In the stories from Reddit that follow, people have shown that they’ve done at least one thing in their life correctly and have been fortunate to make well above the average person’s salary.
One of the richest men in the world, Warren Buffett, once said, “You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”
25. Soap Maker
I spent six years in college and got three degrees in math, chemistry, and chemical engineering and was hired out of school as a chemical engineer. I do research for a large company that makes industrial chemical products, mostly detergents, sanitizers, and other types of cleaners. Most of my research focuses on inventing new chemistry for industrial dishwashing and laundry products. My research has led to several patents and records of invention, which is cool, but at the end of the day I basically just invent better soap.
I’m a dam remediation geologist. I graduated five years ago and travel constantly. The money is great ($125,000 per year, with a $600 weekly per diem), but the lifestyle is subpar.
23. Healthcare IT Consultant
I worked as an employee of a couple hospitals for six years, earning from $50,000-$80,000. Then one day I got recruited by a consulting company and now make over $250,000 per year. It’s not a very secure job, though, so I try to save most of it.
22. Fantasy Novel Writer
I’ve never been on the bestseller list, but my books sell consistently and I hustle on side projects to pull in extra money. This will be the third year I’ve made over $100,000 and I’m very proud of the fact. I realized, sometime between the end of high school and beginning of college, that I was quite good at making stories up. Since no other talents had manifested themselves, and I quite enjoyed it, I put all my time and energy into writing. I wrote in my spare time, I submitted short stories to magazines (and got rejected), I took creative writing classes. I studied writing like I would any other subject, and I became better until an agent picked up my novel. Now I write novellas within my own universe as a way to keep readers happy between novels, and a way to give myself more consistent income. I also run a bookstore on my website of my own signed books. Generally, I keep an eye out for opportunities and am always thinking of ways to increase readership or create a new income stream.
21. Insurance Data Analyst
I take data and turn it into useful information; at least that’s what the PowerPoint said I do. I use software like SAS, SQL, and Excel. I have a degree in journalism but realized I hated it so I took a job answering phones at an insurance company, and just got lucky.
20. Tax Attorney
Being a tax attorney means having job security because Congress changes the rules every couple of decades.
19. Operations Research Analyst
My job is basically doing applied math with some coding mixed in and I earn just north of $100,000. I have my masters degree and have been doing this for almost nine years. I started at about $45,000 with my bachelor’s of science degree. If I was in Califonia, New York, or somewhere more expensive to live, I’d earn about double of what I’m making.
18. Emergency Room Doctor
I make over $400,000 and work about 140 hours per month. I love my job most days, but other days I have to tell people they have cancer or their child died or something horrible. Most days are pretty good though.
17. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
Anesthesia school was hard, but now I make $85 per hour and work Monday through Friday, 7am-3:30pm. It’s the best job ever. Anesthesia is 99% boredom and 1% terror. Its how you respond when some tries to die that makes all the difference. If you can stay calm and follow your training you will be fine.
16. Indie Romance Writer
I made over $650,000 this year. It was $450,000 after expenses and between $200,000-$240,000 after taxes.
15. Drilling Engineer
I work on a drilling rig and made $106,000 per year right out of school. With stocks and bonus, I’m at $140,000 per year now.
I’m bringing in about $100,000 after bonus, and about $20,000 on the side with an unrelated consulting gig. My wife sells tech. In a good year, we make about $300,000 together in a fairly low cost of living area. We both love our work, and we’re healthy and happy. It’s a comfy, nice lifestyle, but neither of us is ostentatious. I drive a 25-year-old Land Cruiser and she drives a seven-year-old Mercedes. We buy what we want/need, eat good food, drink good wine, and we save aggressively towards retirement. We don’t like a lot of “stuff” but the stuff we do buy, we buy quality, and we are concerned more with value than cost. Neither of us come from money, so we appreciate every day that we have it.
I’ve got three years of experience. First year I made around $45,000, second year I made $75,000, third year I made $100,000, and this year I’m poised to make $150,000-$250,000. I stumbled into this job and realized there a lot of money out there for anyone willing to talk on the phone to strangers. I’m not even that good at it. I just work hard and show up ready to go every day. This year I worked about 30 hours a week. I’m going to try and own my house outright by the time I’m 28 years old.
12. Catastrophe Adjuster
I make nearly $125,000 per year. It’s neat because I get to see all parts of the country, help people at their worst get what they need, and it’s really widened my “world view” and made me much more open-minded. I’m also a Diamond member for life with three major hotel brands and have more flight miles than I could ever use in my life; company-paid car and other expenses is really nice, too. I also helped pay for my wife to accomplish her dream of becoming a teacher.
Unfortunately, I spend on average of three weeks each month and about 280 nights a year in hotels, away from my wife and family. I missed the birth and almost entire first year that my only nephew has been alive so he doesn’t even know me at all, and I wasn’t home for my grandpa when he passed away. Every job has its positives and negatives. Honestly, I’d give back all the money I’ve made and go back to making $40,000 at my old job if I could get back the last two years of time with family and friends. Money to buy things is nice. Experiences with those who matter are nicer.
11. Independent Financial Planner
I started out with a firm and learned the ropes while making $50,000-$70,000. I spent a few years building up my book and eventually went on my own as an independent. I’m now at over $150,000 per year. I typically increase that each year with referrals and market increases. There are many rules that have to be followed, but 30-hour work weeks are the norm.
10. User Experience and Product Designer
We make sure the software you use solves a problem for you and that it’s usable. We don’t “make it pretty,” and it upsets us when others say “just draw the screen.” We interview the people who will use software to make sure what we draw actually helps them. Many UX designers switch from first careers in project management, architecture, business, or visual arts. Starting salary is typically $80,000 and if you’re good then you can make up to $200,000 with at least eight years of experience.
9. Bariatric, General And Trauma Surgeon
I make over $500,000 a year, but only after graduating in the top five percent of my class in every class through high school and four years of college, an optional year internship at the CDC, four years of medical school making at least B’s or better, over five years of residency, one year of a fellowship, and working up in volume of practice after four years attending. I work 60-80 hours a week and my salary will top out somewhere under $900,000. The double edged sword is that you come to understand more about life and people than any person should aspire to. Fixing people that are broken in every kind of way can be consistently rewarding and taxing on you in any way you allow.
8. Medical Dosimetrist
Medical Dosimetry is a career path almost no one knows about but it’s a great job to have. Dosimetrists are not doctors; we are closer to being technicians. I graduated from a two-year program and there are other one-year and two-year programs all over the nation. The training offered by these programs will familiarize you with the role of x-ray treatments in the management of cancer, the physics and math behind x-ray production and absorption in tissue, and with the actual generation of treatment plans in the treatment planning system.
Ninety percent of a dosimetrist’s duties involve a computer so I do spend almost all day seated in an office alongside my coworkers importing and exporting data, generating treatment plans, and preparing digital documentation. The other 10 percent is spent occasionally going to the treatment vault or to assist with patient setup or to answer someone’s questions about a plan. Although my work rarely involves direct patient care, you see patients at least in passing on a daily basis and have an opportunity to interact if you are asked to assist in during treatment or CT simulation, which is a nice reminder that the collection of pixels on your screen represents an actual person. The work that we do to help cure or at least help comfort these people is important, even if we are not the face of the department.
7. Financial Analyst
I earn $357,000 per year in total compensation. I’m a massive introvert and work 12-14 hour days, six to seven days a week. My hobbies have to be able to be done at my desk and be able to be done in bursts.
6. University Gift Officer
I just broke $100,000 this year. I’ve been in the field for four years and in those first four I made around $82,000 a year. I have a bachelors degree and a background in sales; I sold life insurance. Some of my colleagues sold cars and boats. Some never sold anything. Getting into it seems to be a matter of persistence and just hitting it off with interviewers. Once you have experience, it’s easy to find work. I get approached by recruiters regularly. I travel a lot, though. At least one week per month I’m in a different time zone and at least another week on regional travel.
5. Private Chef
I make $110,000 a year as a private Chef for a family. I get three months off every year and they pay for my health insurance.
4. Commercial HVAC Technician
As a Heating, Venting, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) technician, my base pay is around $80,000, but I make around $10,000 overscale putting my base around $100,000. With overtime, I’m usually around $115,000-$130,000 a year. Being union is the big thing.
2. Logistics Executive
I currently make a total compensation around $240,000. I started as a temp employee in a warehouse making $8.00 an hour about 18 years ago. As a high school dropout, I wasn’t supposed to make it this far. With an insane amount of hard work, doing favors, helping others, and a little bit of luck, I’ve been able to accomplish things I’ve never imagined to be possible. I’ll never forget where I came from though, and every chance I get I try and pay it forward to others.
1. Television Editor
I work for a production company which produces several major reality TV shows. It’s not uncommon to bring in $200,000 in this industry. I work 45-60-hour weeks to bring you some of the worst television in the world but I love creating things, so it worked out in the end.