Lucrative careers?

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praxis
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by praxis » Sat May 12, 2018 10:48 am

KlangFool wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 10:08 am
OP,

You do not need your career to be lucrative in order to be rich. In fact, even if your career is lucrative, you still might be poor. It is not the income. It is how much you save and invest.

Regardless of how much you earn, if you can save and invest 1 year of your expense every year. You will be rich in 20+ years.

KlangFool
+1
It seems incomplete to choose a career based on an annual salary goal. A moderately compensated career can result in high net worth if you follow Boglehead advice. How much happier a life would result from enjoying your job and putting energy into your personal financial planning and discipline? You're right to spend time pondering what you enjoy doing rather than which professions compensate $100K.

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sat May 12, 2018 10:51 am

You should pursue a career based on what is a good fit for you in terms of your interests and abilities. Factoring in being able to live comfortably on the salary in a certain field makes sense but an arbitrary figure like $100k/year shouldn’t be a primary motivation. You’ll have to spend many hours at your job. I wouldn’t want to spend those hours doing something I can barely stand or worse.

By the way, I make over $100k as a public school teacher in a great school district (high-performing, motivated students). Benefits include a nice pension (about $100k/year after about 30 years), job security (tenure), and lots of time off (180 days a year in my case). There is currently a huge shortage of teachers where I work and demand is high. This is the situation partly because of the pay. A house in the neighborhood where I teach costs about $2M. $100k is relative.

Don’t let a number hypnotize you into going down a path that is otherwise not right for you.

Lynette
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Lynette » Sat May 12, 2018 10:54 am

BradJ wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:38 am
Blue collar service jobs and product representative/sales roles seem to be two of the most over looked careers. In business school, sales roles were looked down upon, but it seems people I know with the job love it and prosper.
I love my plumber and think they make good money. There is a lot of issues with water in my area as small houses are being torn down and replaced with giants, large trees cut down etc. I had water in my basement as a large house was built next door - too much cement. I had a local sewer and plumbing company install a catch drain from the front of the street along the side of the house to a catch basin at the back. Since then I have had another two connecting catch basin installed - water at back of garage and new driveway. The main plumber who did the work has been with the company for over 40 years and must be in his mid sixties. He works with a younger plumber in all types of weather. He does the estimates and is extremely knowledgeable. He is fantastic and I'm sure earns a good salary.

MindBogler
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by MindBogler » Sat May 12, 2018 11:06 am

tmcc wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 8:03 am
Pretzel lover wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:02 am
Pharmacist

Not an easy program or job but starting salary over $100K from day one.

Edit- more like $120K
The pill counters are one of the first health care professions that will be automated. The ratio of pharmacists employed per pharmacy is going to go wayyyyyyy down in the next few years. Radiologists and Anesthesiologists to follow most likely.
This could be true to an extent for pharmacy but would require massive legal and regulatory changes which might take decades to materialize. What you're talking about is the pill counting pharmacist at Walgreens, which will eventually be replaced by mechanical automation and an AI which explains drug interactions and side effects, is always right, and costs next to nothing. There will still be compounding pharmacists, interventional pharmacists and other areas requiring more intellectual latitude.

I highly doubt we are anywhere near removing radiology or anesthesiology. AI can't even overcome simple Captcha images, how are they going to examine subtle details of an x-ray, mri, ct, ultrasound, etc. and so on? There will come a day when they can, but we aren't 18 or 24 months from this. In my opinion 10-20 years from it is more likely.

As far as physicians are concerned, AI is more likely to find a use early in entry level diagnostics, handling the "obvious" cases where it is simple to calculate odds ratios for a given disease based on a patient interview, order tests if necessary, examine results of labs, arrive at a diagnosis and create a treatment plan. The data for these decisions already exists but once again, massive legal and regulatory hurdles to overcome before this is a reality. And I'm not sure most people are ready for the AI which flatly refuses to reward a prescription for antibiotics because the patient thinks they need it.

ETadvisor
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by ETadvisor » Sat May 12, 2018 11:07 am

ChowYunPhat wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:55 am
For someone targeting a 4-5 year degree, I'd recommend:
CPA / Accounting - will always be in demand (death and taxes). Large accounting firms have partner-path careers where $200K+ not uncommon for most the successful. Services are needed in every town across America.
^This

Even better is combined with a law degree and LLM in Taxation and you will be in higher demand with many lucrative choices and flexibility - think Private/Public Law Firm, Private/Public Accounting Firm, Corporate Manager/Director/Senior VP in Financial Institution, Head of a Trust Company, etc.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Sandtrap » Sat May 12, 2018 11:08 am

TheFishGuy99 wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:06 pm
I’m 26 years old planning on going back to college to finish my undergrad and I’m unsure what I want to do as a career. I thought maybe bogleheads may have some suggestions. I’d like to someday make 100k a year (who wouldn’t)

Careers I’ve looked into are:

-Law (I love law, I read law books for fun, but the job prospects look terrible for grads and if you don’t make the top law schools it’s a bad investment according to some)
-Medical - rn or pa or do (great pay and security but I find medicine very boring and I’m just not the right guy for the job honestly, I’d be in it for the money which is wrong. Patients need good people in there )
- biology careers ( I’d be very happy doing this because I love animals and biology but most biology jobs pay 60k or less, which is good pay but less than I’d like to make someday)


Is there any other careers that are in demand and pay good? Maybe some of you my age or older can give me some insight on choosing a promising career. Thanks
Some random actionable perspectives that might work for a few folks, not all.

Think of it as a 3 legged stool.
Academics, application, work experience.
Law > R/E and Construction or industrial specialty > field experience.
Law degree: speciality in business law > etc, etc.
Combine the things you enjoy. IE: being outdoors, construction is tangible vs paper, and so forth.
Love animals and biology . . . . veterinarian?
Love animals and biology and law . . . etc etc.
You can combine several things you love, and are good at, and are schooled in, under one "hat" to your best advantage.

The alternative it to focus on a single profession to greatest intensity or safety. . . ie: MD, Engineering, Public Service or position in Gov't work.
Accumulation of seniority, benefits, pension, over decades in a gov't position with funds amassed the "Bogle way" could also end up lucrative in the long run.
j

MindBogler
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by MindBogler » Sat May 12, 2018 11:11 am

Look at the trades:

Electrician, plumber, HVAC/mechanical, machinist, welding, etc.

These careers are in high demand after years of telling society that everyone needs a degree. Not every positive career outcome requires a college degree. I have many friends in the trades and they all earn what most here would consider "white collar" wages for their work. The trades are a perfect place to start a small business after earning licenses and a few years of experience, if that interests you.

staythecourse
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by staythecourse » Sat May 12, 2018 12:28 pm

TheFishGuy99 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 8:55 am
OP here, just to answer some questions ppl asked:

My experience is around 2 years(no ad yet) completed at a local college(no top school or anything) with a 3.5 mostly general classes (history, bio, math, etc). Math is by far my worst subject

I’ve done construction for a few years and then took care of a family member who was ill and died for over a year. That’s why I don’t think I’d like nursing Bc I was a caregiver for a family member 24/365 and I feel burned out on it honestly. But maybe the actual job is totally different I’m not sure

Someone asked why I said do instead of md. Some DO schools have an average gpa of 3.5 which I have so realistically speaking if I was going to try med school entry id have a better chance of DO. There are also do and pa schools near my house so I could live at home. However I’m 26 so PA program is probably a better investment at my age

Taking a practice lsat sounds like a good idea. I’ve fooled around with it before and thought it was fun just trying to figure the questions out.
If it was me I would focus on plumber, electrician, carpenter, etc... type of jobs. Then I would start my own company. The number of those trades who have absolutely NO IDEA on how to run a business is surprisingly high. Any person who has the abilities could dominate the area with just a little business sense and good marketing (which is easy now with internet).

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

Valuethinker
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Valuethinker » Sat May 12, 2018 12:41 pm

TheFishGuy99 wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:06 pm
I’m 26 years old planning on going back to college to finish my undergrad and I’m unsure what I want to do as a career. I thought maybe bogleheads may have some suggestions. I’d like to someday make 100k a year (who wouldn’t)

Careers I’ve looked into are:

-Law (I love law, I read law books for fun, but the job prospects look terrible for grads and if you don’t make the top law schools it’s a bad investment according to some)
do the LSAT. If you cannot get in to a "top 14" (apparently that's the number) school or a very strong regional school (where you want to work in the legal business in that region) then don't go. Nowadays, even those are not sure tickets. You could wind up with $200k of debt and no job or a poorly paying legal job.
-Medical - rn or pa or do (great pay and security but I find medicine very boring and I’m just not the right guy for the job honestly, I’d be in it for the money which is wrong. Patients need good people in there )
You've answered the question. These are very hard career paths and entry to each next stage (med school, residency etc.) is by no means certain.
- biology careers ( I’d be very happy doing this because I love animals and biology but most biology jobs pay 60k or less, which is good pay but less than I’d like to make someday)
Veterinary nurse? Veterinary science itself (ie to be a doctor vet) is (in Canada and UK at least) probably harder to get into than medical school.
Is there any other careers that are in demand and pay good? Maybe some of you my age or older can give me some insight on choosing a promising career. Thanks
You say further down that you don't like math/ are not good at it. You could attend some remedial courses, get a personal tutor, but if that is true, then that rules out computer science type careers. Programming computers is a different type of math: discreet math & logic. But it's founded on mathematical principles. If you are not good at solving logic problems, computing is probably not for you.

Accounting is a lucrative profession but generally you have to be comfortable with mathematical concepts. It's not so much calculus, but most people who make good accountants are very comfortable with numbers and the required coursework and exams includes statistics and things like linear algebra. Writing the GMAT might give you a feel - a high GMAT score probably correlates well with the right skills for being an accountant.

All of these professional routes may be closed to you. It might be better to try to get some work experience in an industry with a view of eventually having a more entrepreneurial career- starting and running a business. Ideally you would work in an entrepreneurial company where you can see how the entrepreneur does it.

Valuethinker
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Valuethinker » Sat May 12, 2018 12:43 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 12:28 pm
TheFishGuy99 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 8:55 am
OP here, just to answer some questions ppl asked:

My experience is around 2 years(no ad yet) completed at a local college(no top school or anything) with a 3.5 mostly general classes (history, bio, math, etc). Math is by far my worst subject

I’ve done construction for a few years and then took care of a family member who was ill and died for over a year. That’s why I don’t think I’d like nursing Bc I was a caregiver for a family member 24/365 and I feel burned out on it honestly. But maybe the actual job is totally different I’m not sure

Someone asked why I said do instead of md. Some DO schools have an average gpa of 3.5 which I have so realistically speaking if I was going to try med school entry id have a better chance of DO. There are also do and pa schools near my house so I could live at home. However I’m 26 so PA program is probably a better investment at my age

Taking a practice lsat sounds like a good idea. I’ve fooled around with it before and thought it was fun just trying to figure the questions out.
If it was me I would focus on plumber, electrician, carpenter, etc... type of jobs. Then I would start my own company. The number of those trades who have absolutely NO IDEA on how to run a business is surprisingly high. Any person who has the abilities could dominate the area with just a little business sense and good marketing (which is easy now with internet).

Good luck.
I think this is very good advice.

A lot of people who work in trades may not have English as their first language (this is certainly true in Canada and the UK). Someone who has those skills and some people skills can quickly gravitate towards the "front office" jobs of working directly with customers, managing teams etc.

Machine Learning poses huge threats to professional life. Big chunks of legal work, and accounting, for example, could be automated away.

However it's hard to imagine that we will have good robots that will fix our plumbing.

livesoft
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by livesoft » Sat May 12, 2018 12:45 pm

I wonder if the OP could start (or buy) a business that services / clean aquariums (salt and freshwater) for hotels, restaurants, wealthy clientele. There are a few of those in my area, but I have no idea how those businesses survive. I don't think it would take a college degree either. This is not a pet store operation.
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jharkin
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by jharkin » Sat May 12, 2018 12:47 pm

"One word: Plastics"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSxihhBzCjk

Do you just want money? or do you want to feel fulfilled in life?

All the money in the world wont make you happy if you dread getting up and driving to that office everyday. I have turned down promotions in my career because I new the extra stress wasn't worth the money and never regretted it.

Lots of fields can earn 6 figures. But its also a matter of where you live and work. Everybody throws out computer science because its a hot field right now, but you should know that those 200k salaries are only paid in the valley and a couple other high cost locations (Seattle, Boston, etc). If you move to, say, Iowa you may find it hard to break into the 6 figures at all with CS, and there may not be many jobs.

And all of that is moot if you dont actually like programming.
And like every fad, eventually CS wont be hot and something else will be the hot new thing.

Anyway, all 3 of the options you mentioned in the first post can earn 6 figure salaries. If you want to go the biology route but still have a chance at the big salary, rather than go into academic research choose a biotechnology track and look for jobs with pharmaceutical companies.

sschoe2
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by sschoe2 » Sat May 12, 2018 12:57 pm

I would not advise going into the sciences. The money is not there unless you go to healthcare professional school.

Pharmaceuticals R&D is dead. Heck they don't even directly hire scientists and instead use staffing/contract agencies. Unemployment is high. Where did you hear biology jobs pay $60k I have an MSc in Chemistry-biochemistry and routinely hang up on recruiters offering $15-20 per hour with no or awful benefits.

livesoft
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by livesoft » Sat May 12, 2018 1:00 pm

I think science can be a very lucrative career. I would only hire PhD level scientists though with a proven track record in publications and patents.
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Teague
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Teague » Sat May 12, 2018 1:05 pm

...Also, how are you able to circumvent the laws requiring a pharmacist to review your prescription before dispensing?
With a stroke of a pen.

The requirement you cite could be actual law, or more likely, a regulation promulgated by the state board or pharmacy. Either can be readily changed.
Semper Augustus

chw
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by chw » Sat May 12, 2018 1:10 pm

Sales. Pick a field you like, and generally almost all of them are serviced to some degree with salespeople (either directly or indirectly). You don't need to be the stereotypical type personality (Type A extrovert) that most think is needed to succeed- the folks I've seen succeed are generally very good listeners, and very good at engaging their clients conversationally to meet their needs. To succeed to you need to understand and believe in what you are selling, and strive to constantly exceed the needs and expectations of your clients. A successful salesperson is really building a business (for themselves) within the company they are working for.

A good salesperson can easily make 6 figures, and a great/seasoned salesperson can earn 7 figures. Salespeople are usually some of the highest comp'd employees in the organizations they work in.

killjoy2012
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by killjoy2012 » Sat May 12, 2018 1:24 pm

OP - You should figure out the 1-2 things that you're passionate about and then go from there. Blindly listing high paying jobs doesn't mean much unless you like that field, have the ability to obtain that degree/job at the status level associated with the money level, etc. Plus you have to do whatever you choose for the next 30-40 years, so you better like it.
TheFishGuy99 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 8:55 am
Math is by far my worst subject
Which rules out CS, Engineering and most other technical degrees.
yellowgirl wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 10:23 am
Don't do accounting. Most likely you have to be manager with CPA license to get 100K. I see a lot of payroll records and the trend I see is : IT especially programmers and some don't even have degrees. Engineers also make good money.
IT w/o a BS or MS in CS (or other tech degree) is usually a futile path to $200k+ jobs unless your name is Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. Programmers w/o a degree can make $100k today after many, many years and being proven, but that's not the ideal path. And as the CS field ages with time, non-degreed personnel will find it harder and harder, as the influx of young college graduates are more than happy to displace them.

$200k in Corp IT? As an individual contributor, you're either in SV or NYC... either place having such a HCOL that $200k really isn't $200k elsewhere. Or you're an executive that's managing managers and teams of 50+ people and really dealing more with personnel and other mgmt headaches than IT.

harrychan
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by harrychan » Sat May 12, 2018 1:42 pm

No one can tell you what is a lucrative career if you do not have the skills to be successful at it. In my experience, being successful is to excel at a specific profession which makes you a valuable asset to an organization. The more you can stand out, the more you can command a higher wage. You need to look at what skills you have that will set you apart from other candidates and your peers. It is a bonus if you can align it to something you have somewhat of an interest in. It'll take a bit of a thinking but once you figure what your secret sauce is, you will find yourself successful no matter where you go.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

stoptothink
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by stoptothink » Sat May 12, 2018 1:57 pm

sschoe2 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 12:57 pm
Pharmaceuticals R&D is dead. Heck they don't even directly hire scientists and instead use staffing/contract agencies. Unemployment is high. Where did you hear biology jobs pay $60k I have an MSc in Chemistry-biochemistry and routinely hang up on recruiters offering $15-20 per hour with no or awful benefits.
+1. I do not work in PHARMA, but a very related field. My staff is primarily individuals with biology and chemistry backgrounds; I have a number of employees with MSc in both fields who do not earn $60k and are in fact quite good at what they do. It is no mystery as to why I lose a ton of employees to med school. To earn more, you need a PhD (which I have, but again, definitely isn't a given to ever reach 6-figures) and other (soft) skills. 6-figures usually requires geting into upper management; this is where I am but I also serve as a very public-facing representative of a multi-billion $ company - ie. I do a ton of public speaking, webinars, video, corporate relations stuff. Most of my PhD colleagues likely will never quite hit 6-figures.

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mickeyd
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by mickeyd » Sat May 12, 2018 2:02 pm

Seems to be a huge demand for anything cyber security.
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Allan
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Allan » Sat May 12, 2018 2:11 pm

Home builder.

WanderingDoc
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by WanderingDoc » Sat May 12, 2018 2:24 pm

TheFishGuy99 wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:06 pm
I’m 26 years old planning on going back to college to finish my undergrad and I’m unsure what I want to do as a career. I thought maybe bogleheads may have some suggestions. I’d like to someday make 100k a year (who wouldn’t)

Careers I’ve looked into are:

-Law (I love law, I read law books for fun, but the job prospects look terrible for grads and if you don’t make the top law schools it’s a bad investment according to some)
-Medical - rn or pa or do (great pay and security but I find medicine very boring and I’m just not the right guy for the job honestly, I’d be in it for the money which is wrong. Patients need good people in there )
- biology careers ( I’d be very happy doing this because I love animals and biology but most biology jobs pay 60k or less, which is good pay but less than I’d like to make someday)


Is there any other careers that are in demand and pay good? Maybe some of you my age or older can give me some insight on choosing a promising career. Thanks
I'd suggest real estate investing. Many ways to go about it. Highest %age of renters nationwide in 55 years, I only see this increasing even more. Work very hard for 3-5 years and you can transition to more part time or passive work. Tax treatment is second to none as well. Medicine is great but pbviously requires a minimum 10-12 years of upfront education. PAs can make 6 figures easily and thats only about 3 years of training.
Don't wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate, and wait. | Rent where you live, buy where others pay your mortgage for you.

killjoy2012
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by killjoy2012 » Sat May 12, 2018 2:29 pm

mickeyd wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 2:02 pm
Seems to be a huge demand for anything cyber security.
I've worked in cyber for my 20 year career. It is a hot spot, for now. Not sure if it's good or bad, but most millenials graduating from college today have very little interest in the field - they all think they're going to develop the next hot app, and see security as being mundane.

Also see my previous comment in this thread. Obtaining a CS degree will be next to impossible w/o good math skills. Calculus 1-3, linear algebra, differential equations. Plus the required physics classes. Good luck if math is not solid subject for you.

Scrapr
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Scrapr » Sat May 12, 2018 2:33 pm

Allan wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 2:11 pm
Home builder.
trade contractor business owner. way less risk

ex: HVAC. Go to work for a HVAC company. Learn the requirements. Go out on your own 5-10 years later. Solicit service contracts & emergency work.

recurring revenue from service contracts. Big $$ from emergency work. Work new construction for a base revenue amount

Many trades can makes (salary & profit) $200-300k/yr

youngpleb
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by youngpleb » Sat May 12, 2018 2:38 pm

OP, don't chase the money. Figure out what your passions are and chase them instead. Chasing the cash is a good way to end up in a job you don't like (at best) or wash out in the academic program (at worst). I saw tons of people in my CS program start it because "it pays well" and they were gone a year or two later because they didn't have the passion for it.
27. Always learning.

Random Poster
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Random Poster » Sat May 12, 2018 2:52 pm

ChowYunPhat wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:55 am

Petroleum Engineering - highly paid, even within the engineering field likely highest paid. Starting salaries $70K+ with generous incentive comp right out of school. Managers at multi-national and smaller independent oil and gas companies easily make $200K+incentive comp
Sure, the pay is good, but you are also virtually guaranteed to be laid off and unemployed at least once in your career, with no guarantee of ever getting a job again.

If the OP really wants to go into law and wants to also be in oil and gas, then the OP should become an oil and gas lawyer. The downside to that career choice is that most of the jobs are in undesireable locations.

srt7
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by srt7 » Sat May 12, 2018 4:24 pm

OP,

I don't know of a single doctor who doesn't make in six figures.

Good luck!
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FisherBlack
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by FisherBlack » Sat May 12, 2018 4:30 pm

Pharmacist.

spin_echo
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by spin_echo » Sat May 12, 2018 4:35 pm

You could consider other medicine related fields, for example radiology technologist (US,CT, MR etc) or physical therapist.

masonstone
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by masonstone » Sat May 12, 2018 8:52 pm

spin_echo wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 4:35 pm
You could consider other medicine related fields, for example radiology technologist (US,CT, MR etc) or physical therapist.
These fields, like RNs, don't earn 6 figure salaries.

GCD
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by GCD » Sat May 12, 2018 9:06 pm

Random Poster wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 2:52 pm
ChowYunPhat wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:55 am

Petroleum Engineering - highly paid, even within the engineering field likely highest paid. Starting salaries $70K+ with generous incentive comp right out of school. Managers at multi-national and smaller independent oil and gas companies easily make $200K+incentive comp
Sure, the pay is good, but you are also virtually guaranteed to be laid off and unemployed at least once in your career, with no guarantee of ever getting a job again.

If the OP really wants to go into law and wants to also be in oil and gas, then the OP should become an oil and gas lawyer. The downside to that career choice is that most of the jobs are in undesireable locations.
How so? I have an in-law who worked as an oil engineer and traveled the world making big bucks scoping out new oil drilling sites. Spent a lot of time in the Middle East and Russia. But the lawyers? They don't work in the field. They work at corporate HQ. Maybe I'm missing something.

masonstone
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by masonstone » Sat May 12, 2018 9:06 pm

GCD wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:06 pm
Random Poster wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 2:52 pm
ChowYunPhat wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:55 am

Petroleum Engineering - highly paid, even within the engineering field likely highest paid. Starting salaries $70K+ with generous incentive comp right out of school. Managers at multi-national and smaller independent oil and gas companies easily make $200K+incentive comp
Sure, the pay is good, but you are also virtually guaranteed to be laid off and unemployed at least once in your career, with no guarantee of ever getting a job again.

If the OP really wants to go into law and wants to also be in oil and gas, then the OP should become an oil and gas lawyer. The downside to that career choice is that most of the jobs are in undesireable locations.
How so? I have an in-law who worked as an oil engineer and traveled the world making big bucks scoping out new oil drilling sites. Spent a lot of time in the Middle East and Russia. But the lawyers? They don't work in the field. They work at corporate HQ. Maybe I'm missing something.
I'd worried that in the OPs lifetime petroleum will no longer be drilled.

GCD
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by GCD » Sat May 12, 2018 9:46 pm

I'm honestly surprised at some of the replies in this thread about sub-100K salaries in a variety of STEM fields. I always thought of STEM as being more lucrative.

So with these enlightening posts behind us, I have to second the previous poster who mentioned government work. I would narrow that to Fed govt. work. I would disagree with him though about needing an in or a connection to get a fed job. The postings on https://www.usajobs.gov/ are pretty specific about what they want. There are some shennanigans, but for the most part the process is very transparent.

Since you like law, you might think about getting an 1811 job. That is the federal job series for criminal investigators. They are vastly different jobs from being a street cop, typically require a BA but not a JD, and every federal agency has them. Assuming you play the game right, you could be pay capped around 150Kish as fast as 6-7 years, take home govt car (free commute), decent work/life balance, 401K with 5% match, almost certainly will never be laid off and a pension & health care to boot. If you had your heart set on the FBI, DEA or any other specific agency it might be a roll of the dice. But if all you are interested in is an 1811 job at any fed agency then it's pretty much a gimme. Retire after 20 years and pick up a post retirement job. Retired 1811s have no problem finding 100K+ jobs that are extremely light lifting.

28fe6
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by 28fe6 » Sat May 12, 2018 10:00 pm

STEM is highly advertised and in-fashion, highly "boosted" at the college level, highly age-discriminatory, highly non-regulated and devoid of professional societies, and highly subject to foreign competition. It would be surprising if "STEM" fields were lucrative. They are typically not, and salary numbers are inflated due to many STEM jobs being in HCOL areas, where the high salaries aren't so high. I have an advanced degree, and I'm a "knowledge worker" in a highly technical field, but still I didn't break $100k until I'd been working 5 years or more. The work is rewarding in many ways compared to other jobs, but lucrative is not the correct word. My contemporaries that went into medical are, to the man, doing far better than I am in terms of remuneration, plus they will probably be starting their own practices around the time I'm having a hard time getting a job because I'm over 40.

Another vote for petroleum engineering. You don't hear much about it, which is one of the reasons the pay is so high. CS gets all the press, but in my experience petroleum engineers can easily get 100k right out of undergrad, and I know several making over 200k plus perks. This is almost unheard of for engineer pay in non-HCOL areas. Actually, although I have an advanced degree, I know many people making more than I do in the oil&gas industry, who don't even have college degrees, again, making typically unheard-of salaries for their education level and COL.

Some of the work is probably dirty and dangerous, but you asked about lucrative.
Last edited by 28fe6 on Sat May 12, 2018 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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joe8d
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by joe8d » Sat May 12, 2018 10:05 pm

rgs92 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 10:29 am
2 words: Government Job (if you are lucky enough to find one; you normally need to have an insider connection because these jobs are the Holy Grail of Job Security, Quality of Work Life, and pensions/benefits and even competitive salary and definitely long-term happiness).

I say it over and over to anyone young (and therefore desirable to employers): Get a gov't job in any field that is acceptable to you (meaning not dangerous or physical, at least to me).

Don't believe it? Try talking to people over 40 in corporate jobs an gov't jobs. Or even read about it here in Bogleheads to get an anecdotal idea of gov't vs. non-gov't job conditions.

Go anywhere in the country you have to find a gov't job. Even a VHCOL area is fine. You can always move away later in life in retirement and take your nice pension with you, and often (with some exceptions) your lifetime medical benefits.

Be very wary of IT jobs in the corporate arena. There are too many horror stories and failed careers for those over 40.
:thumbsup
All the Best, | Joe

28fe6
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by 28fe6 » Sat May 12, 2018 10:06 pm

double post

golfCaddy
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by golfCaddy » Sat May 12, 2018 11:54 pm

rgs92 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 10:29 am
2 words: Government Job (if you are lucky enough to find one; you normally need to have an insider connection because these jobs are the Holy Grail of Job Security, Quality of Work Life, and pensions/benefits and even competitive salary and definitely long-term happiness).

I say it over and over to anyone young (and therefore desirable to employers): Get a gov't job in any field that is acceptable to you (meaning not dangerous or physical, at least to me).

Don't believe it? Try talking to people over 40 in corporate jobs an gov't jobs. Or even read about it here in Bogleheads to get an anecdotal idea of gov't vs. non-gov't job conditions.

Go anywhere in the country you have to find a gov't job. Even a VHCOL area is fine. You can always move away later in life in retirement and take your nice pension with you, and often (with some exceptions) your lifetime medical benefits.
I wouldn't refer to a government job as a holy grail, although that may be true in specific localities. While retirees and those already grandfathered into the old system may have been promised generous pensions, state and local governments have been moving their new employees into a 401k type defined contribution system. Some states have even cut benefits to retirees or tried to cut benefits to retirees, leading to court cases. Being a state or municipal employee isn't nearly as good of a deal as it once was.

rgs92
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by rgs92 » Sun May 13, 2018 12:55 am

I seriously doubt that anybody gets hired via USAjobs. I know several people in state/federal jobs, and everyone has found it via networking or some personal recommendation from someone who works there already or a family connection.

I tried for years to get something with USAjobs that matched my skills and never got an answer.

boglemania
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by boglemania » Sun May 13, 2018 1:29 pm

CRNA.Get RN in 3-4yrs, do 1-2 yrs in critical care (the ICU,ED or critical care unit) then eligible for CRNA (nurse anesthesia).. 2 more years. That's 6-8 yrs. Then 100-250+ K/yr w/ very little stress compared to MD anesthesiologist (BS, MD, residency +12 yrs). Income depends on region and amount of hrs worked. Huge push for physician extenders like these across the country. Going the MD route means decade + of sleep deprivation w/ 80-120 work wks w/ studying. Much less w/ crna. web says avg 160k..it's more...says MT 243 highest..no way, AK friend broke 300. But you can make 175 w/o being an animal.
Dentist only 3 yrs after college vs mandatory 7 for MD (some DDS go on for extra yr/s but not mandatory).
No college? Ultrasound technician, Dental Hygiene...lucrative if do lots overtime but 100 K would require 50+ hr weeks and/or 'traveling' jobs which pay more (fun when young, less so later).

dash9890
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by dash9890 » Sun May 13, 2018 3:42 pm

I would encourage you to look into Clinical Laboratory Science, especially if you enjoy biology and the other sciences. It is a behind the scenes medical profession with little to no patient contact but pay mirrors that of RNs. I have been working as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist for about 2 years I started out at 55k with a 6k sign on bonus, and just 2 years later my base pay is 65k, and if you add on shift differentials, overtime, and bonuses I make around 80k. Also there is currently a huge shortage of licensed people in the US so finding a job is not going to be a problem pretty much anywhere you live, I had 7 job offers 6 months before I even graduated.

tibbitts
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by tibbitts » Sun May 13, 2018 3:54 pm

All the replies haven't mentioned that you have to actually be successful at whatever the career is to make any money at all. Outside of this forum, people "wash out" in pursuing careers all the time. The fact is, most normal non-Bogleheads couldn't be licensed/certified/educated in many of the careers mentioned if their lives dependent on it. What you have on Bogleheads (well, except for some of us) is a non-random sampling composes almost entirely of those who have succeeded. So my answer would be almost any job you do well. Most of us don't do anything extraordinarily well, so the next best alternative is some combination of something you do well enough and also enjoy doing. You might well make a decent salary eventually, through some combination of luck and skill, but either way life will be okay as long as you mostly enjoy what you're doing.

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SpecialK22
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by SpecialK22 » Sun May 13, 2018 4:13 pm

I think you're going about this backwards. Look for what jobs or combinations of jobs interest you, then figure out how to make six figures. If you have a talent and passion for what you do - and money is what drives you - making six figures shouldn't be too difficult. Certain career paths are easier than others for sure though.

Some posters mentioned Federal jobs. They can definitely be lucrative but as noted can be hard to get. Although I'd imagine private sector jobs at top companies are more difficult. Back to Federal government jobs, a good way to get in is from military experience. Veterans' preference is huge in that regard as it basically gives the veteran priority. Even the military pays well these days, especially for commissioned officers and enlisted members in critical skills.

Be careful with college and debt though. I'm about ten years older than you and still know people in good amounts of student loan debt. Debt and mandatory payments can definitely make a high paying job feel low paying.

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Cosmo
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Cosmo » Sun May 13, 2018 4:42 pm

DarkHelmetII wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 5:36 am
randomizer wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 12:22 am
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
Tacking onto this, anything that has to do with numbers or data. Particularly non-traditional / unstructured data like images, call center transcriptions, converting publicly available information like 10k's into high value business decisions.
I think whatever field you choose, you really need to be doing Machine Learning and AI in parallel.

Cosmo

ASpenderInRecovery
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by ASpenderInRecovery » Sun May 13, 2018 4:51 pm

chw wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 1:10 pm
Sales. Pick a field you like, and generally almost all of them are serviced to some degree with salespeople (either directly or indirectly). You don't need to be the stereotypical type personality (Type A extrovert) that most think is needed to succeed- the folks I've seen succeed are generally very good listeners, and very good at engaging their clients conversationally to meet their needs. To succeed to you need to understand and believe in what you are selling, and strive to constantly exceed the needs and expectations of your clients. A successful salesperson is really building a business (for themselves) within the company they are working for.

A good salesperson can easily make 6 figures, and a great/seasoned salesperson can earn 7 figures. Salespeople are usually some of the highest comp'd employees in the organizations they work in.
+1 on sales as well as the other points CHW has made . IMO IT Sales is a safe bet and has proven very lucrative. A little elbow grease and alot of rejection can get you into 6 figures within 2-3 years.

Random Poster
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Random Poster » Sun May 13, 2018 5:11 pm

GCD wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:06 pm
Random Poster wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 2:52 pm
ChowYunPhat wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:55 am

Petroleum Engineering - highly paid, even within the engineering field likely highest paid. Starting salaries $70K+ with generous incentive comp right out of school. Managers at multi-national and smaller independent oil and gas companies easily make $200K+incentive comp
Sure, the pay is good, but you are also virtually guaranteed to be laid off and unemployed at least once in your career, with no guarantee of ever getting a job again.

If the OP really wants to go into law and wants to also be in oil and gas, then the OP should become an oil and gas lawyer. The downside to that career choice is that most of the jobs are in undesireable locations.
How so? I have an in-law who worked as an oil engineer and traveled the world making big bucks scoping out new oil drilling sites. Spent a lot of time in the Middle East and Russia. But the lawyers? They don't work in the field. They work at corporate HQ. Maybe I'm missing something.
Well, most E&P headquarters---at least in the US---are going to be in either Houston, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas, New Orleans, or Midland or the surrounding suburbs. One might get lucky and end up in Denver or Anchorage or somewhere in California, or get really lucky and land an expat job in Perth, Calgary, Aberdeen, or---more likely for a new hire----get stuck in western North Dakota or Casper or, even worse, in a regional office in Hobbs or Borger or the like, or Cairo for an expat posting.

Now, others may believe differently, but the usual HQ locations aren't particularly appealing to me, and the other ("more lucky") ones can be pricey places in which to live and don't offer a great deal of job hopping opportunities (save the AK one, I suppose), so you can end up being stuck in an unhappy job with limited career options.

But I don't deny that the money can be very good.

GCD
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by GCD » Sun May 13, 2018 5:52 pm

rgs92 wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 12:55 am
I seriously doubt that anybody gets hired via USAjobs. I know several people in state/federal jobs, and everyone has found it via networking or some personal recommendation from someone who works there already or a family connection.

I tried for years to get something with USAjobs that matched my skills and never got an answer.
golfCaddy wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 11:54 pm
I wouldn't refer to a government job as a holy grail, although that may be true in specific localities. While retirees and those already grandfathered into the old system may have been promised generous pensions, state and local governments have been moving their new employees into a 401k type defined contribution system. Some states have even cut benefits to retirees or tried to cut benefits to retirees, leading to court cases. Being a state or municipal employee isn't nearly as good of a deal as it once was.
There is a big difference between federal and state government work, both in difficulty/process of getting hired and in compensation/benefits.

I have met thousands of people who were hired via USAjobs. For many departments and agencies it is the primary hiring portal. It may be the primary hiring portal for the entire USG.
Last edited by GCD on Mon May 14, 2018 3:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

GCD
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by GCD » Sun May 13, 2018 5:55 pm

Random Poster wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:11 pm
GCD wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:06 pm
Random Poster wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 2:52 pm
ChowYunPhat wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:55 am

Petroleum Engineering - highly paid, even within the engineering field likely highest paid. Starting salaries $70K+ with generous incentive comp right out of school. Managers at multi-national and smaller independent oil and gas companies easily make $200K+incentive comp
Sure, the pay is good, but you are also virtually guaranteed to be laid off and unemployed at least once in your career, with no guarantee of ever getting a job again.

If the OP really wants to go into law and wants to also be in oil and gas, then the OP should become an oil and gas lawyer. The downside to that career choice is that most of the jobs are in undesireable locations.
How so? I have an in-law who worked as an oil engineer and traveled the world making big bucks scoping out new oil drilling sites. Spent a lot of time in the Middle East and Russia. But the lawyers? They don't work in the field. They work at corporate HQ. Maybe I'm missing something.
Well, most E&P headquarters---at least in the US---are going to be in either Houston, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas, New Orleans, or Midland or the surrounding suburbs. One might get lucky and end up in Denver or Anchorage or somewhere in California, or get really lucky and land an expat job in Perth, Calgary, Aberdeen, or---more likely for a new hire----get stuck in western North Dakota or Casper or, even worse, in a regional office in Hobbs or Borger or the like, or Cairo for an expat posting.

Now, others may believe differently, but the usual HQ locations aren't particularly appealing to me, and the other ("more lucky") ones can be pricey places in which to live and don't offer a great deal of job hopping opportunities (save the AK one, I suppose), so you can end up being stuck in an unhappy job with limited career options.

But I don't deny that the money can be very good.
OK, I wouldn't argue with that. I guess I was just thinking in comparison to the welder making 100K out in a North Dakota blizzard and going home to live in Williston. But yes, I can see considering Midland undesireable.

notyourlawyer
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by notyourlawyer » Sun May 13, 2018 6:09 pm

As for law school, pursue whatever you like in undergrad, enjoy school and get the best grades you can. Then take an LSAT prep class and get the best score you can. If your grades + LSAT are in the right range (+3.6 GPA/+168 LSAT), you will probably get into at least one T+14 +TX school, which you seem focused on. If not, you can pursue whatever you studied in undergrad, and you’re just out the fees for the LSAT course and test.

md&pharmacist
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by md&pharmacist » Sun May 13, 2018 6:34 pm

OP, regardless of what field you go to, I have generally found those that tend to be happiest are those who ultimately own their own business. They like the autonomy, flexibility and society rewards you for being a job creator and caring about others.

As for me, I decided I wanted to be a doctor around age 5. It was about following my heart. I had no idea what doctors earned, I just knew I could make a career out of helping others in this capacity. If I had done it for the money, I would not have become a PCP.

You can help people in just about any career, so pick something you are passionate about (you will likely be doing it for about 40 years) and be realistic about educational costs versus expected income. These days, there are many fields and positions that ultimately pay 6 figures - so the good news is you have options.

Wish you the best.

KyleAAA
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by KyleAAA » Sun May 13, 2018 6:48 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:23 am
KyleAAA wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:47 pm
You could get a CS degree. Lots of companies paying $200k+ these days.
Lol youre kidding right? 200k is only for thr fortunate few who work in facebook or google or start their own. Maybe if op can explain where his experience is we can help. These fields require enormous aptitude and are not easy to succeed in.
No, pretty much every senior engineer at any decent tech company will make north of $200k in Seattle these days, although if you are at a startup a chunk of that is likely going to be illiquid stock. At FB or Google you’ll be making more like $500k. No senior engineer would work there for a mere $200k. Of course, it requires moving to a major tech hub, but these salaries are quite common outside of Silicon Valley and top companies these days. I got offers that high in Atlanta for non-tech companies, although they were tech lead positions and not IC roles.

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