine months I was on the payroll before I went on LTD my gross was $108K.

Had I been still working after 1999 I most likely would have transitioned into the account manager position with a nice bump in compensation.

Still, $108K for nine months in 1999 in a low cost of living area wasn't bad.

A DD started in sales support positions, but now is an account manager for her company. She was smarter than I was, as I went into the sales organization later in my career.

She has exceeded by far my paltry success.

Sales positions offer great pay, especially if you are personable.

Some industries require face to face interactions. And, in some industries, movement within the industry is easy. Some of her current accounts were her's with a previous employer.

FWIW, all her positions required an MBA. She has one, but not from the the big players. Hasn't affected her so far.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain
Firemenot
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Firemenot »

anon_investor wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:31 pm
Firemenot wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:48 pm
chillwill120 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:28 pm
anon_investor wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:50 pm
Frank the Tank wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:34 pm

This was the path that I took. Going from BIGLAW to in-house was the best professional decision of my life.
Going from BIGLAW to in-house was also the best decision I ever made.
The problem is that landing an in-house gig is difficult.
I’m probably stating the obvious but the best way to get hired in-house is to impress a client with your work product and service. And most importantly for them to like you as a person. That’s what happened with me. They basically called me up and told me they’d like to consider me for a new position and would like for me to apply.
I got my in-house gig via a recruiter and I was a finalist for another that I applied for via their website; so there are definitely multiple routes. The issue is that there are likely less in-house openings compared to law firm openings and many probably are not in the largest legal markets (i.e. may be not in the most desirable geographic locations).
I agree you definitely don’t need prior connections, but it’s definitely a plus if you have them. We’re currently looking to hire for an in-house attorney position and it’s just so hard to tell if people whose work product you haven’t experienced firsthand are actually any good. We’ve had a bad track record of hiring people that interview well, but with whom we have no prior track record. My strong bias now is to hire outside counsel we’ve worked with and know to be good.

I work for a Fortune 100 company.
Firemenot
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Firemenot »

Life insurance agents. I know one that makes almost 7 figures. He’s pushy though.
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WarAdmiral
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by WarAdmiral »

moneybags wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:42 pm
A-Commoner wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:00 am Hi guys. Interesting thread. My daughter who is a HS junior is considering taking up computer science or some IT related degree for college versus premed, then medical school. I've done some crude calculations of which career would lead to a higher net worth by age 52. I hope you would check my assumptions and calculations to see if my thinking is correct.

Assumptions A:

1. she finishes computer science at age 22, and starts working right away
2. no student loans to pay off, zero debt and zero net worth at 22
3. CS salary at $100K, saving 10% of salary per year ($10k)
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized return of 7%
5. works for 30 years until age 52
6. ends career at age 52 due to ageism in tech sector
7. her portfolio at 52 is $1,020,726.64

Assumptions B:

1. she goes to premed, then med school, then residency training, finishing that at age 30
2. no students loans or other debt, zero net worth at age 30
3. starts practicing right away, makes $200k per year, saves 10% ($20K) per year
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized returns of 7%
5. works for 22 years until age 52
6. her portfolio at age 52 is $1,068,718.90

She comes out ahead at age 52 if she worked as a doctor even though she only had 22 years to compound her money.

BTW, I used this investing calculator http://investor.gov/tools/calculators/c ... calculator

Thoughts?
If your daughter is smart enough to get into med school, she would be able to command a salary far higher than $100k. A talented graduate can get a starting offer ~$150K and quickly be making $250K within 5-8 years. While I agree that going the doctor route has a longer earning potential, she'll get to 2M faster via CS.
Both Engineers here.

Here are my thoughts.
1. Avg. Doctors makes more money than Avg. Engineer
2. Avg. Doctors have longer Career duration and Career control than an Avg. Engineer

Making big bucks in engineering is a lot of luck. You have to have relevant experience working in a upcoming field to be hired and paid those big amounts. Think, software engineer in a self-driving car business. You can't just wake up one day and say "I will work hard, give me a Job...and expect someone to welcome you with open arms with wads of cash". You can be a brilliant programmer but you may not be in the right company or you may not be a good interviewer or your immediate manager is not the right one for you.
Firemenot
Posts: 479
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by Firemenot »

WarAdmiral wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:29 pm
moneybags wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:42 pm
A-Commoner wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:00 am Hi guys. Interesting thread. My daughter who is a HS junior is considering taking up computer science or some IT related degree for college versus premed, then medical school. I've done some crude calculations of which career would lead to a higher net worth by age 52. I hope you would check my assumptions and calculations to see if my thinking is correct.

Assumptions A:

1. she finishes computer science at age 22, and starts working right away
2. no student loans to pay off, zero debt and zero net worth at 22
3. CS salary at $100K, saving 10% of salary per year ($10k)
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized return of 7%
5. works for 30 years until age 52
6. ends career at age 52 due to ageism in tech sector
7. her portfolio at 52 is $1,020,726.64

Assumptions B:

1. she goes to premed, then med school, then residency training, finishing that at age 30
2. no students loans or other debt, zero net worth at age 30
3. starts practicing right away, makes $200k per year, saves 10% ($20K) per year
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized returns of 7%
5. works for 22 years until age 52
6. her portfolio at age 52 is $1,068,718.90

She comes out ahead at age 52 if she worked as a doctor even though she only had 22 years to compound her money.

BTW, I used this investing calculator http://investor.gov/tools/calculators/c ... calculator

Thoughts?
If your daughter is smart enough to get into med school, she would be able to command a salary far higher than $100k. A talented graduate can get a starting offer ~$150K and quickly be making $250K within 5-8 years. While I agree that going the doctor route has a longer earning potential, she'll get to 2M faster via CS.
Both Engineers here.

Here are my thoughts.
1. Avg. Doctors makes more money than Avg. Engineer
2. Avg. Doctors have longer Career duration and Career control than an Avg. Engineer

Making big bucks in engineering is a lot of luck. You have to have relevant experience working in a upcoming field to be hired and paid those big amounts. Think, software engineer in a self-driving car business. You can't just wake up one day and say "I will work hard, give me a Job...and expect someone to welcome you with open arms with wads of cash". You can be a brilliant programmer but you may not be in the right company or you may not be a good interviewer or your immediate manager is not the right one for you.
+ 1. My wife works in a healthcare organization and they have to do all sorts of crazy things to recruit enough doctors.
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goodenyou
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Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by goodenyou »

Firemenot wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:47 pm
WarAdmiral wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:29 pm
moneybags wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:42 pm
A-Commoner wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:00 am Hi guys. Interesting thread. My daughter who is a HS junior is considering taking up computer science or some IT related degree for college versus premed, then medical school. I've done some crude calculations of which career would lead to a higher net worth by age 52. I hope you would check my assumptions and calculations to see if my thinking is correct.

Assumptions A:

1. she finishes computer science at age 22, and starts working right away
2. no student loans to pay off, zero debt and zero net worth at 22
3. CS salary at $100K, saving 10% of salary per year ($10k)
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized return of 7%
5. works for 30 years until age 52
6. ends career at age 52 due to ageism in tech sector
7. her portfolio at 52 is $1,020,726.64

Assumptions B:

1. she goes to premed, then med school, then residency training, finishing that at age 30
2. no students loans or other debt, zero net worth at age 30
3. starts practicing right away, makes $200k per year, saves 10% ($20K) per year
4. invests in the usual retirement accounts with annualized returns of 7%
5. works for 22 years until age 52
6. her portfolio at age 52 is $1,068,718.90

She comes out ahead at age 52 if she worked as a doctor even though she only had 22 years to compound her money.

BTW, I used this investing calculator http://investor.gov/tools/calculators/c ... calculator

Thoughts?
If your daughter is smart enough to get into med school, she would be able to command a salary far higher than $100k. A talented graduate can get a starting offer ~$150K and quickly be making $250K within 5-8 years. While I agree that going the doctor route has a longer earning potential, she'll get to 2M faster via CS.
Both Engineers here.

Here are my thoughts.
1. Avg. Doctors makes more money than Avg. Engineer
2. Avg. Doctors have longer Career duration and Career control than an Avg. Engineer

Making big bucks in engineering is a lot of luck. You have to have relevant experience working in a upcoming field to be hired and paid those big amounts. Think, software engineer in a self-driving car business. You can't just wake up one day and say "I will work hard, give me a Job...and expect someone to welcome you with open arms with wads of cash". You can be a brilliant programmer but you may not be in the right company or you may not be a good interviewer or your immediate manager is not the right one for you.
+ 1. My wife works in a healthcare organization and they have to do all sorts of crazy things to recruit enough doctors.
The downstream revenue that doctors create for healthcare organizations is tremendous. There would be very little to pay administration or anyone else without them. Some doctors (not employed by hospitals) volunteer their services with unpaid call for emergencies on unfunded or poorly funded patients.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | “Do you know how to make a rain dance work? Dance until it rains”
new2bogle
Posts: 1640
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:05 pm

Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by new2bogle »

Seems like I last posted in this thread about 5 years ago - and things sure have changed.

I'm still in engineering (semis), approaching $400k/year now (total comp). My next promo should put me past $400k - but not sure how long the gravy train will last (maybe 5 years? 10 years if very lucky). Tech salaries have accelerated really fast in the past 3-5 years and I got lucky to be put on a management track position. RSUs and stock growth remain as the golden goose.

Still not sure if I'd recommend engineering.
DoubleComma
Posts: 188
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:23 pm

Re: High Earner Careers?

Post by DoubleComma »

PowderDay9 wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:48 pm
Trader Joe wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:17 pm Radiologist. High earner and easy work.
I'd be concerned artificial intelligence would substantially reduce the number of radiologists needed.

I was at a large conference last year and the keynote speaker said, "you can just stop training new radiologists now because by the time they get out, AI will be doing their jobs." Maybe that was a little extreme but I think the risk of substantial disruption can't be ignored.
This is FUD. Its often discussed and unlikely will AI eliminate Radiologist. If anything AI will quickly narrow the handful of areas a Radiologist needs to focus.

To me this is a lot like the Digital World will eliminate paper...I see more paper now than ever

or the promise in the late 1990s that Bluetooth would enable your fridge to know when you need XYZ and order it for you.

Radiology is still a fantastic career, we will always need Radiologists, the role day to day just might look a little different...remember exploratory surgery? Its gone, but we still have lots of surgeons even with surgical robots.
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