Personal Finance 
23
comments

Surprising Six Figure Jobs

Email  Print Print  

I was reading my Gmail when “Surprising Six Figure Jobs” appeared in that little blue area above the message control buttons… so I had to find out if those six figure jobs really did surprise me.

Some of the jobs listed have unreliable high hourly rates that Forbes just extrapolated into six figure jobs (sales persons, press men, tech writers) but aren’t necessarily what I’d consider six figure jobs, others really are legit six figgies. Anyway, I put the list below with some commentary… any of them surprise you?

They are:

  1. Court Reporter – But you’ll have to type 200+ words per minute… if you know me and how I type, I type at around 140. In order to be a court report you’ll have to type almost 50% faster.
  2. Professional Coach – 20% of the 10,000 professional friends make six figgies.
  3. Mine Manager – I’m not surprised at all that the median salary is $106,000, it’s a dangerous job working in mines. Kudos to them.
  4. Sales person – Okay, when your selling something on commission, of course you can make six figures but it’s not a guaranteed salary. I think this is a cop out answer by Forbes. Boo.
  5. Truck Driver – Hmmm… I looked up some sample pay rates of truck drivers and a few datapoints I saw were around 40 cents a mile. At forty cents a mile, it takes 250,000 miles a year to earn $100k. That’s 4800+ miles a week, or 686 miles a day. If you’re driving 65 mph (granted they go faster), that’s more than ten hours of driving each day… not to mention the number of hours of driving you’re permitted, in miles, is capped for safety reasons.
  6. Pressman – This refers to printing press operators who can make $32/hour… but $100k requires overtime.
  7. Tech Writer – Now you’re just talking crazy… $50/hour freelance writing is not a guaranteed $100k.
  8. Restaurant Manager – I buy it… but the hours are long and there are some uppity customers.
  9. Air Traffic Controller – I heard this before, that ATCs make a killing but that’s because it’s a high demand, high stress job. Forbes says that many will retire over the next 5 years and there should be many openings for people who can multitask 500 planes in the air at once.
  10. Elementary School Principal – I remember seeing a list of all the salaries of administrators and teachers at my high school once and noticing that the principals all made six figures, that’s not a bad situation to be in … esp when you’re add in the summer months off…
{ 23 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

Related Posts


RSS Subscribe Like this article? Get all the latest articles sent to your email for free every day. Enter your email address and click "Subscribe." Your email will only be used for this daily subscription and you can unsubscribe anytime.

23 Responses to “Surprising Six Figure Jobs”

  1. Jeremy says:

    I think some principals make over $100k, but quite a few of them do not. Plus, this is one of the high stress jobs. I mean, handling 500 airplanes, driving 700 miles a day in a big rig, or…. dealing with parents about “little perfect Johnny/Suzie.” Ouch. Not me.

  2. mapgirl says:

    Believe it on the tech writers. Say you make $80K on staff as a tech writer. You can still take side gigs that you can work on during your free time on weekends and evenings. You can easily pull in another $20K doing that since a lot of tech writing gigs are short term contracts anyway.

    That’s a very realistic salary in the right tech markets (Silicon Valley & DC). I know one guy making that right now.

  3. Eric Mueller says:

    the court reporter figure is a little misleading– the speed of typing, that is, not the salary! if I remember right from a school field trip :-) CRs use a special keyboard that allows them to record the proceeding phonetically, not literally (that is, not spelling it out on a QWERTY keyboard)… thus “typing 200 wpm” isn’t really that difficult, since they don’t worry about spelling, they just bang it out as it sounds… ah yes, I found some info. They often use this machine, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stenotype, and Wikipedia says “A trained court reporter or closed captioner can write speeds of approximately 225 words per minute at very high accuracy. Many users of this machine can even reach 300 words per minute.”

    • Dana says:

      Are you kidding me? Not really that difficult? Obviously you know NOTHING about the skill and length of time it takes to become a court reporter. Get your facts straight before you comment.

      • Celena says:

        Okay. Eric. Bang it out as it sounds and don’t have to worry about spelling. Just a bit of information. CRs create a dictionary starting with one word. CRs have to make sure all the spelling is correct. CRs have to create a transcript in situations with format correctly coming across to the reader completley understands what is going on in the text. It’s more complicated than you will ever know. I’ll have to agree with Dana when you should do a little research on what you have an opinion on. Dork!

  4. I’ll speak as a tech writer…. that wage really depends on the market you are in. In my best year, I’ve made just under $60K. Its fine for where I live but I don’t think the majority of tech writers see $100K unless they are in a big tech market and doing freelance/Writing books on top of their regular job.

  5. Andy says:

    Believe it on the court reporter. We had to get a court reporter for a public meeting I helped coordinate. We wanted every spoken word transcribed onto paper; the meeting was very controversial and we needed the written record. WOW! Was I shocked at what we had to pay: $65/hour PLUS mileage, and the clock started ticking the minute she left her office.

    The court stenographer that did this freelance work for us lived an hour from the meeting, and the meeting ran 3.5 hours. That’s a cool $357.50 that she made (I can’t remember what we paid for travel, something like $0.30/mile sounds right)

    Oh btw, she has a regular job as a court reporter, so we had to work around her schedule. Not a bad deal on her part.

    Andy

  6. jim says:

    Eric – I did notice once that court reports type on tiny little keyboards and never made the connection that it was a different layout. 300 words a minute… ridiculous. I guess they then translate from phoenetic to “real” later on? Being a court reporter doesn’t sound half bad… you get to hear some interesting stories (and some boring ones too)!

  7. Jeremy says:

    Eric and jim:

    Yes, court reporters use a stenotype machine, which is not a regular keyboard. It has fewer number of keys, but you create words by pressing on keys simultaneously, and works in a sort of shorthand. And yes, later they do have to go back and translate from the keyboard shorthand into english, although a friend of mine’s stenotype hooked via serial cable (and usb-to-serial adapter) to her laptop.

  8. Sarah says:

    Principals (and many other school administrators) don’t have summers off, though they have a little more flex time for vacations and such during the summer. I’ve discovered that most schedule their vacations around the mandatory workshops that they have to attend. I will NEVER get my Master’s in administration…

  9. Very interesting. . . . As far as the court reporter thing goes, it’s a job of silently transcribing whatever you’re hearing. Not reacting to it, just transcribing it. I grew up around them–father’s a judge–and I think it would stop being enjoyable after a short while for most people. Imagine having to transcribe the most horrific things people ever do to each other–that’s what a good part of your job would be.

  10. LAMoneyGuy says:

    I heard a segment on the radio one night that addressed this very topic. It was one of my first posts when I started my blog in February. Two that were somewhat surprising were strip club DJ and Hollywood night club bouncer. They both made six figures on Friday and Saturday nights alone.

  11. LAUREN says:

    Wow. You sure do have a lot of negative things to say about every single one of these jobs. You might have maybe mentioned at least one positive thing in each job. Pat yourself on the back for trying to downplay careers that people might actually have their hopes set on.

  12. jim says:

    In looking at the list, the only jobs I said anything negative about was the restaurant manager and an air traffic controller and I do believe I’m right on both counts. With the others, I was merely commenting on the fact that Forbes labelling a particular job as ‘six figures’ may be a misnomer and that everyone shouldn’t assume that every single (or even the majority) salesman makes six figures… that’s just unrealistic. Often times it’s a statement of fact, not an opinion about a job (with the exception of the two I mentioned above).

    And, if you look at what I wrote for Mine Manager, it’s not negative at all.

  13. I have an acquaintence that is an Air Traffic Controller and he was making about $92K with overtime and locality pay in his third year. That was over 3 years ago so he should be at six figures now with the yearly raise that federal employees get every year.

  14. Dana says:

    Regarding the court reporter, for that person who said 300 wpm is ridiculous, the current world record holder keys 360 wpm. And while 300 wpm is NOT ridiculous, it is also not the norm. Court reporters must learn the English language all over again. There are only 26 keys on the steno machine. Not every letter in the alphabet is represented though. Through various groupings of letters, we make words or phrases. For example, the word “approximate” takes 11 strokes to type. In steno, it’s one stroke “PROFPL”. This is how we are able to key so quickly. Court reporters do not get paid what they do because it’s easy. My theory class started out with 20 gung-ho students. By the end of the semester, there were six of us left. If you’re going to comment about a career, have some knowledge to back up your opinions. One more thing, in order to be certified by the State of California, we have to pass a test at 200 wpm with 97.5% accuracy.

  15. Lisa says:

    I just wanted to say that I myself am going to school to become a court reporter. This is not a career for everyone, school is very difficult. In the two years that I have been in school I’ve seen many students drop out after just a week or two. Yes, you have to be able to write at 200wam to take the licensing test, which also consists of legal terminology, medical terminology, business english to a great extent, and ethics. So if you think you’re up for it, go for it, it’s not half bad, and very interesting. I personally enjoy it myself.

  16. nina says:

    I was a court reporting student – I got to about 45 wpm – it is very difficult to master. I wish I had continued.

  17. Amanlikeme5 says:

    I am a truck driver and while there are owner operators that do very well, there are comany drivers that will never make that kind of money. Yes trucks have the ability to go faster than 65 mph, most are governed at about 62. If you can ever find a company that would dispatch 686 miles a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year you would be the luckiest son of a gun alive in the trucking world. They normally dispatch a driver to about 2800 to 3600 miles a week, thats the high side. Anything more, for an extended period of time, say six months of everyday, including Sundays and holidays, you would burn yourself out. By the way, there is no extra pay for Sundays and holidays. 4550 miles a week is about the most you can drive a week, due regulations unless you drive in only 70 mph states, which there are only a few, then we’re talking 4900 miles a week. At that rate, you now live in that truck, because you never leave it. I don’t think thats the kind of life anyone really wants, I don’t care how much you love trucks or driving.

  18. Amanlikeme5 says:

    P.S. By the way, by law, you can never drive more than 11 hours a day, or 70 hours a week.

  19. Amanlikeme5 says:

    I am a truck driver and while there are owner operators that do very well, there are comany drivers that will never make that kind of money. Yes trucks have the ability to go faster than 65 mph, most are governed at about 62. If you can ever find a company that would dispatch 686 miles a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year you would be the luckiest son of a gun alive in the trucking world. They normally dispatch a driver to about 2800 to 3600 miles a week, thats the high side. Anything more, for an extended period of time, say six months of everyday, including Sundays and holidays, you would burn yourself out. By the way, there is no extra pay for Sundays and holidays. 4550 miles a week is about the most you can drive a week due regulations. Unless you are able to drive at 70 mph in only 70 mph states, which there are only a few, then we’re talking 4900 miles a week. At that rate, you now live in that truck, because you never leave it. I don’t think thats the kind of life anyone really wants, I don’t care how much you love trucks or driving. The perfect senerio is live and drive in a state where the land is all flat, the speed limit 70 mph with no construction, have a truck that runs 74 mph, have the pick up and drop point right off the highway, no lights or traffic, and instead of backing up in a dock and waiting to be loaded and unloaded, drop and hook. Drop off a trailer and have a trailer ready to be hooked up to. Live a couple of miles from a terminal and the terminals be 700 miles apart. Not impossible, just highly unlikely. A good living can be made driving a truck, but don’t expect 6 figures being a company driver.

  20. Aubrey says:

    Strip club DJ’s do make alot of money…and I find it sexist that they always happen to be men. I work at a strip club and on a friday night, there will be around 37 girls. Each has to pay the DJ (who is usually a very rude jerk) a “mandatory tip” of $10. (Why call it a tip if it’s mandatory??) So that is around $400 a night for working only five hours. Given the economy right now, the DJ makes more than the average dancer! It really would be nice to have a female DJ sometime in the future, because I have never seen one!

  21. Buffy says:

    I have a good one… my violin teacher charges $60 an hour for private lessons. This works out to about $125K for a 40 hour work week. She also charges a fee for a group rehearsal that probably nets her another $12k a year. Of course she works almost every night of the week and she has the patience of a saint (to teach 3 year olds to play the violin). Despite the sacrifices, it seems to be a lovely way to earn a living. Her students adore her and she always has a waiting list! More business than she can handle!


Please Leave a Reply
Bargaineering Comment Policy


Previous Article: «
Next Article: »
Advertising Disclosure: Bargaineering may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.
About | Contact Me | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Terms of Use | Press
Copyright © 2014 by www.Bargaineering.com. All rights reserved.