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.
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!
I’m not a teacher. So what? I realize that money in education is vastly different than most other career fields. While we enjoy both the good and the bad that comes with having very public salary schedules, it is possible to play the long game in many jobs. Networking, informal conversations, and even snooping researching on sites like Glassdoor should at least give most everyone some initial insight into their field. More than anything, though, flexibility and adaptability if you find yourself in a less-than-ideal situation go a long way.
In the old days of SEO you’d build backlinks using relevant anchor text. So, for example, if you wanted to rank for “bonsai trees” that would be the link text you’d use in your guest posts. And then the Panda update happened and Google took a swipe at unnatural link profiles which meant that SEOs started making their anchor text more natural (things like “click here to read the rest”).

I have a relatively similar story. I am a 24 year old with a Computer Engineering degree. Did well in high school, scholarship to a good public school and I’m now making ~140k plus bonuses and stock options. I currently live on the east coast, but know tons of college friends in silicon valley making even more (although the cost of living is much higher).
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

But getting 1000 visitors to any given affiliate site meant I'd have to get about 10,000 visitors to my own site. If I could do that every week, I'd be doing OK for a small business site with a marketing budget close to zero. But I was already learning that it takes time and money to get 10,000 visitors a week. And let's see... for all my traffic generating efforts I would pull in a cool $180 a month? It didn't take a genius to figure out that it might not be worth the effort. I passed.
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.
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!
According to 2013 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, only 22 percent of households had an income of $100,000 or more. Adam Koos of Libertas Wealth Management Group near Columbus, Ohio, says members of most households would see a boost in their quality of life by hitting the six-figure benchmark, but they might be surprised to see it doesn’t necessarily make them high rollers.

Yes, people who perform on stage look like a big group of people and they have union. Perhaps when you read the article about the strike you were surprised to know symphony players earn six figure salary, but only about 1% gets to play in the 100k+ salary orchestra from top music schools (Juilliard, Curtis, NEC, etc). I am a lucky few who plays in a major orchestra with 100k+ pay, but I spent my 20s practicing everyday earning $10k-$20k until I finally won the audition at age 30. (33 now) In order to be competitive in auditions, I own (parents and grandparents paid) an instrument that costs $300k. Most of the straight A students from top music school I know now earn below $50k. As a music student, it is a big success if one wins an orchestral job with $50k salary. Many try to teach and freelance at a $5k orchestra job to scrape by.
That is a good point. Unfortunately some people don’t “know how to be rich”. A financially literate person(Warren Buffet, Carl Icahn, Bill Gates, etc.) can turn $1 million into $1 billion by living within their means and only spending substantial amounts on productive assets, whereas others will blow it on anything they see and end up more in debt than they started(think MC Hammer.)
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.
I eventually learned the best model (for me) was to copy what Yoast did… charge a flat free for SEO Audits. People were always super happy with my audits. I still have my SEO audit templates (one for local SEO, national SEO, etc). Sometimes it would only take me 4 hours to write an audit and I would get $750, sometimes more if they wanted a more thorough audit. Maybe I undercharged?

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.


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!

Thanks for reigniting my spirit bro. Affiliate marketing is the game changer when it comes to making money on your blog.I neglected it at the start but now i really see it as a necessity. In 5 months i have earned twice waht i made with PPC(Adsense) to be precise. Selling poducts and getting commisions brings the highest cash. Will be around some other time to check out your write ups. Hope to see you on my blig some day too. Cheers.
Canada. In my experience you just give the degree, though the first job I did also show them my transcript. Focus appears to be more on work experience than GPA. In fact, bragging about GPA could backfire as people might not be interested in hiring an “academic!” I’ve only seen a handful of CVs though, and it’s possible that my career advisor was wrong on this point.
Its all relative to what you need, I was in Sales (Corp 401k and Pension) right out of college and made a 200k a in the early 90’s with consistency then had years where I made 1m in my early 30’s. However I hated it. I was smart and banked it in the lucrative Boston Real Estate market and in my late 30’s left sales and took a more boring desk job with less travel and more time for my kids. I made about 100k +/- a year for but put together a nice traditional pension. In my early 50’s, after my kids graduated college (Yes I did pay) I finally took my graduate degree (Masters in Urban Planning) and put it to work as a planner in a suburban town, where my staring comp dropped to 65k, now in my late 50’s I am the Dir of Planning for a small city making about 160k and happy in my work for the 1st time ever! Also the benefits working in government are 10x what they ever were in Corp America. Do what you love
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!
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 personally didn’t earn six figures by the time I was 25 years old, but I’m still SO GLAD I didn’t go through with my engineering degree (I put 3 years into an engineering education, and then switched to finance). I agree with you Sam. I see so many engineers that feel trapped. They want to move up in the company, but it seems incredibly difficult. Sure, they can earn a good wage, but if they don’t love what they do, they’re stuck for quite a while.
I have a relatively similar story. I am a 24 year old with a Computer Engineering degree. Did well in high school, scholarship to a good public school and I’m now making ~140k plus bonuses and stock options. I currently live on the east coast, but know tons of college friends in silicon valley making even more (although the cost of living is much higher).
A wise man once told me…, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.!” Networking is important, but how do you know, you are networking with appropriate people that want to see you make the same six ball park figures that they do, you then become competition, and unless they are frequently throwing you under the bus. I don’t really see networking as the great ideal, education is important but whose to say you might not be educated in a particular area, to keep what you have worked so hard for, I see this article as a hit and miss, and unless you can stay “Motivated” which can be extremely difficult in some cases, What’s the real obstacle. I know this is possible, but I don’t think anywhere as much information that is needed. How ever if anyone has any idea of any jobs that a twenty-two year old can become employed in a short space of time and make $100,000-$250,000.00 please allow me to know.
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.
Every time I got stock from my company I tried to sell as much as I could every year and diversify into other asset classes like real estate. The banking industry stunk, and I didn’t want my career, salary, and stock to all be tied to the stock market. But stock grants as part of my bonus kept coming faster than I could sell. My old company stock is down 50% this year alone!
As is the case for most professional reviewers, many of the books I review on this site have been provided by the publisher or author, at no cost to me. I've also reviewed books that I bought, because they were worthy of your time. And I've also received dozens of review copies at no charge that do not get reviewed, either because they are not worthy or because they don't meet the subject criteria for this column, or simply because I haven't gotten around to them yet, since I only review one book per month. I have far more books in my office than I will ever read, and the receipt of a free book does not affect my review.
Perhaps my dry humor blurs my message, but I don’t consider myself to be burned out. I think that would be an insult to everyone working more hours than me with perhaps less pay. Not to mention those in actual physically demanding jobs. I have extra energy to burn and am making moves to explore working in the banking side of things. Acquisition and merger activity is expected to pick up with smaller oil companies struggling.
I always think about this process in terms of the sales funnel. You are writing posts and making videos that introduce people to a broader idea or subject and then using backlinks to filter them towards your affiliate program through your ultimate post. When creating this content you want to make sure you select either evergreen topics or link-bait style subjects that build social momentum and attract relevant traffic over time.
I saw that and sort of snorted at the similarity between that and working in the arts and then laughed out loud when you wrote “we’re not artists, for Pete’s sake.” I have no idea why people think that noble or creative jobs are a reward in themselves. We all still have the same base expenses in life. If you’re working 40 hours a week in a job that provides any sort of value, you should be able to cover them.

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.


Well I really understand everything that is being stated and I do agree with the majority of the Arrticle. Although I am 25 years old and I didnt even go to middle school and let alone grad uate highschool and went to college for an art historian as it is a passion of mine. I became a single mother and had to discontinue studdies. Now I had a hard start in life and made poor decisions when I was young , taking my lessons and downfalls with pride and perserverence, my life exscperiences have transformed me into a hard working determined woman. I now have two children and can easily make 200,000.00 a year if I would like to and will when my children are older. Right now I make anywere from 50,000 to 100,000 working hard for 4 to 6 month and then make about 4000 to 5000 a month the other half of the year now I work at the most 45 hrs a week and not very often my fiance is just now starting to return to work as he doesn’t need to he would like to !!!!! When you set your mind to making a great life for yourself and your family you will do it yes education is important and I wish I had made other decisions , With that being said my past does not define my intellect my drive nor my capabilities to find financial freedom and be successful I just keep always wanting and giving more!!


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I see a lot of naysayers and people not even trying. I am by no means rich or in the 1% but I live comfortably. I am single mother with ZERO support from my child’s father or from my parents who have passed away. I own a cleaning business. I got an associate’s in HIM and I work remotely and received my credentials. Yes, I spent a couple thousand starting my business and finishing my education, but I have been reimbursed all of my startup cost and have a team of employees. I don’t work 40 hours a week. Maybe 35. I don’t do any of the cleanings for my company, I have employees for that. Not saying in an emergency I haven’t cleaned, but for the most part the business runs itself because I strategically put people in place to do so. It was not an easy road, but it was well traveled and worth it.
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I also worked my ass off during high school, went to a public university with enough AP credit to graduate in three years with an English degree (gasp!) then received a Master’s in journalism (double gasp!) that costed next to nothing, because I moved back home with my parents and didn’t have to divulge their income on the FAFSA for a graduate degree. I went into tech marketing and was making six figures by the time I was 25.

No doubt that Michael Cheney is smart & sophisticated biz man , he probably use all tactics to promote his interest at best, or stretching the rules to limit , its not scam , I know nothing about his product’s performance nor after sale service quality , he said that he have 20 years experience & successful results, the 7 figure looks good as he offering double refund with personal guaranty which nobody else (as I know) offer
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