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Geologist / Geophysicist. I started as a physicist then decided I wanted to go camping more.


From your answer I’m going to guess not in the oil industry?


No. My thesis was on geothermal exploration in remote areas of South Australia, so I have extensive experience in deep hole drilling. Just not for oil. More recently I've shifted to environmental cleanup and remediation.


“Extensive experience in deep hole drilling” “Just not for oil” Wink wink


Deep hole drilling, in the bush, or Outback?


I joined Apple in '02 as an engineer. My stock options were generous at the time, and even though I was more optimistic than most, Apple's financial performance surprised even me.


In 1999, I chose Sun Microsystems over Apple. After all, Apple was a dying company with toy-like computers and Sun Microsystems was the dot in dot.com! Needless to say, I was wrong.


The time to bail out of Sun was when Schwartz came in. Those of us in the NeXT community knew he was an asshole.


That was my mom in the late 90s. She worked for Apple (and hasn't since 2001 or something) as a 1099, but she purchased stocks and just sat back while she focused on other interests when she left the company. She thought for sure Apple was gonna tank as a company at the time, but she sure is glad she was wrong.


When I joined the company I was already confident that they weren't going to fail. The iMac had already hit the streets, the iPod had just come out, and I was quite satisfied with the way Mac OS X was shaping up.


I sold my stocks a year before ipod came up to buy a company that I was sure was going to surpass Apple: IOmega, the maker of ZIP Drives. 20 years later and still hitting myself on the head for that mistake.


Heavy equipment mechanic. Took an 8 month course for 5k and bought some tools. Had no interest in it before but it turned out to have a great community and challenging, interesting work with a TON of variety.


I'm the parts manager at a heavy equipment shop. The techs make some extreme money if they're willing to go on a moment's notice. I'm right at the 120-30k mark making sure there's as little downtime as possible.


Air Traffic Control. I took the Air Force route then separated and got into the FAA.


What's that like?


If they don't answer, from my research of it it's quite intense. Like, it pays well but there's no busybody work, it's all focus based stuff. Some excellent vids on YouTube showing it!


It can definitely get intense sometimes, but thats why the training period is so long. You learn through trial and error what does and does not work. Just like anything else, it just takes time and repetition.




I attend meetings that could've been emails and I pretend to code between said meetings. I solved brainteasers to get the position.


How many years have you been in the industry?


A little over 6 years now.


Did you make six figures from the start?




Do you find that your skills have gotten rusty with a laid back position? or do you work on personal projects to keep your skills sharp. And Do you think it would be harder to change to another job if skills get too rusty? Asking as a Software Dev who has similar worries.


I was significantly more laid back in my previous position. I found that transferring companies was relatively fine, the interview skills are a different set of skills and I'm frankly much better at that than I'm at the actual job. I did get overwhelmed when I started my new job by all the new stuff I actually had to put in effort to learn, but as soon as you get used to the tools it's the same old shit everywhere.


This could be a Dilbert comic.


>I attend meetings that could've been emails I feel this! I don't code, I give my educated opinion on verious matters and issues relating to the company. Pre-covid, the balance to all the crazy hours was the travel, functions, lunches, corporate events. Now it's all work, no play :(


Given the nature of Reddit I'd say most of us are in IT in some form or fashion.


From my experience here it seems most redditors, or at least the most vocal ones, work in retail




I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest. Most people I know are on reddit.


We should start a club. Or a union, yanno, either one.


Or maybe a part of reddit where we can make posts and comments on those posts.


I code, but that's the easy part of the job. The actual job is dealing with extremely eccentric personalities and being a mind-reader.


Right?! I'm still working on breaking 100k but already I've had to develop my mind-reading skills and hand hold and cater to the most obnoxious types of people.


> ...and being a mind-reader. “I can’t explain exactly what I’m looking for. Just make what you think I think I want. And once I see it I’ll know if it’s right or not. I’m a very visual person.”


I used to work as a graphic designer and with these people it was always a case of “they don’t know what they do want but do know what they don’t want” - time burglar bastards! I now work as a Support Worker in a mental health crisis house with EUPD residents and they are much better to work with




Doctor. Took 12 years of training after high school: - 4 years of undergrad - 4 years of medical school - 3 years of residency - 1 year of fellowship Average hours of work per week during residency was around 70. Busiest weeks involved working over 110 hours in 7 days.


Do you think the residency requirements and crazy hours I always hear every doctor mention are in any way useful or are they just an antiquated rite of passage? Would you, as a doctor, fly in a plane operated by a pilot who was working their 105th hour in a week?


Preface: not a doctor or medical expert in anyway. From what I understand, long shifts for doctors are meant to help with continuity of care. Basically, every time you have to pass a patient (or many patients) from one shift to the next, there is a bunch of information that needs to relayed to the next team taking over for you. The more often this happens, the more likely it is that a piece of critical information will be lost. Not sure how effective this is in practice, but that is the reasoning I've been told.


Because sleep deprivation, fatigue and stress don’t affect memory or attentional detail right?


I applaud you. I could never work those hours myself. Even just getting into Med school is such a daunting task.


70+ hours sounds like asking for a lawsuit to me. The lawyer in me can’t understand how that’s legal. The data behind sleep deprivation is so strong.


i manage large industrial accounts and negotiate contracts for a commodities company. college dropout. I had just gotten fired from a retail job for fucking around, and had been out of work for a couple months. Sent out 127 resumes. no callbacks. Watching a TV show and the character names a company hes working for, and i think to myself... theres one of those in nashville...so i sent a resume. only place that called me back for an interview. started in entry level position, and did well. moved and promoted multiple times.


Good fucking job! love hearing stories like this.


Thanks!! My good luck is definitely not taken for granted.


Don't cut yourself short. Luck happens...but you could of half assed the job and not moved anywhere. Or just said "fuck it..I sent in 100+ resumes"..so that's why I say "good job".


I would say Wilbur Ellis. But they get fucking wierd about having a degree to work as a commodities broker.


Not them. But, I’m using the term commodities VERY generally.


I make 120k/year where im at but if i moved to a more busy station i could break 150. Railroad Conductor. Requires a GED, and you to be able to show up on time, sober, and ready to work whenever they call you.


Dumb question, but what does a conductor actually do and what is your typical day like?


Not a dumb question at all. Tbh, most days i do little to nothing. If you work a yard, theres a lot of walking and lifting the pins to put cars where they belong. Physically very easy, but a decent amount of just walking. I, personally, work the road most of the time. So we get on the train, untie brakes. Talk to the dispatcher to get permission/authority to move. Then just stay awake while engineer drives. If we make a meet, i hop off and line the switch. Little work. Fun fact, if we are stopped for an extended time (happens fairly often) we are allowed/encouraged to take a power nap. Its in our rule book the proper "nap" guidelines.


Another dumb question: Who does the track switching for the trains? When I used to commute by train many years ago we'd seemingly switch tracks at random. I'm just wondering how it's organized so the right trains are on the right track at the right time without running into each other.


Sounds like /u/damndingashrubbery could stand to do a IAMA now, I'd have a few questions too....


Ask, ill answer


Depends on territory. The dispatcher makes the decisions but on some territories it is manual switches. Then otgers the dispatch can control switches remotely.


On time AND sober. Pick one.


Ya I'm a loco engineer and I reccomend the job to anyone who wants to work 100 hrs a week and look like you have 2 black eyes .you make 120k a year but that's basically at 20$ an hour folks . Nonstop . Not uncommon to have to stay awake for 24hrs .


Yea but 22 days off in 90 days EDIT: correct spelling


This is highly dependent on the company. I don’t know which railroad OP works for but 22 days off in 90 days sounds like a wet dream to me. Source: former railroader


That's 2 days off a week folks. Go for CN or CP. They treat their people shit, but less shit than Big Orange or furlough America UP


So you never drink or never get beyond buzzed?


Nice try OSHA


Without adequately making sure im not going to work anytime soon? No. The station i work currently has 24-36 hours off between trips, so its managable to have some drinks if i want. But we can also take time off if we want. It is easy to take time off. As long as you are not BEING called for work, you can take a day off. The current availability policy is a 90-day rolling period, that you have to be available for work 75% of the time. So you could take 22 days off over the course of 3 months and be fine. That does make a distinction between weekdays and weekends though. 75% of the weekdays, AND 75% of weekends must be available.


> The current availability policy is a 90-day rolling period, that you have to be available for work 75% of the time. So you could take 22 days off over the course of 3 months and be fine. Dude which railroad you work for? This sounds amazing. UP would have just taken you out back and shot you for even thinking of taking 22 days


I'm a field engineer for live TV shows. I take care of the technical requirements to go live from anywhere in the world- anywhere from a city street to a remote national park to underwater. I started at an entry level manual labor job on a TV show through a family connection- as is very common in this industry. I did occasional freelance work for about 5 years before I got offered a full time engineering position. My advice for anyone coming into film/TV is pretty standard- learn everything you can even if it's not your job, say yes first then figure it out later, and always have a positive, can-do attitude. It's also not for everyone- long hours, frequently outside rain or shine, terrible work-life balance.


Crazy story: at the start of YouTube, I took a entry level graphic design job with a small standard def studio in 2008. I learned how to shoot and edit greenscreen talking heads and Final Cut. I saw they had a teleprompter, so I built one from a used dell monitor and a piece of glass. An actress saw it, gave me 200 for it, and told me I was on to something. 4 years later, I found a prompter glass supplier, and made about $80k on ebay from building telepromtpers from used dell monitors. By dumb luck I went to the SAT-CON in Javitz where I met the team from MLB.COM/Advanced Media who later called me to invent 3D printed Teleprompters for their motorized cameras. They had to be ultra light for the motors. I had to import my own brand of monitor from China, and in the end got $15k out of them. Ultimately Disney bought in, closed the Chelsea Market studio, and tossed my work. New ipad tech came out and I closed that chapter in my inventing life.


>say yes first then figure it out later Honestly, excellent advice for lots of jobs. This is how I've come ahead in my field even when I was a decade (or more) younger than most people in my position and had next to no experience or training. My attitude has always been to take on anything that is asked of me, and trust in my own ability to do my research and work out how to do it.


Went back to college for accounting at 27. Took a full time class load while working full time. The first public accounting job out of school (graduated at 33) was a $20k pay cut for me and required working at least 70 hours a week for a good part of the year. After two years, I got my CPA license and one of my previous professors called me up and hired me as the International Accounting Manager for a software company but I had to relocate, which I did. I worked there for two years and took the Controller position at an Aerospace Manufacturer. I now am right at $150k and hit that mark five and a half years out of school. ​ Basically, worked my ass off, was willing to relocate, but also entered my current industry with ten years of management experience in the construction industry, which really helped to move quickly.


Business consultancy. Required skills: knowing one more thing than anyone else in the room, or being able to bluff that you know one more thing than anyone else in the room.


Really just the decision makers. I could be a knowledgeable programmer and know you’re bluffing me, but if my boss decides we’re going with the consultant’s idea, that’s where we’re going.


Oddly enough I have a background in software development. You’d be one of the guys backing me up.


I don’t doubt that at all. I’ve worked with some great consultants over the years. My point was just that you really just have to convince the guy signing the checks. Ideally that person is in tune with the actual worker bees, but that hasn’t always been my experience.


Real question: how does one get into consultancy? I've been in coding for a decade now and watch management and C-level execs ignore the advice of my department only to pay double to be told to do the same thing from a consultant. Or worse, be told to do the impossible by a consultant and then expect me to perform miracles to get it done. Seems like it would be a much better experience on the other side of the table in those scenarios.


If you want to go self-employed you need to build up a big enough network of potential clients and work hard on your marketing. Or get employed by a consultancy firm.


Seems like House of Lies wasn’t too far off.


As someone being forced to work with consultants frequently. We all know it, and you're not actually fooling anyone. Our managers will justify their idea to hire a consultant regardless. I simply don't care anymore. I guess everybody wins.


Flooring installer. Trained for two years and then went out on my own. Do commercial jobs only.


What's wrong with residential? And how come it takes two years to train?


Im not OP but he is almost certainly going to say people. Im in low voltage and residential was 1000x worse than commercial. A job in commercial can be days weeks or months depending on the work. Residential we were doing between 3-10 per day. Dealing with 3-10 randos who think you are there to be their bitch really sucks. Im not saying its everyone but you would get one person who needed their teeth knocked in every day. At least if the superintendent on a job is a dick, he has his own job to be doing at the same time. You usually have one meeting on day one, and dont have to talk to him more than a few words after that unless changes are made. People in their houses have nothing better to do than stay up your ass the whole time and get in the way of what you are doing. Then theres personality issues. Some people are just assholes. I got yelled at once for turning on a lamp. Not a fancy antique lamp or anything. Just a target floor lamp. I couldnt see behind the cabinet. Theres also the work itself. Idk about carpet, but for us commercial is bigger but easier. Commercial is usually in bigger buildings that are more set up to bring in equipment like lifts. They have drop ceilings to access wiring. Houses have crawlspaces and attics. Where i am, most attics and crawlspaces older than 1995 are tiny, hot, and miserable to work in. Commercial also has the possibility of being more lucrative because the jobs are bigger and pay better. The downside is they are a lot more expensive to work and going over can make you eat your shirt.


Also, too, residential floors means it's a 100 year old building covered with screws and nails and every one of them has to come up. Plus buildings have warped and are uneven. If I were in this space, commercial is the ONLY way to go.


Residential sucks because you have to deal with many smaller jobs instead of a few bigs ones, and no matter what you do people are still going to bitch about how much it costs and try to stiff you. Perfect example. A woman called my old business partner to have him reside on side of her garage because some of it was rotten. He did a great job matching the old and new siding and only charged her like $200 + materials to side the entire side. She got pissed and thought she shouldn't have to pay because she thought it was too much to pay for only 1 day of work.


CFO of a medium sized multinational company. Worked a ton. Emphasized making everyone else’s job easier. First one to volunteer to eat “the black jelly beans”. Always willing to relocate.


I love that saying, “eat the black jelly beans”. It so perfectly describes the attitude of being the go-to for the dirty jobs or tough problems.


>First one to volunteer to eat “the black jelly beans”. But ... I love licorice.


Cant trust people who don’t like licorice.


Software engineer. I demonstrated a very proficient ability to copy and paste things from Stack Overflow


Salary Hack: Being willing to relocate will help you pump your salary in seemingly almost every industry.


Yes, if you make your job market bigger, you're way more likely to land a higher position that pays more. The experience from that position will allow you to to get the next one. Eventually, you will have the experience to be able to get a high-level job where you actually want to live. If you stay in one place with a competitive job market then you're more likely to be working the same level of position for a long time.


My homestate's economy has little to do with my major so I moved 3 states away and even though COL is higher the benefits of a stronger job market are very apparent. Lots of people in my hometown pretty much maxed out their career at 30 because there's nowhere to go up and the only good opportunities require relocation but they have 4 kids and a house. Employers definitely know this and take advantage of those types.


True, but as someone who relocated and makes a lot more money as a result, I look back at my college buddies who hung around instead of relocating and still hang together as a close group, and I’m not sure it’s worth it.


Literally one of my biggest fears that I’ll be lonely and miserable when I leave uni.


My personal situation is that I am extremely introverted, spent 10+ years after college working crazy hours and only socializing with work colleagues, and essentially have no close friends except my wife as a result. But I also went from being homeless the summer before college to a very financially comfortable life. I can’t say I’d trade my financial success to have close friends, but I also can’t say I wouldn’t. My advice would be to stay close to the people you’re close to now, even if there is some distance. That was my mistake. Now there isn’t any going back, so I don’t have that choice any longer.


Have you attempted making more friends at this point in life? Maybe you don’t have to ‘go back’, but instead look forward to the future and the many people you could meet and make great friends with. What does your wife’s social circle look like? Any opportunities to branch out there and form some kind of group?


Thank you. I really do appreciate how people try to be helpful here. Truth is, I’m just not all that fun to be around and don’t have a lot to offer in a friendship in my social circle. I’m just plain boring. And once you get older and have kids like me, new deep and meaningful friendships are much less common. People are just busy with work and kids and the friends they already have. But I didn’t mean to make this a rant about loneliness at 40. Just hoped to give some practical advice from someone a little ways down a particular path about what might be around the corner and how you might avoid it. Edited to add: my wife is the opposite of me in many ways. She’s built a very successful business in sales from the ground up and has a wide and diverse social group. But being buddies with the husbands of your wife’s friends hasn’t led to great friendships. Just fairly typical acquaintances of convenience. Acquaintances of connivence (parents of my son’s friends, work friends, husbands of my wife’s friends) are most of what new friendships have been for me in adult life. People you talk to because you happen to be in the same place but who you don’t spend time with otherwise.


Judging from your comments (as hard as it may be), you don't seem boring at all. Hope you get to make meaningful connections in the future, although I agree it tends to become harder with age :/


I did the same thing. I make twice as much as they do but they all live together and have fun still. Meanwhile I work all the time


A group of college buddies is likely to break up at one point or another. Either from moving for work, moving for a spouse's job, or even just having kids and not having as much time to hang out. I still talk to my college buddies. I play games with them all the time. But there's no denying that life has spread us all across the country, from Miami to Seattle and all in between.


Oh sure, and it probably matters a lot where you are coming from. I went to a small liberal arts college in Oklahoma City. About half my college buddies scattered to the wind, but half are still there grabbing drinks and raising families together. But if you’re going to a flagship school, it would be much more like at my law school. Maybe 60% of the class going to NYC while everyone else scattered to the wind, but most of the NYC folks scattering over the next 5-10 years. So if that’s your college, I suppose it isn’t as much a choice as it is inevitable.


I never see this widely talked about but it's very true. I expanded my job search last year to my entire state and ended up with a huge raise at a company in a cool small town that was really struggling to find engineers, whereas the town I was living in had a surplus and I was competing with dozens of other similarly skilled people. Now I work at a very chill company, the interviews were like chatting with work buddies and they even hired my wife because they were expanding and knew that was my only real worry about moving. If you're willing to relocate your job market vastly opens up.


My husband makes $280k/year as a VP of Design for an apparel company and I make $130k/year as a marketing director for an e-comm business. Husband dropped out of trade school to start his own clothing brand, hustled, built a reputation as being loyal and kind to work with/for and from there, job offers started coming in. I took the more traditional route: got my MBA and worked my way up to where I am now. Moral of the story: it helps when people really like to work for you and with you.


What do you do with almost 30k per month?


After taxes, our combined take-home is about $20k, which is still a lot, I know. We have two car payments, a mortgage, insurances and preschool to pay for. I usually take about $1k aside for myself for my own spending (i.e., hair done, shopping, etc.) My husband likes to vintage shop so he sets aside money to do that. The rest go into investment accounts. Now that I’m typing all this out, we sound absolutely absurd.


And i thought my life was extravagant with 5.4K a month lmao.


$1k to shop per month... Here I am making $3k/mo after taxes as a teacher. Fml.


If you’re in it for the money, teaching has never been the best route; that being said Teachers aren’t paid enough, period. I never felt called to be a teacher, but my mum is one.


No offense, but this is a post about people making a shit ton of money.


You must have super nice hair. I've always wanted to go burgundy, but the up keep would cost too much. If I had 1k for spending, I'd definitely be able to do that. Nice!


Lawyer. Here's a quick how-to: 1. Decide you've got a spare decade to try out that job that looks big and important on TV. 2. Go to law school where you will learn how to be a professional sociopath who is anxious and angry 24/7 and thinks this is normal. 3. Develop a series of addictions and compulsive behaviors that you keep in check just enough to not affect your school work and internships. Be oddly proud of this fact. 4. Spend six glorious months with little oversight or structure studying for the bar exam and nursing a vague worry about what will happen if you fail. 5. Begin practicing law. Have a closet full of blue and gray suits. Learn that you will never ever get out from under the impending pile of urgent shit falling on you every day. Hardwire your nervous system to expect, crave, and seek out anxiety. Watch the joy drain out of your life. Lose friendships, relationships. As your burnout increases, tighten your grip on how Big and Important your job is. 6. Burn all the way out. Quit everything. Realize the years you just lost are some of the most prime years of your life and they are gone forever, utterly wasted. Look around at your friends without Big, Important jobs and realize they are happier, healthier, and less in debt than you. 7. Find a way back to being a person again. Work for yourself using the skills and connections you've made over the years. Stop caring about the money or the prestige as long as your bills are paid. Be fine with mediocrity. See your friends all the time. Find new loves. Develop hobbies. Feel joy again. Feel the sun on your face. Do good things for people. Be happy. Somewhere along the way the money started coming in but you barely noticed. 8. Answer a question on Reddit. Be happy about where you are now. But also think about all the people and moments you lost along the way and can never get back no matter how hard you try. Wind up being profoundly unsure if this was all worth it or not. Shrug and go outside and enjoy the sun before it goes down.


Ok me from the future... I’m at step 6... how do I do 7


Same way you untie a knot. Keep pulling at it from different directions and don’t give up. And a good therapist. Whether you believe it or not, you will get there.


You have a way with words. You should be a lawyer.


I only become jealous after coming here


High Voltage Lineman. Made over 300k in 2020. LOTS of overtime. Base pay is 105k. Even with that I turned down 1 in 6 OT opportunities and took my vacation and sick time. It can be dangerous, you work rotating shifts, you're out in bitter cold, wet or hot weather. You work at extreme heights and underground enclosures. Its very satisfying though. Call your local electrical union hall and or electric utility. \---Edit to fix the year I posted as 2021 when it was for 2020.


Financial advisor. Answered an ad in the newspaper. Yes I am old.


I can tell you’re old by your double spaces after periods


SO, GME, AMC, or DOGE? Just kidding. Not financial advice.


My wife made 210K last year as a senior interior designer for Ethan Allen. I made around 120K a year as a web developer and now I have about 52K a year designing custom motorcycles.


dude your job sounds fucking awesome


I love it. It's a pretty niche market since we specialize in vintage Japanese, so I don't have to design the same cookie cutter chopper over and over again. Right now I'm working on an 80's inspired Kawasaki endurance racing bike design, a cafe racer, bobber, and a scrambler. Plus I project manage some of the restorations. If you google "vintage Japanese motorcycle restoration" you'll probably find us.


Damn, cooler than Miles Davis. Good for you, man.


LOL! Thank you. Reddit has a hate-on for the arts for the most part but my wife and I both have fine art degrees and we've been pretty successful.


This guy knew what the answers would be when he tagged "NSFW"


He was hoping for a certain set of answers, got nerds instead.


It is a little ironic since obviously for anyone answering, their answer being about work must be safe for work.


I’m a doctor. It took a quarter century of school.


That seems like a waste of a quarter century. I know a woman on facebook named Karen who went to hair school for 3 months, and she seems to know more than any doctor.


Well... I just Googled my symptoms and then scrolled down through the results until I found something I liked! See, the bone sticking out of arm is totally normal!!


I love you 🤣


Attorney. I went to law school, and then cultivated a practice in a lucrative regulatory area. I provide advice regarding an area where large companies touch the SEC directly, so they are willing to pay a great deal to ensure that it is done right. The thing about this income bracket is that the only way you'll get a salary up that high is by having a great deal of leverage. Either you have an extremely rare skill, or are a trusted professional who handles a job where there is no tolerance for failure (which is rare in and of itself).


Same field, and this is all true. I explained it to my 10-year-old like this: “people are paid for two reasons. 1) they do something that others can’t do or can’t do as well; and 2) they do something others don’t want to do. How much you make in the first group depends on how valuable what you do is and how difficult it would be to become as good at it as you. How much you make in the second category depends on how unpleasant the job is as how necessary it is. You want most of your value to come from the first category. Inevitably you’ll have some of both in any job.” I didn’t tell him about the third category: people just liking you (whether it’s personality, physical attractiveness, etc.) because that wasn’t going to help the life lesson I was working towards. But I actually think the third category plus a healthy dose of social capital are most important once you get past being competent in your field.


The Halo Effect is REAL and is probably one of the easiest things you can cultivate about yourself to become more successful. Simply put work into becoming more attractive - Speech, Hygiene, Appearance, Diet, Exercise. I just winged that acronym.


It really depends. E.g., for me, to get from a brief stent of homelessness before college and from a decidedly lower middle class rural background to my current professional status, I would absolutely take my skill set and focus on education and work over your diet and exercise. The halo effect isn’t getting you out of being poor in most situations. For my son, who starts with the head start I can give him, his ability to leverage social capital and dumb luck will probably decide whether he settles into a good professional job or is wildly successful. But that’s only because of where he is starting out. Which sucks overall but isn’t really relevant to this thread.


My kid once commented that I didn't work hard and I told them they didn't pay me to work hard, they paid me for my skills to do the work


Programmer. Went and got a masters in software engineering. Love my job! And it happens to pay well.


Patent lawyer. Was willing to go into massive educational debt (~$120K in the early 90s. Chump change now, but back then that was a lot for a mid-western, no private schools or anything special, undergrad and then law school education). Volunteered at a law firm for a year and a half while still in school. Worked like a dog and got hired. Then worked like a dog for the next 4 years until I made partner. Worked a tad less for a couple of years, then quit and joined a firm that paid me more to work far less.


My AP Chemistry teacher told my class that we should all get PhDs in physics or chemistry and then go to law school and get a JD for this exact reason. Massive money to be made in patent law but not sure if the PhD is necessary lol


PhD certainly helps if you want to get in with the big (coastal) IP firms CE and EE are the areas that have been traditionally sought after.


From what I know about law (not much tbh), partner in 4 years is pretty fast. Is that true, and what caused that if so?


It was kinda fast; 5-6 years was considered normal, at least back then. I was billing more than any other associate by a long shot, and even at a reduced associate rate I was bringing in more than some of the partners at the time. More importantly, a couple of key clients really liked my work to the exclusion of others.


Cybersecurity, started off as a NOC monkey, then climbed my way through the ranks with certifications and networking.


What does your job consist of?


Threat hunting and responding to alerts from our security tools, keeping the dev and operations teams in check so they don't expose us to external/internal threats. Respond to phishing campaigns and educate users and sit on project meetings to ensure they aren't poking unnecessary holes in the environment. That is just some of my daily tasks.


Reminder that $150k in one location is more/less in other locations.


Data engineer. Just gotta learn about databases and SQL. The rest I learned on the job.


reading these comments just made my depression and anxiety spiral. like everyone here made it and my dumb ass trying his best to get a normal job that allows me to sleep


I play poker. I just grew up playing lots of card games and discovered poker is one you can make a lot of money playing. I set a goal in college that of my hourly from playing online would equate to a 50k/yr job I'd keep at it instead of looking for a real job. Moved to vegas after college and am now making over 150k/yr playing live games.


Isn't There always a possibility that after losing a lot you end up in debt from a gangster and have to smuggle drugs to repay it?


That's why you don't take gambling loans, and put up your own money.


I've actually had that happen to a feiend lol. I don't gamble with borrowed $ though


Hyean-GING around, Hyean-GING around. De keeds ghat al-ee-GAYtors Blood.


Do you find that other players have become more sophisticated over time? Or has the recent increase in the popularity of the game led to less sophisticated players in general?


This will probably get buried but, I'm a corporate trainer. My salary is at 110 but I was given stock which gets me to about 145ish. I actually can't say what exactly got me into it since it was just a logical progression from attempting to get into marketing and failing. I took a bunch of random contract jobs and realized no one ever actually wrote down how to do stuff. I started doing it and from there it was just doing that over and over. The job itself doesn't require a specialized degree or anything, and all the tools you really need to do it well enough are pretty easy to learn. A simple video editor like camtasia and some content management systems are usually enough. The most important aspects to the job are understanding how people learn and delivering a product that people actually want to consume. If you make documents and videos that look nice, sound nice, and are written in simple language then you're pretty much an expert in the field.


Nuclear Power. I spent years in engineering and now working in operations. You’d be surprised how many people at one plant make over $150k. It’s an awesome industry and I love working in it.




CEO of a small 10 person corp. Started in the industry as a warehouse worker when I was 22 and convinced them to put me in sales after a year of hard work (college drop out here btw). Worked harder than anyone else in sales for 5 years, always top 5 seller, and got promoted to manager. Ran a 20 person team for 3 years and after 1 year of that I realized my 6% take off all my reps wasn't shit for the work I was doing and I was making the owners stupid rich and I was burning myself out. Spent the next 2 years picking every persons brain at every position and started taking night classes at the local community college to learn bookkeepping and accounting. Started my own corp in 2009 and have never looked back. 16-18 hour days for the 1st 5-6 years. Now Im down to 10-12 hour days 12 years later. I changed the structure of the biz and now pay the highest % to sales reps of any competitor in my field and I give profit sharing to every employee. Rising tide lifts all ships in my company. It ain't easy by any means. Far from easy but it can be done.


You sound like a focused Michael Scott


Move to SF Bay Area where if you work your ass off and dont stop building skills in the tech field, a 150k job will fall into your lap. Took me 3 years to go from 0 to 150, but that was a 3 years Ill never want to do again.


3 years to go from 0 to 150 and how many to go from 150 to 150k?


Now that is just simple math. Since 3yrs=150, 1yr=150/3=50. So now we can divide the end goal by what we get in a year(150 000/50 we get a nice number of 3000. So it will take 3000hrs toreach 150k. Man..these kids gotta stay wake duing math classes...


Wouldn't it be 3000 yrs


My husband: 30 years at UPS. He also has 8 weeks paid vacation, full medical and dental, 401k and stock options. It's a hard physical job but great if you don't have a degree or trade skill. Walk up and down your driveway 200 times carrying a heavy box. If you can imagine doing that 5-6 days a week then I definitely recommend it as a career.


Professor at a Research University. You do it by getting a PhD (5-7 years) and Postdoc (3-5 years) and hopefully get super lucky. I work 40-50 hours a week, but I think about my work constantly... that's what brings in the money.


I enlisted at 17, went Guard, and worked 7p to 7a daily while going to school full time during the day. I never strayed from my field until I eventually got my commission (Cyber Security) where I now work as a part timer while also working as a DOD contractor. So... caffeine and hate.


I resemble this remark


Integrity engineer. Went to school, got a degree, got hired, stuck it out with the same company for the last 12 years. Really no magic to it...


Typically you need to change employers often in the same industry each time getting more salary than the previous to get your goals


Sales for a tech company, I got here from an apprenticeship at 18, I'm 24 now and love my job. Here in the UK Uni is the defacto and at my school I was made to feel I wouldn't amount to anything if I didn't go, but in all honestly working for those 3 years instead of getting a degree was the best choice I ever made.




How do you get into this kind of sales?




I second this. Sales isn’t for everyone and it’s also a job that you get out what you put in. In a non creepy context, you learn people don’t buy what you’re selling but they buy you. Even as an introvert if you can switch on a personality and build trust with people it’s mostly just building relationships. I often get many job offers from people I sell to.


Mid-level position at Amazon warehouse... Oh, sorry I thought you said $15K


Lawyer focusing on a niche area of the law and making a name for myself as an expert in it.


I too am an expert in bird law




Who are you and how did you get in here?




My husband works for Microsoft and makes a decent chunk of change. The downside is he works very long hours, and the job is very stressful. Poor work/life balance.


I moved out at 16 to start college early, completed college at 20, spent a couple of years working as a lab tech to build up resume with research and time for volunteering while making 20K a year. Took on about 300K in debt to finance my way through medical school, worked 70+ hours per weeks to make 50k a year for three years in residency. Finally, after working my ass off for almost half my life and missing numerous life events, birthdays, holidays, etc, I make 300K a year after benefits as an internal medicine physician. Path is not worth it for the money unless you love the job, which I fortunately do!


That’s what pushed me away from being a physician. Long hours for years where you don’t get to fulfill your social needs, I would be burnt out so fast.


ITT: people who do the same shit I do but somehow make triple my salary doing it.


I work for a 5BN dollar company. I work from home. I talk to clients on the phone in 30 minute blocks and I tell them all the ways they are bad at their jobs and they say thank you. I travel (not recently) all over the world presenting to thousands of people and I tell them all the ways they are bad at their jobs. I got this job because I know how to tell people that they are bad at their jobs and they are happier after the interaction than before the call. I work as a research analyst in cybersecurity


CEO of a software company I founded 30 years ago. Company now does over $10M / year in business. Got college degree in computer science in night school in my early 20s while working construction during the day, got a job as a programmer, manager, and so on. I'm an immigrant.


B2B company ?


You guys are getting paid ?


R&D for an engineering company. Got my Masters from one of the top schools in my field.


Software engineer. 20% writing code, 30% determining why tests failed, 50% meetings. Great work/life balance, unlimited PTO, great benefits. Basically all you have to do is do well on the interview and then just not suck once you're hired. Just enjoy solving logic problems and be willing to learn things. Started at 150k salary + 10% yearly bonus + ~40k/yr in stock, first job out of school (non-CS STEM master's).


What I do for a living? President & CEO of an industrial contracting firm. How did I get there? High school drop out, but that allowed me to start in the trades early at 17. Obsessed workaholic, wanted to be the best worker in the company hands down. By 20 I was put into a jr leadership position in the field. By 22 I was the foreman for multi-million dollar construction projects. By 23 I was promoted into the office in a project management and estimating role.Work obsession to be the best continued. Continued working an absurd amount of hours, but continued to succeed with profitable projects and happy clients. Promoted to managing all major construction projects for the company. Average about 7-8 years per employer, leaving only when presented with a significant job offer. Transition from project management into operations management. Now need to travel a ton for work, so history of working a ton of hours continues. Post record profits in the divisions I manage. Kids are getting older, so I decided to travel less. Took a job with less pay, but no travel. Still making very good income, and see my kids every night. Work a lot less hours. Focus more on building and empowering the team I put together now. TLDR : Worked a ton of hours, with a lot of them being "unpaid" but a great learning and proving opportunity. Was willing to move for better opportunities. Continuous efforts to "be the best" in whatever I was doing.


Proud of you man.


As an hvac guy this comment made me smile


Ex-consumer tech journalist turned cybersecurity intelligence analyst (make between 150k and 200k). Went to foreign policy grad school after 9/11, got a job as a copy editor with a security startup, convinced them to transfer me to analyst and slowly rose up the ranks. Frickin' love my job, my coworkers and the security community in general. Don't miss journalism one bit.


I sell drugs to poor people and I bill the government for drugs. I am a drug dealer. I got to where I am through skool, and hard work.


"unlicensed urban pharmacist"


ten years in the same company after three-year postdoc (but then, salaries are kind of inflated where i am) what do i do? 30% coding, 30% reading, 30% thinking (yes, thinking), 10% googling (both scientific papers and error messages) (the percentages dont include time i spent on reddit of course) the field: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioinformatics i know its a diverse field, but i am not gonna specify which parts of bioinformatics i specialize in because there are so few of us outside of the US, not gonna dox myself :)


My answer isn't fair, because really the answer is "I was born into the right place and time." I'm 51. I grew up with computers, and with the computing industry, so like many of my peers I don't have a technical degree. I have a liberal arts degree, which I took because (a) in 88-92 the state U I went to wasn't even teaching relevant languages and (b) my feeling is college is when you become educated; it's not just trade school. So I read widely -- literature, history, philosophy, but also hard math and science. And coded in my spare time, and took a job with the biz school running their computer lab, which was super important to my professional development. I was also lucky in that my parents, while not rich, were well off enough that I had a computer at home from about 1983 or so. It was a Radio Shack CoCo II, but it was Enough to set the hook (and get me through high school). I went to computer camps at the local university in the summers, and drank it up like ambrosia. Then I was lucky *again* to have fairly smart parents who emphasized school, and to test well enough to get skads of scholarship money (this is also tied to my era; all that got a LOT more competitive later). And I had enough money to buy a nice computer to use for school (an AT clone this time; I had the fastest PC in the dorm in 1988). I mostly meandered into my career, because (again) GenX and we could, if we were lucky. I did lots of coding early on, but then ended up riding the dot-com thing in a consultancy. I technically lost money -- I was an investor, not just from options -- but it was a huge education in terms of profit and loss and running a professional services environment. For the last 14 years I've been in a different market. I leveraged into this job with my technical skills (+ prior network connections), and I still *use* them, but I'm more on the business and implementation side now. We sell a boutique product that supports a standard for project financial reporting that the US governement requires on large projects (if you are a US taxpayer, you are very glad of [ANSI 748](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earned_value_management), but it's hell trying to describe what we actually do at cocktail parties). So yeah, mostly luck.


Got born into wealth. But you're probably more interested in how my parents did it. Real estate. They did it the (relatively) slow and steady way. They bought multi-family housing that cash-flowed. That means it brought in more money than it cost to run it (mortgage, taxes, maintenance, etc.) Appreciation (the value of the property going up) is just icing on the cake. A lot of people flip properties hoping the appreciation gravy train continues chugging along. A dip in the market means they're suddenly holding a bunch of properties that are costing them money each month with a truckful of debt screaming to get paid and that can only be sold at a loss. That's a bad spot to be in if you borrowed more money than you should (which many of them do). Real estate is great if you don't get greedy. Where else can you pay 25-30% down, borrow the rest of the money, and reap the benefits of 3-4x your actual capital in cashflow and appreciation? All in a relatively safe investment vehicle? Gross rents are running us around 500k/month. Most of it gets eaten up by bills, so we probably net cashflow maybe 40-50k/month. We're also getting about 65k/month in equity gain. God knows what appreciation is getting us, though. Never 100% sure until you put something up on the market.


I’m a programmer. I started tinkering with BASIC and such as a kid and always loved it. Got a bachelor’s and master’s and turned that into a successful career. It’s still a lot of fun, and satisfying knowing that a lot of people are using my code out there.