Does anything pay better than finance?

If we looked at jobs purely for monetary purposes, does anything beat out finance?

Engineers/hard science professions usually don't earn that much starting out and their salaries don't grow that much. Engineers with 15 years of experience could only be earning 150-200k. Heck, auditors probably earn more than many engineers. In medicine, you start working in your early 30s and very rarely do you break mid-six figures unless you're in a very competitive field (cardiologists for example).

If you work in IB, you start out making 6 figures and then once you're in your mid-30s you could be making millions as an MD or go the PE route and potentially earn more. This is extremely rare for any job except for Biglaw and top software engineers but neither of these pay more than finance in general. They pay equal to or slightly lower.

So is finance the highest you could go from a purely earning perspective.

Comments (136)

Funniest
Dec 13, 2018

This is such a WSO-type question

    • 28
Dec 13, 2018

I'm genuinely curious, wondering what other career paths could lead to the same income as finance.

    • 1
Most Helpful
Dec 13, 2018
sheperd99:

I'm genuinely curious, wondering what other career paths could lead to the same income as finance.

Technically, all of them. Rise to the top, entrepreneur it up, and target IBD level income. Not easy, but it's technically possible in nearly every career out there.

The problem I have with this thread is, people should already know this. But we don't because for some reason most people seem to expect that it's structurally correct that a small handful of companies get to be billion dollar behemoths, leverage all market power, and there are few to no smaller players.

In actuality the world might function better on the consumer level if there was more parity across the board and a higher number of competitive players.

And, the fact that the main concern, at least on this board, is marginal pay, it's distirbing. I don't see enough interest in a field, and instead the focus is all on getting out of debt and making enough to not have to worry, which is only in the marginal pay increase from one field to the next.

In short, it's disturbing that the world, this country, is set up so that even the middle class is struggling to feel sufficient under the mountain of net negative payments, especially when we're living in some of the richest times in history.

    • 35
Dec 13, 2018

senior software/hardware engineer at apple/facebook/google could hit 400k-500k after about 10 years...and then you either hit a comfortable ceiling...or you start a startup and try to get some VC money.

*not everybody is smart enough to be able to be a senior software engineer at these firms...and they are more selective than wall street (for good reason....they are "smarter"...but they make less money....so you could argue if they are really smarter...)

alas...these positions do not pay better than wall street front office...they should, because they are actually creating things of value...but they don't

just google it...you're welcome

    • 3
    • 5
Dec 13, 2018

Couldn't you keep moving up the ladder until you get to Principal/Distinguished Engineer? Also, doesn't Google have a partner-equivalent position called "Google Fellow" or something like that?

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Dec 13, 2018
faceslappingcompilation:

alas...these positions do not pay better than wall street front office...they should, because they are actually creating things of value...but they don't

Yeah and Wall St. front office doesn't create value? wtf

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Dec 14, 2018

I come from a software background and while what you state can be correct, most people overestimate how many of these people exist and they woefully underestimate the age discrimination in tech. The reality is that computer science/engineering is more and more widespread and a top grad fresh out of school can make about $60k/year. So do you keep the $400K guy or get 6-7 grads for the same price? I'd say there's less than 1-2 dozen people in the world that fit the profile you describe.

Dec 14, 2018
GoingToBeAnMD:

I come from a software background and while what you state can be correct, most people overestimate how many of these people exist and they woefully underestimate the age discrimination in tech. The reality is that computer science/engineering is more and more widespread and a top grad fresh out of school can make about $60k/year. So do you keep the $400K guy or get 6-7 grads for the same price? I'd say there's less than 1-2 dozen people in the world that fit the profile you describe.

new grads at those companies make $150k in total comp.

source: I interviewed at one and have friends in that world

    • 2
Dec 14, 2018

The only reason we have companies the likes of FAANG is because of wall street front office. How is a debt or equity issuance or M&A not adding value? Providing companies with the means to grow absolutely adds value... dumb

    • 1
    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

IB is just a middle-man to the ultimate goal (e.g. issuing debt/equity, acquiring or being acquired by another company, etc.). You don't make the deal possible, you facilitate it, due to the inherent complexity of such transactions and, not insignificantly, due to SEC regs regarding how securities can be marketed and sold to the general public. And to the extent you can rely on the Fed as a final backstop if things go south, the bank's not even taking on real risk (unlike the tech company clients, who I doubt are considered TBTF by the government).

You may be "adding value" in the context of the current regulatory environment, which makes things needlessly costly and complex, but deals would still get done bilaterally if IB didn't exist.

    • 2
    • 1
Dec 15, 2018

The only reason we have FAANG is because of Wall Street front office? The only reason? And you made this comment for the purpose of highlighting someone else's stupidity? Amazing.

Dec 14, 2018

.

Dec 22, 2018

Compare hours worked per dollar earned and you may find that they actually are much smarter.

Dec 26, 2018

finally someone pointed it out.

if you're an aspiring idiot, keep working hard because right now you're failing

"We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered."

Dec 13, 2018

Physicians break 6 figures in their sleep. Their fucking nurses break 6 figures a few years into the gig. Are you retarded?

    • 5
    • 5
Dec 13, 2018

MID-six-figures. Learn to read properly before calling people retarded it makes you look bad.

    • 3
    • 1
Dec 13, 2018

Physicians in private practice can make 7 figures easy. Forget the 300-400K, top physicians (and surgeons) make $1-2 mill easy.

    • 2
    • 1
Dec 13, 2018

where do nurses make 6 figures?

Maybe with a bunch of extra schooling, but that is so far from "normal"

Dec 14, 2018

CRNAs, Nurse Practitioners both pull in $100k+. My aunt is a nursing director and makes $250k.

Dec 13, 2018

Financial advisor here with many clients in nursing, many break $100,000 before 35. But I also live in California which I believe is one of the highest paying states for the profession. Reviewed one portfolio today with spouse B making $137k at age 45ish. They'll get into the mid 200's if they go into management late into the career as well which can lead to some killer pensions. And lets not even get into the perks associated with their health benefits. Nurses make A1 significant others

Cultivating mass and wealth since '95

    • 1
Dec 13, 2018
picklemonkey:

where do nurses make 6 figures?

Maybe with a bunch of extra schooling, but that is so far from "normal"

California. Nurses here get a ton of overtime and can really make bank. Especially those working in the ICU. Family member does that for Cedar Sinai out here in LA

    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

Nurse Anesthetists - oh yeah, $160K

Dec 13, 2018

If something did pay better, is that what you would pursue? Why?

Life Pro Tip: if you tie your self-worth to your net-worth, you're in for a hurting.

    • 4
Dec 13, 2018

Nope, already exactly where I want to be. Just wondering out of curiosity.

Dec 13, 2018

Entrepreneurship / startup has the most upside in your 20's, and it's fairly trivial to raise VC funds (though not in Canada where you are).

    • 1
Dec 13, 2018

So, try to break down pay in others ways rather than a lump sum. Pay for hour? Finance is a joke. Friends of mine in IB UK make PS50K working 100 hour weeks. Let's say you do 47 weeks of work (5 weeks off in Europe).

$50K/47wk = PS1064/wk

PS1064/100hrs =PS10.6/hr.

Sure, you can be proud of your bigger lump some than most professions but I can guarantee that you're getting that kind of money because you're working like a dog.

    • 3
    • 1
Dec 13, 2018
The Pharma Guy:

Sure, you can be proud of your bigger lump some than most professions but I can guarantee that you're getting that kind of money because you're working like a dog.

Yeah exactly.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

    • 2
Dec 13, 2018

Wait, you mean that in a positive or negative way?

Dec 14, 2018

There are many ways to skin a cat.

If you look at just the business world there are paths to make $300k+ in any of these:

corporate management, finance, professional services (corporate law, consulting, big accounting, financial advisory, lobbying), entrepreneurship (real entrepreneurship not starting a private practice or contracting or small business but even in those it's possible), sales (headhunting, luxury goods, med/tech/pharma etc)

In the skilled/technical side:

software engineering, quantitative jobs (data science, analytics, economics, etc), design, film/media, academia and industry R&D etc..

On the "servicing people" side:

healthcare (medicine, dentistry), sales (e.g. used cars, insurance, investment advice, residential real estate etc), etc.

There are people making a lot of money in a HUGE array of jobs. Does that mean everyone is qualified or able to make that type of money? No.

Finance is just one field of many with its own barriers to entry and survivorship bias.

    • 5
Dec 13, 2018

+SB, couldn't have summed it up in a better way

Dec 14, 2018

"Servicing People"

Nice

Dec 14, 2018

[]

Dec 13, 2018

An important factor is also how difficult it is to reach those high-paying jobs.

If you're aiming for MD / Director / Partner in finance, you (in most cases) need to:

  • Excel academically
  • Get the right experience
  • Land the correct jobs, at the correct divisions, land the best teams
  • Work extremely hard
  • Go to the correct business schools
  • Continue to work extremely hard
  • Engage in office politics

Then maybe, just maybe, you have a shot at MD.

And congrats, by the time you're MD (30's), you're earning mid 6 figures, probably in the highest COL areas in the world.

So while you're getting compensated, the chances of getting there are not good. And it's inherently a risky business, so who knows how long one lasts?

Compare that to dentistry (or something similar), where you work 7 hours a day, never run out of customers, and can set up shop pretty much anywhere you want.

    • 2
    • 2
Dec 13, 2018

This is completely inaccurate.

First of all, MDs earn far more than mid-six figures. Their base is most likely in the mid-six figures but finance is all about the bonuses. MDs at BBs or EBs earn in the seven figures.

Second, that whole list you made applies anywhere. Every job requires you to excel academically, work hard and engage in office politics (minus office politics if you're in entrepreneurship). You think dentists don't work hard to get their client base? Also, landing in the correct division or group doesn't impact your ability to make MD. And if you had the ability to get into a BB, chances are getting into a business school isn't on your list of worries.

Third, NYC isn't the highest COL in the world, don't even think it's in the top 10. Also, high COL isn't only an issue for people in finance. The legal world is in NYC, the tech world is in SF, the entertainment world is in LA. etc.

Fourth, IB isn't as risky as any other job in professional services. If you're bringing in clients you'll have a spot in your firm just like law, consulting, and pretty much any other job on the planet. In the finance world, IB isn't close to considered "risky business", if we were talking about hedge funds, then it'd be different.

Lastly, your whole last paragraph reeks of naivety. "Just become a dentist, work 7 hours a day and earn mid-six figures" far easier said than done. First of all, running your own practice is pretty risky contrary to how you describe it. In fact, private dentistry practices are declining because of all the practices that are opening. Many dentists are also in the negative when they first start their business so if it doesn't take off, they have to worry about repaying their debt, many don't even start making a profit until a few years after they open and that's only breaking even.
You think everyone who opens a dentistry practice gets a full book of clients right off the bat?
Also, how many dentists are earning the same amount of money as an MD? The answer is in the decimals.

Not hating on dentists, just saying that each job takes an amount of effort to get there and I wouldn't say becoming an IB MD and opening a successful dentistry practice, working 7 hours a day and earning mid-six-figure are far off from each other. If it was easy then everyone would be rich.

    • 2
Dec 13, 2018

You missed my whole point. What are the chances of someone becoming a top MD at a top WS firm, versus becoming a dentist (or any other high-paying "regular" profession). The things you have to do to become a MD, versus becoming a dentist (working for someone else) isn't even on the same fucking scale.

Let's take Goldman Sachs, for example. 7% of their employees are managing directors - of those, around 65% started out as analysts or associates at the same firm - point us, you really have to be the best of the best to float up there, and it takes a lot more than just hard work. "Yeah but top talent goes other places too", sure, but the ratio still stands wherever you go - there's just a finite number of spots, and the majority will never reach those.

What happens with all the 40-something bankers that didn't get promoted to the top? They continue making a good salary, but not anywhere near as good as the top. And guess what, they may have worked just as hard as those reaching MD.

A lot of (young) people on this forum seem to believe that if you get into banking, you're destined for a top job if you just follow the road map laid out - and somewhere down the road you'll somehow make your mid 6-figures.

So with that in mind, young people / students should absolutely also consider other careers, that will pay comparably well in the long run, but without the added risk, and sacrificing your life to your job.

Let me just hammer this in one last time: There are (Absolutely) well-paying jobs out there that don't require the amount of dedication that top banking does - yes, the reward might be lower, but so is the risk. Discussing high-compensated jobs / careers without mentioning risk is a waste of time.

    • 3
Dec 13, 2018

Off the top of my head, very few jobs pay as much cash as finance at an early age. Making $300K+ cash in your late 20's is rare. At top tech firms it's a possibility if you're in engineering or sales but a lot is tied up in options (more so if you're an engineer, salespeople are coin operated). Sales is probably you're best option to match finance cash comp early career. Choose an industry with high margins and customer LTV.

Corporate takes years, and if you top out at Director level, you may be making at 50 what a 29 yo PE VP makes. Doctors don't start making that type of money until their mid-to-late 30's earliest. Big law is no slouch but you will always trail your finance brethren at BBs until you make partner and only then can a rainmaker's compensation reflect their revenue generated.

Entrepreneurship is where things get interesting.

Found a VC-backed startup and you will not touch that type of cash comp for years. Note the cash comp component for these massively successful, pre-IPO companies. These businesses often take 10+ years to build all while you're chronically underpaid. And lists like these have huge selection bias... Then again I doubt anyone founded these businesses for the short term cash comp.

Traditional businesses can generate comparable amounts of cash to what you would make in finance, but most of these folks have had decades in their industry before hanging up their own shingle. Things that come to mind are exec recruiters, specialized consulting, independent lawyers, dev shop, etc. Notice that these types of businesses are service models and optimize for cash now, not long term EV. To build a substantial EV business generally requires capital investment (and therefore lower cash comp) for years. Also, equity value creation usually requires a product or productized service.

    • 2
Dec 13, 2018

You should never pursue a line of work purely for monetary gain as you'll never come close to making as much as you can doing something you're passionate about.

When I fell into entrepreneurship/private equity I never did it for the money and I'm netting out low 7 figures at 25 now. My close partners and anyone else I know that's making great money young never did it for the money either. Yeah, it's nice, but you'll burn out way before you start doing well if you do it for nothing but raw cash.

FWIW, I work just as hard as when I was bleeding money and barely making anything as I do now and the only difference is that I have the opportunity to work along brilliant people and outsource all the work I used to hate doing to employees.

Shit like accounting/legal I no longer have to get overly tactical on which is nice. I remember sitting around putting together contracts because I couldn't afford a lawyer...do not miss that one bit...

Dec 14, 2018
m_1:

You should never pursue a line of work purely for monetary gain as you'll never come close to making as much as you can doing something you're passionate about.

Smartest thing said in this whole thread. Took me about 15 years in my professional life to learn this. Now that I'm doing what I'm passionate about, life is so much better and the money has been tremendous. Do what you like and everything else will take care of itself.

    • 2
Dec 14, 2018

Anyone can start a cleaning business and break six-figures if you know what you're doing and get repeat clients. I know a few folks who run several businesses netting over half a million yearly.

I would rather do something I am interested in, being able to get up everyday and go to work content and looking forward to being in the office. At some point you will burn out, and eventually lose all interest in that "said" field if you are simply after money. As @princepieman had said, there are many ways to skin a cat.

No pain no game.

    • 1
Dec 23, 2018

If you have started a successful and profitable business and you "burn out" or "lose all interest" why not promote an employee to a manager or an exec who will run the company without your input. Chip him/her some equity and make sure they are more passionate about the business than you are. Start a small conglomerate and/or holding company. Create a small version of BRKA.

Are there any cons to this other than loosing control of the companies that you own and having put your faith in another person to provide for your income?

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Dec 13, 2018

Another came to mind; pilots. Sure, the lump sum isn't as much as MDs but the top 10% make about $200K (according to this source: https://www.pea.com/airline-pilot-salary/) and I strongly believe the top 1% can break $300K. Add to that all the perks of free flights etc which if valued in dollars would probably equate to another $100-150K per year. But you aren't working nearly as hard as in banking, you get to travel the world and stay in crazy nice places (I met a KLM crew and pilots in Central American that were staying for 4 nights turning around on a red eye in a 5 star hotel and all expenses paid for the entire stay) and genuinely do something you love.

    • 2
    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

You make good points but don't commercial pilots have a forced "age out" at like 50 or something? I'm sure you can teach or do other things after that, but a salary is only as good as you can still make it. What are you going to do after 50 with such a specialized skillset?

    • 1
Dec 13, 2018

Yeah I guess that's fair. Private pilot, aviation instructor or something similar comes to mind. Clearly all of these have a pay but you can start aviation school at 18 and graduate by 20ish. You can make that amount for 25-30 solid years. That's a big pension you walk away with

    • 1
    • 1
Dec 15, 2018

First, yes, the demand for pilots is high, but the training is expensive and the first five years gaining time pay less than $40k in the US. But people who decide to go through the process, generally have a passion for flying, enough to keep them motivated for years.

Second, go overseas however, to emerging countries, a fresh faced ATP from flight school will start $120k as a first officer, and Captains who leave the US and Europe for Dubai and China and other EMs about $200K. Americans are loved by foreign operators, who's societies still view pilots with respect, unlike the US where pilots command the prestige of fork lift operators. Though the prospect of moving their families there usually keeps them from jumping over, and thus they're stuck with US companies. Rarely are there pilots breaking $380k as senior bus drivers in the US.

Move into test piloting, join an aviation startup, or start an aviation logistics company in war zones and remote areas with fat contracts from governments and the UN, then yes you may make 7 digits. But must figure capital expenditures. The Russians are in demand for "goods" fliers to the Congo and there are plenty of contract work to be done in the Af continent--and looking into the geopolitical trends, the US, China and Russia want to influence the region by doing all kinds of activities there--so the customers are there indeed.

With aviation though, aviators are more thrilled by the experience of flying than the money earned. It's almost like paying a sex addict to have sex with an unlimited amount and endless options of partners--it's a win even without getting paid--this is the mindset aviators working as pilots have. Pilots who aren't aviators though, usually don't hack it for long and they're the ones whining about pay.

    • 2
Dec 13, 2018

Top notch reply, +1 SB

    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

Nothing beats out finance. The sky is the limit when your job is literally to make money. Other careers require you to do some task in exchange for money. In finance, you simply maximize income and bypass the "providing a value added service to society" nonsense.

Pilots for a large US carrier will bring in $400-$500K as a 777 or 787 captain and will work 8 days a month. However, it takes about 20 years to build up to that.

    • 2
Dec 15, 2018

Certain these pilots must be charging smuggling fees if they're bringing in $400K+

    • 2
Dec 14, 2018

The thing that pays the best is building a platform. Doesn't matter if it's in engineering finance pe etc. The mega rich built platforms.

Microsoft Facebook are platforms. Citadel is a platform other people trade on. Outcome Health before it was exposed for fraud gave the founder a 3.3 billion net worth in his early 30's. Platform.

Basically build something others can build on. But it's not an easy game.

Array
    • 4
    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

Great point ! SB+

"Be persistent and you will get, be consistent and you will keep it, be grateful and you will get more"

phuckQuotes

Dec 14, 2018

Does being an escort count as being in finance?

    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

Only if your clients work in finance.

    • 2
Dec 15, 2018

.

Dec 15, 2018

Apples to apples? I wouldn't say entering finance is more lucrative than entering engineering when you control for everything.

Finance (I assume we mean the upper end of it . . IB, S&T etc) only recruits top students at good schools. So to compare, you should narrow the pool of engineers to a similar group. That alone narrows the pay gap significantly . . would be surprised if GS is paying that much more than Google to start.

Then you have to account for the fact that engineer promotions are probably a lot more likely. Goldman MD no doubt makes more than the comparable seniority at Google, but I bet a much higher % of Google entry-levels are able to get that promotion.

A fairer comparison is probably percentage based; if 5% of analysts wind up as MDs 10 years later, then take the Google entering class and see what the top 5% make 10 years later.

Also should be some accounting for hours, especially in this day with more and more lucrative outlets for free time (working on a startup or side hustle or whatever).

But it gets even more complicated because the upper end of finance become accessible to engineers later. Look at VC and growth equity partners, I bet you'll find almost as many former engineers as people who went the finance route.

I'll stop there but you get the point . . the more you control the more the gap shrinks. I'd actually bet engineering comes out ahead these days.

    • 2
Dec 14, 2018
PteroGonzalez:

Google entering class and see what the top 5% make 10 years later.

The vast majority of engineers at top tech companies hit a ceiling at senior software engineer. Even just the next level above (Staff/E6) is only 4-5% of the engineers at a top tech company at any given time. Once you start talking about MD level comp you're talking about the top 1% of folks who started as engineers. Getting promoted is exponentially harder in a technical role than it is in a business role once you hit the natural plateau level.

Your other point about VC/GE partners being predominantly engineers is also off IMO. A natural progression for an engineer would be a technical co-founder or early employee at a startup and very rarely do people in that capacity become partners in investment firms (given the average personality traits of an engineer).

    • 1
Dec 15, 2018

Fair enough but I think the talent pool needs to be adjusted and I think this is a huge factor. Engineering has a much larger mix of mediocre folks to start out. Apples to apples would mean taking the same kid, a smart kid who could do either IB or engineering, and having him decide which is a more lucrative path. The small % of engineers who make it to the top would be a very different % for such a kid.

    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

Finance has the most straightforward path to being paid a lot because perceived value is easier to attribute to individuals than other lines of work. Regardless of what field you're in, the more people directly credit you for value-add work being done, the more upside you have, especially if that value-add is scaled (i.e. $B funds being managed, multi-million $ deals, etc.)

    • 2
Dec 14, 2018

Professional athletes, actors and actresses, influencers, successful sales people, entrepreneurs, and more can make more than financiers.

Dec 14, 2018

I can't believe it took this long to so athlete and rapper, I thought that was a given response to this stupid thread

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

    • 1
Dec 15, 2018

I think people are thinking a few moves ahead and trying to avoid the message that finance is the next best thing after athlete and rapper.

Truth is, I'm not sure finance compares well to any field at all if you adjust for the talent pool. Any field could appear lucrative if it was limited to smart, hard-working people who care a lot about money. It's just screwing with the denominator, it doesn't mean a talented person would make more money going that route.

    • 2
Dec 15, 2018

One thing we need to be careful about is the entry-level salary trick that a lot of professional services pulls (law, IB, consulting come to mind). Entry level salaries are high but the progression isn't as good on average. Many people enter these fields to make partner/MD and the vast majority don't make it, and end up years later realizing that their 20's were as lucrative as their 30's. I had a labor professor who called these "rookie industries" . . pay the rookies more than their value-add because you're seeding your future rainmakers and over time you strip away the ones who won't make it rain.

Progression may be better in some other industries where you're paid directly for the value you provide today, which means starting low but getting consistently paid more over time because you're actually becoming more skilled and valuable.

    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

If you consider the hourly comp rate, most industries do not overpay their junior staff. Making 120k right out of college is indeed a lot. But working 80+ hour weeks yields an hourly rate of less than $30/hour. Plumbers, mechanics, and mailmen make more than that. The pay is still tied to experience and value-added as it becomes more respectable, on an hourly basis, as you near your early to mid 30s (assuming regular promotions of course).

    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

Mailmen are not making $30 an hour lmao thats 87k a year

    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

Plastic surgeons, orthodontists make a killing in recent years.

    • 1
    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

Pro sports...

    • 2
Dec 14, 2018

Criminals! Hackers, narcotics traffickers, etc...working 10 hours per week for high $7 figs...

    • 2
Dec 15, 2018

Actually drug dealing is almost as overrated as finance when it comes to pay:

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_levitt_analyzes_c...

    • 3
Dec 16, 2018

Another prestige thread smh

Dec 17, 2018

Tech does not pay the same as finance. I am in the corporate strategy department of a multinational tech company, worked my ass off jumping up the ladder from entry positions in mechanical engineering in a record time, and there is no money. So keep moving, nothing to see here.

Tech has safety and that is it. You will feel realized if your dream is to become the expert on this or that , you will be overworked to a certain humain level, not beyond Charles Dickens standards, and you will be able to survive to failures on the expense of not benefiting from the individual contributions as much. Very few make above 200k as engineers (including there management levels) and they will be continuously on the target, since hiring newbies is less than half of that and outsourcing cuts the costs even more. Just as an example, outsourcing to Italy or Spain will provide you the same or sometimes better quality for a salary of 30k/year, doesn't need to be outsourced to ultracheap regions.

Engineering is perceived as a cost, is a blackbox to obtain a product that generates cash, and therefore it was, it is and it will be always crushed down to be as cheap as possible.

Dec 14, 2018

Sounds like you don't work at a decent enough tech company if even managers make less than 200k.

Dec 15, 2018

Your work (strategy) should be the least outsource-able thing there is.

Dec 17, 2018

Petroleum Engineers start out at 100-120k with 5-10% raises per year and 10-20% bonus. Usually a promotion every 4-5 years.

Dec 23, 2018

Yeah fair... but as a petroleum engineer for 10 years it gets boring and the 5-10% raises don't get you to higher earnings fast enough (in my opinion). Great job security, low hours, etc.

I swapped the slow and steady upstream world for finance and couldn't be happier.

Dec 17, 2018

What did you switch to? A&D IB? or MBA to Finance?

Dec 18, 2018

Tech entrepreneurs seem to be really high up, but only the 1% in their industry ever really make it. But IB is really a good space to push up your earnings package. I am all for this - money is linked unfortunately to all the good things in life. This is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

Corp. Fin. Analyst currently working two finance jobs (and a teaching gig and trying to save my music production solo career). I love avocado's. And yes Cape Town is the most beautiful place in the world. Don't believe me, come thru and find out.

Dec 22, 2018
sheperd99:

If you work in IB, you start out making 6 figures and then once you're in your mid-30s you could be making millions as an MD or go the PE route and potentially earn more.

What percentage of people in IB will make it all the way to MD?

Dec 22, 2018

The obvious answer is to do something you love and the rest will follow. Having said that, certain fields allow you to capture your worth better than others. Advisory will usually trump a corporate all else equal, and Investments will usually trump advisory. The entry level Tech engineers are benefiting from Demand / Supply, but they certainly dont ramp as much as Finance guys, unless they take on the added risk of joining something early stage.

Medicine and Law are interesting in that they are quasi entrepreneurship. Medicine has a very wide dispersion and cracking into a top specialty is very hard. My understanding is things in the US are getting worse and the ceiling for what you can make is coming down. In other countries Doctors make solid salaries but nowhere near mid six figures like they do here. Not sure why americans think Helathcare belongs on a demand/supply curve... I digress.

Law is exceptionally broad, but its not that uncommon for M&A lawyers to switch over to banking. Its a brutal life with salaries typically below that of bankers. Much harder to make partner as well.

Ultimately, Finance is the best paying field for top students. And as a result there is extreme competition to get seats, which results in all kinds of cultural issues in the field. It is also far riskier than others since its specialized and offers little prospect of opening your own franchise.

    • 1
Dec 15, 2018

"Not sure why americans think Helathcare belongs on a demand/supply curve"

What curve does it belong on?

Dec 24, 2018

Instagram modeling.

Dec 27, 2018
GetAJob08:

Instagram modeling.

Finally someone pointed this out!

I have friend in the influencer space who pull in upwards of 10k per month post-tax. The only problem with YouTube/Instagram earnings is that they really can fluctuate. A good mo can see you earn PS20k+, another can see this drop to a 1/4, which is unsustainable. There's also a lot in this sector who are worried with Insta organic reach slowly dropping. But yes by far this is the space that can make elite sportsman pay if you grind and work to the top

Dec 25, 2018

The reason finance pays so well (read: only to top performers) is the power of compounding interest. If you return 11% a year instead of 10% a year, and compound it on scale, the differences are worth a fortune. So there is really high demand, and making small improvements matter a lot (hence the high fees of 2/20). A doctor or engineer or lawyer that performs 10% better doesn't create the same amount of marginal value, so the industries don't pay as much of a premium for top talent. Only careers with a similar characteristic can compete.

To answer the q, successful entrepreneurs tend to make more money than those in finance. They are forgoing the diversification benefit of investing in many ideas to invest everything in one. The premise is that the idea provides a so much better risk-return profile than other ideas, your time should be used to apply leverage instead of diversifying. Successful fast growth startups often grow capital at 200%+ year over year, making much more than an investor in the finance world does. You see this all the time with deals in Silicon Valley for companies founded by the best entrepreneurs: there is way more buy side interest than equity being sold, and the only way to get more equity/access the full upside is to be the entrepreneur (not the investor, the very best VC funds have 70-80% IRR). It is hard to say whether being an entrepreneur is a "job", but the path to building a startup is certainly getting more institutionalized (seed --> A --> B --> C --> Softbank). And the same characteristic holds, if an entrepreneur is growing the business 11% week over week instead of 10%, that can be the difference between WhatsApp and a < $1b exit.

Dec 26, 2018

you made a very good point in the first paragraph. thanks

"We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered."

Dec 27, 2018

Lurker medical resident. The previous posters stating physicians can reasonably make 7 figures are full of shit. The official data used for negotiating is called MGMA and they have medians around 4-500 for surgical subspecialties, more for neurosurgeons, less for pediatricians. Only the rare exceptions make 7 figures and those are the guys who primarily have a good business sense but also work their asses off (or are high volume spine surgeons). I'm 27 and have excelled by all accounts but have a quarter-million in debt and make $60k for 80hr/wk. I'd rather be a plumber

Jan 24, 2019

Data Science, tons of really good jobs in many spaces like tech, business, finance, venture capital, etc. If you get the relevant programming skills [Python, R, etc.] you can really go far. You get a lot of respect in the industry and if you are someone who is about striking hot markets and opportunities then you basically write your own ticket.

Also on a side note, if you are past undergrad and don't feel like breaking in for graduate school for the skills you can self teach or find a boot camp for a heavily used language, learn how to program and the others ones come second nature. If you look hard enough you can even find some free ones...

    • 3