Is becoming a $100k+ earner in orchestras like SF symphony just as competitive as joining a major sports league? Maybe. It’s just that $100k+ symphony job openings are so rare that no one can really count on it. Orchestra is a very unique job and often general public don’t know how people got there. Of course not everyone value and want to support arts. But when those few $100k orchestra job salary disappear, the live symphony music we hear today will die.
I went from making $20k in 2016 to $100k in 2017 by dropping my web design/SEO clients and doing affiliate marketing/blogging full-time. 90% of my (passive) affiliate income comes from SiteGround, a hosting company who awarded me affiliate of the month in July, 2017 when I made $9k in 1 month. Since then I’ve continued to hit numbers like this – the screenshot below is from March, 2018 when I made $14.5k in 1 month (just with SiteGround).
Economic well-being is often associated with high societal status, yet income and economic compensation are a function of scarcity and act as only one of a number of indicators of social class. It is in the interest of all of society that open positions are adequately filled with a competent occupant enticed to do his or her best.[10] As a result, an occupation that requires a scarce skill, the attainment of which is often documented through an educational degree, and entrusts its occupant with a high degree of influence will generally offer high economic compensation.
I, too, work in an industry with salaries that are tied to budgets and salary cohorts. But I have found that side hustles, both in and out of my field, help to increase my income. It is sad that we have to give up even more of our time to get there, but I guess the sacrifice makes the reward even more satisfying??? In any case- thank you for sharing your journey, your goals and your insights. It is comforting to me to realize that there are others in my circumstances.

It therefore becomes apparent that the majority of households with incomes exceeding the six figure mark are the result of an economic as well as personal union between two economic equals. Today, two nurses, each making $55,000 a year, can easily out-earn a single attorney who makes the median of $95,000 annually.[24][42] Despite household income rising drastically through the union of two economic equals, neither individual has advanced his or her function and position within society. Yet the household (not the individual) may have become more affluent, assuming an increase in household members does not offset the dual-income derived gains.
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!
As a Pet E. out of college, you’d likely earn around 100k + bonuses. After 3 years, you’ll probably earn around 115 – 130k working only 40 hrs a week. This gives you time to work on other businesses. However, you’re subject to downturns like the one we’re facing now. Lots of graduates and even experienced people unable to find jobs currently until the oil price turns around, so it’s a bit of a gamble.
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.
“Just remember that your happiness, as measured by income will continue to grow until $200,000 and then stop because of government persecution and the bitter populace who want to keep you down. After you break $200,000 you need to start going into hiding. So if you discover after taking my advice that you are on pace to blow by $200,000 a year, don’t forget to create an exit strategy!”

Thanks for visiting. I recommend tracking your finances for two weeks and writing down everything you’ve spent money on. Then purge the unnecessary things and all that money into another savings account you can’t touch, or auto invest it in a digital wealth advisor like Wealthfront. The key is to cut fat and automate your savings and contributions. Do this for 10 years and you WILL have more money than you could ever realistically imagine.


If there’s one thing that all freelancers know, it is that their income is always ‘unpredictable’. Sometimes, you have work that you can’t even handle and sometimes, you are in desperate need for work. Your earnings as a freelancer depends on your time. The more time you spend, the more you will earn. This is why having recurring revenue can prove to be a significant factor of financial growth.

The income disparities within the top 1.5% are quite drastic.[44] While households in the top 1.5% of households had incomes exceeding $250,000, 443% above the national median, their incomes were still 2200% lower than those of the top 0.1% of households. One can therefore conclude that almost any household, even those with incomes of $250,000 annually, are poor when compared to the top 0.01%, who in turn are poor compared to the top 0.000267%, the top 400 taxpaying households.[original research?]
Hosting – I suggest joining the WordPress Hosting and WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group and see what real (unbiased) people are saying about hosting. SiteGround was #1 in multiple Facebook polls and #1 in most Facebook conversations (this one too). People who migrate usually see significant load time improvements especially if they’re currently using Godaddy/EIG. I use their semi-dedicated GoGeek plan which comes with 4x more server resources than regular shared hosting (#1 factor in WordPress Optimization Guide) and have <1s load times with 100% scores in GTmetrix/Pingdom. SiteGround also does free migrations.
If you are in this camp then Glen has done an amazing post on keyword research which is a really good place for you to start. The important thing to take note of there is the last part of the article that talks about things you are passionate about. Picking a niche or keyword set based solely on the idea of making quick cash is a really good way to lose interest.
How to Get This Job: The American Society of Anesthesiologists recommends beginning preparations for your career as early as high school, by taking advanced classes in biology and chemistry and volunteering in hospital settings. Anesthesiologists must complete four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of internship, and three to four years of residency. Many opt for an additional fellowship year to train in a subspecialty like pain management, cardiac anesthesiology, or critical care medicine.
Very easy my dear friend, I think reading this article, any body can make money online. So the basic idea of this whole article was -affiliate marketing through email list. Another method that is totally working and i am able to generate an average 20-50$ per days is just post proper review on any popular system and fully optimize that so that that review can rank higher in search results. This method will generate endless affiliate income for you.
I would look into Wealthfront and automatically contribute a set amount every month from your paycheck after tax. The first 15K under management is free and it’s just 0.25% after that. Sign up and play around with the risk tolerance meter to see what different type of portfolios they come up with. They do tax loss harvesting and automatically rebalance for you based on your risk tolerance. You don’t have to fund the account to see the different portfolios.
For example, when mechanical engineers design parts of an airplane, the process can be tested and refined before production and sales. In the oilfield, companies are drilling up to 30,000 ft where the reservoir will never be seen by anyone. Yet, engineers must still construct models based on a few well points in the ground. Imagine filling in the entire map of San Francisco with just 4 known street intersections. This is why companies can spend $100 million on a single well and find nothing but rock and water.
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.
It’s unfortunate that you left IT out – yes portion of it have been outsourced. However I have several friends who work as social media technologist (monetize YouTube videos, twitter relationships etc.) that make over 6 figures. Also I work as an IT Business Analyst for a large consulting firm and make over 6 figures… My boss last year made over 200k (with bonus) for a midsize software development firm in retail. There is so much money to be made out there – BUT a lot of the old jobs are gone. I mean have we stopped to think about how some of those “crazy kids” running around on the internet blogging everywhere are now making 6 figures? That is a legit job that was created during the recession. Yeah people let’s make our own economic stimulus package! You have to find what the market is paying for these days – the money is out there.
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.
If you work for a major (Shell, Chevron, BP, Conoco) they pay about 90 – 100k starting for petroleum engineers and about 70-80k for mechanical/chemical/electrical engineers. The exception is Exxon (they pay more because it’s a terrible work environment, but they make the most profits). If you work for a smaller independent, perhaps it gets bumped up 10k or so. Bonuses are typically 10-20%. I’m a recent graduate in Petroleum Engineering working for Shell.
A great point you made there though. Too many people try to take on too much at once and end up spreading themselves too thin – trying to conquer all the niches at the same time. Marketers also do this with advertising. Instead of sticking with one platform until they are generating a consistent number of leads they will jump from platform to platform, in essence chucking a load of crap at a wall and seeing what sticks.
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.
Also if you don’t have AP credits you can choose to cram in credit hours for a few semesters. It will take most your “fun” time, but you could essentially cut out a semester or two by sacrificing a little here and there. Shooting for 18 or more credit hours would be the goal. You could strategize it anyway you’d like. A couple semesters at 21 hours will really help you cut down your time in school. Now I didn’t employ this strategy but in hindsight I should have. I had a handful of business student friends that did this, and they seemed to have perfectly fine lives. They were even sighted at the occasional party or two, and were always happy.
I wouldn’t say 500k+ is typical for physicians in the U.S. It depends a lot on specialty of practice. I married a physician who specialized in family medicine, which is primary care. Her prospects upon leaving residency are more between the 200k-300k range. I’m sure it could be more in other geographic regions. I know one family medicine physician who started his own clinic, grew it, hired other health care providers, and makes about 750k. I don’t think that is typical — he just works his behind off. My wife isn’t willing to live her life that far out of balance. She wants quality time at home as well. Surgeons probably earn the most, and I know getting into an anesthesiology residency is highly competitive. Anyway, to sum up my point in a brief way (too late!), there is a broad range of physician income highly dependent on specialty of practice.
Great post! I took a similar route only with Mining engineering. One thing I didn’t see mentioned is the aid available for these type of programs (less recently). When I started school companies would sponsor a full YEAR of tuition with the stipulation you graduate within the mining program, and you didn’t have to work for that company (scholarships booyah!!) These industries have a huge age gap with the majority of senior engineers retiring or recently retired. Can you say desperate? While I do still work for the man, at least I get to play with huge machines and blow s*** up!

The second thing you’ll want to consider is whether or not it is a receptive audience for both your message and the final sale. For example, doing a guest post on a site about Japanese culture might be a good idea for your Bonsai affiliate post even though the community might not be currently interested in Bonsai growing. Or you could go to a photography blog and do a link-bait post about beautiful Bonsai photographs. The site’s traffic might not buy from you but once the post gets indexed a lot of Bonsai-lovers will find it. Remember, these guest posts, videos, etc. should be sending relevant organic traffic that converts to sales over the coming months and years.

I have been a cop for 5 years and have two kids, a wife and mortgage. I like what I do but lately I have been thinking of a career switch to make more money. I majored in criminal justice in collage. I don’t know if I could afford to go back to school with a family to support, however I want to be able to provide more for my family. What would you suggest?
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.
100k in the Bay area is like 50k in most of the country adjusted for cost of living. I really wish we used adjusted salary more frequently in the US – including welfare, taxes etc. So many T10, T20 B schools are graded based off average nominal salary, which drastically overstates NE and California B-Schools in terms of their value due to their typical placement location.
Our prospects are much better than teachers in some states, but both of our incomes are tied to salary schedules that are determined by the schools’ budgets and what the taxpayers are willing to allow. My salary schedule is much more generous than my husband’s, allowing me to be the breadwinner (maternity leave notwithstanding). But his coaching stipends and curriculum work pay is much more handsome.
Summary: 7 Figure Franchise is basically just a resell right, with some decent training on traffic generation, for you to leverage Michael Cheney's sales funnel and promote his products. Yes, it's possible for you to make money but you're not building a business for yourself. It's more about helping Michael to build his business which can be taken away from you anytime. (Remember, it's just a franchise!)
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