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 SO glad to now have this post I can bookmark, and have a perfect project I can actually put into action against this post. It’s great to learn from people who are ahead in the game, for those of us who aren’t as knowledgeable can look for advice and resources online and find a LOT of bad information – but knowing the source of this post and such a respected website you know you won’t go far wrong in putting this into action!
These elements can be dressed up prettily but are recognisable once you are aware of what they are. OK so Number 1: An absolute bargain. His drop closing was very standard it could be $20000 gradually coming down to $1997 sound like a bargain. “2: It has to be NOW! No time to check anything independently, it’s now or never! and 3: Cash or cash equivalent.
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.
...It is essential that the duties of the positions be performed with the diligence that their importance requires. Inevitably, then, a society must have, first, some kind of rewards that it can use as inducements, and, second, some way of distributing these rewards differently according to positions. The rewards and their distribution become part of the social order... If the rights and perquisites of different positions in a society must be unequal, then society must be stratified... Hence every society... must differentiate persons... and must therefore possess a certain amount of institutionalized inequality.

I’ll admit that even on my own blog, AlexisGrant.com, I’m sometimes lazy about taking an extra minute or two to pull an affiliate link when I see an opportunity to use one in a post. But if you want to benefit as your traffic grows, you have to be consistent about adding those affiliate links every time, even if you don’t expect the post to take off. This is something we’re religious about on The Write Life (thank you, editor @Heathervdh!), so when we get unexpected traffic to a post, we earn.
There are jobs out there for veterans and sometimes yes your training in the military does not give many, if any, civilian options. But I encourage you to think outside the box. You do not need to get any job that has to do with your rate. My cousin was aircraft ordnance and now is happy being a bartender in Hawaii. Not my cup of tea but it’s his life and he is happy with it. Look at USAjobs. com as another poster suggested. There are also jobs on nukeworker.com that don’t require nuclear experience like security. Keep trying, you may have to work some terrible jobs as I did, but you’ll find your way.

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.
The one thing that is amazing to me is government jobs. You talk about effort required…let me just say that it isn’t always required to land a government gig. My neighbor does logistics for the army…she said it is mindless work, quite boring, and now that the wars are winding down, there isn’t much going on. She makes well over 6 figures for her job. She hired in at 75k. Her previous experience before getting hired? American Eagle…

I’ve seen college programs where they tell kids to “slow down” and take fewer credits to “ease in” to school and be successful. (My most recent job was college professor!) SURE – fewer credits, more years of college and a crapload more money for the school and debt for the student. There’s a difference between part-time (living at home, working, etc.) and slowing down (living on campus, taking at least 5-6 years to finish a degree).
I like your blog , it’s very helpful. Can you suggest me a major that will guarantee me a high salary ( without having to spend too many years at collage) I am considering Nuclear Physics , but it requires 50-60 hours per week. I want to enjoy my money before my 30’s. I’m 17. It doesn’t matter how difficult the school will be , I have most of the grades equivalent to A and one or two equivalent to B+ , I live in Albania. Thanks and keep going with your good work!
You got a good article here but a lot of points are way off in real world sense. Any monkey that can read and regurgitate information can graduate with a high gpa. The real truth behind success is thinking outside the box. I’m 22 avg student yet run a successful business (100-120k/yr) while in college. With this article your saying go from box to box first your in an educational institution spending all your time and effort getting A’s then your working for someone in a corporate box. Let your bank account be your resume. The world needs more entrepreneurs
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.
Get good grades, go to a top school, get hired by a prestigious company in IT, finance or become a doctor, lawyer, engineer. DUH!!! Nothing Earth shattering that I didn’t know. If you don’t have the aptitude for those careers, you’re screwed for 100K salary I guess. Actually, you can become an entrepreneur, buy a franchise, write and sell a screen play to a hit movie, write a best seller, or offer specialized personal services to rich people (chef, trainer). Of course there’s also pornography. The sex trade makes billions.
But don’t worry. You don’t have to make it all the way to the top, because you’re not going to an Ivy League school (see Step 3 and Should I Go To A Public Or Private School). Instead, channel your aggression towards maximizing Advanced Placement (AP) and community college courses. Why? Because these translate into real college credits later for a fraction of the cost now.
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 😉
The main problem I have with the 401k is that the investment options suck. All the mutual funds (including target date funds) have a high front load fee (4.25%-5.25%) and high expense ratio (0.9%-to-2.0%). With the ROTH I get the benefits of low-cost (0.05%-0.30%), no-load index funds. In some respects there is little difference between the after-tax dollars in a ROTH with no-load funds and pre-tax dollars in a fund that immediately siphon 4.25% out. Sure, I’m taking a upfront hit on the taxes with the ROTH. However, I am also going to be taking an upfront hit from the front load fees and a continual hit with the higher expense ratio in the 401k
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.
The Cost of Living Index compares the cost of housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods. According to Bankrate’s cost-of-living comparison calculator, you’d need to earn about $141,000 in Boston to have the equivalent of $100,000 in Houston. And if you were living on $100,000 per year in Memphis, Tennessee, you’d have to earn roughly a whopping $245,000 to maintain the same standard of living in parts of New York City. While salaries are often higher in cities with higher costs of living, they don’t always match up to provide the same quality of life.
To put it another way, the high income is intended to ensure that the desired individuals obtain the necessary skills (e.g. medical or graduate school) and complete their tasks with the necessary vigor[41] but differences in income may, however, be found among occupations of similar sociological nature: the median annual earnings of a physician were in excess of $150,000 in May 2004, compared to $95,000 for an attorney.[21][24] Both occupations require finely tuned and scarce skill sets and both are essential to the well-being of society, yet physicians out-earned attorneys and other upper middle class professionals by a wide margin as their skill-sets are deemed especially scarce.

As I read further to post this, I saw a next post about marrying for money. How dare…..I know it happens. I did it. After a 7 year extremely abusive marriage, which ended in debt over my head and my children still get to see this abuser and still has more time than should be allowed, due to a horrid system, with his perfect on paper persona, Works for the DOD, contractor, writing programs and coding for them, white collar perfect portrayal of family, to only be a devil in his own home behind closed doors…..
I like what I do but eventually would like to start my own engineering company. I feel like this is different than what Sam was referring to with regards to dissatisfaction with the work that engineers do. Engineering is a pretty easy gig honestly. I work 40 hours a week on engineering work and occasionally work a few extra hours on business development. I’m going to finish my masters in a few months (completely paid for by my company) and then be looking to make ~160 after that.
I’m 29. I started a career in sales right out of High School and found my glass ceiling. I went back to school at 26, graduated with a degree in finance at 28 in may 2015, I just got my first offer as a securities specialist with a top 5 bank, (it’s an operations position in global market settlements) the pay is less than my draw was when I was selling, and I might as well live in my car because I’m going to spend about 2 and a half hours in the car everyday. I am trying to determine if I am selling myself short, or if this is a good place to get started. I ultimately want to work mutual funds. I’m trying to decide if I should keep looking for another position or hold out for more.
The top programs for petroleum engineering are offered by public universities, notably The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M, Louisiana State University, and Colorado School of Mines.  Much of the value of a PE degree comes from being able to obtain the best education on the market from public schools like these rather than obscenely priced private schools.
Beside reading this post which is great for information. i really loved your comment. I feel you. I am also 31yo currently making around 100k living in an Eastern European country and trying to make more by finding new oportunities. Somehow i connected with your comment, i feel atracted to it. If you would like to continue comunicating in private just let me know. Cheers
The top programs for petroleum engineering are offered by public universities, notably The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M, Louisiana State University, and Colorado School of Mines.  Much of the value of a PE degree comes from being able to obtain the best education on the market from public schools like these rather than obscenely priced private schools.

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.
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It is important to note that the above is an ideal type, a simplified model or reality using optimal circumstances. In reality other factors such as discrimination based on race, ethnicity and gender as well as aggressive political lobbying by certain professional organizations also influence personal income. An individual's personal career decisions, as well as his or her personal connections within the nation's economic institutions, are also likely to have an effect on income, status and whether or not an individual may be referred to as affluent.[9]

[…] FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act and consists of a Social Security tax and a Medicare tax. This tax is very important for everyone to understand because so often we only think about federal tax rates and state income tax rates. The FICA tax is a big percentage of your total tax bill, especially for those making under six figures a year. […]
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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).
Don’t set a goal to write 3 blog posts a day… set a goal to write 1 blog post a week and make that post super helpful, long, and filled with information that is so valuable you will say “yeah, people will link to that.” 90% of my traffic/affiliate income comes from just 20 tutorials, many of which are 5+ years old. But I am constantly updating them to make the content better.
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