Author Topic: How do people make $100+ salary?  (Read 59286 times)

birdman2003

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 297
  • Location: Iowa
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #100 on: January 17, 2018, 08:27:40 AM »
My monthly salaries have always been above $100.

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4330
  • Age: 10
  • Location: USA
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #101 on: January 17, 2018, 08:32:02 AM »
The largest part is having the chance to live or move to a country with high incomes. Even in the developed world, the US is one of the very few were people routinely earn 6 figures a year.

sokoloff

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1198
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #102 on: January 17, 2018, 08:33:02 AM »
On the luck comments, I'm surprised to hear people on this forum of all places attribute so much to chance. Especially lumping in the bundle of pros and cons that EVERYONE gets to start out with. While some draw a better hand than others I strongly believe how you play that hand makes all the difference in where you end up.
There's an incredible amount of luck in life. Sure, you must prepare and work hard, but if you lived your life 100x the same way, you'd experience a wild spread of outcomes. Sometimes you'd get cancer; sometimes you'd have a kid with special needs; sometimes your company would go bankrupt; other times it would be profitable and be sold for 100x trailing earnings.

Don't downplay the effort, blood, sweat, and tears required to be successful in a distinguished way. That's sound advice and something for others to model, because these inputs are the best thing they can do to help themselves.

At the same time, don't overplay how much control you have over outcomes and exclude the effect of variability aka "luck". Do that and the people who end up on top (like many of us) can take an excessively entitled and frankly, selfish view that they 100.00% "deserve" their outcome and that those who experienced worse outcomes also 100.00% "deserve" their outcome.

BTDretire

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2242
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #103 on: January 17, 2018, 08:37:36 AM »
 I made $60,000 in 1986 repairing VCRs, that's equivalent to $134,000 today.
 VCRs went the way of buggy whips and I have never even got close to that since.
 In fact I averaged $11,848 from 1995 thru 2002 non inflated dollars.
But still made it well past an MMM Financial Independence.
 Just keep moving forward.

TheAnonOne

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1416
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #104 on: January 17, 2018, 08:49:26 AM »
I write software (think websites) and made a little over $200,000 last year. I do it by contracting, billing per hour, and loading up on as much work as possible.

Early on in my career I went from...
35k for 3 months
42k for 7 months
55k for 6 months- raised to 65k for 3 months
98k for 6 months - started consulting
160k
152k
Then it stayed up there in that range. Occasionally bumping over 200k

Job hopping is the absolute gold mine, at least in engineering. I had a senior level job around 2 to 3 years from my first job (but only 6 months out of college because I was hired as a freshman for full time software development)

I find that I am naturally good at it. So not all will see the same results.
If you don't mind me asking, what kind of website work and what kind of hourly rate?

I'm thinking about trying to expand my contracting side hustle this year.

I do a lot of .NET, though lately its all been moving to JS frameworks like AngularJS I work full time at this, but side gigs are around (though less supply)

Rates are generally >$60/H (maybe over $100 in certain cases)

seattleite

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Kentucky
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #105 on: January 17, 2018, 08:52:23 AM »
One Path:

1. Choose to become a software engineer (study CS, EE, or learn on your own)
2. Put your ass out there and get a job, any job
3. Bust your ass during work and on your own time learning new stuff and getting better
4. Apply for better paying jobs in HCOL areas
5. Cross your fingers, pray to your gods, throw pennies into the fountains at the mall, whatever
6. Repeat

Step three is optional if you are incredibly lucky.

I think a lot of people underestimate how much serendipity has to do with success. You end up being on the right project in the right team in the right company in the right city.

JLee

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4951
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #106 on: January 17, 2018, 08:55:15 AM »
One Path:

1. Choose to become a software engineer (study CS, EE, or learn on your own)
2. Put your ass out there and get a job, any job
3. Bust your ass during work and on your own time learning new stuff and getting better
4. Apply for better paying jobs in HCOL areas
5. Cross your fingers, pray to your gods, throw pennies into the fountains at the mall, whatever
6. Repeat

Step three is optional if you are incredibly lucky.

I think a lot of people underestimate how much serendipity has to do with success. You end up being on the right project in the right team in the right company in the right city.

In my case, I sold a car to the right person and 4 years later he hooked me up with a job.

You never know.

brute

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #107 on: January 17, 2018, 09:01:11 AM »
A master's in computer science (specialized in AI/machine learning) got me over $100k for my first job out of grad school. Most people couldn't get that degree from that university though. Hell, most people get turned away from that program in the first place.

My first time over $100k though was through a little software & database consulting firm I started. I didn't do all that much, just some basic programming, some database administration at night, and lots of talking to people. 25 hours a week got me ~$140k. That put me through grad school and kept me in beer money.

In the old days, when I worked as a bouncer in places of ill repute, I knew a couple of dancers who were taking home $200k a year. One of them actually saved most of her cash and retired after 3 years in the game. That was probably the first time I ever thought about early retirement.

Cwadda

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2151
  • Age: 24
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #108 on: January 17, 2018, 09:16:16 AM »
Tax accounting. Congress Lobbyists and special interests keeps us employed and makes it nice and complicated so the earnings potential is there.
Fixed for you :P

But more on topic, I gross around $90k/year doing various side hustles. I have a degree in geology and I don't use it for what it's intended for. My "side hustles" are:
1. Owning a rental property (43k/year)
2. Selling things on Amazon.com ($36k/year)
3. Being a musician ($9k/year)
4. Sales consultant for a small business ($3k/year)

Granted, with things like a rental property there's a lot of overhead, so only a fraction of my income is actual profit. And I don't have a bunch of nice job benefits like health insurance. But altogether, I can't complain since my expenses are super low and I'm saving money. Another thing is these are only mini hustles, I work for 25-30 hours a week but if I did and should hustle more I can improve on all of these.

Aelias

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 192
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #109 on: January 17, 2018, 09:17:35 AM »
On the luck comments, I'm surprised to hear people on this forum of all places attribute so much to chance. Especially lumping in the bundle of pros and cons that EVERYONE gets to start out with. While some draw a better hand than others I strongly believe how you play that hand makes all the difference in where you end up.

Obviously, what you do with the hand you're dealt in life is important.  Hard work and ingenuity and resilience are necessary for a successful life no matter where you start.

But, from my experience, luck also plays a role and it's important to acknowledge that.  For example, I had a close friend from college who graduated the same year I did.  I went directly into law school, he worked for a year before going to law school--both very valid (and common) choices. Because of that year difference, I interviewed for summer internships in the fall of 2006 when law firms were still hiring A TON of new associates. I got my first job offer as a result of that internship in fall of 2007 and started in fall of 2008.  By getting my foot in the door, I was able to prove myself and ride out the recession pretty much unscathed. Actually, because I was making really good money and still had my student level lifestyle, I was able to invest at a historic low point in the stock market and achieve some awesome gains early on.

He had a totally different experience.  He was interviewing for internships in 2007, meaning that when it came time for him to get an offer, the world (and the legal industry in particular) had changed dramatically.  He did not have the same job opportunities I did, and ended up having to wait a year to get a full time job.  By then, salaries had declined as well.

If I'd been born a year later and made the exact same decision, I would have totally been in his shoes.  I'm sure I would have been ok, but I probably would have had a different career trajectory.

The fact that I was able to get in when I did? Pure. Luck.

exige

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #110 on: January 17, 2018, 09:21:15 AM »
I worked in the auto industry for 10 years.... I always assumed if I made 40k I would be set after making that for 10 years I knew it was not gonna cut it. Spent the last 5 years going to school for a Computer information systems degree. Graduated december 2015 and had a job the month before graduation as an entry level database developer 50k (basically pushed a button on an application someone else made) within the first year was up to 55k felt this was too slow for what I had taken on so I started looking 7 months ago I made a move to another entry Level Database position with a 30%+ increase im now right under 73k but will also get a 5% bonus.

I am not that close to the 100k like you were looking for but I am in a LCOL area and without trying too much could see being near it in the next year or 2. I am 32 years old. However, I am weird and found that at the pay I have now I can fund all of the retirement I want and live how I want so I focus a lot more on work life balance which is amazing here. I can work from home 3 days a week or go full remote if I wanted. So as tempting as it is to keep busting my ass and climb for the magical 100k I will probably just see what happens.

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2146
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #111 on: January 17, 2018, 09:44:03 AM »
On the luck comments, I'm surprised to hear people on this forum of all places attribute so much to chance. Especially lumping in the bundle of pros and cons that EVERYONE gets to start out with. While some draw a better hand than others I strongly believe how you play that hand makes all the difference in where you end up.

Obviously, what you do with the hand you're dealt in life is important.  Hard work and ingenuity and resilience are necessary for a successful life no matter where you start.

But, from my experience, luck also plays a role and it's important to acknowledge that.  For example, I had a close friend from college who graduated the same year I did.  I went directly into law school, he worked for a year before going to law school--both very valid (and common) choices. Because of that year difference, I interviewed for summer internships in the fall of 2006 when law firms were still hiring A TON of new associates. I got my first job offer as a result of that internship in fall of 2007 and started in fall of 2008.  By getting my foot in the door, I was able to prove myself and ride out the recession pretty much unscathed. Actually, because I was making really good money and still had my student level lifestyle, I was able to invest at a historic low point in the stock market and achieve some awesome gains early on.

He had a totally different experience.  He was interviewing for internships in 2007, meaning that when it came time for him to get an offer, the world (and the legal industry in particular) had changed dramatically.  He did not have the same job opportunities I did, and ended up having to wait a year to get a full time job.  By then, salaries had declined as well.

If I'd been born a year later and made the exact same decision, I would have totally been in his shoes.  I'm sure I would have been ok, but I probably would have had a different career trajectory.

The fact that I was able to get in when I did? Pure. Luck.


"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

wordnerd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1024
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #112 on: January 17, 2018, 10:15:26 AM »
On the luck comments, I'm surprised to hear people on this forum of all places attribute so much to chance. Especially lumping in the bundle of pros and cons that EVERYONE gets to start out with. While some draw a better hand than others I strongly believe how you play that hand makes all the difference in where you end up.

Obviously, what you do with the hand you're dealt in life is important.  Hard work and ingenuity and resilience are necessary for a successful life no matter where you start.

But, from my experience, luck also plays a role and it's important to acknowledge that.  For example, I had a close friend from college who graduated the same year I did.  I went directly into law school, he worked for a year before going to law school--both very valid (and common) choices. Because of that year difference, I interviewed for summer internships in the fall of 2006 when law firms were still hiring A TON of new associates. I got my first job offer as a result of that internship in fall of 2007 and started in fall of 2008.  By getting my foot in the door, I was able to prove myself and ride out the recession pretty much unscathed. Actually, because I was making really good money and still had my student level lifestyle, I was able to invest at a historic low point in the stock market and achieve some awesome gains early on.

He had a totally different experience.  He was interviewing for internships in 2007, meaning that when it came time for him to get an offer, the world (and the legal industry in particular) had changed dramatically.  He did not have the same job opportunities I did, and ended up having to wait a year to get a full time job.  By then, salaries had declined as well.

If I'd been born a year later and made the exact same decision, I would have totally been in his shoes.  I'm sure I would have been ok, but I probably would have had a different career trajectory.

The fact that I was able to get in when I did? Pure. Luck.


"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

I was one of the people citing luck. I don't mean that I am unworthy (I think I'm pretty smart; I objectively work hard; I set myself up to be successful when the opportunities arose, as tooqk4u22 alludes).

I simply mean that I recognize that I have a lot advantages that set me up to be successful--to be in the right rooms, have the right credentials, be taken seriously. Certainly, people without my advantages have achieved as much and much more than I have. I just acknowledge my road was smoother, which may've allowed me to get to a higher paying job at a younger age.

Boll weevil

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #113 on: January 17, 2018, 10:19:07 AM »
Just as a reality check you also need to consider the amount you can save too. I could make more at a different company, but many of those are in HCOL areas which would eat up a big chunk of the increase.

Percentage-wise, I know I'm able to save more at my current location.

Dollar-wise, I'm guessing I'd break even +/- $5K.

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1218
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #114 on: January 17, 2018, 10:34:27 AM »
"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

Yep.

It’s hard work, an eye for opportunity, a solid business background, a talent for networking, ambition and capital that allowed me to develop the business that I now own at an incredibly opportune time.

But there is no denying that it’s plain old dumb stupid luck that I ended up at a random lecture that introduced me to the burgeoning area of my industry. I didn’t want to go and tried to get out of it.
Dumb luck.

Parizade

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 545
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #115 on: January 17, 2018, 10:34:59 AM »
I agree that it takes working hard, recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities, and some luck. I would add "don't be dick" because really no one likes to work with an asshole.

Then how are so many of them employed making 100k? ;)

It's not impossible for unpleasant people to earn a good salary, but consider this:
You are in a position to give someone in your department a  promotion
You have 2 equally qualified and competent candidates
One of the candidates is obnoxious and causes problems on every team he is assigned to
The other candidate builds strong team relationships wherever he goes.
Which one will you promote?

Or the other scenario, budgets have been cut and you need to let one member of your team go.
They are all equally skilled and competent, but one is an a-hole.
Which one will you let go?

In the long run it pays to develop good interpersonal skills, it gives you an edge over unpleasant competitors.

NoraLenderbee

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1251
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #116 on: January 17, 2018, 10:51:27 AM »
My degree is in Scientific and Technical Communication, but I currently create business documentation. I work from home, make over 100k/yr with 6+ weeks vacation, and live in a LCOL town. It's a very sweet gig.

Mind if I ask what “business documentation” consists of? I’m a technical writer in a HCOL area, and it’s OK for now. But for the future, I’d like to work remotely from a less HCOL without taking a huge cut in salary and benefits. I’d love to ask you more about what you do, if that’s OK.

big_slacker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1228
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #117 on: January 17, 2018, 10:52:58 AM »
Does this forum have multi quote ability? :D

I'm not saying that there isn't an element of chance involved with doing well. The example above about entering a market in one year vs another is a great example. What I'm saying is that challenges *AND good fortune happen to everyone to varying degrees. But someone that has a good strategy and is consistent about working that plan will almost always end up in a SIGNIFICANTLY better position than someone who doesn't. And *IF* your plan includes a career that has higher earning potential I'd say that the $100k mark is nearly inevitable rather than something that truly takes everything coming together like making it to the NFL, NBA, CEO of a fortune 500, etc.

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1218
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #118 on: January 17, 2018, 10:58:13 AM »
I agree that it takes working hard, recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities, and some luck. I would add "don't be dick" because really no one likes to work with an asshole.

Then how are so many of them employed making 100k? ;)

It's not impossible for unpleasant people to earn a good salary, but consider this:
You are in a position to give someone in your department a  promotion
You have 2 equally qualified and competent candidates
One of the candidates is obnoxious and causes problems on every team he is assigned to
The other candidate builds strong team relationships wherever he goes.
Which one will you promote?

Or the other scenario, budgets have been cut and you need to let one member of your team go.
They are all equally skilled and competent, but one is an a-hole.
Which one will you let go?

In the long run it pays to develop good interpersonal skills, it gives you an edge over unpleasant competitors.

Being a selfish dick can actually help you climb the ladder or make more money, but being friggin’ awesome will always result in better more dynamic opportunities if you are open to them.

Being a dick means you may be able to sabotage someone and climb over them to the next rung on the ladder. Being awesome means that when a whole new department opens up and they need to staff it that someone will likely speak up and say “Joe Awesome is a great team member, let’s put him on project amazing”


wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1775
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #119 on: January 17, 2018, 11:03:07 AM »
My degree is in Scientific and Technical Communication, but I currently create business documentation. I work from home, make over 100k/yr with 6+ weeks vacation, and live in a LCOL town. It's a very sweet gig.

Mind if I ask what “business documentation” consists of? I’m a technical writer in a HCOL area, and it’s OK for now. But for the future, I’d like to work remotely from a less HCOL without taking a huge cut in salary and benefits. I’d love to ask you more about what you do, if that’s OK.

I'm also curious about this. 

gypsy79

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #120 on: January 17, 2018, 11:03:29 AM »
I make around 125k in a medium cost of living area.

To give an example, I would say my job is similar to managing a customer service/training department at a VP or department head-type level. Worked my way up to that over nearly two decades in my career and a master's degree.

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1218
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #121 on: January 17, 2018, 11:05:36 AM »
Does this forum have multi quote ability? :D

I'm not saying that there isn't an element of chance involved with doing well. The example above about entering a market in one year vs another is a great example. What I'm saying is that challenges *AND good fortune happen to everyone to varying degrees. But someone that has a good strategy and is consistent about working that plan will almost always end up in a SIGNIFICANTLY better position than someone who doesn't. And *IF* your plan includes a career that has higher earning potential I'd say that the $100k mark is nearly inevitable rather than something that truly takes everything coming together like making it to the NFL, NBA, CEO of a fortune 500, etc.

I agree and think that luck comes much more into play when we’re talking about bigger numbers.
I did mention in my post that 100K in higher cost areas isn’t uncommon for even mid level professionals, and fairly easily obtainable by hard work, talent, and a good attitude.

My DH’s career has had very little luck component. He did a master’s in public policy, he eventually got a position with the government doing public policy work. He worked hard and learned new skills and played well with others until he hit ~100K after nearly 10 years. It’s all been quite predictable and easily attributable to putting in the work and being likeable.

My career has had much more luck, but also has a much MUCH higher earning potential.

Spiffy

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #122 on: January 17, 2018, 11:06:01 AM »
I agree that it takes working hard, recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities, and some luck. I would add "don't be dick" because really no one likes to work with an asshole.

Then how are so many of them employed making 100k? ;)

It's not impossible for unpleasant people to earn a good salary, but consider this:
You are in a position to give someone in your department a  promotion
You have 2 equally qualified and competent candidates
One of the candidates is obnoxious and causes problems on every team he is assigned to
The other candidate builds strong team relationships wherever he goes.
Which one will you promote?

You promote the jerk to get him out of your office or off your team. It happens all the time. That is how I had the worst boss ever. The other department even confessed to it.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 11:09:05 AM by Spiffy »

MustachianKentuckian

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • Age: 42
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #123 on: January 17, 2018, 11:13:10 AM »
I'm an accounting manager at a company (not a public firm).  I got an undergrad in accounting, got my CPA, then went back and got my MBA.  I had strong work ethic and a positive attitude, which got me promoted to manager.  (Which by the way, I 'm the pleasant person that does work well with others and brings a team together...so don't worry, you CAN still be a "nice guy" and get promoted).

I didn't necessarily pick my profession thinking I'd get to this salary, but hard work paid off. (I"m in Kentucky, btw, which is LCOL).

I agree with the previous posters that said to research careers and their expected salary and go from there.  However, don't pick something just because it makes a lot.  IMO, being miserable would not be worth a high salary.

Good luck to you!

Calvawt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 329
  • Location: Central CA
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #124 on: January 17, 2018, 11:51:31 AM »
Its not necessarily always the field you choose, but what you do once you are in it (outside of doctors, big law, etc).  If you always want to be an individual contributor, you will find a ceiling at some point.  Those that take on big assignments, a large workload, and especially management roles get the highest salaries.  Taking on large projects like being part of an acquisition team can also be a big springboard to a higher paying role (also usually moving into management).  Being a manager of managers (ie a director) and then an executive get you

Being willing to relocate and take on short to mid-term roles or just moving can also make a big difference.  I got a 30% raise to transfer in the same role, but with a few more responsibilities from Kansas City to California and the cost of living was actually flat!

Another way is to be part of the corporate part of a large business.  Moving to headquarters can be a big boost (though in my example above I moved away from Headquarters and 2 years later was out of the loop and my group was eliminated, so there is always some risk).

SC93

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #125 on: January 17, 2018, 12:02:31 PM »
Here was my wife's luck. She went in for a telemarketing job. The guy doing the interview read her application and asked, with her education why she wasn't working at a museum! She explained that she would love to but didn't know how to go about it. He made a call while she was sitting right there. He told her to go over to the Metropolitan Museum Of Art (NYC). And told her who to speak with. That got her a job in the mail room.... just like in Secret To My Success with Michael J Fox, well, kinda. And then she was promoted from within because she had the education to back her. Now that right there is luck!

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5830
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #126 on: January 17, 2018, 12:15:00 PM »
Spouse and I are both electrical engineers, both went to a great state school (minimal debt in my case, none in his because GI bill). We live in a HCOL area. He graduated college 1998, I in 2000. Our salaries are 153k (his) 120k (mine...yes, same degree from same school, working at same company, and I still only make 78% of what he does. Thankfully my current supervisor has worked hard the last few years to make it a smaller gap after I moved over to management). Neither of us work overtime at this point in our careers. I have gone into management but still make less than he does; that tends to vary depending on the company.

Other people I know who make the same (or more) are: Ph.D scientists working in industry (not sure how research compares), manufacturing engineers, IT company owners, program management/planning (often with a technical background although one I know who broke into six digits works for a local construction company), airline pilot, sales, medical field (a friend of ours is an MRI tech and he makes more than I do but works a lot of overtime, I know someone making upwards of 90k but not quite 100k in accounting within a medical group, mostly managing the finance office now).
I guess it's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one?  Subtract 8 years to your college grad years (we are older), except our gap is even worse.  My husband makes more than yours but I make less than you.  In my industry I am well aware that my salary is 77% of the median at my level.  Oh that was before my promotion. :(

jaybird45

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #127 on: January 17, 2018, 12:16:32 PM »
The average salary in the engineering company I work for is about $90K and we are located in the southeast (relatively low cost of living).  We are mostly civil engineers and do consulting for government (i.e. State Departments of Transportation and Water Utilities).  Salaries can go up to about $160K plus bonuses.  Bonuses can range from $3K to over $100K.  Starting salaries are in the upper 50's with a BS degree.  The key to the higher salaries is be able to win work for the company.

Parizade

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 545
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #128 on: January 17, 2018, 12:25:25 PM »
My degree is in Scientific and Technical Communication, but I currently create business documentation. I work from home, make over 100k/yr with 6+ weeks vacation, and live in a LCOL town. It's a very sweet gig.

Mind if I ask what “business documentation” consists of? I’m a technical writer in a HCOL area, and it’s OK for now. But for the future, I’d like to work remotely from a less HCOL without taking a huge cut in salary and benefits. I’d love to ask you more about what you do, if that’s OK.

I'm also curious about this. 

Sure it's okay.  I'm currently working for a Fortune 5 company helping business people document their business processes and associated business policies. I started as a technical writer and gradually took on more business writing as opportunities presented themselves. Then I moved into business analysis, another writing job that straddles the communication gap between IT folks and business folks. That's where I learned to document business processes and people seem to like how I do it so that's mostly what I do now. I need to quote Malkynn here

Being awesome means that when a whole new department opens up and they need to staff it that someone will likely speak up and say “Joe Awesome is a great team member, let’s put him on project amazing”

Because that's how I got my current position on an awesome new team documenting "project amazing"

Here's a good article about business analysis that might interest you. They don't mention technical writing as a career path to business analysis but it certainly worked well for me.
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/040915/what-business-analyst-and-how-much-do-they-make.asp

Parizade

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 545
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #129 on: January 17, 2018, 12:36:18 PM »

Being a selfish dick can actually help you climb the ladder or make more money, but being friggin’ awesome will always result in better more dynamic opportunities if you are open to them.

Being a dick means you may be able to sabotage someone and climb over them to the next rung on the ladder. Being awesome means that when a whole new department opens up and they need to staff it that someone will likely speak up and say “Joe Awesome is a great team member, let’s put him on project amazing”

Good point, I tend to choose the less traveled "awesome and amazing" path so I see jerks being weeded out or pruned severely while the awesome folks I prefer to work with advance into more amazing awesomeness. If I was on the more conventional "climb the ladder at any cost" path I might see more jerks doing well.

Parizade

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 545
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #130 on: January 17, 2018, 12:41:33 PM »
You promote the jerk to get him out of your office or off your team. It happens all the time. That is how I had the worst boss ever. The other department even confessed to it.

Yes, I've seen that too. I'm sorry you had to deal with the fallout. I would say in today's climate it doesn't make financial sense for any organization to risk the legal complications inherent in allowing a jerk to create a hostile work environment.

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 434
  • Location: Running barefoot thru Idaho mountains
    • Black Sheep With Feet
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #131 on: January 17, 2018, 02:03:20 PM »
I did it without a college degree or trades training, so basically no out of pocket cost, here is how.

-Get an unpaid internship (foot in the door to the industry, did this in highschool)
-Ask to get hired on part time after 3 months of kicking butt and working hard
-Ask for a raise every 6 mo to a year
-Ask what you can do to get a bigger better raise next time(set goals)
-Deliver and get the raise
-Look for positions that offer high pay in your industry
-Figure out the skills required to get those jobs
-Use your current employment to train and build skills for those jobs, if not available switch jobs to where they are.(resume build)
-Move out of state if required but only for big increases in pay or to increase skills.
-Ask for raises, or seek out another position that comes with pay increase
-etc

Don't ever take a job just for the money, make sure you are learning skills that make you more valuable. Always have an eye on 5 years out and learn skills that increase your worth to an employer.

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1208
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #132 on: January 17, 2018, 02:28:29 PM »
My experience:
-Stared out right out of college at an average paying job with a stable employer right out of college, making $36K/year, in 1998.
-Put in 10 years with various promotions, and went back for an evening/weekend MBA. Employer paid about $10K of the out of pocket. Stayed at my employer for both that, and overall career stability.
-After MBA, transitioned to different types of roles at same company, for more money & more responsibility
-Left company after 18ish years for a move to the Bay Area (for husband's job). Secured a new job at approximately same salary, higher stock options.
-Have been with current company for 4.5 years, and have come close to doubling overall comp, through salary & stock.

Net/net:
-I stayed at my employers for a long period of time. This works well if you're a top performer, and you get stock options. The time/duration for stock matters a lot.
-Have always been in the top 5-10% of all employees. Depending on how you're comp'd, this makes all the difference.
-Work in a field with transferable skills, but highly specialized knowledge built over the last 10 years.
-20+ years in tech/management
-Live in a VHCOL

OurTown

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 927
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Tennessee
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #133 on: January 17, 2018, 02:48:02 PM »
There is some luck but there is also taking advantage of the situation when it arises.  If you let that lucky break pass you by, you are shit out of luck.

There is also complaining on the internet.  I don't know anyone who makes 100 grand doing that.

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1023
  • Location: Seattle
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #134 on: January 17, 2018, 02:52:51 PM »
I wouldn't say it takes luck. It does take being brave and being willing to seek out different employment, move your family, etc.
That can be hard.

I've moved a few times in my life and double my starting salary in 10 years. I got a 50k/yr raise to move to a HCOLA. It depends what you are willing to do and how much upward mobility you allow yourself to have. If you are stuck in the same city and state as you grew up in because of spouse, family, fear, whatever - you are missing out on a lot of opportunity.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7220
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #135 on: January 17, 2018, 02:54:04 PM »
Do not get a PhD, and then do not become a civil servant.

*adding myself to the list of underpaid people doing it wrong.

BTDretire

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2242
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #136 on: January 17, 2018, 03:28:52 PM »
I agree that it takes working hard, recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities, and some luck. I would add "don't be dick" because really no one likes to work with an asshole.

Then how are so many of them employed making 100k? ;)

It's not impossible for unpleasant people to earn a good salary, but consider this:
You are in a position to give someone in your department a  promotion
You have 2 equally qualified and competent candidates
One of the candidates is obnoxious and causes problems on every team he is assigned to
The other candidate builds strong team relationships wherever he goes.
Which one will you promote?

You promote the jerk to get him out of your office or off your team. It happens all the time. That is how I had the worst boss ever. The other department even confessed to it.

 When my kids were young there was an elementary class teacher that was terrible, the school put up with her until they had the chance to give a glowing reference letter to another local school, that then hired her. It was a subject of much joking among the teachers for a time after that.
 As in, be careful or you'll get a glowing reference letter! :-)

Parizade

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 545
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #137 on: January 17, 2018, 03:49:13 PM »
There is some luck but there is also taking advantage of the situation when it arises.  If you let that lucky break pass you by, you are shit out of luck.

There is also complaining on the internet.  I don't know anyone who makes 100 grand doing that.

Yes, the ability to recognize luck when it comes your way a skill worth cultivating. I remember having a conversation with an old friend once and talking about how lucky I've been in my life. He paused before answering, then stated matter-of-factly "um, I've known you a long time and I can honestly say you've had more bad luck than almost anyone I know. You just never let it stop you."

He was right of course, I simply don't dwell on misfortune. I focus on the good fortune and build around it.

NoraLenderbee

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1251
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #138 on: January 17, 2018, 04:06:49 PM »
My degree is in Scientific and Technical Communication, but I currently create business documentation. I work from home, make over 100k/yr with 6+ weeks vacation, and live in a LCOL town. It's a very sweet gig.

Mind if I ask what “business documentation” consists of? I’m a technical writer in a HCOL area, and it’s OK for now. But for the future, I’d like to work remotely from a less HCOL without taking a huge cut in salary and benefits. I’d love to ask you more about what you do, if that’s OK.

I'm also curious about this. 

Sure it's okay.  I'm currently working for a Fortune 5 company helping business people document their business processes and associated business policies. I started as a technical writer and gradually took on more business writing as opportunities presented themselves. Then I moved into business analysis, another writing job that straddles the communication gap between IT folks and business folks. That's where I learned to document business processes and people seem to like how I do it so that's mostly what I do now. I need to quote Malkynn here

Being awesome means that when a whole new department opens up and they need to staff it that someone will likely speak up and say “Joe Awesome is a great team member, let’s put him on project amazing”

Because that's how I got my current position on an awesome new team documenting "project amazing"

Here's a good article about business analysis that might interest you. They don't mention technical writing as a career path to business analysis but it certainly worked well for me.
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/040915/what-business-analyst-and-how-much-do-they-make.asp

Thank you, @Parizade ! That sounds really interesting, including the way you worked yourself into it. I'm good at documenting processes, so this sounds worth pursuing.

2Birds1Stone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4424
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #139 on: January 17, 2018, 04:13:38 PM »
Sales

If you want the simplest (but rarely easiest) entry point into the six figure world, learn how to sell.

I would wager my left testicle that the average income for the top 25% of direct B2B sales team members for the fortune 2000 is north of $200k/yr. With the top 10% pulling in north of $500k/yr.


brute

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #140 on: January 17, 2018, 04:31:06 PM »
Sales

If you want the simplest (but rarely easiest) entry point into the six figure world, learn how to sell.

I would wager my left testicle that the average income for the top 25% of direct B2B sales team members for the fortune 2000 is north of $200k/yr. With the top 10% pulling in north of $500k/yr.

Truth. I've known a few folks taking in ~$25MM a year in sales.

2Birds1Stone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4424
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #141 on: January 17, 2018, 04:57:34 PM »
Sales

If you want the simplest (but rarely easiest) entry point into the six figure world, learn how to sell.

I would wager my left testicle that the average income for the top 25% of direct B2B sales team members for the fortune 2000 is north of $200k/yr. With the top 10% pulling in north of $500k/yr.

Truth. I've known a few folks taking in ~$25MM a year in sales.
Income or revenue they bring to the business? If income, that's insane. Our top guys make $1m/year

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk


Parizade

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 545
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #142 on: January 17, 2018, 05:03:49 PM »
Thank you, @Parizade ! That sounds really interesting, including the way you worked yourself into it. I'm good at documenting processes, so this sounds worth pursuing.

You're welcome Nora, I hope it works out for you!

NoVa

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #143 on: January 17, 2018, 06:36:42 PM »
Helpdesk person>take tests, get certified>System Administrator>get better certs>gain experience>$100k.
If you are in the DC area or want to work on government contracts, get a security clearance.

fiStressRelief

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 31
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #144 on: January 17, 2018, 06:56:36 PM »
I write software (think websites) and made a little over $200,000 last year. I do it by contracting, billing per hour, and loading up on as much work as possible.

Early on in my career I went from...
35k for 3 months
42k for 7 months
55k for 6 months- raised to 65k for 3 months
98k for 6 months - started consulting
160k
152k
Then it stayed up there in that range. Occasionally bumping over 200k

Job hopping is the absolute gold mine, at least in engineering. I had a senior level job around 2 to 3 years from my first job (but only 6 months out of college because I was hired as a freshman for full time software development)

I find that I am naturally good at it. So not all will see the same results.
If you don't mind me asking, what kind of website work and what kind of hourly rate?

I'm thinking about trying to expand my contracting side hustle this year.

I do a lot of .NET, though lately its all been moving to JS frameworks like AngularJS I work full time at this, but side gigs are around (though less supply)

Rates are generally >$60/H (maybe over $100 in certain cases)
Thanks for the details.  My side hustle has been .net for $85hr mostly for a single company.  I am going to try to ramp up hours this year to increase the 1099 income an take advantage of the favorable tax treatment.  For me, adding the side hustle hours is more effective then working harder at day job or job hopping at this point in my career.

anisotropy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 577
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #145 on: January 17, 2018, 07:33:24 PM »
I made the bulk of my salary in Oil. Started out offshore some countries that made the "s**thole" list decreed by the GodEmperortm. Note: I do not agree with his classification scheme.

It was right after the recession, pay was crap to begin with but rose quite a bit by the time I left field behind for an office job.

To put it to scale in a very convoluted manner: At the time, an oilman's salary was a few multiples of the country's personal median income, my offshore compensation was a few multiple of an oilman's salary.
12-16 hour days, 6 weeks rotations, extremely unreliable internet, sharing a room with people. Extreme heat/humidity, loud noises at all times except in sleeping quarters (sometimes even in sleeping quarters), class 4 swell and sea state every other day with occasional class 6.

I left for an office job after about a year and took a ~70% pay cut (ie, I was making an average oilman's salary). Luckily, oil went to 100 and stayed there for multiple years. By 2014, a new hire with MSc was making around 90k, and bonuses were quite generous. I was involved with some bigger projects and my bonus was almost 100% of my salary.

Same story with wife, she started her last job with over 80k in salary (bonus extra) back in 2010, by 2014 she was making close to what I was making when I was offshore. It was a crazy time and it did not last, but could come back, who knows.

Our office job? We looked at computer screens to identify prospects to drill for oil (not unlike technical analysis using charts), but most days we just pressed buttons to make pretty displays (seismic).

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3058
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #146 on: January 17, 2018, 07:47:51 PM »
OK but which careers are these?  I imagine doctor, law firm partner, people who work in finance?  What else?

Marketing and/or sales. If you are the person who brings in the money, you will get some of that money.

Acorns

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 83
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #147 on: January 17, 2018, 08:16:03 PM »
I thought of another way to make $100k/yr - start at the bottom and work your way up. I know a guy who is a regional VP for an international hotel chain making $200k+/yr (he is probably 36 y/o or so) who started out working the front desk for a local hotel while he was in college, then he switched over to management after getting his BA.

Northstar

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #148 on: January 17, 2018, 08:26:17 PM »
Depending on your mindset and risk tolerance, the path to making 100k+ isn’t in words like “career” and “salary” it’s in assets, and business, and profits- running a business isn’t for everyone but if you want to get to 100k quickly identify what sort of business you’d go all in on and focus 100% on that, you can make a great living doing anything there is no shortage of money to be made you just have to figure out how to make your share. Not saying working a job won’t get you there but working for your self is the fast tract and you can make it happen.

Tabaxus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 453
Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #149 on: January 17, 2018, 08:32:30 PM »
~$400k lawyer here.

Put me into the "what I have is 98% attributable to luck" way of thinking.