The Patent Office is an ideal place to work for engineers looking to start a side gig. I went to law school instead (poor choice maybe, but I wasn’t reading your blog back then). Depending on the economy, the Patent Office pays for law school as well. They didn’t pay when I was there during the recession, but because the salary is good I was able to go to a top IP law school (George Washington) with only $30k in loans, which I paid off within a year of graduating.
Just a quick note on the consulting firms you listed. Although the Big 3 are obvious to include in the list, I would certainly remove Booz Allen Hamilton, and even Arthur D. Little. Booz Allen is notorious for under-paying, especially when compared to much better firms. Booz Allen is also primarily a Federal contractor with very limited commercial work (granted their non-compete with Booz & Co. [now Strategy&] is over) – commercial strategy/ management consulting out-pays Federal counterparts.

Families also face modest increases in the cost of health insurance. The Kaiser Family Foundation, which tracks the costs of health insurance, found in 2014 that average annual premiums for employer-sponsored health coverage increased 3 percent to $16,834. Workers on average paid $4,823 annually toward the cost of coverage. Premiums increased by 26 percent over the past five years, slower than the preceding five years, which saw costs grow 34 percent.


Several years ago when I started out try to make money online I chose a weight-loss product, built a pretty crappy site with WordPress, fashioned a ‘giveaway’ and an email series and linked it up to Aweber. I wrote several articles and submitted them to various directories then one day I was signing in to my AOL account when I saw an article on the Huffington Post about dieting. I wrote a comment along with a link to my website and pretty much forgot about it. The following day I was absolutely astounded to see that I had got 300 people signing up on my list. Over the week about 15% unsubscribed-probably as my email series was bobbins but by the last email contained a link to the product of which 17 people bought. As the commission was £42 (about $63 in those days) I made £714/$1071 with a crappy site, a crappy email series and a crappy comment. I (stupidly) have never done anything with it since-can you believe that? Anyway that site is still there and continues to make the occasional sale.

Most of the information on this site is free for you to read, watch or listen to, but The Creative Penn is also a business and my livelihood. So please expect hyperlinks to be affiliate links in many cases, when I receive a small percentage of sales if you wish to purchase. I only recommend tools, books and services that I either use or people I know personally. Integrity and authenticity continue to be of the highest importance to me. Read the privacy policy here. I hope you find the site useful! Thanks - Joanna
Nice post John and great to see your stuff here on FS! I have a similar path as the one you described just for biomedical engineering. I’m not making six figures yet but hope to be soon within the next few years and would like to ultimately end up in more leadership/management roles. I think the engineer path is a great one but for people who don’t like the route you described I think plenty of routes through healthcare, finance, and of course the professional schools are great to go through as well.
Although it’s an attractive way to make six figures, it’s extremely difficult. It’s obviously possible, and saying that, doesn’t compromise your article’s point. However, I think you should have stressed the blood, sweat, and tears that people put forth to go through those programs and not advertise it as a, “Hey, almost anyone can get into one of these top fifteen schools and make $240,000/yr. after two years of employment” in such a nonchalant manner (oh, and the 70-80 hour weeks).
in terms of pay, sure, eventually you’ll make $100k at Booz Allen, but you’ll reach that number much sooner at other firms. Booz Allen pays $50-60k to Consultants fresh out of undergrad. Year over year raises are insignificant (they cap at 3%, unless your Principal/Senior Associate goes to bat for you on market rate adjustment). Promotion raises are also nowhere near market rate. Additionally, levels below Senior Associate do not receive a performance bonus. You will likely not reach $100k at Booz Allen until 2nd Associate (see below levels).
First, much of that income came from the initial hype that surrounded the product. Once people started trying the products and reviews came out, sales would have dropped considerably. That’s largely because the reviews often aren’t positive and the products don’t tend to live up to the hype. I can see my own traffic stats from reviews, and after launch, product interest dies out considerably and never returns. Can you expect to make sales from these year-old products?
While no one is asking us to starve (we’re not artists, for Pete’s sake), popular culture seems to support the notion that teachers can and should live on meager earnings. Take Matilda. You know, the Roald Dahl book you haven’t read since third grade. The teacher in the book who Matilda absolutely loves spends her days eating bread and butter because of her pittance of a salary. It’s a heartwarming tale of dedication.

I’m not a teacher. So what? While you may think side hustling is a no brainer, I’m not sure that’s the first course of action I would take if I were following another career path. Many careers not only reward performance with raises and bonuses, they also let you negotiate your salary. While I know not every negotiation is a success, I also know that none of them are if they don’t happen. If you find yourself feeling stuck at work, though, then it might be time to pursue a passion project that allows you to capitalize on a talent or an interest while still paying you a reasonable amount for your time. Basically, don’t give your time away for nothing or next to nothing.
Overall, the term affluent may be applied to a variety of individuals, households, or other entities, depending on context. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau serves as the main guideline for defining affluence. U.S. government data not only reveal the nation's income distribution but also the demographic characteristics of those to whom the term "affluent", may be applied.[11]
Once you’re financially stable, I hope you start giving back. It feels good and people like the idea of supporting a good cause (they will be more likely to click your affiliate link in your disclaimer). This also means you don’t have to use as many links in your content and risk getting a penalized. Last year I donated $3,000 to Red Cross At Hurricane Harvey.
I have never struggled with grades. Foolishly, as a high school senior at the top of my class, I chose a small private liberal arts school to attend for undergraduate studies. Even worse, I majored in the humanities, and obtained a Bachelors in Social Work / minor in Spanish. Since a masters takes only one year if you have your BSW, I obtained my MSW directly after graduating.

Also, things cost more. Stuff like housing, transportation, or food will take more out of your paycheck every month than they used to. The mere cost of Thanksgiving Dinner has risen thanks to the increase in the cost of turkey and pumpkin pie mix. College costs more (and so do student loans), so many are starting out in the workforce already in debt.
While White households are always near the national median due to Whites being by far the most prevalent racial demographic, the percentages of minority households with incomes exceeding $100,000 strayed considerably from their percentage of the overall population: Asian Americans, who represent the smallest surveyed racial demographic in the overall population, were the found to be the prevalent minority among six figure income households.
How to Get This Job: The American Society of Anesthesiologists recommends beginning preparations for your career as early as high school, by taking advanced classes in biology and chemistry and volunteering in hospital settings. Anesthesiologists must complete four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of internship, and three to four years of residency. Many opt for an additional fellowship year to train in a subspecialty like pain management, cardiac anesthesiology, or critical care medicine.

I think it can be hard, although not as hard as it’s sometimes made out to be. If you do well in school, go into a field where you can earn six figures shortly after graduating, do well in said field, there’s few reasons why someone who’s smart, hard-working, interested in working in a high income field, and determined to make a six figure salary can’t do so. That said, how many people do you know who meet all of those traits?
My 7 kids? 1 got a full ride to an Ivy League and is a venture capital banker, 1 U of Chicago and a Masters at Carnegi Mellon, another an Early Childhood Ed degree (and reconsidering the economics of that decision, but it was hers and she is owning it), another did community college until she decided on Physical Therapy and is ready to transfer – she is passionate and it is right for her, one tried college and said – nope not for me, is a minamalist, did some community college works part of the year in sustainable landscaping and the rest of the year is a nomad exploring. My baby is going to do community college and occupational therapy. All found there way.
Freelancer – refer people to developers, designers, and other freelancers you’ve worked with and make 100% of Freelancer’s project commission for the first 90 days. I get a lot of people requesting WordPress speed optimization services… so I refer them to my developers with a freelancer affiliate link and make $125/month in passive income. You can’t use affiliate links to link to specific freelancer profiles, so I direct people to the homepage via affiliate link and give people my developer’s usernames.
First of all, Thanks @Alexis Grant to share this post with us… Well it’s true, if you have enough visitors to start in Affiliate program, you should go for it, You need to monetizing your blog according to your visitors interests.I am using amazon to promote affiliate links in some of my blogs and it’s a clear winner I must say, I am getting more than 5000 unique visitors daily and averagely earns upto 3,00,000(around 4500 $) per month… I would say go for it 🙂 🙂

Whenever we see a blog post catch on in search for one of the blogs we manage, we celebrate, because it will probably send lots of traffic to the site over time. Unless you have a massive email list or rely entirely on Facebook shares like BuzzFeed-type sites, you should aim to get a good portion of your traffic from search. (Though a massive email list and lots of Facebook shares are pretty great too, and will help your site catch on in search… so all of these traffic-generating activities feed into one another.)
That was more words the I intended to tap out on my phone screen…probably because I’m hurtling through the dark in a bullet train somewhere between Tokyo and Aomori toward the tail end of 3 countries in three days on two sides of the Pacific Ocean (for fun, not work) and my time-warped brain dropped into story time. My wife just told me to eat my bento box meal. I’m getting old. :-)
Inasmuch as this program is non-invasive, it nonetheless requires constant contact with the internet. This is due to the need to catch up with the various clients and sales tasks. If yours is a squeezed lifestyle whereby you rarely have some quiet time, you may not find it worthwhile. If this is the case, you may consider other less demanding alternatives.
Electrical engineers can crush it out of the park. Think startups and stock options. There’s not too many startups in oil industry, and I’m guessing only high level employees get stock. In electrical engineering, low level employees get stock. For me personally, despite earning a very high salary, it’s nowhere near what I made from stock… salary is almost negligible.
I only ask because sometimes I feel like my undergrad degrees are in subjects that people don’t care about in the finance or technology sectors. Where I live it seems like the people I know are getting paid $15-$18 an hour right after graduating college. The high positions I can qualify for after working for 10+ years at my non-profit only pay around $60k a year. I want more than that.
Fantastic, thanks for sharing your story John! I am curious, you talk about UT a lot, are you by any chance from UT or in the Texas area? I’m not sure I can make 6 figures before the age of 25 with my employer but I’m going to look for other passive income opportunities to make sure that I get to make 6 figures by that age. It’s a bold goal but I hope that I can make it. Petroleum engineers are having a hard time right now but that’s the boom and bust of any commodity, right?
I’ve indeed ignored the very significant factor of personal satisfaction of the job and have just focused on the financial aspects. This is something I constantly struggle with myself…how much value am I really providing to the world by helping some oil company increase profits? On the other hand, I can rationalize that the world needs energy, and engineers help find it.

While there are lots of ways to boost your ranking in search, we get the best ROI from optimizing content for popular keywords, especially headlines. We spend a lot of time perfecting headlines both for The Write Life and for our client blogs, researching keywords using Google Adword’s keyword planner and Google Trends. (If you want to learn more about our SEO strategy for The Write Life, this post explains it in more detail. I also offer a free webinar called Easy SEO Tips for Bloggers.)
Most of them are common sense but you do need to be aware of things like disclosing that you are an affiliate for that product, and that it needs to be clear and early on in the post. You have to be very transparent about it. I mention it in a big clear “NOTE” at the top of any post that contains affiliate links, as well as again down the bottom in a disclaimer.
Hello I just stumbled across your blog and I needed some advice, which is greatly appreciated. I graduated with a degree in accounting with a B average, got fired as a trainee after 4 months out. Decided to try my hand at med. Did a few courses did a little better. decided to go back to accounting and could not for the life of me a get a job, not even at the small firms. Finally got another accounting job 3 years after graduation, which i also got canned from. Then again tried to go back in to accounting cannot get a job. I am now almost 30 working a crap job and i really don’t know what to do. I want to go into IT possibly cyber security; I am thinking fuck it maybe nursing; or maybe a diploma program as an electrical engineer technologist . Part of the reason I can’t get a job in accounting because I have a shit reputation with my peers and the city I live in. Long story short I was a bit of a hot head in college and did not take shit from anyone. Great at making enemies not so could at making friends. I figure if I do IT I will stick with accounting as well if I can get my CPA that would make me valuable. But with this linkedin environment I am afraid my reputation will deny my opportunity in the IT field. I just don’t want to be in this position. i want more but I don’t want to make any mistakes. I really don’t know what to do or what strategy would be best. At the end of the day I want to provide for the people I care about. I have crap reputation and I think starting over is the best route, I can do IT + accounting; healthcare; electrical engineering. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Interesting and motivating article. I didn’t take high school very seriously, and I only took my last 3 years of my 4.5 years of college with strong intentions to succeed. I got my GPA back up to a 3.33 from a 2.76 and landed two summer internships with Fortune 500 companies during school. I now work at one of those said companies and will gross just north of 85k after base salary, relocation, and sign-on bonus (also, could be closer to 88-90k depending on my performance bonus).


Hey Camron. The only way to achieve those figures is to build your own business and become your own boss. It takes hard work and dedication, and it ALWAYS takes money to make money on some level. If you want to make a million dollars, you best believe there are start up costs. The key is to find the right opportunity, with a low start up cost, and an IMMENSE support system in place. You need to find Mentors who have already achieved what you want to achieve and emulate their daily actions and habits.

Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ads will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.
My 7 kids? 1 got a full ride to an Ivy League and is a venture capital banker, 1 U of Chicago and a Masters at Carnegi Mellon, another an Early Childhood Ed degree (and reconsidering the economics of that decision, but it was hers and she is owning it), another did community college until she decided on Physical Therapy and is ready to transfer – she is passionate and it is right for her, one tried college and said – nope not for me, is a minamalist, did some community college works part of the year in sustainable landscaping and the rest of the year is a nomad exploring. My baby is going to do community college and occupational therapy. All found there way.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on Root + Revel is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. Root + Revel is not liable for how the information is used and cannot be held responsible or guarantee any results. You alone are solely and personally responsible for the results, and your success depends primarily on your own effort, motivation, commitment, and follow-through. Root + Revel is simply serving as a coach, mentor, and guide to help you reach your own health and wellness goals through simple holistic remedies and healthy lifestyle changes.
Now for a dose of cold water, I got straight A’s in high school, but I was born poor and in a small town. Neither my parents nor I or anyone else had high money. We had enough to get by month to month. After school education was out of the question just based on cost alone. I had few choices but to join Uncle Sam and his merry band of sailors, painting and scrubbing decks around the world. I served my country until I decided to leave the navy-He guess what happened, no jobs for a former sailor with considerable weapons system experience. I spent three years homeless and destitute and hanging onto faded views of honor and discipline. Point being is that you put out all this financial stuff about straight A’s and good grades but you have not lived in the real world. Good grades don’t mean anything when you don’t have any money and don’t believe the hype about the GI BILL. What a joke of a program-Fraud and red tape to make you blush. Get real, I invite you to find a way to save my failing mortgage and invigorate my financial future. I don’t think you the writer of this webpage could, I owe in excess of 200 grand on a bad mortgage and im about to lose it. I can tell you everything about weapons systems, that’s what I was trained to do and I have lived a violent life. If any of this get rich quick stuff actually worked we would all be millionaires. Later
Similar situation to Every Cent counts. I graduated with BA in political science from a relatively unknown school. I’m 26, but will break 6 figures in 1-2 years max (95k currently). Currently I have offers for 110-130k not including bonuses (I like my job so refusing for now, because work-life was suffering). I read up on in-demand tech skills like advanced analytics and software engineering. That’s how I did it. You don’t need to work at google, just be solid at programming and know in-demand skills.
If you do need glamour or excitement on the job, working as a pilot might be the right choice for you. Pilots have many options, including working for commercial airlines, cargo airlines, and corporations. The average annual salary for a pilot is $110,000, but many experienced pilots make twice that amount. Salaries vary based on ratings, experience, and type of license (e.g. sport pilot license vs commercial or airline transport)

Amazon Associates – for pretty much anything sold on Amazon. If you have links to your books on your website (and you should do!), this is a good way to start with affiliate marketing and you will receive a little bit extra if people shop through your link, as well as a percentage of other products that people buy within a 24 hour period. You can use your existing Amazon account and then find your books, copy the special link and then use that on your site. You can also use a site like Booklinker.net or Books2Read.com to create one link that works for all stores and contains affiliate links.
As for my young self’s income, I’ve told a few pieces of my story in comments for other FS posts, but here is some history that aligns with the content of this post and answers a couple of Sam’s questions: I can’t remember if I made over $100k by 25 or by 26, but was a millionaire by 27 due to a mostly lucky break with tech company stock options in the Roaring 90s. The path: I graduated high school as co-valedictorian, but will call myself #2 because the other guy took harder classes so deserves the #1 spot. I started college in mechanical engineering, hated it (and esp. one evil professor), switched to international studies, liked it. I got decent grades, partied a lot to make up for a choir boy high school experience, and worked all the way through college…full time my senior year…but just sweat jobs, no internships. Paid for college myself. After college, I traveled and partied a bit more, dabbled in a few different jobs and ended up convincing a small software company to pay for a basic software testing programming course in exchange for about 6 months of service (got that through casual networking inspired by a dose of nepotism). I wrote a test script they were able to sell, so negotiated an early break and landed a test engineer contracting job at a large software company via the worst interview in the history of interviews (the recruiter had to come get me in the parking lot as I was getting in my car to leave…the hiring manager’s closing question was an incredulous “…ummm…so, why should I hire you?” which I answered by jumping to my feet with both arms in the air to yell, “Cuz I’m the best!” He laughed and told me to get lost.). After a year at that job, I did a couple other tech contracting gigs, then converted to a full time gig with a pay cut for a junior mgmt job in exchange for lots of stock…which split 4 times in 12 months, thus the millionaire thing at 27. I lost 75% of that money via bad (a.k.a. zero) investment mgmt by 29, but had a fantastic time bouncing around the world adventuring and doing a little non-technology work (including teaching English in a Mexican university and training teachers in Los Angeles, both of which I liked). I eventually got married and went back to madam technology, but as I hinted above, this old whore (hey, “44” rhymes with “whore”..whaddyaknow..I’ll remember that for my birthday next week ;-)) has about run out of energy or interest for working the corporate red light district. I’ve created some other income streams, but want more of that before I leave tech and spend more time the way I now want to. This site is good inspiration for that.
I definitely agree on taking as many AP classes and college classes as possible. I did 13 APs in HS and 2 college classes. My only regret is I didn’t take fewer AP and more college classes. An AP class takes 1 full year and an exam you have to pay for at the end of the year. The college class takes 1 semester and usually the school district pays for it… and the classes are usually a lot easier than an AP exam.
Household income changes over time, with income gains being substantially larger for the upper percentiles than for the lower percentiles.[19] All areas of the income strata have seen their incomes rise since the late 1960s, especially during the late 1990s.[18] The overall increase in household income is largely the result of an increase in the percentage of households with more than one income earner. While households with just one income earner, most commonly the male, were the norm in the middle of the 20th century, 42% of all households and the vast majority of married couple households now have two or more income earners. With so many households now having two income earners, the substantial increase in household income is easily explained:[15]
You found a topic that is of interest to a huge target audience (who doesn’t want to make 100k plus a year?) You spent some money so your website comes up while searching google (therefore generating more traffic to your page) and you’ve written this guide in a way that includes everyone (that way nobody feels like they aren’t able to achieve this same success) Throughout the article you’ve posted links to multiple products/companies which you earn revenue from each time someone clicks them. Along with that there are advertisements throughout that you’re gaining revenue on etc. So essentially, anyone reading this and clicking links is generating revenue for you. Touché
To be assured of stable revenue inflows, you must definitely have reliable access to the internet. It also entails regular and prolonged contacts with the internet every quite often. This means you have to be online 24 hours a day if possible. In case your internet connectivity is unreliable, you may not be able to leverage its advantages to the fullest extent.
Another thing I always want to cover is getting every possible question that a reader might have answered. Subtly, in one way or another, answering questions before they arise provide rationale for any reader who is ready to purchase. This also works great for SEO purposes since it covers the “lingo” for the product. Google evolves through constant self-learning, so once people start to ask questions on Q&A sites and forums, once they start to write about every single aspect of a product, it picks up. And fairly quickly. Just type something in the Google keyword tool and it shows you new and more synonyms by the day.
I grew up in SF. Big city. And for high school I went to the ghetto side of town where a lot of the teachers were burned out. A few of them left for private school after 1-2 years of teaching where the pay is a lot higher. I would have done the same. At an inner city school, it’s more work and stress for less money and less respect. The actual kids weren’t great to deal with either. High schoolers aren’t as cute as 5th and 6th graders when they’re mad. These kids carried pocket knifes now!
If you are interested in a way of making an 8 figure income I would be happy to speak with you. If you are coachable it is entirely possible. And with our team, those at the highest pay scale have gotten to the final promotion within four years. I am currently interested in growing a team in Taiwan, Poland and Australia and continuing to grow in North America.

The standard route is to work in public accounting and then branch out. So, I wouldn’t consider the public accounting route to be typical, but within ten years you can expect an income to be closer to 200k or as high as 350k if you make partner. Making partner also requires a lot of buy into the partnership shares, so you can think of that as taking on a mortgage. I could get into more detail, but I hope that answers your question!
I always think about this process in terms of the sales funnel. You are writing posts and making videos that introduce people to a broader idea or subject and then using backlinks to filter them towards your affiliate program through your ultimate post. When creating this content you want to make sure you select either evergreen topics or link-bait style subjects that build social momentum and attract relevant traffic over time.
I always add an HTML table of contents to posts to make sure they are long and structured. This has been a HUGE help for me (and my readers) and there are tons of benefits: better chance of getting “jump to links” in Google (see below), increased average time on page, decreased bounce rates, and it makes it easier for readers to navigate through your content.
in terms of pay, sure, eventually you’ll make $100k at Booz Allen, but you’ll reach that number much sooner at other firms. Booz Allen pays $50-60k to Consultants fresh out of undergrad. Year over year raises are insignificant (they cap at 3%, unless your Principal/Senior Associate goes to bat for you on market rate adjustment). Promotion raises are also nowhere near market rate. Additionally, levels below Senior Associate do not receive a performance bonus. You will likely not reach $100k at Booz Allen until 2nd Associate (see below levels).
I sometimes question choosing a career that was safe and paid well over chasing my passions. In a way, it comes down to passions now or passions later. If you earn big and save you can FIRE and the start your passion work then. Or you can be working on your (presumably lower paying) passions all along and wait until a more traditional age to retire.
6. One thing I heard recently was SO true, it bears repeating loud and clear, “I don’t care what internet marketing method you use, it will fail for one reason only: YOU didn’t apply yourself and work all the angles you could think of. ANYTHING can be sold, even crap on a plate, to the right people, and in the right way.” So can we then blame the product? Can you ENHANCE an existing product or create a new, better version?
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