Author Bio: Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 to help people achieve financial freedom sooner, rather than later. He spent 13 years working in investment banking, earned his MBA from UC Berkeley, and retired at age 34 in San Francisco. Everything Sam writes is based on first-hand experience because money is too important to be left up to pontification.


Thanks for the really insightful reply. I really appreciate it. Now, what if I did not want to be a network engineer dealing with hardware? I definitely do not mind taking certifications, but if I just wanted to become a business analyst or QA Analyst…some IT profession that doesn’t require too much programming or developing because I need the time to learn at the programming languages…Like I’m trying to get a plan going here…BTW, i’ve heard of the CCNA thing over and over again…is that only for network engineers? Because..I dont really want to deal with hands on material or travel too much…I’m tryna be in a position where I earn certifications and learn stuff online and gain experience doing projects online or volunteeringly taking on work to contribute to the IT department to showcase my interest…

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)


It seems like you no longer want to work so much and are trying to break free ASAP in your mid-to-late 20s? Is this true? If so, why do you think you burned out so quickly from petro engineering, especially if it only takes you 40 hours a week? 40 hours a week is a walk in the park in comparison to banking, consulting, law, medical etc. Why not just work as a petro engineer for longer?
Upper middle class[1] (15%) Highly-educated (often with graduate degrees), most commonly salaried, professionals and middle management with large work autonomy. Upper middle class[1] (15%) Highly-educated (often with graduate degrees) professionals & managers with household incomes varying from the high 5-figure range to commonly above $100,000. The rich (5%) Households with net worth of $1 million or more; largely in the form of home equity. Generally have college degrees.
Great article. I disagree with step 2. Do not choose Petroleum Engineering as a first degree. One can always do this for a masters degree instead. Best to choose mechanical engineering. The chance of ending up with a high paying job in the oil/oil service industry is the same with a mechanical engineering degree. Most of my professors in grad school in the Petroleum engineering department were mechanical engineers.
I would counter and say not to get a petroleum engineering degree but rather a mechanical or chemical degree and find a job in the O&G industry. Petroleum degrees limit you to a specific industry and from what I’ve heard (I’m in the industry) many companies are now leaning towards those with mechanical or chemical degrees over the once popular petroleum degrees. Further when the industry hits a down turn like we’re currently in, those with the more general engineering degree will have a better shot at finding work in other industries.

Thanks for sharing your experience. It was a real eye-opener for me. I am new to affiliate marketing and am looking for ways to make a steady income. Your affiliate program seems to fit my needs. If you have the time email me with your affiliate link to signup and I hope you can help me get started the right way. Any assistance would be greatly appreciate. Be Blessed.
Income is commonly used to measure affluence, although this is a relative indicator: a middle class person with a personal income of $77,500 annually and a billionaire may both be referred to as affluent, depending on reference groups. An average American with a median income of $32,000[7] ($39,000 for those employed full-time between the ages of 25 and 64)[8] when used as a reference group would justify the personal income in the tenth percentile of $77,500 being described as affluent,[7] but if this earner were compared to an executive of a Fortune 500 company, then the description would not apply.[9][10] Accordingly, marketing firms and investment houses classify those with household incomes exceeding $250,000 as mass affluent, while the threshold upper class is most commonly defined as the top 1% with household incomes commonly exceeding $525,000 annually.
I’m also with you John, wondering how my life would have turned out if I went into Finance… (I’ll be finishing my mba with that focus and real estate though so perhaps later in life I’ll find out). There are plenty of opportunities to crush it out there folks. However, be weary of living in the Valley, cost of living will eat you alive. I know a few engineers I met when I was on my campus tour at Berkeley getting starting offers on their BS 105-115k + 40k in stock options at companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple… After you factor in costs you can’t save much so from building your NW I’m not sure that’s the best play…

Another problem that I see with Internet marketing in general is that ther are always too many bonuses attached to the product. I wonder if those bonuses are really better than the product itself? Imagine going into Wal-Mart and at the checkout line before you pay for your stuff, the casheer starts spouting off all of the bonuses and offers that you could get before you even purchased that product? Can you imagine how much time that would take? And all yo wanted to do was just purchase a bag of Oreos.
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