This is a great question and I like the open-ended style you asked it in. Below I outlined some details about my salary and I've also provided additional information on what this salary actually "looks like" in practice (i.e., how far my dollar goes).
- Job: Senior Cultural Analyst at a PR Agency
- Requirements for Job: bachelors degree, a few years of industry experience
- Growth opportunity: Exponential. Meaning I could move up within the company, I could go client slide or jump to similar companies, and what type of career I have could pivot depending on life passion and opportunities
- Pay: >$70K/annualy
How far does my dollar go?
- Location: I live in NYC, which is one of the capitals of marketing in the world and is where a lot of marketing jobs exist. It also is very expensive to live here. My salary allows me to live a relatively comfortable life, but if I lived in a location with a lower cost of living my money would go A LOT farther. I can do what I want (mostly) but I do have to budget down to the 1% and am monitoring all money going in and out
- Loans: I did not come from a wealthy background, so I pay upwards of $500 monthly for student loans I had to take out to attend the university I went to. This is a BIG chunk of my pay on a monthly basis that I have to budget for. While my degree definitely helped me get my job, I see this almost as a "tax" to make it in marketing which I almost eliminate from my salary
- Future goals: While I know I will make more money in the future, investing is very important to me and building wealth is about TIME. Meaning, if you invest a little now, you'll have more later than investing more money later but having less time to build interest. This also takes a chunk of my salary but I see it as a greater future return I'm willing to sacrifice.
Bottom line, marketing makes decent money (more when you're more experienced) but it comes at a high cost of living (lots of marketing jobs are in big cities) and requires a college degree (student loans).
I hope that was helpful and good luck exploring careers!
Your salary will depend greatly on two things - what you want to do and where you do it. For example, my current salary is very good where I live in Texas. I would not do very well with this same salary in California due to the cost of living differences. Some careers do not earn what they are worth sometimes - such as teaching. And some careers only pay well when you reach the highest levels. So there are a variety of factors that are at pay with salary. I would say that you should consider ways that you can improve your likelihood of earning as much as you can. First, I would say that you should focus on jobs around skills and talents that you have. I say this because work can be difficult no matter how much you love it. And when it's hard, loving what you do can get you through hard times. Second, once you have a list of careers that you may want to consider, determine if you need specialized training. If you want to be a lawyer, there is some extensive schooling required. And then consider where you want to live. Cost of living definitely impacts that life that you can lead.
For a someone with a BS degree, there can be a wide range of starting pay. Looking at some recent salary data, many seem to be starting around $40,000 but the range seems to be $30,000 for more general service oriented positions up to $100,000 for more technical position, such as computer programming. I'm most familiar with scientific R&D positions in industry where BS positions are starting at $70,000. While how much money one needs depends highly on lifestyle choices, an early career employee certainly live comfortably and enjoyably on that. It is important to keep in mind that there is lots of variations. Using teachers as an example, which has been in the news, there are some states where the pay is quite low, half of some of the higher paying states.
As to what you might make in the future, that depends on so many things including your employers policies and revenue, your performance, and your aspirations. Managers of people tend to make more than individual contributors, but again that depends. Many employers give annual raises that, quite honestly, seem to run about the historic rate of inflation. Getting a promotion and, again, moving into management can make a big difference.
In any case, there is lots of pay data available on the internet. Check out Glassdoor app and look at some careers that interest you.
Couple things to remember:
1. Your salary and how fulfilling or beneficial your job is to society are not directly correlated.
EX. A teacher can be very rewarding emotionally and beneficial to society but your salary won't be high no matter how hard you work.
2. If your goal is the highest salary possible then you will need to focus on specific industries such as Technology or Finance.
3. Hard work won't necessarily translate to a fair or high salary.
In short - if your goal is a high salary doing something you like to do then I would say do the following:
1. Identify something you like to do and get educated in it (a bachelors degree is still a valuable thing - especially in more technical fields)
2. Aim for working at a larger company. The culture may not be as ideal but the compensation is usually higher
3. Take a low paying job at first to get experience then network within your industry to find new opportunities.
Do you know your potential career path? You could do some research here: https://www.salary.com/research/salary
Don't forget benefits are important too (i.e. 401k, health insurance, etc.)
Challenge yourself with the hardest possible classes (in high school and in college). Challenge yourself to be in the top of your class. Add in the extracurriculars (join clubs or groups which compliment your career path, get a certification, get an internship). The sky's the limit with the right attitude and tenacity!
A major consideration should be how much will your education cost relative to how much you expect to earn. I've heard a good measure is to try to keep your student loan amount to less than what you would make in your first year salary. That usually means going to a public school or getting a lot of scholarships/help. You might consider working part time/interning at companies you would be interested in working at. I found that having experience/contacts in a job was often more useful than the specifics of my degree.
For me, I followed the career path of the person in my life who was the most successful.
My career hasn't been very popular but I'm good at it and started making 6 figures before I was 30. Plenty of people get there faster.
I do recommend looking for average salaries relative to your interests. My friends all had cooler jobs than I did and hopped around in their careers in their 20s, but I stuck with my less cool job and started being very successful to the point that it is now impressive and therefore cool
There are various other websites like salary.com that can provide the pay ranges for specific locations and job skills. You need to estimate future salary increases by digging deeper into each sector's current compensation methodology.
It really depends on what field you go into. If you have an idea of some career paths, you can check the average salaries out online on O*Net. You can also try and contact people within that field regarding their thoughts on advancements within salary and career. I know some practitioner roles may look different and offer different opportunities than corporate roles, and sometimes it just depends on where you work. Good luck!
Disclaimer, I don't have the right answer for you. Your post/question doesn't give me enough information to give you logically or to give you proper advice.
So, What I'm about to say, please take it with a grain of salt. I will share my thought process when I read this, in the form of questions.
Are you established in a career already? If so, What is it? Are you passionate about it? Do you have a job in that field? or, Are you looking to get your foot in your preferred industry? Are you studying/researching about it? Are you invested in your education in the said industry?
If not, What do you want to do? Where do you want to be? Who do you want to be? Why do you want to be in the industry want to be in? Why does it matter to you?
Ask yourself these and let yourself think more about the path you want to walk, where you want to be. Then, you can start to ask, "How can I start?". These are tough for some to answer for themselves, but that's part of the process. If you know what you want, please share, maybe me and others here can give you better advice. Though, Not all advice helps or work, things change in one's life and by the end of the day, you decide what's best for you.
If you are really interested to know the current salary level of a career your are interested, there are recruitment consultants firms which would do survey and publish the report every year. You can try to find it out online.
Having said that, this may change from time to time that subject to the market trend / demand. However, this can give you some indication for the time being.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
1) how you do what you do (self employed, big corporate firm, etc)
2) Where you do it (only local jobs, on the internet, etc)
People will try to push degrees and engineering. You just have to be creative though. I know a lady who just got into organizing people closets and she does super well. She has a blog and clients locally but also virtually. This meant she got savvy with social media, squarespace or something similar, etc. I'm an engineer myself and I took a more traditional route (jr engineer, level 2, level 3, etc). I am launching a closet space business this next year though that is projected to make more than my engineering job. It took me years to realize people will pay to have closets redone. So whatever you pick, just be creative and think if you can get a full time job and have a side gig with it and if you did have a side gig then what would that look like. Set goals, how many customers would you need, how much do you want to make annually and break that down into how much you would make weekly and determine from there how many customers that would be. etc.
I myself had to take out federal loans to pay for the expense of my higher education and I have been very careful about the choices that I have made throughout my career.
In any job/career it depends on the type of work or field of interest as well as the location of your employment. The pandemic has seen many employers loosening the requirements around where employees need to live, if they are completely remote. However, one must always remember the current sentiment could alway change and you as the employee needs to be able to be agile and pivot quickly.
Giving myself as an example - I have worked for my employer for 10+ years, starting as a senior analyst originally, and now I am an operations manager. My income has increased by approximately $60k over 10 years, not including bonuses or benefits. During those 10 years I finished my bachelor's and received my MBA. Much of progress in my career was achieved through a ton of hard work along the way, learning almost every facet of the business, mostly out of personal curiosity.
I think its important to note, that the work doesn't end when you receive the degree and the position. I think it is always important to constantly look for your niche and to constantly network within the company to ensure you are actively engaged but also find a public professional forum as well.