Where In The World Do I Work? The Most Popular and Least Expected Highest Paying Professions

Whoever or wherever you are, all of us have the same expectation to be compensated for our work. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get paid and truthfully it’s usually our main motive to work.

Our time is our most precious asset and although every job is replaceable, we strive to be our biggest boss and market ourselves to let others believe we are unique.

No matter what skills you have what cannot be replaced is your personality, tenacity, patience, grit and soft skills.

When I first started looking for internships back in middle school, I was bombarded by various job sites from Indeed to Chegg and didn’t know where to start.

What I heard from my upper-class colleagues is that recruiting/hiring is all a numbers game. The more firms you apply to, the more you’ll hear back from but what is guaranteed is that you won’t hear back from a majority.

Great way to start my recruiting process but hey, at least I learned a lesson earlier on than later.

What you can control in the hiring process is limited.

Yet, these are the traits you can possess that will boost your chances of getting any position:
-First-class: Referral or someone vouch for you
-Having a tailored resume for a certain job
-Doing your due diligence on a company
-Arriving on time and 10–15 minutes early, on a remote interview, at least 5 minutes to get set up with Wifi, appropriate background, etc.
-Good night’s rest-look refreshed and excited to be there
-Positive, good character, empathetic, curious, honest that you aren’t only a genius and able to connect with an open mind
-Timing of interview-before or after lunch-cranky mood-try to be the first or last interviewee for the day if you have the option for the time slot
-Have a specialty and stick with that-you are the CEO of your life focus on your strengths

What’s not in your control:
-Who you are interviewing against-in one of several interviews I didn’t get the job, not because of my own faults rather because I was competing against the hiring manager’s son
-Their mood or what’s going on in their personal life
-Machine pooling out certain terms-algorithm for resume screening

Clearly, there’s not a lot in your control but the most important thing you can do is to focus on your character, your attitude, and being mindful about what you are saying.

Never interrupt the interviewers because everything you say will be held against you. Just like in court.

Top 5 Industries With Six-Figure Jobs

Since we discussed paycheck, if you’re looking for a juicy one, which isn’t a problem unless it is the only reason why you have a job, then look no further than to finance and tech, the top contenders.

Since this is a financially literacy blog it’s important to be aware of all the benefits of not relying on a job.

Financial freedom is defined by making enough passive income to rely on it and supplement your full-time job.

When you carry no debt and can rely on your money to work for you not against you, that’s true freedom. You don’t rob your time and can enjoy life on your own terms.

That’s the best type of freedom but unfortunately when you graduate from school, the easiest way to earn the most money in a short amount of time is to get a job unless you’re coding all night in your dorm ready to launch the next Facebook.

When you are young, you have the most energy, willingness to learn, make mistakes since you have no dependents and all the power to you straight out of school.

You have peak energy and grit that won’t last forever.

Plus a 9–5 job is a good reason to support/prove the worth of your degree after spending $50k+ on school and 4 years might as well get a job while earning passive income or having a business on the side.

Yet as with any 9–5 corporate job, brings about issues most notably:

-Taxes taking a decent chunk out of your paycheck

-Your paycheck only goes so far-your boss determines what you’re worth

-Robs your time, health and family sometimes

-Burnout and workaholism are real

-Less family and self-help time

-No one is replaceable

-The average graduate takes on 3–5 jobs in the first 5 years stuck and confused-mid life crisis approaching

Image by Unsplash


We all have our own definition of success. It may include getting a fat salary or that fancy title but what is guaranteed is that your fulfillment cannot be derived from money.

Money doesn’t make you any happier. Happiness leads to success not the reverse.

After a certain income, $75k to be exact, your happiness will plateau. Sure you’ll get elated after purchasing that shiny new car, but after a few weeks or even few days, it won’t make you feel like a better person after all if your health, relationships and internal world aren’t well.

Whether you’re a graduate or an MD with 30 years of experience, you need a game plan and purpose.

If there’s no purpose, don’t expect to be anywhere for long.

High or Low

Whether you are a bad student or the brightest Valedictorian with the highest GPA at the top school, your odds are a bit mixed.

Obviously you would assume that someone with better grades competing for the same internship with a kid with worse marks would make it farther yet more often than not, soft skills over hard skills are being more heavily weighted by firms these days because when you’re working at a company, 8–10 hours per day, if you have to be surrounded by lazy arrogant geniuses, that isn’t going to make your life or the company any easier/better.

You live with your colleagues in some professions more than with your regular family so feeling supported and being human is crucial.

Anyone can learn Excel and Python.

Now that you’ve put on your character hat and know how to best stand out, let’s investigate the highest paying industries that often pay 6 figures within 3 years out of undergrad or graduate school.

Image by Brooke Lark

Highest Paying Professions

Investment Banking

Management/strategic consulting

High Tech

Venture capital/entrepreneurship/startup landscape

If you’re really motivated to make a lot and rise up to the ranks before 30, I would suggest apply to the top 10 companies in these industries and make sure you understand your WHY between each because the websites look the same.

For example:

Investment Banking: Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Barclays, Bank of America, etc.

Strategic Consulting: Bain, BCG, McKinsey, A.T. Kearney, Deloitte, Arthur D. Little, etc.

Tech/Software: Google, eBay, Dropbox, Quora, Uber, Slack, Pinterest, Netflix. Apple, Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft, Paypal, AirbnB, etc.

Venture Capital: Future Founders, YC, Benchmark, Accel, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Sequoia, etc.

Yet with some of these companies, having lower acceptance rates than Harvard, you only have so much control as discussed above so keep your options open and don’t associate your self worth with rejection.

Plus, if you get rejected, it shouldn’t matter! Just invest in that company instead and let them make money for you instead of working for them!

Whether you want to work in finance, technology or at a startup is your choice and you can learn why startups in particular are the riskiest financially and professionally here.

Image by Tim Mossholder

Overlooked Six-Figure Industries

Real Estate: Taking care of tenants can be a full time job especially if you manage a whole community of buildings. As a real estate agent, although there are roughly 1.4 million of them in the US, only about 40% make over 1 million per year.

To increase your chances, work in high profitable taxed states such as New York and California where the average home price is near one million for a 1 bed.

As an agent, all you have to do to make one million per year in NY or in Florida, is to sell roughly $400k of real estate 6 times since brokerage deal, sales, advertising, marketing tax and all the other expenses eat up into your commission.

Computer & Movie Animation/Music: Pixar Studios or Blizzard

Government: Nancy Pelosi is reportedly worth a couple hundred million and makes an average salary of $200k with lifelong pension. In addition, janitors, Navy, Army, the Air Force, prison guards and elevator technicians make over $270,000 a year.

IT Consulting/Accounting: Microsoft, Salesforce, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte, etc.

Engineering: Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering, Software engineering, Structural engineering. Highest paying starting salaries and that can lead ot various other jobs in tech, software, research, etc.

Police Officers and Firefighters: Cops and firefighters with a couple year of experience can earn a couple million per year along with the additional bonus of lifelong pensions that companies don’t offer once you leave. Teachers also can receive tenure.

Health Care: Doctors, Physician Assistants, Hospital Administrators, Nurse Practitioners, etc.

Oil, Mining, Commodities Trading: Vitol Group, BHP Billington, Glencore International, Cargill Group, Koch Industries, etc.

Alternative Routes:

-Staring a company seems to be popular these days although most people don’t have the grit to deal with a non-recurring paycheck, being alone and lack of direction

-Lastly, you can always marrying someone for money. Sometimes it works out, most of the time not especially since 80% of marriages end up going through divorce.

Image by Unsplash


Startups are very risky since 98% of them fail.

Majority of startups are in the tech space due to this innovative environment we are living in these days. Most tech startups don’t pay well but do offer stock options to become a majority shareholder than just a public investor.

Working for any big bank or tech firm will pay the best because they are established and don’t need to worry about laying off workers due to a pandemic when there’s a decent cash cushion in place and endless amount of debt they can just borrow for leverage in times of crises.

Yet be wary of longer hours. Make sure you are getting compensated for it since at startups in particular there’s no rigid plan and you can easily be working for double what you signed up for.

If you want to stay comfortable with a job, working in banking at a top firm is key yet may not last so long. Many of the banks raised base salaries by 60% or so after the financial crisis and it will pay off but it can get tiring after a few decades when most pivot out.

Image by Nick Jones

Best Advice

Working for anyone is risky because they control what you do, when you do it and no job unfortunately is 100% stable.

If you want independence, are motivated on your own, can deal with uncertain pay but want to be able to spend more time with family and have that work life balance you always craved, I would suggest becoming familiar with the passive income generation mindset.

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur either. Most people who’ve ended up working for themselves started when they had a job and a side hustle on the side.

Age isn’t a barrier, your mindset is.

Reversed Circumstances

If you stick to working at one of these firms for a good 5–10 years, no doubt you’ll become a millionaire if you’re strategic and save. Once again, it’s not about how much you make, rather how much you earn. If you’re busting out into the club ordering drinks and high every night, your paycheck is worthless.

But what if you don’t get the chance to work in these fields?

They either don’t speak to you or you were a bad, unlucky student?

We neglect the regular jobs that pay really decent as well.

For example an electrical technician job makes over $280k per year!

Part of being rich, is understanding and designing your opportunities. Not waiting for someone to tell you what to do.

School won’t make you a six-figure salary. You just can’t go to business school and expect to get where you want to go right away.

Design your life on what you want. You deserve everything you put your mind to. Remember, there are those who are less qualified than you and got what you wanted due to grit and unwavering commitment.

Trying requires no skill only effort. Never fail due to a lack of effort.

It all lies in making a brave choice.



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Atticus Capital

Atticus Capital

Hey! We're Atticus Capital, a start-up personal finance/investment tech company here to simplify investing for everyone! Check us out here: oneatticus.com