T Nation

Highest Earning Careers

Can anyone help out with some careers that pay the most I am doing a report where I compare salaries with hours worked.

Everyone knows that doctors are well paid but many people seem, to believe that they are the highest paid. I know they make the best money when it comes to hourly pay, but many other careers like management consultant and investment bankers make thousands if not hundreds of thousands more than physicians.

does anyone know of anymore careers?

The client of mine that has the highest income of all my clients is a sales rep for a software company. He has a base salary of approx AUD$300,000 (US$225,000) but averages about another AUD$4,000,000 per year in commission payments.

[quote]

I know they make the best money when it comes to hourly pay

does anyone know of anymore careers?[/quote]

I am not so sure about doctors making the most when it comes to hourly pay. Most doctors I know work a ton of hours although they are all relatively young. Many doctors running a private practice also work a shift at the hospital and are on call a lot.

In terms of hourly pay people who bill by the hour such as lawyers and psychologists/MSWs are probably pretty high up.

In terms of overall pay not counting CEOs and other company execs you will find alot of people in sales fields or who work off of a commission like pharmaceutical sales or stock broker/financial advisor/fund manager. If you are making 5% off of a managing a billion dollar mutual fund your doing alright for yourself.

investment banker

Investment banking is easily up there and doesn’t require grad school, although it is very tough to get into a good firm (Goldman Sachs) and probably even harder to survive the first 2 years as a junior analyst. It is likely if you are at one of the bigger firms you will be mking $100k+ your first year out of college and if you make if past the first 2 years and become an associate, you will be making closer to $500k (this is at the most prestigious firms). It’s not uncommon for these guys to be making over $1mil by 30 and continually growing.

Working in hedge funds will give you a lot of the same. These guys are usually the rock stars, some of whom pass up the ibanking positions for hedge funds, and will probably start out $150k plus at major firms if they are from a great school (top 20, maybe top 10, would be a requirement).

Being a lawyer, doctor, etc. pay well, but the amount of schooling is massive and you often aren’t making a lot until years after when you build-up your own list of clients, etc. In ibanking and hedge funds, you can get over $100k your first year out w/o additional education (if you are a rock star) and will grow even more.

[quote]seraphim28 wrote:
Can anyone help out with some careers that pay the most I am doing a report where I compare salaries with hours worked.

Everyone knows that doctors are well paid but many people seem, to believe that they are the highest paid. I know they make the best money when it comes to hourly pay, but many other careers like management consultant and investment bankers make thousands if not hundreds of thousands more than physicians.

does anyone know of anymore careers?[/quote]

Pimpin’ pays very well.

But it ain’t easy.

you gotta go with a pro athlete here. If you count the hours they work by just the games they play, well then their hourly pay is ridiculous. Even if you take into account practices and film etc, it still is great.

By far the wealthiest people I know have built businesses basically from scratch and either grew them to a point that they are flowing tons of cash, or managed to sell the business to a publically held company and stay on as an executive.

Other than that, retained Executive Search can pay a tremendous amount of money if you are good at it.

One of our associates has already made just South of $800,000 this year and probably works 25 hours a week. He is 31 years old.

[quote]thegeoffer wrote:
investment banker

[/quote]
A buddy of mine is working in investment banking (his first year) and is getting around $90K but he works 90-100 hour weeks. He and I worked out that his hourly rate is less than mine and I work as a lab tech part time (i’m still studying at uni).
I dont think that’s much of a life. I see him about 1 a month and he looks like shit.
Each to their own.

Waste industry and energy supply. My dad’s business deals with both and his salary breaks down to 5 digits a day.

Doctors don’t make nearly as much money as people think. As wage earners, they make decent money, but nothing to become a jet-setter on.

While not fortune earners, there are some underlooked occupations.

Lineman. If you can work on the telephone lines, you can make lots of dollars.

Master Electrician.

Welders, ESPECIALLY underwater welders.
35 dollars an hour for a pipeline welder.

Heavy Equipment operator- a friend of mine went to a tech school for it, and went to iraq as a contractor, and made about 100k in two months.

Brakemen- If you can operate a press-brake, you can pull down about 3o an hour, minimum, depeding on location.

the hours in I-banking really aren’t worth it you might as well take the time go to b-school and get a higher position than you would otherwise. Or go into consulting or corporate finance. Still very hard but for the most part you can leave your work at the office. this is just what i hear though i don’t have any first hand experience.

also selling cocaine seemed to do pretty well for tony montana.

(for a while)

[quote]BarneyFife wrote:
While not fortune earners, there are some underlooked occupations.

Lineman. If you can work on the telephone lines, you can make lots of dollars.

Master Electrician.

Welders, ESPECIALLY underwater welders.
35 dollars an hour for a pipeline welder.

Heavy Equipment operator- a friend of mine went to a tech school for it, and went to iraq as a contractor, and made about 100k in two months.

Brakemen- If you can operate a press-brake, you can pull down about 3o an hour, minimum, depeding on location.

[/quote]

What type of heavy equipment did your friend get qualified on? I currently work in the mines over here in oz as an operator and that 100k in 2 months has perked my interests?

[quote]dudsman wrote:
BarneyFife wrote:
While not fortune earners, there are some underlooked occupations.

Lineman. If you can work on the telephone lines, you can make lots of dollars.

Master Electrician.

Welders, ESPECIALLY underwater welders.
35 dollars an hour for a pipeline welder.

Heavy Equipment operator- a friend of mine went to a tech school for it, and went to iraq as a contractor, and made about 100k in two months.

Brakemen- If you can operate a press-brake, you can pull down about 3o an hour, minimum, depeding on location.

What type of heavy equipment did your friend get qualified on? I currently work in the mines over here in oz as an operator and that 100k in 2 months has perked my interests?[/quote]

could be the fact that he was doing it in iraq ?

a paperboy out there gets 50 k a month in danger money

personally im allergic to bullets and being shot at brings me out in a rash - better to stay at home and earn less

[quote]dudsman wrote:
BarneyFife wrote:
While not fortune earners, there are some underlooked occupations.

Lineman. If you can work on the telephone lines, you can make lots of dollars.

Master Electrician.

Welders, ESPECIALLY underwater welders.
35 dollars an hour for a pipeline welder.

Heavy Equipment operator- a friend of mine went to a tech school for it, and went to iraq as a contractor, and made about 100k in two months.

Brakemen- If you can operate a press-brake, you can pull down about 3o an hour, minimum, depeding on location.

What type of heavy equipment did your friend get qualified on? I currently work in the mines over here in oz as an operator and that 100k in 2 months has perked my interests?[/quote]

All kinds. We have a vo-tech school in Kansas called Beloit, where they have a two year program to teach people how to use a vast array of heavy equipment. The only reason he is making that kind of money is because of hazard pay in iraq. And he works as a contractor for haliburton I beleive, so I don’t know if they even let aussies play to.

A geek can do pretty damn well in the Silicon Valley, but the average prices for a house / apartment are downright revolting.

You don’t know much if you think doctors make great money. You are leaving out things like paying out $250,000+ pa for insurance - take that off the pay. Even at the highest level and the greatest pay there are so many things to take care of. Even at the lowest level there are expenses such as further education, conferences, registration and so on that is just a lot of cash. Medicine is not a good field to go for if money is your aim, no siree.

As others said, building a business - or just running a business well, you don’t have to build it, leaves professions for dead.

There is no need to ask a bunch of people on a bodybuilding website when this information is readily available. The wealthiest people in the world are almost all people who started a business that took off. Once you get below that level of wealth, you have real estate developers, oil and gas developers (whether exploration and production, midstream gathering, transportation, etc), investment bankers, entertainers/athletes, etc, etc.

Doctors, lawyers, bankers, corporate types are all pretty much pyramid schemes. In the early years, you make considerably less money than people think you do and you work long hours. The reward is when you make partner and you start to share in the revenues earned by the junior folks who are working their asses off. Bear in mind that the people at the top still work pretty hard (years of working hard kind of ingrains it in you), it’s just that they earn $$$ from the efforts of others as well as their own effort.

Clearly, I am generalizing in the above examples. Quality of life is very important as well. With greater wealth and salary there is usually higher risk in that your revenue streams are typically not as secure as many lower wage careers = higher stress. For example, investment bankers, while they tend to make very good money, one bad year and you are likely out of a job. It can sometimes take a year to land a comparable job. So, if you made $1.0 million one year and then $0 the next year, your average yearly earnings takes a big hit.

Couple that with the fact that there are bigger forces at work that can have a much larger impact on your success in these careers than your personal effort and you get a high-stress lifestyle. That is why the turnover in IB is so large. People burn out or get flushed out with regularity. Ask most IBs what their career goal is and it is usually to make X amount of money by Y age so that they can either retire or go into business for themselves in an unrelated field.

There are also different paths within IB that have different time and effort requirements and different stress levels. Income is typically scaled accordingly.

DB

[quote]seraphim28 wrote:
Can anyone help out with some careers that pay the most I am doing a report where I compare salaries with hours worked.

Everyone knows that doctors are well paid but many people seem, to believe that they are the highest paid. I know they make the best money when it comes to hourly pay, but many other careers like management consultant and investment bankers make thousands if not hundreds of thousands more than physicians.

does anyone know of anymore careers?[/quote]
I don’t make nearly as much as 50% of the people in my office but I am making $100 per hour sitting here posting on T-Nation. Could be worse!