For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

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Camarillo Brillo
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Camarillo Brillo » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:21 am

I've been over $900K for the past few years. I'm a VP of IT for a mid-size company. $350K salary, $300K bonus, and about $300K in deferred comp. I just retired at the age of 60. We live on 'just' $12K/month so we save about $500K/year (much of that tax deferred). We now have more $$ than we'll ever spend.

My job was the dream job. Low stress, great company, all domestic so no conf calls around the clock. Email's stopped at around 3:00 pm; never worked nights or weekends; never travelled, and had a fantastic CEO.

I had started my career in Silicon Valley, where I stayed for 19 years, so it was a big surprise to find that although I made big bucks then, I made far more in a quiet, manufacturing company.
Last edited by Camarillo Brillo on Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

RJC
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by RJC » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:26 am

Our household income is around 450k a year but it doesn't feel like it because we live in a HCOL area. You'll feel rich at 250k in the Midwest.

500k is such a relative number.

SQRT
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by SQRT » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:31 am

imfocusedman wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:41 am


Absolutely not true that RSUs and options are a tech thing. Mega Corp regularly gives equity out to Sr. Manager and up as part of annual package. Think 5-10% of base at that level given in time vesting RSUs scaling to 100%+ as move up in the org.
The last few years (15 years ago) of my working career, my comp was about:
10% base salary
30% bonus
30% RSU’s
30% options

This was a big Canadian bank and I was a “C” level exec. My understanding is that recently they have reduced option awards but bonus and RSU’s still a dominant portion of total comp.

justcruisin
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by justcruisin » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:08 am

cal91 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:03 am
I'd like to hear too... even if only over $200k.

I'm a structural engineer making $90k + benefits. Sounds decent but factor in 4 kids + wife, single income, and living in California it's lean living. Always thought in high school and college I wouldn't have to live this lean having my PE stamp. Even considering starting off on my own.
Another civil engineer here, also in CA in a VHCOL area. $90k for PE's is not uncommon in private practice/consulting and are usually just licensed (5-7 years in). For structural's, I haven't seen much in terms of pay until they have SE licensing. I'm in land development engineering and consulting, and probably hit $200k in total comp 8 years into my career, which was a mix of good luck, hard work and huge growth. Used to pull regular 60-hour weeks and very early on in my career (some 100 hours/sleep at work deals), ask for design work to do over the weekend for free in order to get feedback during the week...and really get a good grasp on design skills within the first 5 years. The next 3 was learning how to be a manager, working on communication skills and taking projects from due diligence to construction. Put me in a role targeting full partner and now ~425k in total comp ($180k base). Private firm here gives a very generous profit sharing to 401k plan, which always exceeds my max 401k annual cap of $55k in the last 3 years.

The Bay Area is interesting, we have some transplants from other parts of CA and the US...the processing here in jurisdictional areas in a real PITA. My work now is 70% processing, 25% management (BD, accounting, corporate, plan check) and 5%engineering. What people pay us here is for processing and having a local network. Things should slow down in the next year or so...hunkering down for that and diversifying the projects that I bring in.

I love what I do and knew I wanted to go down this route very early on in life. Tried the CS route in school, but hated it and didn't have a knack for it. Very happy where I am and traded a different kind of stress in my design role for another in a management role. Neither are easy, but liking what you do makes it so much better.

dave_k
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by dave_k » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:59 am

AerialWombat wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:02 am
I’m surprised at how MD-heavy this thread became. I knew BH was skewed toward medical and tech, but the sheer lack of business owners piping up is surprising to me.

Are there really only two of us? Entrepreneurs, wherefore art thou?
I read through the whole thread and I'm also surprised there aren't more of us. I'm only at about $400k gross now (nearly $500k HHI), so I don't even qualify, but at least I'm close and could potentially get there.

I'm a co-founder of a small internet company. We started 20 years ago when I was in my late 20s, and I took a big pay cut to do it. There were several lean years before it started paying off, and of course there was never a guarantee that it would, but now I'm earning a lot more than I would working for anyone else unless I worked my way up in a major tech firm (which would probably be in a HCOL area, and have taken more effort). We're in a MCOL area in the Midwest.

At times the hours and stress have been brutal, and the work is often tedious and not very rewarding. I may not have a boss, but clients can be relentless and ungrateful. However, overall it's been OK and allowed for more flexibility than I'd otherwise have.

My wife and I are living on roughly $100k/yr and saving the rest, and planning to retire in a few years, or at least start cutting back hours and involvement. We could retire now but would like to be able to spend more in retirement, and I feel a responsibility to my business partner and employees. Walking away would be hard on them since there's still quite a bit that only I know (and I know from experience since we had a lead engineer leave suddenly and dump his work on us). It's also hard to justify walking away from reasonably high pay, and I'd like to find some sort of exit strategy for the equity I have in the company. These things are harder for small businesses since there are few enough people that there's often only one person with knowledge/experience in certain areas, and the stock isn't public so exit strategies are far more difficult.

Compared to other posts on this thread (especially doctors and lawyers), I'd say my sacrifice has been on the lower side, although the pay is too. The potential for entrepreneurs is enormous though, so I'm surprised we haven't heard from several that make millions a year. Maybe they tend not to be Bogleheads, or are reluctant to chime in.

fullplay2024
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by fullplay2024 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:21 pm

dave_k wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:59 am
AerialWombat wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:02 am
I’m surprised at how MD-heavy this thread became. I knew BH was skewed toward medical and tech, but the sheer lack of business owners piping up is surprising to me.

Are there really only two of us? Entrepreneurs, wherefore art thou?
I read through the whole thread and I'm also surprised there aren't more of us. I'm only at about $400k gross now (nearly $500k HHI), so I don't even qualify, but at least I'm close and could potentially get there.

I'm a co-founder of a small internet company. We started 20 years ago when I was in my late 20s, and I took a big pay cut to do it. There were several lean years before it started paying off, and of course there was never a guarantee that it would, but now I'm earning a lot more than I would working for anyone else unless I worked my way up in a major tech firm (which would probably be in a HCOL area, and have taken more effort). We're in a MCOL area in the Midwest.

At times the hours and stress have been brutal, and the work is often tedious and not very rewarding. I may not have a boss, but clients can be relentless and ungrateful. However, overall it's been OK and allowed for more flexibility than I'd otherwise have.

My wife and I are living on roughly $100k/yr and saving the rest, and planning to retire in a few years, or at least start cutting back hours and involvement. We could retire now but would like to be able to spend more in retirement, and I feel a responsibility to my business partner and employees. Walking away would be hard on them since there's still quite a bit that only I know (and I know from experience since we had a lead engineer leave suddenly and dump his work on us). It's also hard to justify walking away from reasonably high pay, and I'd like to find some sort of exit strategy for the equity I have in the company. These things are harder for small businesses since there are few enough people that there's often only one person with knowledge/experience in certain areas, and the stock isn't public so exit strategies are far more difficult.

Compared to other posts on this thread (especially doctors and lawyers), I'd say my sacrifice has been on the lower side, although the pay is too. The potential for entrepreneurs is enormous though, so I'm surprised we haven't heard from several that make millions a year. Maybe they tend not to be Bogleheads, or are reluctant to chime in.
Congratulations! If you include "RSUs" in your comp like other Tech workers, you will likely be well above the 500k mark. :beer

dave_k
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by dave_k » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:33 pm

fullplay2024 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:21 pm
Congratulations! If you include "RSUs" in your comp like other Tech workers, you will likely be well above the 500k mark. :beer
Thanks. :beer I own about 40% of the company, and that doesn't change (unless we do stock buybacks), so while that's worth something and I'd like to get the equity out at some point, I can't count it as income at this point. For now it's base salary, bonuses based on profit, and safe harbor 401k maximizing.

cutterinnj
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by cutterinnj » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:38 pm

Coude wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:51 pm
cutterinnj wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:35 am
Coude wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:25 am
$1.1M
Urologist
Midwest/suburban major city
34 years old
Employed group practice/RVU-based
That’s impressive
I’m a urologist; I do well but not THAT well.

Do you guys do radiation?

1.1 million seems like a LOT of RVU’s.
That’s all generated from clinical productivity, ~20k wRVU/yr

I do not have access to any IMRT, office ownership or ancillaries except ESWL which generates only ~$15-20k/yr
That's absolutely massive.
We urologists are supposed to be lazy. You're giving us a bad name. :D

Congrats!

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XtremeSki2001
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:43 pm

H-Town wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:58 pm
GT99 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 11:54 am
H-Town wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:51 am
FI4LIFE wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:00 am
I chose a career where I knew I'd never make millions. It is stable with good benefits and higher than average pay. Sometimes I dream of chasing the big bucks and wonder what specific skills have lead to people earning ultra-high incomes. If you earn over $500k/year, what's your story?

A manager level in Big Four accounting firm can earn that level of income in San Francisco. But he or she might earn less than half of that in other cities.
Wait - are you saying a Big 4 manager in SF can make $500k/yr? Are you being literal (for those not familiar, the standard Big 4 career path is Associate, Senior, Manager, Senior Manager, then Partner or Director if you have no sales aptitude as Partners have to sell) or are you including Senior Managers? I can believe there might be handful of Senior Managers around in a place like SF making $500k, but I'd bet there's not a Manager level making that amount at any big 4 anywhere in the country. Average for a first year partner is more like $350k. DW is an experienced Big 4 Senior Manager, and she's just passed the $200k mark in the past year. We are not in a HCOL city - I'd expect she'd be around $300k in SF.
No, not all managers and sr managers making 500k in SF, NY, and Chicago. But not everyone in the same level get the same pay. A data point came from an audit senior manager at a Big Four. She's making high 400k in total comp.
$500k is extremely rare for a manager or senior manager at big4. Majority of first year Partners don't make this much.

PwC published metrics around earnings potential a few years ago that said senior managers "can expect to make 3x the salary you start at" as a staff (e.g., usually ~$50-$60k at the time of the publication).
A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through

Oakwood42
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Oakwood42 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:56 pm

corn18 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:20 am
Retired military fighter/test pilot ($100k). Transitioned to business development starting at the director level of $200M division ($150k). Moved up to VP of BD at the billion dollar level ($400k) then president of a division ($600k total comp). At the president level, comp is 1/3 salary, 1/3 bonus and 1/3 RSU's.
Awesome

Oakwood42
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Oakwood42 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:56 pm

FI4LIFE wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:00 am
I chose a career where I knew I'd never make millions. It is stable with good benefits and higher than average pay. Sometimes I dream of chasing the big bucks and wonder what specific skills have lead to people earning ultra-high incomes. If you earn over $500k/year, what's your story?
Great topic!

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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:59 pm

XtremeSki2001 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:43 pm
H-Town wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:58 pm
GT99 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 11:54 am
H-Town wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:51 am
FI4LIFE wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:00 am
I chose a career where I knew I'd never make millions. It is stable with good benefits and higher than average pay. Sometimes I dream of chasing the big bucks and wonder what specific skills have lead to people earning ultra-high incomes. If you earn over $500k/year, what's your story?

A manager level in Big Four accounting firm can earn that level of income in San Francisco. But he or she might earn less than half of that in other cities.
Wait - are you saying a Big 4 manager in SF can make $500k/yr? Are you being literal (for those not familiar, the standard Big 4 career path is Associate, Senior, Manager, Senior Manager, then Partner or Director if you have no sales aptitude as Partners have to sell) or are you including Senior Managers? I can believe there might be handful of Senior Managers around in a place like SF making $500k, but I'd bet there's not a Manager level making that amount at any big 4 anywhere in the country. Average for a first year partner is more like $350k. DW is an experienced Big 4 Senior Manager, and she's just passed the $200k mark in the past year. We are not in a HCOL city - I'd expect she'd be around $300k in SF.
No, not all managers and sr managers making 500k in SF, NY, and Chicago. But not everyone in the same level get the same pay. A data point came from an audit senior manager at a Big Four. She's making high 400k in total comp.
$500k is extremely rare for a manager or senior manager at big4. Majority of first year Partners don't make this much.

PwC published metrics around earnings potential a few years ago that said senior managers "can expect to make 3x the salary you start at" as a staff (e.g., usually ~$50-$60k at the time of the publication).
A Big 4 Advisory Manager in SF is making $160-$180 base with 20-30% bonus. So, up to 230k all-in.

Big 4 uses lock-step pay grades so I don't see how any manager / senior manager is exceeding 300k, much less 400k or 500k.

Oakwood42
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Oakwood42 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:04 pm

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 11:23 am
I'm at $325k as a software engineer in Colorado. It's entirely possible I could pass $500k in 5-7 years.

I never work more than 40 hours a week and don't work at all on weekends, evenings or when on vacation. When I go on vacation I delete my work email account from my phone.
Awesome!

Oakwood42
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Oakwood42 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:06 pm

Jayhawk11 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 11:29 am
Wife makes ~500k at a mega law firm (market bonuses move it around a bit). She did it by going to a top college and a top law school and working all the time. 100 hour weeks pretty regularly. She's a workaholic.

I followed the same path and bowed out before partnership and now make ~150k as a public servant (HHI of 650-700 depending on bonuses).

So, be really lucky to be born with the genetic intelligence in a country where such mobility is possible, be really lucky to be born into a family that cultivates and values education and hard work (and sacrifices for you), be really lucky to avoid fates like disease or abusive parents, then be both lucky and hardworking in your school career, then be lucky and extremely hardworking post-grad school (lots of smart and hardworking attorneys get the axe for things out of their control, i.e. Great Recession).

So extreme amounts of luck (macro and micro) peppered with uncommon work ethic and diligence. Easy peasy.
"So extreme amounts of luck (macro and micro) peppered with uncommon work ethic and diligence. Easy peasy." LOL

marie17
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by marie17 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:34 pm

For most people in tech, at least the big tech companies, RSUs are just part of the total comp package, and - they show up on my w2, so i count them as "comp", i pay taxes on them, etc. I'm not sure who here on this thread in tech wouldn't count them as comp as in most cases they are the majority of your pay the higher up you get.

trustquestioner
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by trustquestioner » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:46 pm

I know many, makes me feel poor:

- Car dealers: know several making 7 figures and a few making $10 million+ a year.

- Doctors who own group practices: I know a surgeon making several million a year, barely works himself.

- Real estate developers: one good sized project can throw off a million a year and they never pay taxes. I know a handful of 9 figure net worth guys in this business, but it’s very risky.

- Public company executives: you have to get lucky and more important be GREAT at office politics. No thanks.

- Random industrial type family businesses, mostly inherited, that now have barriers to entry and big incumbent advantages.

If I were starting from scratch and determined to get rich I would do multi family real estate.

Cycle
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Cycle » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:47 pm

masonstone wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:42 pm
hmw wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:27 am
Coude wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:25 am
$1.1M
Urologist
Midwest/suburban major city
34 years old
Employed group practice/RVU-based
Wow. Very impressive. 1.1 million must put you above 90th percentiles among urologists. Congrats!
It pays to be in the midwest.
A friend of mine is an opthalmologist, and when he was looking for a job after training, all the highest paying gigs were in LCOL or MCOL areas. Lots of doctors want to work in california, not so many in Mississippi.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

masonstone
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by masonstone » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:01 pm

Cycle wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:47 pm
masonstone wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:42 pm
hmw wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:27 am
Coude wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:25 am
$1.1M
Urologist
Midwest/suburban major city
34 years old
Employed group practice/RVU-based
Wow. Very impressive. 1.1 million must put you above 90th percentiles among urologists. Congrats!
It pays to be in the midwest.
A friend of mine is an opthalmologist, and when he was looking for a job after training, all the highest paying gigs were in LCOL or MCOL areas. Lots of doctors want to work in california, not so many in Mississippi.
Agreed, midwest jobs out of residency pay at least twice as much as California jobs out of residency. I wonder why any doctor would want to live in California who doesn't have an immediate family there.

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simplesimon
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by simplesimon » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:08 pm

masonstone wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:01 pm
Cycle wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:47 pm
masonstone wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:42 pm
hmw wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:27 am
Coude wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:25 am
$1.1M
Urologist
Midwest/suburban major city
34 years old
Employed group practice/RVU-based
Wow. Very impressive. 1.1 million must put you above 90th percentiles among urologists. Congrats!
It pays to be in the midwest.
A friend of mine is an opthalmologist, and when he was looking for a job after training, all the highest paying gigs were in LCOL or MCOL areas. Lots of doctors want to work in california, not so many in Mississippi.
Agreed, midwest jobs out of residency pay at least twice as much as California jobs out of residency. I wonder why any doctor would want to live in California who doesn't have an immediate family there.
Basically paying for good weather.

Oakwood42
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Oakwood42 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:21 pm

Glasgow wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:18 pm
corn18 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:20 am
Retired military fighter/test pilot ($100k). Transitioned to business development starting at the director level of $200M division ($150k). Moved up to VP of BD at the billion dollar level ($400k) then president of a division ($600k total comp). At the president level, comp is 1/3 salary, 1/3 bonus and 1/3 RSU's.
corn18,
I admire your achievements and you're a rare breed - military fighter to president of a division. Can you elaborate on steps transitioning from military to business development to higher level? It'd help us readers here inspired to look for similar self improvement, hard learning and working ethic path.
Good question and agree with "It'd help us readers here inspired to look for similar self improvement, hard learning and working ethic path."

Oakwood42
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Oakwood42 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:33 pm

corn18 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:37 pm
This is a chart of my income, net worth vs. saving 15% of my income. I finally catch up this year to the just save 15% all the time line. Sure wish I were smarter when I was young.

Image
Interesting how your net worth starting taking off at a certain point....

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corn18
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by corn18 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:00 pm

Oakwood42 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:33 pm
corn18 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:37 pm
This is a chart of my income, net worth vs. saving 15% of my income. I finally catch up this year to the just save 15% all the time line. Sure wish I were smarter when I was young.

Image
Interesting how your net worth starting taking off at a certain point....
That's when we cut expenses (e.g. stopped living above our means).
Don't do something, just stand there!

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:25 pm

marie17 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:34 pm
For most people in tech, at least the big tech companies, RSUs are just part of the total comp package, and - they show up on my w2, so i count them as "comp", i pay taxes on them, etc. I'm not sure who here on this thread in tech wouldn't count them as comp as in most cases they are the majority of your pay the higher up you get.
It’s not just in tech. You are right to count vested RSUs as compensation; it is clearly what they are. I actually have Quicken set up to show me net worth including and not including unvested RSUs. They are a large component of comp, are converted to cash at the first legal moment (by is, anyway), and while you can’t pay rent with them, it’s silly to make believe unvested RSUs have no value.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

patrocity
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by patrocity » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:35 pm

This will be my first year clearing the 500k mark. Radiologist in first year out of training (we do 6 years of residency and fellowship). Gonna be around 700 for every year unless I move jobs. Midwest location. Highest paying jobs in my field are in small to mid sized towns that are not CA or in the NE.

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AerialWombat
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by AerialWombat » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:21 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:59 pm
A Big 4 Advisory Manager in SF is making $160-$180 base with 20-30% bonus. So, up to 230k all-in.

Big 4 uses lock-step pay grades so I don't see how any manager / senior manager is exceeding 300k, much less 400k or 500k.
I don’t swim in Big 4 waters, but know plenty of partners at IPA 10-100 level firms. Most of the ones I know that are breaking 400k at a firm are business development partners, and I don’t think many of them are hitting 500k.

If you’re a CPA and want to hit the high six figures, it’s easier to do it by being the name on the door, in my experience.
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

stoptothink
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by stoptothink » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:48 pm

My employer is the largest company globally in my niche field, 30%+ market share and revenue over $4B last year. Nobody without a "C" by their title is coming remotely close to these numbers. I just had one of my biologists put her two week notice on my desk on Monday. She has an MS and 5yrs of real world experience in our field, but a local tech company offered her a lot more than I could have dreamed of and she has literally ZERO experience or qualifications for the job. Very similar deal with one of my managers, but she gave me 8-weeks notice. These are employees which will be incredibly hard to replace. We can't compete with the tech companies right now because they will offer anybody who can chew gum and type at the same time near what I make as a senior director, no education, experience, or real skill required.

At least I have a great work environment in a very stable company. I have a feeling some of these people are going to be emailing me in the near future asking for jobs.

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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:18 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:48 pm
My employer is the largest company globally in my niche field, 30%+ market share and revenue over $4B last year. Nobody without a "C" by their title is coming remotely close to these numbers. I just had one of my biologists put her two week notice on my desk on Monday. She has an MS and 5yrs of real world experience in our field, but a local tech company offered her a lot more than I could have dreamed of and she has literally ZERO experience or qualifications for the job. Very similar deal with one of my managers, but she gave me 8-weeks notice. These are employees which will be incredibly hard to replace. We can't compete with the tech companies right now because they will offer anybody who can chew gum and type at the same time near what I make as a senior director, no education, experience, or real skill required.

At least I have a great work environment in a very stable company. I have a feeling some of these people are going to be emailing me in the near future asking for jobs.
A confusing statement. Either you think you are losing irreplaceable employees or employees with no skills or qualifications. But it can’t be both...

chenzi
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by chenzi » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:21 pm

I am a Manager / Director in a mega tech company. After burning myself in one of the FAANG ones, I work around 30 hours a week and make $500k-530k/ year. Spouse is also a senior manager who used to work hard in a FAANG company but has been able to negotiate balance now and works about 40 hours/week (& rare weekends) for around $480-500k.

TheNightsToCome
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:22 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:18 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:48 pm
My employer is the largest company globally in my niche field, 30%+ market share and revenue over $4B last year. Nobody without a "C" by their title is coming remotely close to these numbers. I just had one of my biologists put her two week notice on my desk on Monday. She has an MS and 5yrs of real world experience in our field, but a local tech company offered her a lot more than I could have dreamed of and she has literally ZERO experience or qualifications for the job. Very similar deal with one of my managers, but she gave me 8-weeks notice. These are employees which will be incredibly hard to replace. We can't compete with the tech companies right now because they will offer anybody who can chew gum and type at the same time near what I make as a senior director, no education, experience, or real skill required.

At least I have a great work environment in a very stable company. I have a feeling some of these people are going to be emailing me in the near future asking for jobs.
A confusing statement. Either you think you are losing irreplaceable employees or employees with no skills or qualifications. But it can’t be both...
I presume he/she meant that they have skills and qualifications in their current jobs (not tech) but none relevant to the tech jobs.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:25 pm

TheNightsToCome wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:22 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:18 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:48 pm
My employer is the largest company globally in my niche field, 30%+ market share and revenue over $4B last year. Nobody without a "C" by their title is coming remotely close to these numbers. I just had one of my biologists put her two week notice on my desk on Monday. She has an MS and 5yrs of real world experience in our field, but a local tech company offered her a lot more than I could have dreamed of and she has literally ZERO experience or qualifications for the job. Very similar deal with one of my managers, but she gave me 8-weeks notice. These are employees which will be incredibly hard to replace. We can't compete with the tech companies right now because they will offer anybody who can chew gum and type at the same time near what I make as a senior director, no education, experience, or real skill required.

At least I have a great work environment in a very stable company. I have a feeling some of these people are going to be emailing me in the near future asking for jobs.
A confusing statement. Either you think you are losing irreplaceable employees or employees with no skills or qualifications. But it can’t be both...
I presume he/she meant that they have skills and qualifications in their current jobs (not tech) but none relevant to the tech jobs.
I see. Seems like a presumptuous statement. More likely that stoptothink has the wrong idea about what the real qualifications for the tech jobs are.

Oakwood42
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Oakwood42 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:31 pm

RAchip wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 5:15 pm
I made a lot of money as a lawyer. Now I make around $700k per year in dividends and interest from investments. A lot of money is in ultra conservative investments and extra homes so I could re-jigger things to produce a lot more income if I wanted to.
Awesome

Bobby206
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Bobby206 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:34 pm

I make over $500k a year as a lawyer but in reality I am a commissioned sales person. A lot of lawyers don't like to think that but it's reality. I sold over $1.5m of legal services last year and made about $600k. I achieved that by working my butt off for many years and building a huge network of referral sources.

Oakwood42
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Oakwood42 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:35 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 6:41 pm
I'll add another tidbit for anyone that might be reading looking to climb the ladder. Especially any younger singles or DINKs. In the case of my spouse, a LOT of advancement can be traced back to our willingness to relocate to where the company needed us. We've relocated 6 or 7 times, which make no mistake about it, is a huge PITA, but MegaCorp relocation packages can be extremely lucrative. In the case of my spouse's MegaCorp, the relocation packages are weighted heavily in favor of buying versus renting at the new locale. After all, they're moving you to fill a role and want you to put down roots and do whatever it is you do for them and to stay a while. I forget the percentages, but lets say first year they give you a percentage of your mortgage as a COLA stipend. The following year it goes down, and so on and so forth for however long. Our Mega will also make you whole if you sell your house in the old locale at a loss. Lets say you relocate again, and all of the same applies. You've had zero downside risk in the 2nd place and keep anything you make on the sale. You also don't have to pay realtor fees on the sale so that's another what, 15k+? Granted our 1st relo was at the height of the great recession so all of the homes have been bought/sold in rising markets, but again, even if not, zero risk. We've pocketed 30-60k each move, which is nothing to sneeze at and factoring in nothing else. I can't imagine it would work with kids moving around like that, but I guess they do it in the military.
Great insight - thank you!

trustquestioner
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by trustquestioner » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:42 pm

Most biglaw attorneys figure out about 10 years too late that networking is the name of the game. News flash, the clients can’t even tell if you’re doing good work or not, it’s all about bringing in business.

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unclescrooge
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:17 pm

masonstone wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:01 pm
Cycle wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:47 pm
masonstone wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:42 pm
hmw wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:27 am
Coude wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:25 am
$1.1M
Urologist
Midwest/suburban major city
34 years old
Employed group practice/RVU-based
Wow. Very impressive. 1.1 million must put you above 90th percentiles among urologists. Congrats!
It pays to be in the midwest.
A friend of mine is an opthalmologist, and when he was looking for a job after training, all the highest paying gigs were in LCOL or MCOL areas. Lots of doctors want to work in california, not so many in Mississippi.
Agreed, midwest jobs out of residency pay at least twice as much as California jobs out of residency. I wonder why any doctor would want to live in California who doesn't have an immediate family there.
My wife's group (SoCal) has been trying to hire someone for 3 years. Everything they make an offer to a graduating fellow, 75% of the time they look at the cost of living and move out of state. 25% decide to work for a Kaiser/Academic Hospital instead.
She's been working 50-60hrs/week for 4 years now.

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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by stoptothink » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:18 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:18 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:48 pm
My employer is the largest company globally in my niche field, 30%+ market share and revenue over $4B last year. Nobody without a "C" by their title is coming remotely close to these numbers. I just had one of my biologists put her two week notice on my desk on Monday. She has an MS and 5yrs of real world experience in our field, but a local tech company offered her a lot more than I could have dreamed of and she has literally ZERO experience or qualifications for the job. Very similar deal with one of my managers, but she gave me 8-weeks notice. These are employees which will be incredibly hard to replace. We can't compete with the tech companies right now because they will offer anybody who can chew gum and type at the same time near what I make as a senior director, no education, experience, or real skill required.

At least I have a great work environment in a very stable company. I have a feeling some of these people are going to be emailing me in the near future asking for jobs.
A confusing statement. Either you think you are losing irreplaceable employees or employees with no skills or qualifications. But it can’t be both...
They have no skills or qualifications specific to their new jobs. These are individuals who have spent the entirety of their education and working careers in health products r&d or QA/QC labs, they rarely even interact with other humans on a daily basis. One of them was hired as an "account executive", the other as an enterprise sales rep. I don't see how they are more qualified than anybody straight out of high school for such a position. At least one of them is very personable, the other might be the least personable individual I've ever met (but a biology wiz).

FWIW, I can't complain too much. My wife, with no degree and zero sales experience, was hired to be an enterprise sales rep for a local tech company ~3yrs ago. There is a grand total of like 2 undergrad degrees and a handful of prior years of sales experience on her entire 8-person team. Most of her co-workers were snatched up directly from her employer's call center. She makes about what I do, as a senior director with a PhD in a company nearly 100x the size.

If I didn't have the best work environment, work/life balance, and boss I've ever had, I'd be sending out my resume too.

stoptothink
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by stoptothink » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:32 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:25 pm
TheNightsToCome wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:22 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:18 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:48 pm
My employer is the largest company globally in my niche field, 30%+ market share and revenue over $4B last year. Nobody without a "C" by their title is coming remotely close to these numbers. I just had one of my biologists put her two week notice on my desk on Monday. She has an MS and 5yrs of real world experience in our field, but a local tech company offered her a lot more than I could have dreamed of and she has literally ZERO experience or qualifications for the job. Very similar deal with one of my managers, but she gave me 8-weeks notice. These are employees which will be incredibly hard to replace. We can't compete with the tech companies right now because they will offer anybody who can chew gum and type at the same time near what I make as a senior director, no education, experience, or real skill required.

At least I have a great work environment in a very stable company. I have a feeling some of these people are going to be emailing me in the near future asking for jobs.
A confusing statement. Either you think you are losing irreplaceable employees or employees with no skills or qualifications. But it can’t be both...
I presume he/she meant that they have skills and qualifications in their current jobs (not tech) but none relevant to the tech jobs.
I see. Seems like a presumptuous statement. More likely that stoptothink has the wrong idea about what the real qualifications for the tech jobs are.
Well, my wife works in tech, as do most of my friends, my uncle (who is like a big brother to me) and his son, another close cousin, a good portion of my neighbors, and several former employees and colleagues. Other than one friend who is a senior network administrator and another who is a code monkey, I'm not sure how any of them had qualifications which were oriented to that industry. Hey, my uncle has an MA in linguistics and spent two decades in the military, I guess that counts for something (though his job has nothing to do with language). That's the reality here in the "Silicon Slopes" right now, there isn't enough skilled and/or experienced people to meet the demands of that industry. Not saying that's the reality everywhere.

Oakwood42
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Location: Philadelphia

Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Oakwood42 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:33 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 7:56 pm
Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:37 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 12:10 pm
It's relatively straightforward to be in your mid-30s, you and spouse making $250k a piece and working 40 hours a week as Managers / Sr. Managers in MegaCorp.

Describes my household at least.
Was household income the question?
My point is that it’s perfectly reasonable to get to $500k without making the sacrifices that someone like FlyAF has (no judgment intended).
Its a valid point and while I don't have "data" to support it - I agree.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:50 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:18 pm
They have no skills or qualifications specific to their new jobs. These are individuals who have spent the entirety of their education and working careers in health products r&d or QA/QC labs, they rarely even interact with other humans on a daily basis. One of them was hired as an "account executive", the other as an enterprise sales rep. I don't see how they are more qualified than anybody straight out of high school for such a position. At least one of them is very personable, the other might be the least personable individual I've ever met (but a biology wiz).
These are quota-carrying sales positions. Sales people don’t need to have subject matter expertise to be successful. How many pharma reps have pharmacy or even science degrees?

The fact that they were able to pass the resume screens and interviews clearly show that they have a knack for and interest in sales that they apparently weren’t able to satisfy on your team. Instead of dismissing their accomplishments I’d suggest you consider why these valued team members didn’t feel fulfilled where they were.

TheNightsToCome
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:26 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:17 pm
masonstone wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:01 pm
Cycle wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:47 pm
masonstone wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:42 pm
hmw wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:27 am


Wow. Very impressive. 1.1 million must put you above 90th percentiles among urologists. Congrats!
It pays to be in the midwest.
A friend of mine is an opthalmologist, and when he was looking for a job after training, all the highest paying gigs were in LCOL or MCOL areas. Lots of doctors want to work in california, not so many in Mississippi.
Agreed, midwest jobs out of residency pay at least twice as much as California jobs out of residency. I wonder why any doctor would want to live in California who doesn't have an immediate family there.
My wife's group (SoCal) has been trying to hire someone for 3 years. Everything they make an offer to a graduating fellow, 75% of the time they look at the cost of living and move out of state. 25% decide to work for a Kaiser/Academic Hospital instead.
She's been working 50-60hrs/week for 4 years now.
I'm fairly sure I've never worked as few as 50 hours per week since the day I started med school. :oops:

stoptothink
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by stoptothink » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:46 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:50 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:18 pm
They have no skills or qualifications specific to their new jobs. These are individuals who have spent the entirety of their education and working careers in health products r&d or QA/QC labs, they rarely even interact with other humans on a daily basis. One of them was hired as an "account executive", the other as an enterprise sales rep. I don't see how they are more qualified than anybody straight out of high school for such a position. At least one of them is very personable, the other might be the least personable individual I've ever met (but a biology wiz).
These are quota-carrying sales positions. Sales people don’t need to have subject matter expertise to be successful. How many pharma reps have pharmacy or even science degrees?

The fact that they were able to pass the resume screens and interviews clearly show that they have a knack for and interest in sales that they apparently weren’t able to satisfy on your team. Instead of dismissing their accomplishments I’d suggest you consider why these valued team members didn’t feel fulfilled where they were.
You are obviously taking it personally because you are in the industry. Hey dude, I'm the idiot who spent 11yrs studying, another several years publishing peer-reviewed research, and manage a team larger than some of these companies, only to make similar compensation to some just out of school (or with no university education whatsoever) with no specific education or experience. I'm not talking $500K, but you don't have to be a rock star to make solid money in tech right now. To crack 6-figures in my industry, you either have to be a rock star (with a PhD) or director level. Again, I'm the dumb one.

My wife is in data security, they literally have 1 person (out of ~30) in the entire sales department that has a CISSP. Yes it's sales, but I don't know many good salespeople who don't at least understand what they are selling at a basic level. I don't know about other places, but my wife doesn't have a quota, and her base salary is higher than a few PhD's on my staff. You have to meet her co-workers, it is a lot of "walking down the street and slipping on a $100k/yr banana peel types"; my wife is an outlier in that she is actually good at her job. My company has sales too (our department is 50x+ the size of my wife's employer), but if my (now former) employees wanted to transition to sales here, they would start out making <1/2 of what they are getting from day 1 in tech. I have no idea how our sales department is retaining staff; actually, I don't know if they are. One of my best friends is a project manager for a local IT consulting company (with an English lit degree and no PMP), she makes more than twice what my lone project manager does and he has a PMP. I'm not telling him, he'd be gone. It's difficult for me right now to get newsolid contributors with hard science education/experience, not because of direct industry competition, but because of Adobe, Ancestry, Grow, Weave, HireVue, Domo, Qualtrics, Lucid, BambooHR, Pluralsight, Podium, Entrata...My stepdad, my sister, and another uncle are in public education in this area, they are having the same problem getting good young teachers (probably worse).

There is more money in tech right now than anywhere else, a lot more. Just look at this thread. I'm not sure how that is a bad thing...except for those of us not in tech.
Last edited by stoptothink on Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Oakwood42
Posts: 186
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Location: Philadelphia

Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Oakwood42 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:03 pm

gips wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:35 am
Was making $300k as Wall st tech consultant, started consulting business, 3rd year broke $500k, last two years before we sold, 7 figures. Retired after selling.

Life changing, allowed us to send kids to the colleges of their choice, travel, Manhattan apt. Lots of bogleheaders have gotten to financial independence making < $100k and I think that feeling of security and lack of stress is all that’s important. The other stuff is just adult toys.
Awesome and agree with you point "Lots of bogleheaders have gotten to financial independence making < $100k and I think that feeling of security and lack of stress is all that’s important. The other stuff is just adult toys.*

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:04 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:46 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:50 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:18 pm
They have no skills or qualifications specific to their new jobs. These are individuals who have spent the entirety of their education and working careers in health products r&d or QA/QC labs, they rarely even interact with other humans on a daily basis. One of them was hired as an "account executive", the other as an enterprise sales rep. I don't see how they are more qualified than anybody straight out of high school for such a position. At least one of them is very personable, the other might be the least personable individual I've ever met (but a biology wiz).
These are quota-carrying sales positions. Sales people don’t need to have subject matter expertise to be successful. How many pharma reps have pharmacy or even science degrees?

The fact that they were able to pass the resume screens and interviews clearly show that they have a knack for and interest in sales that they apparently weren’t able to satisfy on your team. Instead of dismissing their accomplishments I’d suggest you consider why these valued team members didn’t feel fulfilled where they were.
You are obviously taking it personally because you are in the industry. Hey dude, I'm the idiot who spent 11yrs studying, another several years publishing peer-reviewed research, and manage a team larger than some of these companies, only to make similar compensation to some just out of school (or with no university education whatsoever) with no specific education or experience. I'm not talking $500K, but you don't have to be a rock star to make solid money in tech right now. To crack 6-figures in my industry, you either have to be a rock star (with a PhD) or director level. Again, I'm the dumb one.

My wife is in data security, they literally have 1 person (out of ~30) in the entire sales department that has a CISSP. Yes it's sales, but how do you sell a product that you have very limited understanding of? I don't know about other places, but my wife doesn't have a quota, and her base salary is higher than a few PhD's on my staff. My company has sales too (our department is 50x+ the size of my wife's employer), but if my (now former) employees wanted to transition to sales here, they would start out making <1/2 of what they are getting from day 1 in tech. I have no idea how our sales department is retaining staff; actually, I don't know if they are. One of my best friends is a project manager for a local IT consulting company (with an English lit degree and no PMP), she makes more than twice what my lone project manager does and he has a PMP. It's difficult for me right now to get solid contributors with hard science education/experience, not because of direct industry competition, but because of Adobe, Ancestry, Grow, Weave, HireVue, Domo, Qualtrics, Lucid, BambooHR, Pluralsight, Podium, Entrata...My stepdad, my sister, and another uncle are in public education in this area, they are having the same problem getting good young teachers (probably worse).
It should be common knowledge that the sciences don't pay; also I'm guessing you didn't pursue a PhD for the money. So what are you complaining about?

If you do want the money now, you should probably ask for a referral from your former employee...

gougou
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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by gougou » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:17 pm

Two Software Engineers in the Bay Area together can easily make $500K combined. I'm only an "Intermediate Level" which is 3 or 4 levels below a director and I make about $300K. Add wife's salary and we are at $500K.

But we are just middle class and the big mortgage we carry sometimes make me uncomfortable.

stoptothink
Posts: 6228
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by stoptothink » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:22 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:04 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:46 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:50 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:18 pm
They have no skills or qualifications specific to their new jobs. These are individuals who have spent the entirety of their education and working careers in health products r&d or QA/QC labs, they rarely even interact with other humans on a daily basis. One of them was hired as an "account executive", the other as an enterprise sales rep. I don't see how they are more qualified than anybody straight out of high school for such a position. At least one of them is very personable, the other might be the least personable individual I've ever met (but a biology wiz).
These are quota-carrying sales positions. Sales people don’t need to have subject matter expertise to be successful. How many pharma reps have pharmacy or even science degrees?

The fact that they were able to pass the resume screens and interviews clearly show that they have a knack for and interest in sales that they apparently weren’t able to satisfy on your team. Instead of dismissing their accomplishments I’d suggest you consider why these valued team members didn’t feel fulfilled where they were.
You are obviously taking it personally because you are in the industry. Hey dude, I'm the idiot who spent 11yrs studying, another several years publishing peer-reviewed research, and manage a team larger than some of these companies, only to make similar compensation to some just out of school (or with no university education whatsoever) with no specific education or experience. I'm not talking $500K, but you don't have to be a rock star to make solid money in tech right now. To crack 6-figures in my industry, you either have to be a rock star (with a PhD) or director level. Again, I'm the dumb one.

My wife is in data security, they literally have 1 person (out of ~30) in the entire sales department that has a CISSP. Yes it's sales, but how do you sell a product that you have very limited understanding of? I don't know about other places, but my wife doesn't have a quota, and her base salary is higher than a few PhD's on my staff. My company has sales too (our department is 50x+ the size of my wife's employer), but if my (now former) employees wanted to transition to sales here, they would start out making <1/2 of what they are getting from day 1 in tech. I have no idea how our sales department is retaining staff; actually, I don't know if they are. One of my best friends is a project manager for a local IT consulting company (with an English lit degree and no PMP), she makes more than twice what my lone project manager does and he has a PMP. It's difficult for me right now to get solid contributors with hard science education/experience, not because of direct industry competition, but because of Adobe, Ancestry, Grow, Weave, HireVue, Domo, Qualtrics, Lucid, BambooHR, Pluralsight, Podium, Entrata...My stepdad, my sister, and another uncle are in public education in this area, they are having the same problem getting good young teachers (probably worse).
It should be common knowledge that the sciences don't pay; also I'm guessing you didn't pursue a PhD for the money. So what are you complaining about?

If you do want the money now, you should probably ask for a referral from your former employee...
:oops: I'm not complaining. Maybe I am doing a bad job of communicating because your responses seem to be totally disconnected from what I am saying. Why would I ask for a referral from a former employee when I have no interest in leaving? I make "enough" in a super stable company, in a great environment, and my family could very easily subsist on my wife's income alone (which is less than mine, albeit she is an individual contributor and I direct a staff 1/4 the size of her entire company). But, my current biggest work stress is getting and maintaining talented staff - not just "scientists", but project managers, design, copywriters, technical writers, social media - because we can't pay like tech. FWIW, my company has 4,500+ employees, we have far more software engineers, network and database admins, app developers, and various IT staff than scientists; none of whom make remotely close to the type of numbers I see constantly on this board, even at senior director and up levels. We can't pay our staff in all departments like they do, and not all of these people are upper echelon performers. Our corporate recruiting staff has their work cut out for them.

confused1
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by confused1 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:24 am

Dir level at FAANG - $290k base, 30% bonus, $500k RSU (vesting each year)
20+ years experience and many hard projects PLUS got lucky to pick the ‘next big thing’ sector very early on. So now with some skill and luck end up as a hot commodity.

hadron
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:57 pm

Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by hadron » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:56 am

I work in one of the big bay area tech companies and pull in about 1M+ a year. I'm a senior Tech IC with 15+ years of experience. Been at this one place pretty much all of my career. Hiring someone with my experience and skill set is pretty hard (I interview a lot of candidates) and employers are willing to pay big bucks to get them. A good chunk of my comp comes from vesting RSUs and when the stock eventually cools, I expect my comp will drop too. I hope to save enough in the meantime that this won't be much of issue when it does happen.

Nowizard
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by Nowizard » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:22 am

I suspect that part of the answer is to live in a HCOL area where $500K is the equivalent of substantially less in areas with lower COL and taxation. It would be interesting to see comparisons of income to COL figures to obtain relationships. Living in a LCOL area and earning markedly less than $500K annually can result in a lifestyle that is similar, particularly with purchases such as housing.

Tim

smitcat
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by smitcat » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:28 am

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:22 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:04 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:46 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:50 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:18 pm
They have no skills or qualifications specific to their new jobs. These are individuals who have spent the entirety of their education and working careers in health products r&d or QA/QC labs, they rarely even interact with other humans on a daily basis. One of them was hired as an "account executive", the other as an enterprise sales rep. I don't see how they are more qualified than anybody straight out of high school for such a position. At least one of them is very personable, the other might be the least personable individual I've ever met (but a biology wiz).
These are quota-carrying sales positions. Sales people don’t need to have subject matter expertise to be successful. How many pharma reps have pharmacy or even science degrees?

The fact that they were able to pass the resume screens and interviews clearly show that they have a knack for and interest in sales that they apparently weren’t able to satisfy on your team. Instead of dismissing their accomplishments I’d suggest you consider why these valued team members didn’t feel fulfilled where they were.
You are obviously taking it personally because you are in the industry. Hey dude, I'm the idiot who spent 11yrs studying, another several years publishing peer-reviewed research, and manage a team larger than some of these companies, only to make similar compensation to some just out of school (or with no university education whatsoever) with no specific education or experience. I'm not talking $500K, but you don't have to be a rock star to make solid money in tech right now. To crack 6-figures in my industry, you either have to be a rock star (with a PhD) or director level. Again, I'm the dumb one.

My wife is in data security, they literally have 1 person (out of ~30) in the entire sales department that has a CISSP. Yes it's sales, but how do you sell a product that you have very limited understanding of? I don't know about other places, but my wife doesn't have a quota, and her base salary is higher than a few PhD's on my staff. My company has sales too (our department is 50x+ the size of my wife's employer), but if my (now former) employees wanted to transition to sales here, they would start out making <1/2 of what they are getting from day 1 in tech. I have no idea how our sales department is retaining staff; actually, I don't know if they are. One of my best friends is a project manager for a local IT consulting company (with an English lit degree and no PMP), she makes more than twice what my lone project manager does and he has a PMP. It's difficult for me right now to get solid contributors with hard science education/experience, not because of direct industry competition, but because of Adobe, Ancestry, Grow, Weave, HireVue, Domo, Qualtrics, Lucid, BambooHR, Pluralsight, Podium, Entrata...My stepdad, my sister, and another uncle are in public education in this area, they are having the same problem getting good young teachers (probably worse).
It should be common knowledge that the sciences don't pay; also I'm guessing you didn't pursue a PhD for the money. So what are you complaining about?

If you do want the money now, you should probably ask for a referral from your former employee...
:oops: I'm not complaining. Maybe I am doing a bad job of communicating because your responses seem to be totally disconnected from what I am saying. Why would I ask for a referral from a former employee when I have no interest in leaving? I make "enough" in a super stable company, in a great environment, and my family could very easily subsist on my wife's income alone (which is less than mine, albeit she is an individual contributor and I direct a staff 1/4 the size of her entire company). But, my current biggest work stress is getting and maintaining talented staff - not just "scientists", but project managers, design, copywriters, technical writers, social media - because we can't pay like tech. FWIW, my company has 4,500+ employees, we have far more software engineers, network and database admins, app developers, and various IT staff than scientists; none of whom make remotely close to the type of numbers I see constantly on this board, even at senior director and up levels. We can't pay our staff in all departments like they do, and not all of these people are upper echelon performers. Our corporate recruiting staff has their work cut out for them.
This describes a company that could be ripe for a sale and/or offshoring.
You just never know what will happen but when you are the largest and the environment gets tight there are often changes that folks would not be aware of until fairly late in the process.
YMMV

SQRT
Posts: 1174
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Re: For those who earn $500k+ per year. How'd you do that?

Post by SQRT » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:05 am

trustquestioner wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:46 pm


- Public company executives: you have to get lucky and more important be GREAT at office politics. No thanks.

This seems to be the “conventional view” especially around here. Agree about the “luck” but I think that’s true of most success situations. As far as “politics” go,I have a different perspective of what it takes to succeed in any large organization:

-ability to communicate effectively (clear, direct, non confrontational)
-ability to work in teams and give credit to fellow team members as appropriate
-keeping your ego in check
-adopting the management perspective(ie goal congruence)

Of course there are other characteristics such as hard work,intelligence, education,etc. I think we would all agree on those. Often (not always) people who aren’t strong in the “soft” skills chock this up to “office politics”.

There will, of course, be organizations that have cultures that are dysfunctional or even toxic. But surely they are rare. My experience was quite the opposite.

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