P.S. If you’re just starting out (like, you’re a REALLY new blogger and have not started your blog yet), check out this 4-part blogging for beginners guide where you will learn how to start a blog in 20 minutes. It’s been shared over 50,000 times and has helped thousands of new bloggers like you start successful blogs. It’s not that hard. You can do it. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

I’m 26, and I have served 6 years in the Navy. I am out, and using my GI bill at The University of Nevada Reno. I was an engineer in the navy, and I worked on potable (drinkable) water systems. My degree is going to be in Hydrology. My 6 years of solid experience and 5 years in school, I feel are going to give me one hell of a leg up in the working world. I am also a yacht captain at Lake Tahoe. One thing that is driving me is getting property in the most beautiful part of the country for my future wife.
Petroleum engineering only requires a bachelor’s degree. Lawyers, doctors and pharmacists can make over six figures out of the gate too. But when does the gate open? After 3-5 years of additional schooling? After a couple years of residency when you turn 30 and have $200,000 in student loans? The beauty of this job is that a masters degree, PhD or an MBA are not required to advance, not even for the vice presidents who clear $300,000-500,000 in salary and who knows what in stock options.
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.
I never advocate relying on affiliate income as your only form of revenue, or starting a blog with affiliate sales as your only monetizing strategy, because for most bloggers it amounts only to pennies, maybe dollars, and even that isn’t consistent. Sure, you might earn a few bucks here and there or a credit to put toward a service you use regularly. While every dollar’s welcome, of course, and this type of affiliate earnings can supplement other income, it’s not enough to support a family.
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…
Great article! I would like to second @Vladi and @Katie comment about how to approach guest posts. I have identified what I will write about and who I want to approach, but what is the best technique? Just send them an email? I am an unknown so I would like any advice on how to reduce the chances of rejection 🙂 Thanks for all the great information!
Want to earn a six-figure salary? Choose your next career path carefully, and get ready to make a serious investment in education. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, only 55 out of 818 listed occupations offer median salaries of $100,000 per year or more—and 53 of them typically require at least a bachelor’s degree.

Believe it or not, many jobs that pay six figures do not require a four-year college degree. The examples listed here are just a few of the careers to consider in lieu of attending college. Pay varies depending upon experience, training, and physical location, but the average salaries for the jobs listed above are proof that making over $100,000 each year without a college degree is possible.
First I want to just say well done with what you have accomplished. You have done an amazing job. I’m not really one to post a comment on blogs as I’m sure everyone says. But the thing that struck me the most about you is I can tell your a great individual. You love cats, as my wife and I do. We also have rescue cats. You are a very generous and honest person and that is most likely why you also have done well. Very authentic and honest. I’m in the process of building an affiliate amazon site. So I can relate to the content side of things. I’m already a customer of siteground but If I wasn’t I’d happily sign up through you. I have bookmarked your site as I’d like to come back and read a little more and keep an eye on your progress. Thanks for taking the time to write this post. It’s one of the best blog posts I’ve read. Take care Tom
Great post, I also liked your one on starting a fashion blog. Do you have a post on affiliate linking through social media? I’m pretty confused on whats acceptable, especially for Pinterest. It seems Shopstyle {Shopsense} and rewardStyle seem to work on Pinterest. I started my website on Weebly.. so I am making the oh-not-so-fun transition over to WordPress currently.
Thank you for your comment, but I don’t think I felt the need to comment if your post was about “six figures can be achieved in a variety of industries if one is the top of their field”. Don’t we all know that? College prof, photographers, athletes, actors, dancers, musicians, designers, personal trainers etc. You wouldn’t list these as $100k+ industries, do you? I wrote my last comment to explain that symphony orchestra industry also does not fit into the “industries that often pay six figures within 3 years out of school”.
Learning and reading and trying things is fundamental to success. Anyone can do anything if they truly put their mind to it. This is not a get rich quick scheme, this is an idea board and an educational blog for people to explore, learn and try innovative ways to make money and retire early. It does take money to make money, but driving Uber for a couple of months until you have $3,000 to either invest or apply towards your startup won’t kill you. Yes, you may work 60+ hours for a short time, but it’s a short term time investment to a long term monetary payoff.
I am currently 24 and have above a 100k salary, but fall within the category of a financier. I work at a company that invests debt and equity into medium sized businesses. I also invest in equities on the side while managing my blog. I think I followed the post well, other than the fact that I didn’t go into engineering. I had to work very hard, get very good grades and develop my analysis skills to get where I am today. I love reading sites like this to continue to learn ways to boost my income and to hear from other like-minded individuals!
Yes reaching FI is important, but let that alone drive you to freedom (or boredom) sooner! How about balance act of – raising good family (in timely manner, don’t have a down kid at age 44 — rather finish having healthy litter by age 35!). PACE your life and goals – enjoy the journey as much as the destination — because, once you reach your “made-up” destination, there is no “coronation” ceremony !!
Create custom alerts on your phone for affiliate sales – if you use GMail, go to your settings and create a filter so all emails with “SiteGround Affiliate Sale Generated” in the subject line go into their own folder (tweak the subject line to match whatever email notification your affiliate sends you). Then setup a custom alert on your phone using the GMail app so anytime you generate a sale, you get a custom alert (here’s a tutorial for Android and here’s one for Apple). I have different notifications for SiteGround, StudioPress Themes, etc. Makes your day better :)
Some sources cite the profession of physician in the United States as the highest paying,[10] Physician (M.D. and D.O.) and Dentist (D.M.D and D.D.S) compensation ranks as the highest median annual earnings of all professions. Median annual earnings ranged from $149,310 for general dentists and $156,010 for family physicians to $321,686 for anesthesiologists. Surgeons post a median annual income of $282,504.[21] However, the annual salary for Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) is projected quite differently based on source: Salary.com reports a median salary of $634,941,[22] while the U.S. Department of Labor in May 2004 reported the median as $140,350.[23] This is primarily due to a methodological difference in terms of which companies were surveyed. Overall annual earnings among the nation's top 25 professions ranged from the $70,000s to the $300,000s.

I come from a quite unsuccessful background of web design/SEO. I blogged because I knew it was good for SEO, but my articles never had a purpose regarding monetization. I finally took a leap of faith and dropped my clients to figure out blogging/affiliate marketing. I was good at website speed optimization and knew hosting was the #1 factor. Looking for the best, I saw SiteGround was rated #1 in multiple Facebook polls and had a great reputation with generous affiliate commissions. So I wrote detailed tutorials on website speed… how to configure WordPress cache plugins, hosting reviews, and other speed-related topics. Usually near the end of a post I would say “Oh, and here’s why you should switch to SiteGround” with evidence on why they’re the best… Facebook polls, Tweets, load time improvements, etc. That’s when things got good. I’ve been broke my whole life and it’s my calling to show people how do this.
If you are a teacher and salary is your number one priority you better make sure your bargaining team knows, or better yet get involved in bargaining yourself, because the people with other priorities like pensions, healthcare, and paid leave certainly speak up in my local! Though thanks to the incredible work in states like WV, OK, and AZ I think teacher pay is finally being addressed.

Some sources cite the profession of physician in the United States as the highest paying,[10] Physician (M.D. and D.O.) and Dentist (D.M.D and D.D.S) compensation ranks as the highest median annual earnings of all professions. Median annual earnings ranged from $149,310 for general dentists and $156,010 for family physicians to $321,686 for anesthesiologists. Surgeons post a median annual income of $282,504.[21] However, the annual salary for Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) is projected quite differently based on source: Salary.com reports a median salary of $634,941,[22] while the U.S. Department of Labor in May 2004 reported the median as $140,350.[23] This is primarily due to a methodological difference in terms of which companies were surveyed. Overall annual earnings among the nation's top 25 professions ranged from the $70,000s to the $300,000s.
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…
Let’s say, you are a developer who has just completed a client’s website. You think that it is one of your greatest works and the client is truly impressed. This will be a great time for you to offer them a website maintenance service from a third-party. You partner with this company through their recurring affiliate program. As long as your happy client stays with them, you get a steady stream of passive income.
My daughter is at a state university now finishing in 3 years (Chemistry) and we are currently “engineering” my son’s last year in high school so that he will finish college easily in 3 years or less (at a state school too!) I told him he couldn’t go to a school that wouldn’t accept his AP/Community College credits and when he saw that he would be starting as at least a second semester sophomore – he “got it”.
For example, Darren Rowse on DPS has a lot of photographers taking excellent photos with Canon and Nikon SLR cameras and then mentioning those cameras in their posts and/or tutorials. Although he might not directly sell or pitch those cameras, he would be making an absolute fortune from people who get inspired to purchase after seeing what gets produced.
A correlation has been shown between increases in income and increases in worker satisfaction. Increasing worker satisfaction, however, is not solely a result of the increase in income: workers in more complex and higher level occupations tend to have attained higher levels of education and thus are more likely to have a greater degree of autonomy in the workplace.[20] Additionally, higher level workers with advanced degrees are hired to share their personal knowledge, to conceptualize, and to consult. Higher-level workers typically suffer less job alienation and reap not only external benefits in terms of income from their jobs, but also enjoy high levels of intrinsic motivation and satisfaction.[10][20]
In the classical music industry, teaching at school and orchestras are about the only jobs that pay living wage. Also, students (especially string instruments and piano) almost never get into top music schools if one starts after 10 years old. I started practicing my instrument when I was 5. You cannot decide in your high school years that you want to become a member of the SF Symphony, it’s too late.
There is a big difference between “information” and “instruction.” They did a good job providing information but terrible on instructions. Therefore it really isn’t for newbies as promoted. As a certified tutor I learned and practiced strategies like “peer to peer” mentoring, intellectual scaffolding and tackled the Zone of Proximal Development” for foreign or special needs students on a college level.
My company has a program to promote people into jobs at the corporate office. The interest in these roles isn’t that great as the initial pay is comparable or less than what you make working in operations. Can’t forget the negatives of having to work in a corporate environment…commuting every day, being within driving distance of the office, having to maintain a certain appearance, etc. For me I have no interest in working a typical schedule ever again.
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.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this page above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
A correlation has been shown between increases in income and increases in worker satisfaction. Increasing worker satisfaction, however, is not solely a result of the increase in income: workers in more complex and higher level occupations tend to have attained higher levels of education and thus are more likely to have a greater degree of autonomy in the workplace.[20] Additionally, higher level workers with advanced degrees are hired to share their personal knowledge, to conceptualize, and to consult. Higher-level workers typically suffer less job alienation and reap not only external benefits in terms of income from their jobs, but also enjoy high levels of intrinsic motivation and satisfaction.[10][20]

I used to think education was overrated, and personally swore off not going back to school after I finished my undergrad. Then the economy hit the skids form 2001-2005 and I went back to get an MBA part-time. I know think education is underrated, not only for the things you learn, but for the connections you make and the confidence a good education gives everyone.

Affluence and economic standing within society are often expressed in terms of percentile ranking. Economic ranking is conducted either in terms of giving lower thresholds for a designated group (e.g. the top 5%, 10%, 15%, etc.) or in terms of the percentage of households/individuals with incomes above a certain threshold (e.g. above $75,000, $100,000, $150,000, etc.). The table below presents 2006 income data in terms of the lower thresholds for the given percentages (e.g. the top 25.6% of households had incomes exceeding $80,000, compared to $47,000 for the top quarter of individuals).[7][13]
My daughter is at a state university now finishing in 3 years (Chemistry) and we are currently “engineering” my son’s last year in high school so that he will finish college easily in 3 years or less (at a state school too!) I told him he couldn’t go to a school that wouldn’t accept his AP/Community College credits and when he saw that he would be starting as at least a second semester sophomore – he “got it”.
We’ve compiled the following list of jobs to illustrate some of the most popular careers that offer high income opportunities without a college degree. Keep in mind that just because someone can make $100,000 each year at these jobs does not mean it’s guaranteed. These careers offer the possibility of generating a high income, especially when the careers include a salary, bonuses, commissions, overtime pay, and most importantly, hard work.
You’re absolutely right about that time. Never give up. Content marketing is a hard job but you got to look at it like this. The internet and side hustles are here to stay. It goes Way Beyond making money online. We both know there’s no more traditional job security in America today. These narcissist employers are nothing nice. They will hire you 1 minute. Harass you on the job. Steal your commissions and laugh at you behind your back while you continually work hard and put more money in their pocket, then try to enslave you into making more money for them and continually disrespect you to your face. This is the Ironclad indicated it’s time to walk away and start your own business online by working part time on your side hustle weather to Philly at marketing, blogging, or selling your own product service online. There’s billions of dollars to be made in the affiliate marketing industry. With that said, it’s a good thing to know the side hustle is here to stay to those who dedicate themselves to creating quality content on blogs and websites and taking a side hustle to the public nightstep. Agree? :-)

SEO: getting consistent traffic by writing AWESOME content about your keywords (there’s a phrase “length is strength” in SEO and this paid off big time for me). Maybe you’re doing videos or an eCourse, but I found blog posts WAY easier to update which means less maintenance. The biggest factor by FAR was the time I spent meticulously creating my tutorials… which eventually resulted in a sudden 3x increase in SEO traffic
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. :-)
I’m currently looking for ways to get my MBA covered (at a top 20 – my company will pay the local state schools no problem) and work too, to further accelerate my way into management and chase down a 250k+ job before 30 (excluding investments). Similar to what John said most people at my company only work 40 hours a week. I work closer to 50-60 on average but that is by choice to learn more skills while I am young and is not required. High tech is where it is at for sure.
Hi John – thanks for the angle on applying applied math to the petroleum industry. I’ve been surprised at how disinterested my daughter’s math dept. seems to be in giving her tips like that to explore. Maybe I’m not all that surprised…in the west side of WA state a general apathy seems to have gradually settled in over the last few years like low fog on a cool morning. People just don’t seemed to stop caring about service…like they’re still doing their jobs but checked out at some point. They look at you with “gone fishing” signs in both eyes and leave their pride on the floor like a dropped fork. I’m not sure if others have noticed a similar change where they live – it aint a good sign socially or economically.
Hi Sam, I’m new to your site and getting so much out of it. You mentioned you got your MBA for cheap or free–have you already written a post on it? I may not have gotten to your post yet, but I’m preparing for the GMAT and application process next month and need help figuring out how to get my MBA for cheap or free too. Can I ask how you did it? Any pointers please? Thanks!
I rarely work more than 40 hours (neither does my boss), my job is challenging in terms of problem solving but not stressful- read i’m not bored, my coworkers generally keep to themselves – no office drama, I get a nice raise and bonus every year, time off is generous, I work from home 25% of the time and I make around 150k all in. Graduate school was free through research and my undergrad degree cost less than my annual salary – paid for by bank of daddy. My house costs less than my annual salary. I don’t know of any other field that gives you such a high reward for very little effort. I didn’t have to go to med school for 10 years neither do I have to work 60 hour weeks or wear a stuffy suit. I wear blouses and jeans to work everyday and I’m easily the best dressed. Instead of jumping ship to management like many Engineers I’m developing my skills in a highly technical and specialized area with hopes of becoming an Independent Contractor around the 12 year mark, targeting around $220 and hour. You can do anything with a Chemical Engineering degree – both the diploma and the skills you will learn, I can’t sell this dream enough!
You are right about inexpensive housing in Chicagoland. To each their own, but in my very humble opinion moving to the Northside of Chicago from New York City proved to be one of luckiest/smartest things I ever did lifestyle, career, marriage, and savings wise. Salaries are comparable to other large wealthy metros, but housing and other expenses can be as much as half due to zero physical constraints on sprawl. That is other than Lake Michigan to the East, which is like a freshwater sea with city parks, beaches & waves. The lakeshore is also where population density is highest and property most expensive in the 10 million person metro…yet still reasonably affordable for what you get.
While the two paragraphs above only describe the relationship between status and personal income, household income is also often used to infer status. As a result, the dual income phenomenon presents yet another problem in equating affluence with high societal status. As mentioned earlier in the article, 42% of households have two or more income earners, and 76% of households with six figure incomes have two or more income earners.[11] Furthermore, people are most likely to marry their professional and societal equals.
Hey, I'm Glen. In February 2009 I quit my full-time job and have made my living from the internet ever since. Having previously worked as the Social Media Manager for the likes of Nissan and Hewlett Packard, I took my skills and successfully applied them to my own projects. ViperChill is the place I share everything I've learned in order to help other people make a living online.
As for your daughter, I’ve seen a few applied math majors in this industry become petroleum (reservoir) engineers over time. We use numerical simulators to model petroleum reservoirs and many of the software developers have a background in applied math. Since they know best how the tool works, they often become an expert in simulation which leads to a transition into petroleum engineering.
Thanks for stopping by! Blogging is a great way to make an income. What you are reading is a blog and it can be filled with words or videos to help your audience. You create content to attract a loyal readership and then you can monetize your blog by promoting products to your audience. Check out my free email course! https://twinsmommy.com/start-grow-earn-free-course/
My secondary Facebook page was taken down for a bit because I was getting too many friend requests in too short a time. I hadn’t even promoted anything. But that told me that you just don’t playing around with trying to get around paying for Facebook ads. Michael’s technique of promoting his products on Facebook is asking for trouble. Thankfully, after I explained to Facebook that I was just trying to see other posts from around the world like a “National Geographic,” they put my page back.
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