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?
John loved the post (though petroleum is not all it’s cut out to be)… my buddy started at 125k + 25k signing in 2015. Was laid off 9 months later (got a 3 month severance). So he made 150k for 9 months worth of work but now he can’t find a job and he’s been looking about a year now… Electrical, Computer, and Chemical are very safe paths to quick bucks (assuming you have stellar grades – I graduated with a 3.9). Petroleum can have that boom, bust cycle that can screw the new guy! Not saying don’t go into it, just know the risks! And remember work your ass off – ADD VALUE to your company and make yourself INDISPENSIBLE so they won’t lay you off.
The result is a website that lists everything important that ever happened and I have begun to write a 1,000 word essay on each event. While selling the poster is the goal, completing the task of writing the full history has now become something of an obsession in its own right. It’s a big project and will take a couple of years to write the whole 300,000 words but at least I won’t be stuck for subjects to write about as they have already happened.
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You’re right that there’s tons of variables in teaching. I used to work at a Title 1 school that was almost 90% free and reduced lunch/low income. I would still work there today if it were up to me, but their funding was so bad. 🙁 It’s also interesting to look at how teachers are paid. We live in a very high COL suburb *for the Midwest*. But that’s also why my salary is so high. My district can pay what they do, at least in part, because of property taxes. It gets far more complicated when states have universal salary schedules and other things I don’t really understand 😉
to answer the question – yes it is very easy to make 100k – or more. why don’t many do it? many do not know how to go about it (how to even start). that issue stems from education and awareness (no exposure to that environment). those with the awareness do not have the will, or desire as you called it out. it takes a combination of awareness, desire and action to get there. you are right in that anyone can get there – IF they really wanted to
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]
Love this story! I finished college in 3 years back in the 80’s because of AP/community college credits and stayed another year to finish my Master’s degree (which was required in my state for professional certification). And I swam fast and got money to help each year. I also got my entire doctorate paid for which was awesome! Not an engineer though – a teacher, but still got me to FI earlier than many!
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.
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1. I can go up north (make 120 guaranteed with a pension through the union) but the hours and the lifestyle (2 weeks in 1 week out) might be too brutal for me (fort Mac if you have heard of it really is not for everyone), i thought i would give it a try after school and see if it works for me but ive heard of many people having problems with their relationships/health with working so much. and i have to come back to town eventually and yes maybe ill have a nicer number in the bank but thats about it right back too 85,000 and still working hard.
I as well took about a $20k+ pay cut when transitioning from the military. It was a terrifying financial choice, but I wasn’t making it with a focus on 1-5 years. This was a 5+ year play for me and I knew this opportunity would pan out! 2 and a half years in and I making much more than i was before I left the military and was absolutely the right career move to make. We need to do a better job educating folks on career advancement and setting yourself up (financially) to be able to make those type of decision.
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Location is a big factor. As you know, six figures in SF is not six figures in the Midwest. Income is very relative depending on the local cost of living. I have many family members and friends who are teachers (all in the Midwest) and none are close to six figures nor aspire to have such income unless they have outside hustles. When I was entering college 30 years ago, I considered teaching until I saw the salaries and how they plateaued. I was too money motivated and pursued a different path. Now I am in my late 40s and winding down my work schedule and considering becoming a part-time business teacher at a local college and/or private HS since money is no longer my motivation. I would like to see more entrepreneurial education opportunities for teens.
There are a limited number of scholarships available for flight students but I wouldn’t count on those; competition is fierce and there are very few awarded. Anyone starting now and taking the civilian path to a flying job needs to be prepared to make a hefty initial investment. There’s really no getting around that, but as you said there loans are certainly an option. Also, for those with prior military service, the GI Bill can be used for flight training. Hope this helps.
It is all relative. I am making six figures in my early retirement side gigging a couple of days a week doing consulting I enjoy even though I do not need an income at this point. It is hard to get there in education because of the supply demand equation. As you said hundreds of people applied for the job you got. When I graduated with a chemical engineering degree I got eight firm job offers before I even got my degree because there were only a handful of graduates for the 120 companies that came to our university to recruit us. Certainly teaching has more social value than making gasoline but the market is based on supply and only a tiny percentage of the college going crowd choose chemical engineering while many graduate with a teaching degree. As long as some jobs are under supplied because of the difficulty in obtaining the degree those jobs will be the ones paying six figures and up. The same thing accounts for high pay for medical doctors, electrical engineers and other specialty fields that require a ton of math and science to graduate. However even at relatively less pay there is no reason you can’t accumulate and grow great wealth while still having the satisfaction that you are changing people’s lives through providing them education. Most people would hate the kind of engineering I did, even though it was a great fit for me.
As someone who also works in the Oil & Gas industry I can give some insight on another possibility if you didn’t put in the effort in high school or even college. Right now the industry is a bloodbath but like John mentioned it’s cyclical. There has also been a large talent drain due to Boomers retiring and people leaving the industry because of the cyclical nature.
On the other hand: the main reason of bankruptcy for small businesses is bad financial management. Simply said: to forget to make invoices, not checking the payments and not following bad payers. 1 out of 3 is going bankrupt for this reason alone. I had to learn it myself. I spend at least 10% of my time with financial stuff. I don’t love it but the bills get payed ;-)
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…
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