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”.

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.
Thanks for sharing this information. I actually work as a Project Management consultant in the technology and healthcare industry but I really want to get into construction project management because I love architecture I was also interested in natural resources project management just for a change but, it is very difficult to switch from one industry to another any advice?
Im 39 yrs old, graduated from a average college in business management. I currently work for the state in the IT help desk making around 35k a year in Sacramento, Im not happy with this salary, but my job is stable and Ihave retirement benefits. But, I want to make more money now, I want to be making 250k plus, I dont know if I should quit this job and go to the private sector and what field I should go into or stay what in the same field but switch to private IT job. I feel at this age, If I went back to business school to get an MBA might be a waste of time and money. Can you advise me?
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?]
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You can’t make $1000 per day with Michael Cheney’s Commission Black Ops. It’s composed of rehashed information you probably already have. Some of the information are readily available on the Internet for completely free and the bulk of the training is theory that can’t get you started on your way to Internet Marketing success. It’s getting a D rating instead of an F because you might pick one or two concepts that you might find new and useful as nobody knows it all in the Internet Marketing industry.

Not that I recommend this as a permanent lifestyle, especially if you want to have kids some day, but you could always take one of those “Most Dangerous Jobs” as an oil platform worker, Alaska crabber, etc. which pay well, or even get into a decent skilled job in a manufacturing facility with a base of say, 50-60K after a few years, but work every shift of overtime you can get your hands on. Granted, I used to see many people miserable doing this, but they were bringing in 6 figures as a mechanic, pipefitter or in some cases, even HS level line workers. Finally, you can get a side job – like blogging!
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.
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.

In addition to physicians, lawyers, physicists, and nuclear engineers were all among the nation's 20 highest paid occupations with incomes in excess of $78,410.[24] Some of the other occupations in the high five-figure range were economists with a median of $72,780,[25] mathematicians with $81,240,[26] financial managers with $81,880,[27] and software publishers with median annual earnings of $73,060.[28] The median annual earnings of wage-and-salary pharmacists in May 2006 were $94,520. The median annual earnings of wage-and-salary engineers in November 2011 were $90,000. The middle 50 percent earned between $83,180 and $108,140 a year (as in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008–09 Edition by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).


Thanks for sharing. Parents will definitely find your info helpful! We agree with you on public universities. My wife and I went to city universities and both of us majored in Computer Science in the early 80’s. My wife is the smarter one and she went to college for free. My parents paid 6K for my 4.5 years. It around $450 per semester back then. I think we got a great education. I can’t imagine parents paying over 50K plus per year these days.
Nice post John and great to see your stuff here on FS! I have a similar path as the one you described just for biomedical engineering. I’m not making six figures yet but hope to be soon within the next few years and would like to ultimately end up in more leadership/management roles. I think the engineer path is a great one but for people who don’t like the route you described I think plenty of routes through healthcare, finance, and of course the professional schools are great to go through as well.
I’m also a subscriber of Nichehacks. He promoted Commission Black Opt, I bought it because I trust him, but totally it’s crappy. Recently, he’s promoted something like “The Affiliate Godfather” or “The Cartel” from same Micheal Cheney. I don’t know if it is a good crappy product. I wonder why he can recommend his list about under-qualified products. I wasted too much time and money in such that product.
It’s important to factor in hours worked with salary earned. I earned a six figure salary and at 40 hours a week would have earned $65 an hour, breaking it down to basics. I averaged 70 hours a week, and the salary broken down to hourly was roughly $35. This is not factoring in insurance or other benefits. Quality of life was poor and I shared a high level of stress along with my other colleagues. We weren’t doing life saving work, this was in tech. It wasn’t worth it in the long run! The burnout was a lesson to… Read more »

However, I have a number of friends and family who are K-12 teachers and I have always envied their dedication. Teachers earn less than half of what they deserve because few things are more important than educating the next generation. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the “…bizarre notion that someone’s passion should be enough to pay power bills and mortgages”.

Nicely written and so helpful info. Having too much advertisement in a site is so painful for visitor cause it makes the site look cheaper. Instead, If one can limit the number of one’s advertisement and have some affiliation it would be way cool and wouldn’t be so harsh for the visitors . You have shared some significant point for affiliate marketing . Thanks for sharing


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Jason – so happy to hear the tutorial is helping! Affiliate marketing was a huge break for me and I’m sure it can be for your son too. Whatever products/services he ends up selling, just make sure he is excited about the industry he is – it takes a long of time creating content and it will keep him motivated especially when he gets his first sales.
I think you should add major sports league before you add classical music as one of these high paying jobs. It’s similar, people don’t do music/sports for money! But people do it for the love of it AND the money it brings at the very very top of the industry! In sports it is millions of $, in the case of symphony orchestra, it is 100k+. I work in the industry and it is misleading to list it along with other jobs in your post.

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]

As oil truly runs out, I believe economics will spur investment into alternative energy rather than politicians or environmentalists. As much as people may hate Big Oil, they are the ones best positioned to start the process. They will have the capital from record oil profits. They already have all the engineers and R&D on staff. Most of all, implementing gigantic capital projects has been their bread and butter. Sorry, this is probably more than you asked for.
Great article! So I was wondering if I could get your advice? I’ll be graduating college in about 3 years and I should have around $200k saved in mutual funds, I’ve considered getting my degree in accounting (although I want to become a physician once I have a solid amount of money saved) and I was planning on trying to go work for my family’s CPA firm. What’s a reasonable amount I can save at most so I can attain a million in mutual fund savings? Considering that it’ll gain roughly 10% a year
With your geographics and your desire to start a business, I’d choose a business degree. Pet E. is extremely specific and you’ll only be marketable to the oil and gas industry. I’m also not aware of much activity in Wisconsin. I would be cautious about your assumptions on getting out after 1-3 years unless you have some kind of funding from other sources. 100k is only 50k after taxes and a frugal living style.
I thought that 43,000 was a lot for me back in the 1980s/1990s. I managed to pay for house, utilities and go on vacation. Now, I find that I am working three part time jobs, do manage to pay rent, car payment, insurance and get food and still have to scrounge to pay two other bills!!! I will be working through retirement, which doesn’t bother me, since I am healthy. But I would like to have something to hold on to without putting it all towards bills!
This is interesting to me because I just accepted a medical sales job with a great company and there is a lot of opportunity, however I left a job I really miss (didn’t realize how much I liked it until I left). Although the income potential is high in med sales, I’m really not liking the lifestyle of being on the road all the time. I also moved to a new place for the job and don’t know anyone so that doesn’t help either. Is it better to stick it out and see if something changes or accept that I made a career mistake and try to get out asap? I guess I get torn between going after a good opportunity vs going back to a job with less potential but maybe something I’d enjoy more.
It seems that people are slightly repelled from sales pages since the experience imposes a decision making at a speed not of their choosing i.e. they are aware of the funnel and quite frankly suspicious of being manipulated (this is where trust building kicks in, but sometimes just…). For that reason, using editing techniques and somewhat less obvious copywriting techniques can make a huge difference. Give the full disclosure that you are selling, sure, but make it so that the reader is in a different mindset. I for one like to make the sale page looking like any other article on the site. Magazine style articles, with pictures, opinions, personal experience, advice… When my style of expression and writing feels as dispersed through the article as it is through any other segment of my site, I know that the page would appeal more to visitors.

Smart tips, Elna! That’s exactly what I did with BoardBooster – I created a post that showed people (with screen shots etc) exactly how I was using it to increase my Pinterest engagement. In my opinion, that’s one of the best ways to create affiliate sales – not only are you providing something that’s truly helpful to your readers, you’re showing them exactly how it works.
I am a recent graduate from college of business with an MIS degree. I am very fortunate to say that my starting salary is 70k. I truly believe that I have the capability to have a six figure salary in my 20’s (currently 22). I loved this article and the comment section. Aside of what the article has mentioned any tips/advice from someone who can help me add an additional 50k to what I will be making? I’m sure that I will have a side hustle or start a small business while working my full-time job but I’m perfectly fine with that.
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 am a highschool student with some questions. First of all I wanted to know the importance of volunteer work for getting into a high end school (I currently have straight A’s as well.) Second are AP classes beneficial even if a college I would like to go to doesn’t accept them. And lastly I am interested in being a Petroleum Engineer so any info you have on that field of work would be cool. Great article by the way!
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.
Determination and a positive attitude can bring so many rewards. A lot of people don’t need 100k to live comfortably or to be happy, especially if they don’t live in a big city, but I think it’s a great career goal for city dwellers. Getting good grades and going to a strong school are definitely a leg up to a big salary. If I’m interviewing someone and they didn’t write their GPA down on their resume I always ask what it was – if they had bad grades in school from goofing off and partying why should I believe they would be any different in the work place? I want to hire people that are responsible, driven, efficient, and performed well in college.
I’m 23 y/o and have been going to community college on and off since h/s. Didn’t really care about grades the first 2 years so that really screwed up my gpa in the beginning. Long story short, I’m sitting at a 3.0 gpa currently and want to change my situation. I’m going to take school and grades more seriously. I have to stay one more year at community college to complete the required transfer classes to be able to attend a university. I can probably raise my gpa to a 3.1 before i transfer, but I don’t think i can transfer to a good business school with that gpa. So I plan to transfer to a Cal State and try to keep a 4.0 for 2 years until I graduate so my average gpa from community college and University would be about 3.5-3.6. Then, my next step would be to apply to a top 15 business school
"You must document daily in a Google spreadsheet every Facebook post you make, every friend-getting session you undertake (including number of friends added) and the date of each of both of these activities in the Google spreadsheet. You must also share the clicks and traffic data in this spreadsheet which you get from these activities to demonstrate you are getting at least 35 clicks per day over the 60 day period."
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