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Want a Six-Figure Income Without Getting a College Degree of Any Kind? Here Is How

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

As someone who has 5,000+ high-end clients who are interested in jobs and careers, I paid attention Tuesday when
I came across a story about six-figure incomes by Laura Morsch of CareerBuilder.com.

According to Laura Morsch and the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, “physician jobs dominate the list of the nation’s highest-paying positions, holding 9 of the top 10 most lucrative jobs.”

Morsch reminds us that there are other high-paying jobs in our economy.

“Although statistically more education means better pay,” says Morsch, “you can land a very high-paying job with just a bachelor’s degree and considerable work experience.”

She then goes on to list these 9 examples: Chief Executive at $140,000, Airline Pilot at $135,000, Dentist at $134,000, Lawyer at $111,000, Air Traffic Controller at $106,000, Engineering Manager at $105,000, Computer and Information Systems Manager at $102,000, Marketing Manager at $102,000 and Astronomer at $101,000.

I have clients making
six-figure incomes in all of Morsch’s examples, however, you need more than a bachelor’s degree to realistically become a Dentist, Lawyer or an Astronomer; therefore, they are not good examples.

I have a client making $350,000 a year with a high school diploma.
I have another client making $144,000 who is a high school graduate with two additional years of technical training. A third client is making $250,000 with a high school diploma only. All three of these examples are men.

Men can make excellent money with a high school diploma in a number of occupations.

Women can also make $100,000+ with a high school diploma, but they tend to do it generally in three ways:

1) They own their own business, usually a small business that is very profitable. Some research organizations report that there are more small business owners making
six-figures-plus than
in any other job or occupation.

2) They work on a commision basis rather than having a salary. A sharp woman can many times outsell a man because of the dynamics between the sexes. A sharp woman calling on a male client many times gets more time and attention than a male calling on the same client.

3) They work in a financially-related position, such as a stockbroker, mortgage banker, mortgage broker, loan officer or chief financial officer.

Here is some information you can use if you are
a high school graduate and have zero interest
in getting a bachelor’s degree at this point in your work career: go into sales if you have any people skills or personality.

Sales is the second highest paid profession in the world, and it does not usually require a college degree. There are some corporate sales jobs that do require a degree, but there are many more opportunities available if you can generate sales production.

There is not a single business in America that cannot benefit from more sales, and almost every one will pay for sales production.

Here is some even better news: If you are selling and producing big time and the owner or company is too cheap to compensate you at the level you should be compensated at ($100,000+++), dump the owner or company and sell for someone else.

A far better idea would be to start your own business, go into competition directly against the cheap owner or company that would not pay you, and wipe them off the map.

There really is no reason you should be working for someone else anyway. Working in your own business can be an outstanding deal. You call your own shots. You will not fire yourself, lay yourself off, or deny yourself promotions, fat bonuses for production, outstanding benefit packages, and a lot of time off to enjoy your money and family.

The nine examples listed above have 7 positions that amount to no more than hired help, that includes the Chief Executive position. Only the Dentist and Lawyer positions might be either self-employed or hired help.

All nine examples cited by Morsch and the Bureau of Labor Statistics have more stress than anyone needs and are labor intensive. Even the Dentist and Lawyer positions, which might be self-employed, require them to report to work or not get paid. If a Mac truck runs over either them, their income stops in a heartbeat.

Has anyone ever heard of income-producing investments when these job opportunities come up? Income producing assets allow you to take possession of your own time while your investment throws off the income to fund your lifestyle without working a job.

It might be fancy to have any of those nine jobs with status and making $100,000 a year. Some people would rather make $250,000 a year and not have a job, have a boss, and deal with the stress.

Here is a rare career path: Own the business, company or organization and hire the six-figure people in the examples above to work for you. There are people who would gladly pay the above examples their listed wages when they could make $250,000 free and clear and not work.

Who needs status and aggravation when you have money?

admin

Who Earns the Most Based on Their Educational Level

(Editor’s Note: Even though this article was written in 2006, there is a point worth making, and we surely do hope you figure it out.)

Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley

Colleges and universities are fond of reminding anyone who will listen that there is great value in earning a bachelor’s degree. In the most recent statistics available the U. S. Census Bureau tends to agree.

Results from the 2004 Census Bureau report shows a $23,000 difference between the average annual salary of adults with a bachelor’s degree ($51,554) compared to adults with a high school diploma ($28,645).

In what may or may not be an anomaly, the income gap narrowed slightly from five years earlier when bachelor’s degree graduates made nearly twice as much as high school graduates.

The percentage of Americans 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree rose to 28%, and the percentage with a high school diploma rose to 85%. In 1970, 36 years ago, only 11% of Americans had a bachelor’s degree and a little more than half had a high school diploma.

It is probable that the increase over time has had much to do with the advent of technology in our society, and the impact of Internet accessibility to the general public in 1993 and 1994 through the creation of browsers.

If you are wondering, Minnesota, Utah, Montana, New Hampshire, Alaska and Washington had the highest proportions of adults with at least a high school diploma, all at about 92%.  Texas had the lowest with about 78%.

Connecticut had the highest proportion of adults with a bachelor’s degree (37%) and West Virginia had the lowest (15%).

I have long been a believer that there is no real correlation between education and income unless the degree leads to a high paying profession, such as a physician, attorney or dentist. I have known too many people with bachelor’s degrees working at McDonald’s restaurants.

My standard comment is that it is not like all people with bachelor’s degrees make $100,000 a year and those with high school diplomas make $30,000. I also have known many people with only high school degrees and some high school dropouts who make well in excess of $100,000 annually, especially in sales.

Bill Gates is a college dropout who ranks as the richest man in the world. Forbes magazine rates William H. Gates III as the richest person in 2006 with $53 billion, proving perhaps that even Harvard dropouts can make a lot of money.

You, dear reader, will have to decide for yourself how big a difference in income is possible with a college degree instead of settling for a high school diploma. There is no question in my mind that the income gap will increase as the upper and lower edges of our middle class are falling away and the gap between the rich and poor in America widens.

I have also found little correlation between talent and income, intelligence and income and experience and income. Is there anyone in America who has not heard of the starving artist, or educated idiots in menial jobs, or janitors becoming millionaires?

The only real correlation I have noticed is between people skills and income. How else can you reasonably explain how a high school dropout becomes a self-made, multi-millionaire entrepreneur?

These successful entrepreneurs may not have perfect subject-verb agreement when they speak, but they certainly know how to relate to people in a meaningful way. You may have noticed that the whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going (ditto for women).

Also of note is the Bureau of Labor Statistics National Compensation Survey which shows that white-collar earnings average $21.85 an hour while blue-collar earnings average $15.03 and service occupations average $10.40.

Source information for the following statistics come from the Employment Policy Foundation.

The jobs that pay the most generally require at least a bachelor’s degree (4 years of higher
education) and several also require graduate (master’s or doctorate) degrees. Here are the average annual incomes during 2003 for the nation’s Top 12 Paying Jobs:

Top 12 Paying Jobs Overall

$147,000 – Physicians and Surgeons
$133,500 – Aircraft Pilots
$116,000 – Chief Executives
$112,000 – Electrical and Electronic Engineers
$99,800 – Lawyers and Judges
$90,000 – Dentists
$85,500 – Pharmacists
$84,700 – Management Analysts
$84,000 – Financial Analysts, Managers and Advisors
$83,000 – Computer and Information System Managers
$80,000 – Marketing and Sales Managers
$80,000 – Educational Administrators

Top Paying Jobs That Generally Require an Associate Degree or Certificates of Training

The jobs that pay the next best annual average salaries tend to be technical in nature and generally require an associate degree (2 years of higher education) and/or job-specific training certificates. Here are the average annual incomes during 2003 for the Top 6 Paying Jobs:

$66,000 – Healthcare Practitioners
$58,000 – Business Analysts
$57,000 – Electrical and Electronic Engineers
$56,800 – Mechanical Engineers
$54,000 – General and Operations Managers
$50,400 – Computer and Information System Managers

Top Paying Jobs That Generally Require a High School Diploma

These jobs generally require a high school diploma and emphasize work experience and on-the-job training rather than college degrees. Here are the average annual incomes during 2003 for the Top 6 Paying Jobs:

$58,900 – Computer Software Engineers
$56,400 – Computer and Information System Managers
$55,000 – Computer Programmers
$49,000 – Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
$48,000 – General and Operations Managers
$48,000 – Database, Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Top Paying Jobs That Do Not Require a High School Diploma

These jobs tend to require substantial on-the-job training and work experience rather than formal education and specialized training. Here are the average annual incomes during 2003 for the Top 6 Paying Jobs:

$36,400 – Bailiffs, Correctional Officers and Jailers
$36,400 – Legal Assistants
$36,000 – Industrial Production Managers
$36,000 – Drafters
$33,600 – Construction Managers
$31,900 – Electricians

Sometimes the sources for these statistics are not really clear in the significance of their findings. You will notice that whatever the educational level, the positions for Computer and Information System Managers are mentioned.

It is the 9th highest paying job at $83,000 in highest educational level, shows up at $50,400 with a two-year degree and becomes the 2nd highest paying job at $56,400 for high school graduates.

The difference in salaries at different educational levels could have to do with the size of the company the worker serves. There is a difference in responsibility and technical requirements for a company generating $10 million in annual revenue as opposed to a company generating $100 million or $1 billion in annual revenue.

I believe it is also important to understand that many people with Top 12 paying jobs are self-employed professionals who are able to take many legitimate deductions in their business tax returns that workers do not enjoy.

Deductions lower their net taxable income. The earnings you see here can be much lower than their actual earnings because deductions can be “paper write-offs,” deductions that result from depreciation, for example, that can amount to thousands of dollars credit with no out-of-pocket expenses.

It almost goes without saying that many savvy college and high school graduates also have part-time businesses that allow them legitimate deductions that lower the net taxable income from their jobs.

Online Hiring – Many Job Hunters Are Frustrated With the Continual Digitized ”Depersonalization” of the Hiring Process (Part 4 of a 4-Part Series)

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Many clients of
mine have filled out customized online forms tailor-made to help them only to find out later that they were receiving calls on their cell phones from telemarketers, and needing to get a bigger mailbox as suddenly they were inundated
with unwanted advertisements.

How did those advertisers get such pertinent information? Answer: the good fairy brought it to them while they were sleeping, in other words, they bought it from the source of the customized online information form.

Stafford continues her groundbreaking story with this piece of riveting information:

“John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University, says most interviews are as valuable as Ouija boards in measuring whether a person will be good on the job.

“Interviewers ask the wrong questions, and job candidates can lie, or simply not shine when on the job they’d do quite well, he (Sullivan) says—all the better for online assessments. Companies—especially those that hire thousands of workers and have high turnover—are turning to a range of computer-based filters to pare down candidates to a manageable number.”

I could not disagree more with what Sullivan has to say
as a management professor who is likely quoted as an expert.

It may well be that Sullivan himself does
not have the necessary skills and competence
to get anything out of a face-to-face interview with a potential hire
in his university department. That
would be his problem.

Stafford does end her story with this observation: “Many job hunters are frustrated with the digitized ‘depersonalization’ of the hiring process.” Amen.

Just when personnel types and those hiring should be asking
more questions of candidates in an increasingly complex world they are turning to forms for the answers. Good luck and God speed.

If potential candidates hope to represent my companies or me they had better be ready
to sit down, look me
in the eye, and sell themselves.

In most cases I am old enough to be their father. In many cases I am old enough to be their grandfather. My children call me a fossil, but I still read people so well one-on-one that I would not trust an online form to separate the wheat from the chaff.