Only about 20 percent of American households even break the six-figure mark, according to Census Bureau data. But while many Americans still see that number as a prized income, it doesn’t necessarily roll out the red carpet anymore. Due to the rising costs of food, energy, college tuition, health insurance and the growing “necessities” of a middle-class life, a $100,000 salary in some parts of the country covers little more than the essentials.

After you link all your accounts, use their Retirement Planning calculator that pulls your real data to give you as pure an estimation of your financial future as possible using Monte Carlo simulation algorithms. Definitely run your numbers to see how you’re doing. I’ve been using Personal Capital since 2012 and have seen my net worth skyrocket during this time thanks to better money management.
In the United States, the highest earning occupational group is referred to as white collar professionals. Individuals in this occupational classification tend to report the highest job satisfaction and highest incomes. Defining income based on title of a profession can be misleading, given that a professional title may indicate the type of education received, but does not always correlate with the actual day to day income-generating endeavors that are pursued.
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Some blogs boast of having 650 million subscribers but when a new post goes up everything is quiet. The more active the community the more likely you are to get Tweets, Facebook Likes and +1’s which, no matter what anyone says, have an impact on your short and long term rankings. Answering comments also give you a good opportunity to build trust with your new readers.
First I want to just say well done with what you have accomplished. You have done an amazing job. I’m not really one to post a comment on blogs as I’m sure everyone says. But the thing that struck me the most about you is I can tell your a great individual. You love cats, as my wife and I do. We also have rescue cats. You are a very generous and honest person and that is most likely why you also have done well. Very authentic and honest. I’m in the process of building an affiliate amazon site. So I can relate to the content side of things. I’m already a customer of siteground but If I wasn’t I’d happily sign up through you. I have bookmarked your site as I’d like to come back and read a little more and keep an eye on your progress. Thanks for taking the time to write this post. It’s one of the best blog posts I’ve read. Take care Tom

Hi TOM, I have really enjoyed your shared nice piece of content with us. ..Actually, I am thinking to design and develop a mobile comparison website but you know, it’s not an easy job to collect mobiles data. A lot of time and cost is required to build such a website and I don’t want to spend a lot of money as I am new in this field. My colleague has recommended me RevGlue for this purpose as this a UK based registered company and are providing mobiles and its deals data for the UK only with the name of RevEmbed technology as I have read its blog revglue.com/blog-detail/13-setup-free-uk-mobile-comparison-website but I am the little bit confused as its a newborn company. Anyone, have experience with RevGlue. Guide me in this respect. Waiting for your kind response. Thanks in advance.
I’m 24 years old hard working electrician living in Calgary Alberta Canada, Probably one of the best places to be a electrician really. I’m a 4th year apprentice, I start my last year of school in jan, by march/april i will be a ticketed journeyman. This year i will make 70,000 (thats before taxes) and im extremely unsatisfied with it. Once im a Jman working for my current company i will make aprox 85 without OverTime. when I do the math its not that much more, now i have the potential too make more but there are some complications too this.
Great post, Penny! As you know – I am finishing up year 29 in education. I have two Master’s degree and a doctorate and I’ve never earned six figures. Had I stayed as a principal in the last five years, I would have made six figures. I’d likely be at around $120,000 right now. But I gave that up to go teach at the college level, not work 12 months a year, and have fun educating the next generation of teachers. Five years ago, I knew I was almost to FI because of this community (and that’s never making six figures and being a single mom for a number of years…)
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Yeah… HS was a busy time! School 730-230, sports 3-5, hw 7-12 M-F, Sunday hw 10-1am. I did that grades 9-11. Grade 12 I was ahead and worked a ton during the school year (32 hours a week) + sports + school. I actually didn’t do any community college courses, I did them at the state college that I attended. I was admitted as a HS student and the school district paid for everything – made it easier not having to worry about transfer credits.
The sub-title of the book is "Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income," so I was expecting the it to be mostly a "I got rich blogging and here are the ways that you can get rich quickly, too" type of book, but getting rich quick was not really the main focus of the book. There are a few chapters on money-making blogging strategies, but the majority of the book is devoted to helping you figure out how to run an effective blog. In fact, throughout the book the authors stress that most successful/profitable blogs are the result of years of work.

The quest for six figures gets even more complicated when you consider the ways in which our country tends to vilify any individual with a big income. Let’s look at Scrooge. Whether we’re talking about the original Dickens character or the McDuck cartoon version, one thing is abundantly clear: Rich people are misers who think little of others without divine intervention. News headlines describing real-life millionaires aren’t much more generous. But net worth doesn’t dictate self-worth. No one should apologize for seeking wealth.
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!
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
“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!”
I just want to point out that all though it is fantastic to go to college & to have great grades, innovative thinking & motivation can land you an awesome job. I graduated HS top of my class & went to a small private college for 2 years. I only have an AA degree (nothing to brag about though I always earned As). I decided to get married at 19 (I know, right?!) but when I was staying at home with the kids, I started my own real estate business & started making a 6 figure income within 3 years. I have doubled that within the past year & rake in over $300K per year working from home. I sell around 200 properties a year. I just hit 30 & make over $300K per year & started making 6 figures at only 28. I’m sitting pretty with a high paying job where I am in control of my own destiny. Work ethic & seeing an opportunity & knowing how to seize it is how I got there. With that said, I do value education & will likely go back to get a degree someday just so I can say I have one. For now though, I will focus on my $300K+ per year income & know that I made this for myself.
I think there are two basic ways to get to 100K. First is to plan a career that offers jobs that pay 100K as FS talks about above. The second is to follow a passion that can lead to 100K due to your skill or making a good business out of the passion. (So, the passion job is not typically a 100K job – but you find a way or you follow it to a direction that leads to that income).

Saw this article in my RSS feed, and I realized how I totally forgot to read it when it was published. Only one VERY IMPORTANT thing to add- if you are using an affiliate network, don’t hesitate to ask for a raise if the sales are decent in numbers. We did this a couple of times, and every time we managed to negotiate a raise. Imagine this- traffic stays the same, conversion rate stays the same, only commissions get higher. Nice, huh?
I was researching affiliate programs because I own a small business and we are getting ready to do an event I wanted a few blogger to blog about and I came across this article. It was not quite what I needed but I was intrigued enough to read to the end. I do want to say the best part I found about this article is that you took the time to respond to everyone that left a comment, even for this article that was done over a year ago. I just want to say great job and I wish you the most continued success.
Thanks for the really insightful reply. I really appreciate it. Now, what if I did not want to be a network engineer dealing with hardware? I definitely do not mind taking certifications, but if I just wanted to become a business analyst or QA Analyst…some IT profession that doesn’t require too much programming or developing because I need the time to learn at the programming languages…Like I’m trying to get a plan going here…BTW, i’ve heard of the CCNA thing over and over again…is that only for network engineers? Because..I dont really want to deal with hands on material or travel too much…I’m tryna be in a position where I earn certifications and learn stuff online and gain experience doing projects online or volunteeringly taking on work to contribute to the IT department to showcase my interest…
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!
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]
Hands down I’d say the best thing you can do is research 1 primary keyword, craft an enticing article title that includes your keyword (though it doesn’t have to be an exact match), spend time writing your search engine snippets (SEO titles/meta descriptions), and by far the most important is making your content as VALUABLE as possible through videos, nice graphics, table of contents, bold/colors/styling, etc. Small things like keyword density barely matter.
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…
On the other hand: the main reason of bankruptcy for small businesses is bad financial management. Simply said: to forget to make invoices, not checking the payments and not following bad payers. 1 out of 3 is going bankrupt for this reason alone. I had to learn it myself. I spend at least 10% of my time with financial stuff. I don’t love it but the bills get payed ;-)
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.
Hi! I'm Kate, the founder of Root + Revel, a food and wellness site delivering inspiration to help people live naturally, without sacrifice. After reversing my PCOS and Leaky Gut with food and holistic remedies (no prescriptions), I started R+R to share what I've learned on this incredible journey. Food Heals! I'm living proof. But that doesn't mean bland chicken and steamed broccoli. Taste is paramount here and we’re taking it back to basics and infusing beauty, flavor and celebration into everyday life, helping you strike the balance between good and good for you. Read More…
Hi John – thanks for the angle on applying applied math to the petroleum industry. I’ve been surprised at how disinterested my daughter’s math dept. seems to be in giving her tips like that to explore. Maybe I’m not all that surprised…in the west side of WA state a general apathy seems to have gradually settled in over the last few years like low fog on a cool morning. People just don’t seemed to stop caring about service…like they’re still doing their jobs but checked out at some point. They look at you with “gone fishing” signs in both eyes and leave their pride on the floor like a dropped fork. I’m not sure if others have noticed a similar change where they live – it aint a good sign socially or economically.
Get in any of the above schools, and enter any of the five industries I mentioned and you’ll likely make a median total pay package of $120,000 your very first year. Five years out, you’ll probably make double. You can attend business school at 25 or 55 and so long as you go to one of the best schools, the vast majority will make well over $100,000 a year upon graduation. Even if you don’t go into one of the aforementioned fields, you will still probably make six figures in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG like Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola), retail, and hospitality industries.
Fast forward until junior year of high school and I got a job doing an engineering internship at a prestigious national internship. I believe I made ~11-12 an hour @ 17. That summer I made about 7700, So now I’m entering HS with about 23-25k in cash. Now senior year starts and I get a raise to 13ish (woot woot). I work 32 hours a week because I’m really far ahead on my credits, and do night school and sports to allow me to work a ton. In that year I make around 13k. That puts me just under 40k going into the summer. By the end of the summer as I start undergrad in engineering I have 40-45k + 5-10k in assets between my car, and some other hard assets. 18 years old – NW ~ 45-55k.
I post around 2 articles per week related to my niche, I mainly link back to other blog posts within my site where the anchor would fit it’s purpose but I also link to the homepage with various anchor texts. I build guest posts on a regular basis as well (1 per week or so) and one of the links posts to a blog post on my site and the other to my homepage with varying anchors.
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.

In the United States, the highest earning occupational group is referred to as white collar professionals. Individuals in this occupational classification tend to report the highest job satisfaction and highest incomes. Defining income based on title of a profession can be misleading, given that a professional title may indicate the type of education received, but does not always correlate with the actual day to day income-generating endeavors that are pursued.
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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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.

Great post. Good to read from someone whose career does not involve making 6 figures (sometimes while they are in their 20s)- if one follows the PF blogs, it’s easy to forget that the majority of the population makes nowhere near that! But being in that vast throng does not mean that it’s impossible to improve one’s lot, eventually make a high income, and someday reach FI.


Hey, Sam! Great article/read. Also, i’m not sure if you’re the right guy to ask (bother? lol) but I just turned 20 and I basically got really mediocre grades at my mediocre community college and i’ll be getting my diploma next year. Not that getting into policing will be too much difficulty, but being a high ranking officer, such as a chief, that pays very well might be a bit of a stretch later down the line. I could go back and EASLY get A’s but the idea of going back to school and doing the same thing… ehhh…. I might consider doing it later, perhaps when i’m 30ish and gotten some experience as being an officer. What would you recommend? I’m open to anything. Thanks mate.
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.
Based on the marketing, you earn 100% commissions on sales and on upsells. The promotion throughout the site makes these products sound like sure-fire winners, especially as Michael Cheney has already made a lot from them. That's not a bad commission rate! Seriously, I love when companies pay high commissions, but you have to promote good products if you want to keep those commissions and avoid refunds.
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