Author Topic: How do people make $100+ salary?  (Read 45919 times)

gerardc

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #150 on: January 17, 2018, 10:54:52 PM »
Started at 250k as a software engineer after a PhD, now 370k. Closing in on $1M savings after 3.5 years of work is great!

See "So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport.

Be willing to relocate (country, HCOL area) and/or put everything else on hold if necessary.

Luck factor:
I had the best opportunities when I took some time off during my PhD to step back, work on myself, get motivated, and figure things out. Once I had a clear path / vision, it became obvious what the next steps would be to get closer to my goal and stumble into more opportunities. You have to be like a lion hunter for a few years, always looking for an opportunity, jumping on it as soon as you see it, etc., and I'm talking intermediate steps, not just the final job. You'll figure it out as you go but it takes resources and focus. Of course you can say the hunter is lucky to stumble onto its prey but attitude changes everything. There ARE jobs/food everywhere -- up to you to find them. If you're born in the US and had the means to get an education, you got the luck part down already. If you're a 25 y.o. male in the US who can't stop jerking off yet is earning <100k, bad luck isn't your biggest problem.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 10:58:45 PM by gerardc »

SharkStomper

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #151 on: January 17, 2018, 11:03:29 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.

Change System Admin to Network Engineer and that's been my career for the last 10 years.  It's really that easy, especially if you're willing to move and job hop.

Nudelkopf

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #152 on: January 17, 2018, 11:35:02 PM »
OK but which careers are these?  I imagine doctor, law firm partner, people who work in finance?  What else?
My partner is manager in a warehouse, with a team of about 6 people.

As a teacher, after about 9years my pay scale will rach $100k (we start on $65k & goes up each year)

SnackDog

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #153 on: January 18, 2018, 03:31:29 AM »
If you don't mind living in Australia, miners get paid over $200k to drive trucks.  No education required.

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Roadrunner53

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #154 on: January 18, 2018, 05:37:31 AM »
A career field that seems to be a bit 'hidden' is Research and Development for food companies. I stumbled upon a job as a technician and stayed at that job with a major food company for 18 years. From day one they bumped up my hourly pay and each year the raises were significant and received 3 promotions over the years. I was an hourly employee and made a lot of money. Saved a lot too. They would fly me all over the place to do work and I would get double time on Sunday to fly from NY to CA! Didn't have to do a lick of work! Travel pay, can't beat that! There are a lot of careers within food companies. Food scientists, Project managers, Pilot lab supervisors, Engineers, Flavor scientists, Nutrition areas, Chemistry departments, Microbiology departments, FDA specialists, USDA specialists. You can start at the bottom and work up to a fantastic career. There is LOTS of money to be made. I learned so much and loved my job. Plus, every year we had summer interns which is another way to get your foot in the door. If they love you as an intern, there is a good chance they may hire you when you graduate college. There are a lot of food companies that are great to work for. Benefits are outstanding. It is constant learning because research and development requires learning new methods, new ingredients, new equipment, new techniques. The food industry is constantly changing with new trends and diet changes. Check it out.

coopdog

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #155 on: January 18, 2018, 06:01:12 AM »

See "So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport.


I second that recommendation.

ducky19

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #156 on: January 18, 2018, 06:25:15 AM »
I was a mid-career hire at a Fortune 50 company. Started at ~ $35k/year in 2005 and slowly worked my way up. They paid for me to go back to school and get my degree and I moved into supervision in 2013 and crossed the $100k/year threshold a couple of years ago.

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #157 on: January 18, 2018, 06:26:14 AM »
Garbage men and police officers in my home town make over $100k per year.

Edit: In fact, hereís an article from the newspaper on this from almosta decade ago. I assume the number of police paid over $100k has only increased.  https://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/most-li-cops-earn-more-than-100-000-annually-1.1451151

Edit 2: apparently itís not even strange for garbage men to make over $100k. Itís an unpleasant job and they have to pay a lot to attract people.
http://money.cnn.com/2016/02/24/news/economy/trash-workers-high-pay/index.html

« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 06:41:53 AM by MrUpwardlyMobile »
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asauer

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #158 on: January 18, 2018, 06:30:04 AM »
Well,
I can tell you from my experience how I got to 100k and how my husband did:
Me:
Undergraduate in Human Resource Management- worked as an HR Assistant the whole time and networked my ass off
Job search in an academic/ biotech area of the country: Landed as HR Generalist Making 25k
then, found that I loved the Training and Development aspect and I was reasonably good at it.
Interviewed for another Generalist job, talking about how much I loved training and they offered me a training job instead (35k)- worked there for 6 years while completing my Masters in Learning and Development.  Ended at 55k.
Changed industries to Pharma (look for growing industries)- salary jumped to 68k- worked for 2 years then jumped to another pharma as a manager (salary went to 75k)- worked there for 9 years always seeking opportunity to add value/ innovation- hit 100k with a promotion in my 5th year.  Has gone up from there and I've changed companies again since then.  Hoping this will be my last one until FIRE.

Husband:
Double majored in Undergrad- computer science/ computer engineering
started with a tech company at 50k- has worked for them as a very high performer for 15 years (of course through MANY) acquisitions.  It is tech afterall.  Is now at 145k.  Still an individual contributor but is near the top of the Technical Track where he's happy to stay.  He has no desire to manage people.

Roadrunner53

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #159 on: January 18, 2018, 06:32:33 AM »
Someone told me Walmart store managers make over $100K. Not sure if that is true or not but if so, it is a slap in the face of the 'little people' that barely make minimum wage. I have a friend who works at a WM and they were/are hiring an HR manager from within. No experience necessary! Can you imagine that? So anyone could apply and if the store manager likes you, you are given the job! I have only known HR managers to have college degrees! WM doesn't want to pay high wages so any dude will do!

soccerluvof4

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #160 on: January 18, 2018, 06:45:04 AM »
Easily can make well into 6 figures as a freight broker. High stress though and have to be able to take no for an answer and make tons of phone calls.
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

use2betrix

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #161 on: January 18, 2018, 06:58:21 AM »
I started out working on my tools in constructions. Over a couple years I got some certifications. I made 50-60k my first couple years, then continued to increase. The year I turned 26 I was at 120k, 27 at 190k, 28 at 240k. This past year at 29 I only made 80k, but I also only worked 4.5 months and traveled North America/abroad the rest of the time. December I started a new job and my take home is around $17k/mo.

I should note - I do contract work - so I work a job, then get laid off. I do typically get good benefits and a 401k. I also work a ton of hrs. In 2016 I had 900 hrs of overtime by mid November, then took the last 6 weeks off. Right now Iím alternating 72/82 hr work weeks. While Iím not that passionate about what I do, and in many aspects severely behind in a technical aspect (excel at some parts, suck at others) I make up for it in all the ďsofterĒ aspects of my career. I can write reports much better than most (in my industry) - I understand how all the systems work, great at problem solving and creating procedures to fix issues. Iím typically very good with working with people. Despite all my hrs I havenít had a sick day in about 7 years, and I do everything thatís asked and follow up. Iím also good with people when I need to be. I currently manage 20 others, most 15-20 years older than me. On previous jobs Iíve been promoted over my much, much older peers.

I think thereís far more to being successful than just intelligence. Just because youíre smart, if no one likes working with you, being around you, you might likely struggle unless youíre insanely good. Itís surprising how many people in the work place are just kind of miserable to be around.

brute

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #162 on: January 18, 2018, 08:28:45 AM »
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

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Roots&Wings

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #163 on: January 18, 2018, 08:31:09 AM »
I am in the KC metro area and just accepted a job offer for just shy of $100k and a potential 10% annual bonus.  I am assuming with just average raises over the next few years my base will touch that $100k level.

I have also been in my career field (environmental compliance) for over a decade, have a BS, working on an MS, and this was a huge jump for me (30+%).  I almost didn't even apply because I thought the job description was too much of an overreach for me.  Sometimes you just have to take a chance and reach a little higher than you think you are ready for and take on more responsibility.

Would you mind sharing more details about what type of environmental compliance? It's a huge field with widely varying salaries.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #164 on: January 18, 2018, 09:05:14 AM »
In my career field (commercial real estate appraisal) I could certainly make $100k and some of my co-workers do. However, it's 100% commission and based on how much you can bill. I've just never been able to crank out reports like some of my co-workers so I only make about $60k. I'm currently looking to change careers as I know that this is just no longer a good fit for me. I'm too focused on producing that A+ quality work every time even when B- would do 90% of the time. Consequently it takes me 30-40 hours to do what some of my co-workers can knock out in 20-25 hours.

I had some interest from a large accounting firm in the bay area a few years ago and the starting salary would have been about $100-110k but with the cost of living it would not have been worth it. 4-Bedroom house here is $1,200/month and I have a 30-minute commute. There it would probably be $4,000/month and an hour-commute, plus more going to local, state, and federal taxes.
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boarder42

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #165 on: January 18, 2018, 09:30:41 AM »
EE degree - hit 6 figures in base plus bonus this year been over 110k for a while with retirment contributions from my company - i will likely make over 160k in the next 2 years not counting retirment and will be over 200k in 4-5 years just in time to hang up the ties and jackets.

Roadrunner53

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #166 on: January 18, 2018, 09:39:06 AM »
Being a lineman for a utility company. I know a guy who worked there cradle to grave and made tons of money. Lots of OT and even traveled to different parts of the country to do work when devastating storms hit areas. I believe years ago when a hurricane hit Puerto Rico they sent his crew there and even transported their trucks.

MrsDinero

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #167 on: January 18, 2018, 10:38:30 AM »
Step 1) Identify a career where salaries that high are the norm.
Step 2) Become qualified for one of those careers.
Step 3) Profit.

I would also add:
Step 4) Work your ASS off!

Every job I ever had (from retail to cleaning toilets to my current IT job), I started each job on Day 1 with the goal to be indispensable and if not well liked at least well respected. 

I accomplished by volunteering for the crap shifts, projects, tasks, etc.  If it was something other people complained about and didn't want, I volunteered to take it on.  While doing it, I didn't complain, but also made sure I did it so well people took notice.  It wasn't long before I earned a strong reputation at being able to do and handle any task put before me.  While I was not always promoted (something I don't necessarily want), I have at times over the course of my career received bonuses upwards of $30k in a single quarter. My only regret was not discovering MMM during those times because I squandered that money.

Because of this I am held in high esteem within my company, even though I am not a manager.  I'm given nice bonuses & stock options (not $30k but it is a different company).  Best of all is the ability to pretty much set my own hours and work from home 100% of the time.  I also get a chance to collaborate with some of the best brains in my company. 
~~Mrs. D.

Acastus

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #168 on: January 18, 2018, 10:47:25 AM »
I am a material scientist and plastics engineer. Degrees are BS chemical engineer and MS plastics engineer. I have not entered the management ranks. Unlike many plastics engineers, I have worked with a wide variety of materials and several process methods. I am a technical generalist who can solve problems in a lot of different areas. I do not have the depth of knowledge of a PhD, but their expertise tends to be a lot narrower. You might need 10 of them to cover my breadth of knowledge. I just broke 6 figures a few years ago, and I feel average, or slightly below average, for someone with 30 years experience. My first real job paid $25k.

Roadrunner53

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #169 on: January 18, 2018, 11:00:31 AM »
I agree with MrsDinero! The best job I had I started as a temp. I did every crap job that no one liked to do. I didn't like it but I smiled doing the crap jobs! I would offer to do anything crappy. I am not a boot licker but it does show you are a team player and willing to work in the trenches and do the job well and not half ass. Be organized, be cheerful, work hard, do more than others and you will be recognized. I eventually was hired as a permanent employee and was given more and more responsibilities and no longer did the grunt work. Also, be willing to learn new things, take on new responsibilities, offer suggestions but don't be a know it all. One of the biggies, is make your boss look good at all times. His/her plate is very full. If you can do some things for them in the background, do it. Some bosses will reward you for this, others will take advantage. In the long run, you will be golden and everyone will see your efforts and request you do work for them. Eventually, you will move on to bigger and better things. One of my bosses who prior to being my boss kept leaving crap for me to clean up. I had an issue with her just doing work and expecting me to clean up after her. We all cleaned up after ourselves unless it was our boss then we cleaned up for them. She had a hissy fit and we were on a non talking status...Then, OMG, she became my supervisor! Well, we had a rocky start but I worked hard to please her and she appreciated that she could depend on me to do things without even asking me. Our relationship became golden. She has told me a ton of times how much she appreciated my efforts and she said I set the gold standard for others who followed after me when the company moved to another state. That meant a lot to me! Also, my words of wisdom are, be careful who you piss off because they might become your boss some day! LOL!

MissGina

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #170 on: January 18, 2018, 11:07:13 AM »
Personally Iím a CPA and work for the Feds in DC area. That automatically qualifies you for 6 figs after 3/4 years.

However in Baltimore, Principals in the City school system are making $125k to $150k plus! Assistants principals are in that range too!
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CSuzette

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #171 on: January 18, 2018, 11:08:56 AM »
30 year claims adjuster and I make closer to 150K than 100K. But I started in Seattle in a training program at 20K during the 1980s. I also made a big mistake and stayed there almost 15 years. To make more money I jumped ship and they moved me to the East Coast. I am really good at what I do :) and add value all day long.  I am very specialized and I just moved to an even more specialized job  at same company but a way to get another bump. Keep a positive attitude and ask for jobs with heavy lifting and the money will come. I was not interested in management but another way to make more.

sol

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #172 on: January 18, 2018, 11:10:52 AM »
All of these stories are very motivating.  Unfortunately they are motivating me to retire sooner, instead of work harder.

Lick that boot!  Get down in the trenches and get dirty!  Smile and volunteer for crap jobs!  Put in long hours with no expectation of reward!  Surely someone will eventually toss you some table scraps, right?

No thanks.  Do you want to cater to the king's whims to avoid having to eat rice and beans, or do you want to eat rice and beans to avoid having to cater the king's whims?  At some point, my dignity is worth more than your paycheck.

JetBlast

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #173 on: January 18, 2018, 11:17:11 AM »
I started taking flying lessons at age 15, went to college and taught others to fly for the grand sum of about $12k/yr between 22-24. My first airline job paid me $22,500 in 2005. They now start around $55-$60k as there is a shortage of guys. I had my first five figure (over $10k) month when I was 26 but income has fluctuated greatly as the recession hit me with a huge pay cut. Took another 60k pay hit in 2014, but income has recovered. Gross around $160k now with 16% DC 401k. Unless the bottom falls out should be around 200k in a couple years around 40 (wow that sounds old!!).

Nice thing is the schedule is easy and gets better over time.

Similar story for me. After college and all my ratings I instructed at a university flight program making ~$18-20k for two years, though the free health insurance was nice.

Made the jump to a regional airline and got stuck as a first officer for 8 years. Made about $27k my first year but had to jump to avoid a furlough I could see coming after a change in business strategy. New airline paid me about $23k my first year. That’s right when the economy tanked and the mandatory retirement age was moved from 60 to 65. Very little movement the next few years and my pay gradually crept up from $35k to $60k over the next six years.

Finally I got to upgrade to captain and in my first full year grossed $103k plus a 5% 401k match. Finally over $100,000!! Woohoo!  Then I got hired at one of the major airlines. First year I grossed about $80k with a 16% 401k contribution. I could have made more if I had lived near my base, but my initial base was almost completely across the country from where I live so picking up extra flying was difficult. In my second year now and I’ll probably gross ~$130k plus that 16% in my retirement. $150-160k next year is probable. I could make probably another $15k by bidding onto a larger aircraft but I’d have to work more weekends and holidays than staying on the shrimp of the fleet.

CSuzette

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #174 on: January 18, 2018, 11:26:19 AM »
When I lived in Seattle I knew a pilot that had ultimate seniority. He would fly to Asia - walk around for 3 hours and then fly back. He made boatloads of money and that got him his hours for the entire month. He was about 55 years at the time.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 12:00:57 PM by CSuzette »

vertkurt

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #175 on: January 18, 2018, 11:43:02 AM »
Colleague of mine, same cert and education, straight out of college got a job as a clinical lab scientist in a MCOL town in California. Have a microbiology BS then 1 year internship certification. It's not unheard of to get 150k out there based on recent indeed job postings. I'm considering moving now haha....

An example of the "lower" paid jobs. https://www.indeed.com/viewjob?jk=2b3de97221a4273f&from=tp-serp&tk=1c458pom15ukhbq4

JetBlast

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #176 on: January 18, 2018, 12:03:07 PM »
When I lived in Seattle I knew a pilot that had ultimate seniority. He would fly to Asia - walk around for 3 hours and then fly back. He made boatloads of money and that got him his hours for the entire month. He was about 55 years at the time.
Thereís still some cushy trips on the international wide body fleets but nothing like that. Most are gone around 12 days a month.

MrsDinero

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #177 on: January 18, 2018, 12:33:07 PM »
All of these stories are very motivating.  Unfortunately they are motivating me to retire sooner, instead of work harder.

Lick that boot!  Get down in the trenches and get dirty!  Smile and volunteer for crap jobs!  Put in long hours with no expectation of reward!  Surely someone will eventually toss you some table scraps, right?

No thanks.  Do you want to cater to the king's whims to avoid having to eat rice and beans, or do you want to eat rice and beans to avoid having to cater the king's whims?  At some point, my dignity is worth more than your paycheck.

I don't see how working hard is below your dignity? 

I have never been a boot licker and there have been times where I certainly was not well liked.  Despite that no one could ever say anything about my work ethic, which also translates into my personal life and integrity.But I have escaped many rounds of layoffs because the company didn't want to lose me.  I have gotten salary increases when I turned in my resignation letter.
~~Mrs. D.

Slow&Steady

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #178 on: January 18, 2018, 01:17:29 PM »
I am in the KC metro area and just accepted a job offer for just shy of $100k and a potential 10% annual bonus.  I am assuming with just average raises over the next few years my base will touch that $100k level.

I have also been in my career field (environmental compliance) for over a decade, have a BS, working on an MS, and this was a huge jump for me (30+%).  I almost didn't even apply because I thought the job description was too much of an overreach for me.  Sometimes you just have to take a chance and reach a little higher than you think you are ready for and take on more responsibility.

Would you mind sharing more details about what type of environmental compliance? It's a huge field with widely varying salaries.

I started out cleaning up highway and oil field releases, I went into consulting, then heavy manufacturing environmental compliance.  The new shiny job is at the corporate level providing support to a couple different facilities.  I basically make sure that the company I am working for is complying with all of their environmental permits and any regulations that apply to them, along with keeping an eye out for new/proposed regulations. 

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #179 on: January 18, 2018, 01:25:35 PM »
All of these stories are very motivating.  Unfortunately they are motivating me to retire sooner, instead of work harder.

Lick that boot!  Get down in the trenches and get dirty!  Smile and volunteer for crap jobs!  Put in long hours with no expectation of reward!  Surely someone will eventually toss you some table scraps, right?

No thanks.  Do you want to cater to the king's whims to avoid having to eat rice and beans, or do you want to eat rice and beans to avoid having to cater the king's whims?  At some point, my dignity is worth more than your paycheck.

Nothing wrong with that want. The idea is to get your salary up so you can accelerate FIRE. Weíre just sharing what weíve done in that regard. I deal with some politics, but never have licked anyoneís boots. Only time I feel I sacrificed my dignity was when I went from a $110k job to a $80k job because that job was going to put me in an environment that I knew would progress my career (and it did, while I managed to increase it to $120k in 3 months).

sol

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #180 on: January 18, 2018, 02:12:12 PM »
Nothing wrong with that want. The idea is to get your salary up so you can accelerate FIRE. Weíre just sharing what weíve done in that regard.

I didn't mean to denigrate anyone's hard earned success.  I've been there.

It's just that at this point in my career, so near the end, the idea of taking on additional suffering to get more money seems antithetical to my long term goals.  I can barely hold it together in my boring office job, not sure I could smile while taking on other people's crapwork anymore.

The advice here is sound, for an enthusiastic young employee Iooking to climb the ladder.  That's just not me, these days.  I am tired and jaded by office life, and disillusioned with managers that care more about perception than production.  The politics blows.  Even aspirational organizations have internal decay.

mm1970

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #181 on: January 18, 2018, 02:16:37 PM »
You could join the military.  With BAH most of my friends (15ish years in, officers) are clearing $100K now. Even more when they get deployed especially the pilots.

My husband left the air force, and we'd have a lot more money if he hadn't. Oh well, money isn't everything.
Had I stayed in the Navy, or even transitioned to civilian at my organization, I'd be making $30-50k more a year than I am now.

Then again, if I were paid the median for my job at my level of experience, the same would be true.

mm1970

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #182 on: January 18, 2018, 02:25:02 PM »
All of these stories are very motivating.  Unfortunately they are motivating me to retire sooner, instead of work harder.

Lick that boot!  Get down in the trenches and get dirty!  Smile and volunteer for crap jobs!  Put in long hours with no expectation of reward!  Surely someone will eventually toss you some table scraps, right?

No thanks.  Do you want to cater to the king's whims to avoid having to eat rice and beans, or do you want to eat rice and beans to avoid having to cater the king's whims?  At some point, my dignity is worth more than your paycheck.
I relate to this as I just got a "promotion" without a pay raise, for a position where I am already underpaid by over 30%.  A few folks (VPs, directors) "This is such a great opportunity!  Much more visibility!  Working for the President!"

Sure.  Yeah.  More work.  Still have to do old job too until new guy up to speed.  Even then they took 4 positions and now have 3 people.  I'm supposed to bust my ass even more for no raise?  Last raise was 6 years ago.

My spouse and I used to be pretty close to each other in pay.  He's 2 years older with an extra degree.  He now makes almost $60k more than I do.  Eff this.

Eucalyptus

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #183 on: January 18, 2018, 02:38:12 PM »
My father and younger brother are both electricians. Brother just turned 30. Both started apprenticeships as soon as they finish school. They'd complain as first and second year apprentices that their wages weren't that high, but they were earning about the same as a PhD student stipend; plenty for a kid living at home anyway.


My brother was on $100k as soon as his four years of apprenticeship were up.


Both are on $130k-$160k per year. They could earn more if they worked overtime or looked for higher paying jobs, eg Minesite FIFO.


Of course their superannuation payments are also stellar. In Aus the minimum employer contribution is currently 9.5%. So if you earn more, you super more...


Meanwhile, I now earn a little over half what my brother does, working for a University, the leading expert in my field. Oh well.

JLee

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #184 on: January 18, 2018, 03:05:01 PM »
All of these stories are very motivating.  Unfortunately they are motivating me to retire sooner, instead of work harder.

Lick that boot!  Get down in the trenches and get dirty!  Smile and volunteer for crap jobs!  Put in long hours with no expectation of reward!  Surely someone will eventually toss you some table scraps, right?

No thanks.  Do you want to cater to the king's whims to avoid having to eat rice and beans, or do you want to eat rice and beans to avoid having to cater the king's whims?  At some point, my dignity is worth more than your paycheck.
I relate to this as I just got a "promotion" without a pay raise, for a position where I am already underpaid by over 30%.  A few folks (VPs, directors) "This is such a great opportunity!  Much more visibility!  Working for the President!"

Sure.  Yeah.  More work.  Still have to do old job too until new guy up to speed.  Even then they took 4 positions and now have 3 people.  I'm supposed to bust my ass even more for no raise?  Last raise was 6 years ago.

My spouse and I used to be pretty close to each other in pay.  He's 2 years older with an extra degree.  He now makes almost $60k more than I do.  Eff this.

Yep. That's when you take the resume you've built at your current job and go elsewhere for a ridiculous raise.

I was significantly underpaid at my last company and quit. It's better now. :)

LawBookstore

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #185 on: January 18, 2018, 03:17:39 PM »
I don't quite make $100k, but expect to within the next few years. I'm in higher ed admin (think program manager, etc. for large top-ranked universities) in HCOL. I'm a handful of years out from college and these positions don't require any special degree or anything--just really good organization and communication skills.

dustinst22

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #186 on: January 18, 2018, 03:47:01 PM »
I didn't finish college.

The keys for me were:

1) Network and surround yourself with successful people in whatever field you're looking to get into (imo the most important factor)

2) Get a job somewhere that you will have the ability to gain marketable skills

3) Be on the lookout for either moving up, or moving to a better opportunity in another company.  In my case, I was getting offers of 2X what I was currently earning, and my employer would then counter to keep me.  If you have gained marketable skills, they will want to keep you especially if you're getting offers from competitors.

This is what I did, and it led me from starting at ~ 80 K in total compensation in 2012, to ~ 150 K in 2014, to now 1M+/year with my own business.  The 3 factors above were the sole contributors.  The business required a good partner (see 1.)  It also required specific skills (see 2).
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 03:56:07 PM by dustinst22 »

Roadrunner53

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #187 on: January 18, 2018, 04:01:48 PM »
Sol, I am not trying to say to bow to the man or lick their boots. When I got that job I was around 34 years old with no college education in a very technical environment. I had to go the extra mile to prove that I was worthy and to get a full time position. Many educated people look down on those who have no degree.  I do think in some instances I outshined some with degrees. I do not put those down who have degrees and if things were different I kind of wish I did have a degree because I could have excelled extremely well. But, I did the best I could and in the end I was making mid $60K and cranked up my 401K big time. The company treated me very well and my severance package was 6 months full salary and 3 more months half salary. I was able to save 22% of my salary in 401K and worked there 18 years. It took a while to build up to 22% but each year I cranked it up when I got a raise.

dustinst22

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #188 on: January 18, 2018, 04:05:00 PM »
Do you want to cater to the king's whims to avoid having to eat rice and beans, or do you want to eat rice and beans to avoid having to cater the king's whims?  At some point, my dignity is worth more than your paycheck.

The main reason I love working for myself.  Much better income and I become the king.

Off the Wheel

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #189 on: January 18, 2018, 08:01:10 PM »
All of these stories are very motivating.  Unfortunately they are motivating me to retire sooner, instead of work harder.

Lick that boot!  Get down in the trenches and get dirty!  Smile and volunteer for crap jobs!  Put in long hours with no expectation of reward!  Surely someone will eventually toss you some table scraps, right?

No thanks.  Do you want to cater to the king's whims to avoid having to eat rice and beans, or do you want to eat rice and beans to avoid having to cater the king's whims?  At some point, my dignity is worth more than your paycheck.
I relate to this as I just got a "promotion" without a pay raise, for a position where I am already underpaid by over 30%.  A few folks (VPs, directors) "This is such a great opportunity!  Much more visibility!  Working for the President!"

Sure.  Yeah.  More work.  Still have to do old job too until new guy up to speed.  Even then they took 4 positions and now have 3 people.  I'm supposed to bust my ass even more for no raise?  Last raise was 6 years ago.

My spouse and I used to be pretty close to each other in pay.  He's 2 years older with an extra degree.  He now makes almost $60k more than I do.  Eff this.

Yep. That's when you take the resume you've built at your current job and go elsewhere for a ridiculous raise.

I was significantly underpaid at my last company and quit. It's better now. :)

Exactly this!

In my career, I take on the responsibility (and ideally the job title) even without the raise, do it for a reasonable amount of time (3 months to a year) and then go somewhere else to start at that new level of responsibility and pay. It is so much easier to get serious bumps when you change jobs early in your career.

My specific path went like:

22: Coordinator @ $30K
23-25: Associate @ $42K
26-28: Specialist @ $54K to (promotion) Manager at $70K to (relocation) Director at $99K
29+: $100K+ as heads of departments at various companies.

Now that I'm at a position where I'm comfortable with my salary, I've made choices that aren't as directly tied to salary (ie picking a lower base and more equity, or choosing to stick in a more interesting industry rather than chasing a $20K bump.)

TomTX

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #190 on: January 19, 2018, 06:17:31 AM »
Someone told me Walmart store managers make over $100K. Not sure if that is true or not but if so, it is a slap in the face of the 'little people' that barely make minimum wage. I have a friend who works at a WM and they were/are hiring an HR manager from within. No experience necessary! Can you imagine that? So anyone could apply and if the store manager likes you, you are given the job! I have only known HR managers to have college degrees! WM doesn't want to pay high wages so any dude will do!

Overall WM store manager making over $100k is quite reasonable, if not low. Figure $50MM in revenue per year for a store, ~200 employees, ~25 lower level supervisors to oversee... Doesn't sound like enough.
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TomTX

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #191 on: January 19, 2018, 06:27:12 AM »
Other people I know who make the same (or more) are: Ph.D scientists working in industry (not sure how research compares),

PhD in academia (ie tenure) is NOT an easy or well-compensated track. Spend 5 years getting a PhD, several years as a post-doc, then most get stuck at adjunct. Even if you make it onto a tenure track, the compensation isn't great compared to industry.
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big_slacker

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #192 on: January 19, 2018, 06:57:04 AM »
All of these stories are very motivating.  Unfortunately they are motivating me to retire sooner, instead of work harder.

Lick that boot!  Get down in the trenches and get dirty!  Smile and volunteer for crap jobs!  Put in long hours with no expectation of reward!  Surely someone will eventually toss you some table scraps, right?

No thanks.  Do you want to cater to the king's whims to avoid having to eat rice and beans, or do you want to eat rice and beans to avoid having to cater the king's whims?  At some point, my dignity is worth more than your paycheck.

I'm sitting in bed right now taking a break from finishing up the week's work. Normally I'd do my 9am meeting on the way up to go snowboarding but my old man back has been acting up so I'll probably just migrate to the desk for that meeting and then ride my cushy beach cruiser to the pool for a swim. Supposed to be powder dumps all next week so I'll go whatever day works. :D

I didn't take shit jobs coming up, I took interesting specialized jobs that mentally lazier people were afraid to tackle because they usually required learning something. I love learning things. I never licked boots either, I offer enthusiasm and work ethic which are GOOD things. I never sat around hoping for scraps, I looked for opportunities and took them, if I wasn't valued I went somewhere else. And it has paid off with a great lifestyle and pretty amazing pay rate that will allow me to check out of this work thing a lot sooner than most.

Sorry about your cynicism, sounds like you might have done better self employed. Hope you get to check out soon and are happier for it.

BTW-Others mentioned the book 'So good they can't ignore you' and I echo that as well as Tim Ferris' 'The 4-hour workweek'.  Both good mindset books even if 4hww is somewhat dated.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 06:59:27 AM by big_slacker »

jlcnuke

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #193 on: January 19, 2018, 07:14:45 AM »
You could join the military.  With BAH most of my friends (15ish years in, officers) are clearing $100K now. Even more when they get deployed especially the pilots.

My husband left the air force, and we'd have a lot more money if he hadn't. Oh well, money isn't everything.
Had I stayed in the Navy, or even transitioned to civilian at my organization, I'd be making $30-50k more a year than I am now.

Then again, if I were paid the median for my job at my level of experience, the same would be true.

Within 2 years of getting out of the Navy (E-6 then) I was over $100k without a degree. I could be making much more if I was willing to move again to change companies (little upward mobility available here) but I'm not willing to do that right now.
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undercover

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #194 on: January 19, 2018, 07:47:49 AM »
All of these stories are very motivating.  Unfortunately they are motivating me to retire sooner, instead of work harder.

Lick that boot!  Get down in the trenches and get dirty!  Smile and volunteer for crap jobs!  Put in long hours with no expectation of reward!  Surely someone will eventually toss you some table scraps, right?

No thanks.  Do you want to cater to the king's whims to avoid having to eat rice and beans, or do you want to eat rice and beans to avoid having to cater the king's whims?  At some point, my dignity is worth more than your paycheck.

In a lot of ways I think this site will make you lazy if you're not already at the six figure level. The resident guru quit at 30 and has made significantly more money since quitting than he ever did while working. Doesn't exactly motivate me to work harder and longer - it motivates me to work more efficiently and quit sooner! The site is all about maximizing efficiency which at some point makes you realize that you can avoid making $50/hr if you avoid a lifestyle that would require such a salary.

Finding the motivation to kiss a bunch of asses to get to that point just isn't there when you realize that your compatriots are not competing for the same jobs to retire but to afford expensive things and gain prestige. This site is also generally a self-selecting group of introspective people more focused on the internal than external who are constantly surrounded by people solely focused on the aforementioned trivialities (to us): prestige, achievement, materials. If your goal is to retire or just avoid bullshit work then your tolerance for bullshit is very low and you just don't have the same mindset as someone who is oblivious to all of this.

I started becoming extremely lazy once I hit a decent level of "security". When I know I'm never going to want an expensive lifestyle, I'm both not in a rush to get anywhere fast and not motivated to climb a stupid unnecessary career ladder.

Regarding luck/hard work: the notion of free will is laughable. Your whole life is determined the moment you're born: IQ, physical appearance, parents, mental stability, physical capabilities, personality, surrounding environment, etc. All of those play a significant factor in what you're capable of and all of those are things you don't choose. Obviously attitude makes a difference but even your attitude is beyond your control since your attitude about life has everything to do with your environment and the aforementioned qualities. But, the good news I guess is that I think nearly everyone is far more capable than they think they are.
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MrsDinero

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #195 on: January 19, 2018, 07:49:34 AM »

Exactly this!

In my career, I take on the responsibility (and ideally the job title) even without the raise, do it for a reasonable amount of time (3 months to a year) and then go somewhere else to start at that new level of responsibility and pay. It is so much easier to get serious bumps when you change jobs early in your career.

My specific path went like:

22: Coordinator @ $30K
23-25: Associate @ $42K
26-28: Specialist @ $54K to (promotion) Manager at $70K to (relocation) Director at $99K
29+: $100K+ as heads of departments at various companies.

Now that I'm at a position where I'm comfortable with my salary, I've made choices that aren't as directly tied to salary (ie picking a lower base and more equity, or choosing to stick in a more interesting industry rather than chasing a $20K bump.)

I'll chime in with my progression- I was also a single mom mostly without child support from age 20-33:

Age 17-23:  Less than $25k (Military + 3 side jobs: retail, janitor, furniture mover)  <---This is a long and involved story.

Age 23-29: I went to work for an IT consulting firm and my salary started at $65k and ended at $77k.  I survived 5 rounds of layoffs, before I decided the consulting firm was sinking and left.  I had a mentor who got out of the military before me.   She worked with me on my negotiation skills.  They originally offered me $40k.  With her help I got them to $65k.

Age 29-31:  I worked as a contractor at a financial firm making around $115k.

Age 31-35: $85-99k.  I accepted an offer of full time at the financial firm.  I did this because they were reducing their contract staff and there were projects starting that would be great experience on my resume.  At age 34 they started laying off people.  I survived 4 rounds and then the last round, the annihilated the entire department (500 people).

Age 35-41 (present): $115k-$126k:  Software Consultant. Love my job and the company I work for.  I've moved around a couple of times within the company and traveled a LOT!  Now work from home 100%.
~~Mrs. D.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #196 on: January 19, 2018, 08:14:56 AM »
It's really encouraging to see the wide spread of career choices that have enabled people to out-earn the average American worker. Everyone thinks of doctors, lawyers, bankers, and engineers when they think of 100K+ salaries, but in many cases, it's simply a matter of choosing a career path that suits your own strengths, being flexible with job opportunities and locations, and being reasonably competent at your job. Some good ol' fashioned dumb luck and social connections are helpful as well (I have benefitted from all of the above).

I'm a forester. I did not go to forestry school because I thought I would end up earning $100K+. I just went because I enjoyed it. Turns out, there is tremendous demand for foresters who excel in mathematics/statistics and/or have experience in computer programming. Forestry is big business, and wherever there are large sums of money changing hands, there are people who are willing to pay good salaries to competent employees. I lucked into a job as an analyst with a big timber company (a job that I was not qualified for) a few years ago, simply because the job had been open for so long and there weren't any qualified candidates, and I had the gall to apply and was able to convince them that I could learn. They provided a juicy salary bump and on-the-job training. A couple years later, I moved into a senior analyst role at another company, with another nice salary bump. Et voila, suddenly I'm over $100K.

There are other roles in my industry (or any other industry) that offer similar or better salaries, but my interests/skill sets/disposition are simply not appropriate for those roles: procurement/sales, logistics, and management all affect the bottom line to such a degree that they command good wages. My older brother works for an auto parts distributor and makes >$100K as a logistics manager. My younger brother has a degree in agriculture and probably makes closer to $200K as a chemical sales rep. None of us has stereotypical "high-earning" degrees, but we all eventually made it into a career path that suits our own personal strengths, which I think is the most important key.

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jpompo

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #197 on: January 19, 2018, 09:21:07 AM »
In my career field (commercial real estate appraisal) I could certainly make $100k and some of my co-workers do. However, it's 100% commission and based on how much you can bill. I've just never been able to crank out reports like some of my co-workers so I only make about $60k. I'm currently looking to change careers as I know that this is just no longer a good fit for me. I'm too focused on producing that A+ quality work every time even when B- would do 90% of the time. Consequently it takes me 30-40 hours to do what some of my co-workers can knock out in 20-25 hours.

I work in commercial real estate as well, and I don't know how appraisers really make money at all. The cost of appraisals has just been beaten down too far, I know a lot of it is boilerplate but good god it's a lot of work for little money.

I have found the right place for me, insurance company lending provides a good income, good work/life balance, and stability that other sides of the business simply don't. Could I join a mortgage banking company, go commission based and make 4x what I do here? Sure. Would it add 10x the stress? definitely.

IllusionNW

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #198 on: January 19, 2018, 09:45:01 AM »
I think that entry level BigLaw salaries in major cities is about $180k.  And their bonus structure it very generous.  That said, you have to put in three years at law school (and pay tuition for that).  And generally, to get a BigLaw position, you need to go to a top school or graduate at the top of your class in a non-top school.  Also, it's soul sucking.  So you really need to love the law to do it.

sol

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Re: How do people make $100+ salary?
« Reply #199 on: January 19, 2018, 10:21:07 AM »
you need to go to a top school or graduate at the top of your class in a non-top school.  Also, it's soul sucking.  So you really need to love the law to do it.

It's not just law.  In my experience, our very top graduates in every field get pulled into soul sucking jobs that eventually teach them to hate the very thing they loved enough to become a top graduate.  Competition is fierce at the top.

That's the nature of our modern capitalist labor market, though.  If you're going to work for somebody else, they will incentive you work as hard as possible.  Because of overhead and insurance costs, it's more cost effective to pay one person to do the work of three than it is to pay three people to each work a casual 40.