John loved the post (though petroleum is not all it’s cut out to be)… my buddy started at 125k + 25k signing in 2015. Was laid off 9 months later (got a 3 month severance). So he made 150k for 9 months worth of work but now he can’t find a job and he’s been looking about a year now… Electrical, Computer, and Chemical are very safe paths to quick bucks (assuming you have stellar grades – I graduated with a 3.9). Petroleum can have that boom, bust cycle that can screw the new guy! Not saying don’t go into it, just know the risks! And remember work your ass off – ADD VALUE to your company and make yourself INDISPENSIBLE so they won’t lay you off.
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.
Pradeep, in IT, there’s no getting around not taking tests towards certifications. Certifications is what gets you PAID in IT. Trust me. I career-changed into IT in my mid-twenties. I took a Cisco boot camp, got 3 CCNA certifications (Routing & Switching, Security, Wireless) and finally got a job as a wireless network engineer starting out at 50k/yr. It was shit and I had to travel 100% installing and configuring WiFi in Hilton hotels for an AT&T project BUT I had to get more experience to land a 9-5 with a regular company…and I did.
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.
I have two teens and I cleared $17k (not a typo Seventeen Thousand) last year. How? I joined the Army after high school. Went to war ’91. Got out of the Army. Went to college (took wrong major). Dropped out of college after my daughter was born. Went to work in sales in telecom. They burnt me out in 2 years. Most I ever made was $63k. The reason I tell you this is there is much, much more diversity in the world than just about the money. I don’t despise anyone making a lot of money, anything to distance yourself from the grasp of hunger poverty is good !
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 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.
If you’re in the WordPress industry like I am (whether it be design, development, or SEO) I have accumulated quite the list of WordPress affiliate programs. I excluded those I found unsuccessful or pay too little to make a profit from, specifically ThemeForest, Creative Market, and low quality theme stores like Template Monster. Hosting pays well and I wrote a tutorial for SiteGround’s affiliate program and StudioPress themes which are my 2 highest paying affiliates. Those tutorials have tons of screenshots/social proof especially for SiteGround.
Excellent & invaluable information! Choosing the affiliate product before makes total sense as you can more easily tailor your site to your product. I am in total agreement about the soft sell, I find that if I get an email or read a blog post that is too obviously all about making money & too infomercial like I rarely buy or revisit (or unsubscribe).
This is an awesome post, dealing with some very tricky details in affiliate marketing. It is quite hard for a person who is not well versed in the arts of affiliate marketing to distinguish what is essential in one program and what should be avoided. This is why your post is incredibly useful for anyone who is considering training for work online and programs like 7 Figure Franchise by Michael Cheney.
Hello I just stumbled across your blog. A bit of back ground. I garudated with a degree in accounting in 2008. I got a job at a small firm, but got fired 3months in. I tried my best but I wasn’t getting it and no one was helping me learn. I went back to school did a year of sciences and tried to come back to accounting. I didn’t get another job till 2011 and got fired 11 months in. I learned and applied myself but I also felt I just wasn’t wanted despite my best effort. Tried to get back into it to get my CPA but could not find a job. I found many recruiters to be rude and condescending. A bit more info on me I was a bit of a hot head in college and took shit from no one. I managed to make a lot of enemies very few friends. I feel this is another reason I can’t get work in my home town I just have a bad reputation, and my resume does not look good. I am now almost 30. I want to support my family but and I feel I need to go back and find a useful skill to do so. I was thinking about doing a two year engineering diploma in the energy field; doing IT + accounting; or going into nursing. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you for hearing me out.
Ahmad, Great post and great information. I have some more specific questions for you relating to my personal company and how affiliate programs can tie into it. Is there a chance we could talk sometime soon? I think you may have the answers to several of my questions on whether affiliate marketing is what I am looking for or not. And if it’s not what I am looking for I think you can direct me in the direction I need to go.

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.
Perhaps; I think a larger reason for why there are so few $100,000 earners is due to relatively difficulty in getting a job that pays that much (or creating income source(s) to generate that level of income) as compared to a less than $100,000 a year position. I also think there’s more than a few people who happen to gravitate toward professions that don’t pay such high salaries; if you are a kindergarten teacher, and get a lot of personal satisfaction out of your job, you might have no desire to go back to school to become, say, a venture capitalist. The fact of the matter is that not every profession we as a society need pays more than $100,000 a year; which is probably good, because if they did, prices would adjust to the point that you’d need to earn $1,000,000 a year just to be upper middle class.
Hello I just stumbled across your blog. A bit of back ground. I garudated with a degree in accounting in 2008. I got a job at a small firm, but got fired 3months in. I tried my best but I wasn’t getting it and no one was helping me learn. I went back to school did a year of sciences and tried to come back to accounting. I didn’t get another job till 2011 and got fired 11 months in. I learned and applied myself but I also felt I just wasn’t wanted despite my best effort. Tried to get back into it to get my CPA but could not find a job. I found many recruiters to be rude and condescending. A bit more info on me I was a bit of a hot head in college and took shit from no one. I managed to make a lot of enemies very few friends. I feel this is another reason I can’t get work in my home town I just have a bad reputation, and my resume does not look good. I am now almost 30. I want to support my family but and I feel I need to go back and find a useful skill to do so. I was thinking about doing a two year engineering diploma in the energy field; doing IT + accounting; or going into nursing. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you for hearing me out.
Excellent & invaluable information! Choosing the affiliate product before makes total sense as you can more easily tailor your site to your product. I am in total agreement about the soft sell, I find that if I get an email or read a blog post that is too obviously all about making money & too infomercial like I rarely buy or revisit (or unsubscribe).
The Seven Figure Franchise almost sounds a bit similar to the Empower Network for those of you who remember that program. The Empower Network was a scam and a lot of people lost their money in it. That program flopped big time! In my personal opinion, what I would recommend is that you sell some affiliate products on the side and instead, invest in selling your own products where you will be making constant income rather than trying to make some huge marketer even richer. And there’s a reason why getting a refund is so dad gum hard with the Seven Figure Franchise. It is because they don’t want to really give a refund in the first place.
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