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Old 01-05-06, 12:56 PM   #51
jschen
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*pbfttt* Like Disneyland is really the happiest place on Earth. Don't believe the hype!
Until I saw who it was, I was going to reply and say that working at Disneyland isn't so great. I know since I know some people who have worked there. So don't worry... I don't believe the hype.
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Old 01-05-06, 12:59 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by tom cotter
At age 53 I'm older than most of the people replying to this thread. With age comes wisdom, or so they say. I would advise anyone looking for the path to employment bliss to put money second to finding a job they love to do. Money is only a practical consideration. The advise I'm giving to my own children is found in the old adage: Find a job that you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life. To that I would add, regardless of what you do, save your money. As I said money is only a practical consideration, yet if you have enough of it, it buys you freedom. The freedom to make a choice. The freedom to tell the boss to take this job and shove it, or the freedom to try something else or someplace else. Or at least to buy the bike your want.

That said, I'm a Financial Advisor, what many people might call a stock broker. I help people invest for education, retirement, tax savings and other of life's financial goals. I specialize in Tax Free Bonds. I've been a financial advisor for 22 years. It's very rewarding and it pays well, about $295k last year. I work my own schedule, usually only four days a week. Additionally, I usually vacation about two months every year. This is the spoils of success. I can control my own income. Starting out in this career is far different. For the first seven years I worked 14 hours a day Monday thru Friday and then 8 hours on Saturday. I usually worked one Sunday every month. No vacations or time off. Then I backed it down to 50 hours a week and gradually reduced it from there. By comparision, today, I'm a lazy bum. A well paid lazy bum.

When I was in the third grade I wasn't telling everybody I was going to be a Financial Advisor. I told everybody I was going to be a Pilot. And I was a Pilot, a Helicopter Pilot, until I was about 30 years old. Then I was grounded by headaches that caused temporary vision impairment. This happened to me only once while I was flying. Once was enough! Actually I could handle the vision problem, as I could still see well enough to orient myself. It was the vertigo that came with it that was going to get me killed. So off to a second career I went. The headaches are no longer a problem, in fact haven't had one in 20 years. No regrets on the path I've taken.
No disrespect intended - but I've worked those hours and longer - for the last 5 - 6 years - and I can't say I make anywhere near the coin you do!

I can say I love what I do (most days).

Damn you!
Good for you though... enjoy it!
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Old 01-05-06, 01:25 PM   #53
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I get paid to play with computers all day. Mostly maintaining a mid sized web site, writing in house software and running a few servers while always researching for better ways. I wish I would get paid more but I can't complain given the low cost area I live in. The official salaray range for my position is 30-37. The job is easy especially when you are surrounded by people who think your job is really hard.

I also build guitars and do instrument repairs for a couple of music stores. This nets me a few extra thousand a year that goes to bikes and vacations.
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Old 01-05-06, 02:19 PM   #54
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This would have been better as a poll, with salary ranges, so people could be anonymous.
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Old 01-05-06, 02:33 PM   #55
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I'm surprised at the frank revelations in this thread. I'm a psychiatrist and pretty well paid. One downside for medical specialists is that there are quite a few years of education, even more in my case because I did a post-residency MSc degree in order to have a University career. In a country with a public health care system a physician has a recession-proof, layoff-proof job and a pretty much guaranteed clientele, and can start earning a full income right upon graduation/qualification. Our system has no pay increases for seniority but you do get more efficient and business-like in your billings with experience, and there are opportunities to do non-clinical work like consulting to insurance or pharmaceutical companies or testifying as an expert witness that pay above standard government clinical rates.

Interestingly at my 10 year medical class reunion, HMO's were new in the US, and the classmates who had moved to the states were all complaining of severe drops in income, but by the 25 year reunion, things had completely turned around...many of those guys were planning early retirement while those who'd stayed in Canada expected to work forever. There's likely going to be a huge demand for physicians for at least the next 30 years or so. There's a pending massive geriatric population bulge, and not enough new young doctors to care for us all.

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Old 01-05-06, 02:44 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Maelstrom
Oh I didn't post my outlook on the future. Basically I have this job as long as I want it. It would cost the company a few hundred thousand dollars, more likely over a million, to eliminate the IT position and have it outsourced to a support company. Even then there is so much hands on I doubt they could eliminate it.

However being selt taught with 20years experience doesn't always pay the bills. At some point I will likely do a 10month program to get that piece of paper that tells people that don't know anything about computers, that I am SMRT...
Don't be so sure...The IT department I manage was outsourced lock, stock and barrel to the consulting firm I work for. Nuthin is safe anymore...as much as I think they are worthless...get that piece of paper, if nothing else it might earn you a pay raise.
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Old 01-05-06, 02:51 PM   #57
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Don't be so sure...The IT department I manage was outsourced lock, stock and barrel to the consulting firm I work for. Nuthin is safe anymore...as much as I think they are worthless...get that piece of paper, if nothing else it might earn you a pay raise.
Like I said, it would require a couple of years of upgrading to eliminate a hands on person. The thing I hate most about my job is what likely keeps me here. Setting up for conferences and groups makes my job That can't be done remotely.

Ya, I just need to get motivated to get taught what I know, I am think my cisco certs, at least some of that stuff will be new to me haha
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Old 01-05-06, 03:25 PM   #58
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Let's just say I am in six figures - I am a owner of three businesses, 2 software, 1 reforestation and wood. I really don't know how much I make because we always reinvest any left over into something else. We don't spend much because we don't have many needs. I have a nice bike - but it only cost 2,000 dollars and I bought it 5+ years ago.

How much do I work? I think the question is "When don't I?" However, to me, I love what I do and most of the time what I do is very interesting. Even when I am riding a bike, I am thinking about things.

Balance finding a job you love with trying to find one that people want to pay you to do. Most of us couldn't get a job riding bikes - but we might want to! Doing something that people don't want to pay you for is called a hobby. A lot of fun, but hard to pay the bills.

Honestly, I get paid to be curious and figure out how to do things and build new companies. This is a great job if you are curious to begin with - but if you aren't, most people would prefer to be beaten with a stick.
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Old 01-05-06, 03:29 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by bmike
No disrespect intended - but I've worked those hours and longer - for the last 5 - 6 years - and I can't say I make anywhere near the coin you do!

I can say I love what I do (most days).

Damn you!
Good for you though... enjoy it!
No disrespect taken. When my flying days were over I decided I wanted to find something with a direct input to income correlation. I found it! Of the nine guys I started with, one is dead, one is in jail, three are no longer in the business. Of the four of us who remain, two out produce me. Both worked longer hours than I did and kept the pedal down longer than I did. Still, I'm a top quintile producer. At least once a week the phone rings with head hunters offering seven figures up front to move my practice to another broker dealer. Of course accepting that check would mean I'd have to work more than the 30 hours a week I'm currently putting in, so I don't think so. I did my time in the trenches, now it's time to enjoy.

I'm glad you enjoy what you do.
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Old 01-05-06, 04:19 PM   #60
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I currently work in personal lines property/casualty insurance assisting agents with technical/underwriting concerns, and will hopefully be moving into an underwriting-only position shortly. I suppose I earn the "average" wage for someone my age, with my experience and secondary education level. But geez, more is better, right?

I'd ultimately like to get my CPA and make a move into an underwriting position for a financial institution. Ideally I'd like to own my own business, but, though I've had a few original plans, nothing has happened yet. Just keeping at it!
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Old 01-05-06, 05:25 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by tom cotter
No disrespect taken. ... <snip>
I'm glad you enjoy what you do.
Good for you, and glad to hear you can ride when you want / need to.

I do enjoy "work".
I design timber frame homes for folks, and work with a company developing architect and engineer relationships in both the Northeast and out in the Salt Lake City area.

I get to design and travel - and live in Vermont.

Most days, Life is Good.

I'd have to triple my output to hit those #$!
Sometimes the numbers boggle the mind - but in the end, it's money - and if you're happy, and a good person - more power to you!
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Old 01-05-06, 07:25 PM   #62
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Good for you, and glad to hear you can ride when you want / need to.

I do enjoy "work".
I design timber frame homes for folks, and work with a company developing architect and engineer relationships in both the Northeast and out in the Salt Lake City area.

I get to design and travel - and live in Vermont.

Most days, Life is Good.

I'd have to triple my output to hit those #$!
Sometimes the numbers boggle the mind - but in the end, it's money - and if you're happy, and a good person - more power to you!
It sounds very good!

My mind was boggled when I saw how much money some people had to invest. For a kid who started with nothing, it was an eye opener. With just a one minute phone call they'd invest half a million, a million, two million dollars. The most I ever got out of a one minute call was ten million dollars. This was to an individual who owned a professional sports team. I cold called him. The tax free muni market requires fast decisions, blink and the bonds are gone, sold to another buyer. Yet, these numbers have always set me back. Amazing!

I didn't start out with the goal of making a lot of money. When the flying stopped my wife and I decided we wanted to start a family. Kids cost money, lots of money. So I looked around at who was making a lot of money. Stockbrokers make a lot of money. Actually, I went on to become a bond broker. Turns out they make lots of money too. As fate would have it, I was good at it. And still am. In the end it's all relative. As Chris Rock says "If Bill Gates woke up with Oprah's money, he'd kill himself." And Oprah would kill herself if she woke up with my money. As for me, I've got one more kid to put through college and then I may try something new. As much as I love what I do, it's a big world out there.
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Old 01-05-06, 09:20 PM   #63
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Mid level financial investment manager... $350k/yr base, $1500k/yr with bonus... wait.. what was the question??
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Old 01-05-06, 10:04 PM   #64
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CPA and partner in an accounting firm. 31 years old. make +/- 200k a year (I would say that equals 100kish in most areas of the country, the cost of living where I am is sky high).
Saying that 200k/year for you = 100k/year other places is an interesting proposition. First off, I don't think anyplace in the US has twice the average cost of living, but I definitely could be wrong. Second, once you meet that cost of living, your money does not necessarily devalue (ie, a new car costs roughly the same where you are as it does in Hooterville, although I admit the same does not apply for real estate). Consider this: If the cost of living for a family of 4 is estimated at $40,000/year where you live, you have $160,000 disposable income. If it's $20,000/year, you have $180,000. Not really that different (until you factor in real estate costs...assuming big houses are your thing).

By the way my sister, who is an accountant for KPMG, says accounting firms are a big pyramid scheme with the primary purpose of funneling money towards the partners.


But enough about you guys. I'm a first year mechanical test engineer. I make $21/hour on contract, so I guess that works out to about $42,000/year, but without benefits. Disappointingly, that's a noticeable bit less than the number of $48,000 + benefits that US News & World Reports made up a couple years ago as the national average for entry level ME's. From all the job postings I've seen and people I know, there's only one place in Portland that pays that much.

Who really cares though? The work is interesting and the environment is easy-going. My main job entails creating and executing plans for testing forklifts and their various parts, which means I get paid to occasionally break stuff, in addition to data analysis. I plan to stick with this company for the foreseeable future unless I get an assistantship for grad school or I can get a similar job at an aerospace company.

My prospects for staying on are good. Hyster is well-established in the US, so the design and testing work isn't going anywhere in the near future. One of the guys in my group just left, leaving us short-handed, which got me a small raise and a contract extension. If they're wise, they won't waste too much time about offering me a full-time position. Things are looking good for aerospace these days...
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Old 01-05-06, 10:37 PM   #65
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I make much less than I should (approx 45K), but it doesn't bug me. What bugs me is that my job is slowly killing me. I do light cosmetic restorations on classic cars for a dealer here in Ill. Between the paint fumes, the solvent-based cleaners, and the carbon monoxide, I should be dead by LAST year. I have decided to take get out of all of this within the year, hopefully relocate (I hate IL), and start doing what i really enjoy, painting bicycle frames. If I do start up the business, I will be counting on every member of BF to have me paint a frame for them.
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Old 01-05-06, 10:44 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by iamlucky13
Disappointingly, that's a noticeable bit less...
Well that seems right cause you can't have an average # like that without having a lot of people either above or below it. So consider yourself luckier than the ones below it.
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Old 01-05-06, 10:48 PM   #67
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Tom, which Broker Dealer do you work for.....Pierce Fenner & Smith? Just curious. As for me, I only have 5 years of experience since college:

- Private Equity accounting
- Corporate Reporting
- Hedge Fund accounting
- Mortgage Finance

How much do I get paid? I think I'm average or a little below average for someone with my experience. I make more than $50k & less $100k.
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Old 01-05-06, 11:19 PM   #68
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I think this is Blazinall91's way to figuring out which one of us to kill first..
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Old 01-06-06, 02:41 AM   #69
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I work at a printshop I do mailing, and bindery... We just got bought out and now will be getting a huge 6 color press, a GTO, and a digital two color press. Maybe I'll learn how to run one of the 4 hamada presses. There are only two pressmen which would be the new owner and another guy. I also know how to do desktop publishing, and its what I'm best at. I only make 9.50/hr
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Old 01-06-06, 06:22 AM   #70
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$0.00 USD per hour.

I'm a full time student in High School.
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Old 01-06-06, 06:44 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maelstrom
Like I said, it would require a couple of years of upgrading to eliminate a hands on person. The thing I hate most about my job is what likely keeps me here. Setting up for conferences and groups makes my job That can't be done remotely.

Ya, I just need to get motivated to get taught what I know, I am think my cisco certs, at least some of that stuff will be new to me haha
Dude, you ain't listening...outsourcing has nothing to do with 'remotely'. We 'are' the IT department for this company...we don't do it from some remote location, we come to work everyday on-site, hands-on. Don't confuse outsourcing with offshoring.
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Old 01-06-06, 07:29 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by iamlucky13
Saying that 200k/year for you = 100k/year other places is an interesting proposition. First off, I don't think anyplace in the US has twice the average cost of living, but I definitely could be wrong. Second, once you meet that cost of living, your money does not necessarily devalue (ie, a new car costs roughly the same where you are as it does in Hooterville, although I admit the same does not apply for real estate). Consider this: If the cost of living for a family of 4 is estimated at $40,000/year where you live, you have $160,000 disposable income. If it's $20,000/year, you have $180,000. Not really that different (until you factor in real estate costs...assuming big houses are your thing).
Cost of living can absolutely be double. And cost of living includes everything. I moved from Florida to VA in the DC area. EVERYTHING is more expensive. Groceries, cars, electricity, EVERYTHING. My neighborhood is now selling in the low 400's (these are townhouses, not even single-family houses), when we drove to FL for thanksgiving, we saw billboards (just outside Tampa) advertising single-family homes on a golf course from the "low 100's". Even if you assume that's builder BS and "low 100's" means 199, that still means down there you can buy a bigger house for half the money.

I make 84K, at my last job I made 92K but I had a much longer commute. I'd definitely agree that there are places in the country where I could make $42 and have a greater amount of disposable income. Maybe not just anywhere with the "average" cost of living, but even here the cost of living isn't as high as NYC or some places in CA.

BTW I'm 28, a software engineer with 9 years experience. Job-wise, prospects kinda suck because I'm getting fed up with the nonsensical way software's developed. I've started thinking about moving to another company, but the problem is that something like 99% of software companies are more or less the same... so finding that 1% is a PITA (especially since they ALL advertise that "we do it right here", whether they do or not).
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Old 01-06-06, 09:38 AM   #73
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Housing prices vary significantly throughout the country but the costs for most other things don't. The other important items like bikes, food and beer are relatively stable.

If you are starting out looking for a career, just keep in mind that many fields change considerably over time. Many jobs in the IT field will be radically different five years from now compared to today. You'll need to completely stay on top of the field and be adapatable as well as re-trainable. Also many jobs will just flat out go away. As the OP, you talked about working in a convenience store. Have you been to a Wawa lately? The clerks there just collect money. Customers make their own hot dogs and nachoes and scan items through self-checkout. Five years from now, your job might not even exists and stocking of food and coffee are done by the companies that supply the store with merchandise when they make deliveries.

There are many jobs where you must constantly assess what that job will be like in a few years and how you will fit in. Take something near and dear to us all - bicycles. A few years ago, LBS were all over the place. Along came chains like Performance. Then the internet where you can get more advice and inforamtion instantly that a 100 LBS can provide. You can shop on-line for the best deals and buy/sell used through e-bay. You can go to sites and get fitting information ina few seconds. Now think 5 years into the future at the possibilites. Except for a few high end and speciality shops, what will be left?

There are jobs that might be stable for a while. The situation where the 12 miners died recently brings up an interesting situation. Most mining now is done with machines. A lot of farming is done with machines. Houses are built in factories and assembled locally by workers with tools that make things go up amazingly fast. Theer are very few jobs that won't be performed much differently in a few years than now.

The important thing to keep in mind is flexibility, adaptability, and the willingness to learn and keep your eyes open for trends and changes.
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Old 01-06-06, 10:26 AM   #74
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I make plastic bottles and jars for 50k a year. Notice how even liquor is going to plastic? Job security!
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Old 01-06-06, 10:36 AM   #75
Dwayne
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I'm a software developer/engineer. Graduated two years ago from Penn State with a BS in computer engineering. Offered a fulltime position with the company I had been working part time for during school. $40K/year, no bonuses, mediocre benefits, but was told pay would increase. Two years later I'm still making $40K/year with the same benefits, even after asking several times whether we'd ever get a raise or a bonus (and it's always coming in the near future). Needless to say I've been very actively looking for a new position anywhere from DC to Atlanta. Have a few leads, but could always use a helping hand if anyone knows of anything.
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