2008-04-15

Where Can You Make A $100,000 Or Better Salary?

I heard this story about fourth-hand, which should really make it accurate. A second-grade class is asked by its teacher for a show of hands of everyone who would like to pay less taxes. The hands of every child go up—except one. The teacher asks the boy who didn’t raise his hand if he would like to pay more taxes. He nods. The teacher asks why. The boy responds, “Because it’d mean I was making more money.”

In what I’d call a parallel issue, I’ve been reading some blog posts and discussions about the relative importance of emphasizing frugality versus emphasizing trying to increase your income. My sense is that these discussions go back through many blogs through some time. But for some fairly recent posts, check out: Spend Less Than You Earn Or Earn More Than You Spend? (at The Digerati Life) and Sometimes It Is the Amount of Money You Make (at I’ve Paid For This Twice Already…).

Anyway, my general view is that you have to do both. But I’m more likely to offer two-cents-worth of advice that is worth its face value in the area of increasing income. (For my disclosure of my weakness in frugality, check out my post, Frugality and Chocolate Sundaes.)

So for those for whom this may be useful or just interesting, here’s a look at jobs in which you can earn an annual salary of $100,000 or more.

This past weekend’s Sunday paper came with Parade magazine and its annual look at “What People Earn.” For those of you who have never seen this, it’s a list of actual people with their actual salaries—as well as a few sidebars, which discuss certain industries and representative salary ranges for certain jobs.

I went through the lists to find everyone who was making $100,000 or more—but not $200,000 or more. I eliminated the salaries of $200,000 or more because the corresponding jobs seemed largely (though not entirely) inaccessible for most of us. For example, they listed some well-known show-biz personalities (all making millions), a CEO of a large bank, and so on.

So here’s the $100,000+ list:

  • $100,000—information-technology systems analyst (extrapolated from representative salary given as “more than $91,000”)
  • $100,000—court reporter (stenographer) in St. Louis, MO
  • $103,500—advertising salesperson for new-media website (representative salary)
  • $109,600—school principal in Columbia, IL
  • $110,000—comic book publisher in Oak Park, IL
  • $120,000—gaffer (electrician) in Temecula, CA
  • $120,000—creative director for new-media website (upper end of representative salary range)
  • $125,000—filmmaker in Los Angeles, CA
  • $129,500—civil engineer in Syracuse, UT
  • $137,500—first-year attorney (representative salary at large firm)
  • $143,000—identity-theft consultant in Birmingham, AL
  • $145,200—industrial electrician in Dinwiddie, VA
  • $150,300—corrections officer in Yonkers, NY
  • $165,200—U.S. Senator in Burlington, VT
  • $173,300—real estate broker in Fairbanks, AK
  • $178,000—rodeo steer wrestler in Lance Creek, WY
  • $180,000—pediatrician in Alpharetta, GA

Well, I don’t know how “accessible” it is to think about going out and becoming a U.S. Senator at this point in your life (or at least my life), but it’s an interesting list. The article also noted industry sectors that it considers more “recession-proof”: energy; security; accounting; wireless support; and database administration.

To build on the Parade article, I dug around on the Internet and found an MSN Money article titled, “10 surprising six-figure jobs.” Here’s the list:

  • Court reporter
  • Professional (life or career) coach
  • Mine manager
  • Salesperson
  • Truck driver
  • Pressman
  • Technical writer
  • Restaurant manager
  • Air traffic controller
  • Elementary school principal

Principals and court reporters appear in both lists! No, I don’t know how that helps anyone, but it seemed worthy of an exclamation mark at the time.

Finally, check out Salary.com’s Salary Wizard—and its listing of “Six Figure Income Jobs by Category.”

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