Herr Oberst (herr_0berst) wrote,
Herr Oberst

о сомнительной якобы пользе образования

Упоминавшийся здесь уже ранее MMM-который-не-АО выдал на-гора список из 50-и «рабочих» специальностей, которые не требуют высшего образования, но труд которых оплачивается по таксе более $50K/год. Ну в рамках, так сказать, полемики с публикой, жалующейся, что «нету денег -- мало плотють». Не то, чтобы таких работ не было, они есть и их немало, с этим никто не спорит, тем не менее представленная подборка во многом, я считаю, прекрасна -- взять, например, такой вариант как Blogger или, скажем, YouTube Channel Owner, но самый жЫрный расклад, вне всякого сомнения, этот:
35: IT Guy at the South Pole - the National Science Foundation contracts out workers in all fields to run the science labs on the bottom of the planet. In exchange for unusual conditions (-100F outdoor temperatures, months of blackness), you get free living with interesting people which allows you to reach the storied 100% savings rate. Honorable mention goes to this South Pole reader/photographer who sent me pictures of daily life in Antarctica. This concept can be applied elsewhere, even on tropical islands: live temporarily where your skills are in demand, get paid more, plus free living expenses.

[ © Mr. Money Mustache: part 1 | part 2 ]

Good Old-Fashioned Manual Labor

While everyone streams through the university and competes for the office jobs, the traditional trades have seen a shortage of new arrivals for many years. As a result, wages have gone up. But to capture the good pay in this area, you generally need to run your own small business, rather than working for an existing company. The wage differential is often over 300%.

1: Carpenter – my perennial favorite. Once you have a good reputation in an area with nice houses and good incomes, it is easy to earn over $50 per hour building things – even things as simple as fences or decks. Kitchens and bathrooms generally pay even better. No formal training required, but it helps to work alongside another good carpenter for a year or two, or take classes at a community college.

2: Plumber – slightly more traditional and formal, in my area this job requires a two-year apprenticeship before you can get your own first level license. But that really just means you get paid $20-$30 per hour while learning, then you start your own business and start charging $80 (and hire your own apprentice to further increase profits).

3: Welder - I stumbled across this self-employment goldmine when I learned metalworking myself in 2005. In summary, rich people always need custom steelwork done on their houses. Not many people know how to do it. So it is easy to charge $50-$70 per hour for running your welder and grinder alongside some basic design skills.

4: Electrician - I recently quizzed an apprentice electrician working in my own area. He was a degree-holding geologist who ended up taking this job because it paid better. Two years of apprenticeship (or a shorter amount in community college), and you can write the test to get your first level license. His boss was billing him out at $65 per hour, and the boss’s time itself comes at $85.

5: Painter - Nobody does their own painting these days, and thus they often go searching for painting companies to handle it. But most of these companies are run by disorganized and occasionally rude owners who don’t know how to return an email. So YOUR company, with its polite and professional management, will have very little trouble carving out all the business it can handle. Once established, pay can be $25-$40 per hour depending on how wisely you bid; higher if you hire employees to work for $10-$15 to speed you up.

6: Tile Setter - An ideal combination with “Painter” above, because the same skills make you good at both. This pays a little higher, and you get to create fine bathrooms and kitchens. Bid out both tiling and painting, and watch the customers line up.

7: Landscape Company Owner - a little trickier because it requires knowledge of plants and design principles as well as heat tolerance, but in general a lucrative field if you work in a high-income area. Nobody does their own gardening these days.

8: Excavator – An oddball choice, but it can work if you like ultra-powerful machines and do the math right. You can rent a huge track-drive excavating machine, delivered, for $400 per day plus fuel. Or buy a used one for about $50,000. This qualifies you to dig foundations and other work (often under contract for local custom house builders or city governments), which yield about $1000-2000 per day of work. The guy I hired for my own housebuilding company was a former math major who found the excavating business to be more profitable. You might invest $200k into equipment if you have a dump truck, trailer, bobcat, and digger. But if that $200k is allowing you to make $100k per year more than you otherwise would, it is a huge ROI. Plus you are a hero to little boys all over town.

9: House Builder - although doing this professionally didn’t agree with my own temperament, the pay is good if you focus on building dream homes for rich people (as opposed to speculatively building houses to sell as I foolishly did). Builders get about 15-20% of construction costs, which works out to roughly $100k for a six-month project of full-time work. You must enjoy supervising other trades, however, which is like herding cats

10: Mechanic - once you know how to fix a car, all your friends and neighbors will want you to fix theirs. Even if you underbid the real garages, you can still earn over $50 per hour in your own garage.. then later expand to a real facility once the customer base grows.

The Internet

These occupations are exotic, because they are new and often silly-sounding. But they are real, as I am learning as I meet more of these people earning ludicrous amounts of money. The key to it is the size of the Internet: it’s effectively infinite, so you only need a tiny market share to be bigger than the big local tycoons of the olden days.

11: WordPress Developer: What do I use to write this blog? WordPress, just like everyone else with a blog. That means millions of people and companies need this system to work for them, and many thousands of them are depending on it to make a living. If you’re an expert at making it work, they will pay you – lots. Relatively simple programming and a high-level, open architecture make it one of the easier forms of software development to learn. With an established customer base, pay is $60-$100k+ per year.

12: Blogger: I thought this just involved occasionally typing shit into the computer for a few laughs. But when attending last year’s “Financial Blogger Conference” in Denver, I saw over 400 bloggers gathering in a swanky hotel, with fancy sponsors and VIP treatment, some of them like Ramit Sethi now running entire organizations with millions of dollars in annual profit. Given interesting enough content, it’s not all that hard to build up a blog with the following of a small newspaper or magazine, and with some low-key sponsorship or advertising, that is good enough to make a living.

13: Passive Income Guru: One of my internet heroes Pat Flynn has a radar-like mind for finding ways to create little “niche websites” that sell nicely-packaged information to people who search for it. These lodge themselves into search engines and start generating low-effort streams of money. I’ve noticed the same effect with my own articles on how to build a shower pan and the cheap iPhone plan*- people show up every day from search engines looking for these topics. If I took the time to make a nice shower-building eBook or an ultimate phone plan guide, I could actually sell those for $5 each and make hundreds of dollars per day.

14: Interesting Ideas Guy/Girl: This is an elusive one, but Chris Guillebeau and Tim Ferriss are great examples. You learn about and do amazing things, and then teach others about what you learned. Eventually, you can write books about it, which people will buy. And, companies will hire you to be on their boards, just because of the amazing allure and buzz you have created. But it all starts with becoming an expert in something that everyone wishes they were an expert at.

Creative and Artistic

As manufactured items become more played out and commoditized, creative people are increasingly finding ways to get paid for their work. After all, Apple Computer is rich because of its mastery of design, not its technical sophistication.

15: Writer: the job that used to be thankless and underpaid (and still is if you work in the rank-and-file at a newspaper or magazine.) But these days if you write an amazing novel and self-publish it on Amazon, you have a far better chance of paying for your groceries than the hapless “I got 75 rejections in the mail today” authors of yesteryear.

16: Techno Music Composer: just like writing, music has become an open meritocracy. Through Pandora streaming, I discovered the music of a youngster and fellow Canadian named Deadmau5. And he has made it huge, rocking stadiums full of people around the world whenever he likes – just because great dancy music pops into his head and he produces it using the awesome power of Ableton Live. This idea is close to my heart, as I made loads of music using older versions of the software throughout my youth, and now my 7-year-old son has become both a Deadmau5 fan and a composer himself, with over 30 cute catchy house songs under his belt. If the habit sticks, he could be on the turntables in front of stadiums before he even graduates from high school. Or the hobby might open other doors. Either way, there’s no bad reason to learn a new creative skill.

17: YouTube Channel Owner: With broadcast TV being obsolete, there are now millions of viewers available to watch anything you create. Some guy named Randall talked for two minutes about the Honey Badger, and it’s over 61 million views now – and he’s probably set for life. Marquese Scott happened to make himself into the most awesome dancer in the world, and is now paid appropriately for it after 91 million views on his Pumped Up Kicks recording. World-dominating fame, which he achieved by simply setting a camera on the ground and rocking out in front of a bank building for a few minutes – the efficiency is beautiful.

But YouTube is just not for freaky stuff that unpredictably goes viral. Much of the money being made there is meat-and-potatoes hard work stuff. Teenagers create hundreds of well-made Minecraft instructional videos with their own personal brand and style. Eric the Car Guy does well telling us how to fix our cars. Guitar and piano lessons, done well, earn their makers more than they would from teaching live students.

Like any of the jobs above, successful video production requires an attention to detail and conscientious bit of hard work. None of these jobs are easy get-rich-quick schemes – as far as I can tell, easy riches are not a reproducible model. But the point is, there’s more than one way to make a buck, if you keep your eyes open and step outside the conventional.


Well look at that – we’ve got a long article and we’re only getting warmed up. But the REAL story of entrepreneurial moneymaking is not the stuff that I think up off the top of my own head. It is the things that YOU dream up, and share with the rest of the world.

Real Estate Related

(thanks to Mrs. MM for many of these)

18: Real Estate Agent – a two month course ($800 at Kaplan) and you are out there. Then after 2 years of working beneath an existing agent, you can even go independent and keep everything you earn. With commissions around 3% of the sale price, you only need to handle about nine $200k houses per year (or four $450k ones, which is silly when you are on the customer end of things but cushy if you’re the agent).

19: Home Inspector – another short training course (plus good building knowledge and interpersonal skills in general), and you can get paid about $300 for 2-hour inspections.

20: Sewer Line Inspector – run a camera wire down through the floor drain in the basement, record the resulting video while looking for cracks in the pipe, charge about $200 per 20 minutes of work.

21: Appraiser – tour the house, run the numbers, email the report. $400 or so for a few hours of work. Initially your agency will take a cut, but of course you’ll start your own when ready.

22: Property Manager – You don’t have to actually buy rental houses, you can just handle the tenants: collecting rent, coordinating maintenance, shielding the landlord from the messy business. Pay can be great at around 1/12th of annual income of each property. With a stable of 20-50 units under management, you already have a $50k job that occupies well under 40 hours a week.

23: Mortgage Broker – understand and originate loan products to people buying houses. Meticulous and lightning-fast customer service is the key differentiator here rather than financial skill or education level. We know several people making well into the six figures in this area.

24: Title Insurance Provider / closer / salesperson – a mysterious industry with a high profit margin.

25: Fixing up Your Own House – With design sense and construction skills, you can move into a junker, renovate it efficiently, and sell it. If you live there longer than 2 years, the profit is tax free in the US. Eliminates most of the hassle of running a professional contracting business with fussy customers. Works best in the more expensive property markets so you do need roomates or spouse to pay the mortgage while you do the work, unless you already have savings to live on.

More Manual Jobs

26: Oil/Gas/Mining industry work - The energy boom in the US, Canada, Australia, and other places continues. In states with high demand, wages have risen far beyond average for people to run the equipment (and even higher for engineers and scientists able to run the overall operation). This story about the lad in Australia making $200,000 (and blowing it all) personifies the industry.

27: Wallpaper hanger – Sound antiquated? Think of hotels, what’s on most of their walls, and how often they renovate: From a reader: “I’ve been consistently pulling in anywhere between $400-$1000 per day for years now

28: Lady Mechanic/Garage owner – Mrs. MM suggested that today’s auto repair garages are generally male-oriented and clueless to the needs of a certain 50% of our drivers. Enter this Rosie’s Garage style of business that would combine full mechanical competence with a better understanding of how female vehicle owners would like to be treated. A very large niche market indeed!

29: HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) technician – furnaces and air conditioners (and their related ducting) are simple machines, but there are not many people in the trade. So the pay is high if you run your own little business.

30: Cable/Phone/Internet Installer: the larger companies subcontract this job out to independent contractors. Readers report that earnings can exceed $50k per year, especially in a growing metro area which tends to result in overtime or holiday work.

On the Road:

31: Truck Driver - a grueling job at times, but the perpetual shortage of drivers has driven up rates. Bonus earnings if you own and maintain your own rig, and/or work in a remote or high-demand area (seek out the oil boom areas mentioned earlier and specialize in safely transporting drilling/mining equipment or piloting 300-ton rock trucks, for example).

32: Airport Shuttle Driver - on a recent trip to the airport, I got to talking with the Super Shuttle driver. A former electrician, he reported to me that all drivers are now independent contractors who own or lease their own blue vans. This fellow, with a mind for efficiency, was running a van with a smaller diesel engine and optimizing his routes and road selection. He also gives out free beverages and treats people well, which optimizes tip income. Earnings were over $100k per year.

More Tech and Internet

33: User Interface Specialist - From a reader: ” In a nutshell, I make websites easy to use. I charge $80/hour, but will soon be raising that to $90. There are so few people who do what I do that I turn down about five offers for every project I accept.

34: Computer Technician - “You get a small roster of local business people who need their computers to work, and fix their minor Windows and networking issues. You can even branch into home theater and home automation, and the hotel and conference market. Geek Squad makes big bucks at this, but you can easily outperform them and charge $50-$100/hour”

35: IT Guy at the South Pole - the National Science Foundation contracts out workers in all fields to run the science labs on the bottom of the planet. In exchange for unusual conditions (-100F outdoor temperatures, months of blackness), you get free living with interesting people which allows you to reach the storied 100% savings rate. Honorable mention goes to this South Pole reader/photographer who sent me pictures of daily life in Antarctica. This concept can be applied elsewhere, even on tropical islands: live temporarily where your skills are in demand, get paid more, plus free living expenses.

36: Software Designer - Back in my day, the better jobs in this field required a full degree. Nowadays, you can prove your competence without one and get the same jobs at the more open-minded companies. This doesn’t mean it is easy – it takes a certain type of mind to be marketable at this, and a certain amount of practice on top of the base learning of the language itself. But for those with the prerequisites, Ryan Carson of Treehouse finds these sub-fields are in demand:

36(a)iPhone and Android app developers - Every big company needs phone and tablet apps developed to meet their own specifications. Or you can go it alone and bring your own ideas to fruition. A friend of mine is a tech worker by day, brilliant Ph.D. physicist by night. In his spare time he developed a beautiful iPad physics-based game where you get to shoot planets around each other. Occasionally, people buy it for 99 cents, and if your app catches on, it becomes a source of passive income. With the skills he developed making this game, he can now make other apps very quickly.

36(b) Web Developer- where you create the technology and algorithms that make websites work. Sort of a form of software design or programming.

37: Web Designer - where you create the beauty and functionality seen by users – more of an art/design job.

Catering to the Rich

This is a general category, because once you master the philosophy, you can apply it anywhere.

What do rich people have? Lots of income. What are they lacking? Time, and a supply of people to satisfy their numerous particular demands competently without screwing up.

If you can meet these needs, they will pass your name around the Rich Person Network friends and you are set for life.

38: Dog Walker - Four dogs at $15.00 per hour each. Walk around in the park for four hours a day and you’ve got a $50k job that is only half-time (and a great set of legs to show for it too).

39: Doggy Daycare or Pet Spa Owner - a natural extension of the Dog Walker. Dog owners need to go on vacation, and when they do, they pay hotel-like prices to have their pets cared for in their absence.

40: Frugality Consultant / Personal Shopper - I made this job up myself: Rich people spend more on groceries and wine alone than you spend on your whole lifestyle. What if you could run their errands, keep their pantry stocked, and coordinate maintenance of their mansions and vehicle fleets.. and yet save them more than they pay you in salary because you are an expert at efficient shopping, energy conservation, and maintenance? A valuable proposition if you can get your name into the right hands. I often fantasize about creating a “job” like this for myself in Hawaii or Malibu. Sydney would be nice too.

41: Interior Designer or Color Consultant - Here you get paid simply for having good taste and sharing it with others. Start by optimizing the homes of your own rich friends or family members, then getting them beautifully photographed. Then get the portfolio out into the network of high-end home builders and their customers. I have met several of these people and envied their relaxing and profitable jobs.

42: At-home Waxing, Haircuts, Massage, or Spa treatments - who has time to go out to a strip mall to get their pampering these days? Take the business to the customers.

43: The Pooper Scooper – from a reader: cleaning up the back yards of wealthy dog owners pays about $1.00 per minute. Not a glamorous job, but more efficient than flipping burgers for one tenth the pay rate.

People Jobs

44: Salesperson - a general category to be sure, but it pays well if you have the right skills and select the right industry. One hot area today: finding placements for consultants in the software and technology industry. Sales is a dream job for some, hell for others.

45: Debt Collector - hassle late payers over the telephone, collect commissions. I would not have guessed that this pays well, but a reader reported that it is fairly lucrative.

46: Private Tutor - whether teaching younger children or college students, this is an area where solid knowledge of a useful field, and a comfortable manner with people, are what determines your pay. But this rate is usually much higher than $25 per hour.


47: Ebay/Craigslist / Etsy / Freecycle / Kijiji Reseller - If you know the value of a certain product, you can identify undervalued items when they go up for sale. In my case, this might be appliances. By spending five minutes per day scanning new listings (or setting up automated alerts), I could scoop underpriced appliances and buy them immediately.. then re-sell them at a large profit. Bonus points if you have the ability to repair or refurbish things. Better photography and marketing also increases your resale price.

48: Food Truck Owner - the age-old mobile food vendor is back in vogue these days, but with a gourmet twist. By getting your food and your image right, you can develop a cult following in an area and clear $1000 per day in gross sales from a single vehicle. Enormous bonus if you can set up your truck in an area anywhere near a tour bus stop, then get the word out to the tour operators.

49: Boutique Organic Farmer - with the rise of “Foodies”, and big agribusiness companies like ConAgra and Monsanto rightfully deep in the public relations gutter, there is a now a lot of money flowing to people who can produce healthy food locally in high-income areas. In Colorado, I know two entrepreneurs who sell things like organic basil, eggs, and heirloom tomatoes to fancy people and gourmet restaurants, and make more money than either of us doing it. Startup costs were surprisingly low, but you do need to know how to grow.

49.5: Medical Marijuna Grower - in states where this is legal, it is a lucrative field. Competition is growing, but the window of opportunity is still open since many of the early success stories were potheads rather than business people. If you meticulously study and comply to the laws and efficiently grow the fast-growing plants, this is a $100k job out of a single basement.

50: The Military - formerly a mysterious field to me, I learned more about this when living in Hawaii last winter, where many high incomes are derived from the large US bases in the area. Far from the usual stereotype of a bunch of musclebound guys with guns, the US military is in reality just the world’s largest high-tech company. Most of the jobs are related to circulating enormous amounts of technology, people, information, and equipment around the world. So there is far more engineering and office work than there is shooting and jet piloting. Pay and benefits are generous, especially if you can get assigned to a post far away from where you originally lived, thus scoring a tax-free housing allowance. Or get the fully funded university education that comes as part of some contracts. And that’s before we even get to the part where you work for 20 years and then qualify for a plentiful pension and free healthcare for life afterwards. It’s not easy and there is the chance of danger, but it is a real career.

We’re up to 50, and I didn’t even get to the end of the list submitted by family, friends and readers. The field of Alternative Moneymaking really is a big one, but hopefully these examples serve to illustrate the general theme.

To earn more money, you just need to identify one of the many showers of cash that are spraying in this prosperous but inefficient world, then position yourself under it with a bucket. Starting a new business can be risky, but if you do it from a position of strength (minimal startup costs, a day job, and a low personal cost of living), your chances are much better.

Tags: education, finance, panoptikos, usa

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  • о крушении традиционных ценностей

    Многое поменялось за двадцать три года, что я живу в "этой стране"™. Но кое‐что оставалось константой ‐‐ например, курица в торговой сети…

  • о подтверждении факта вакцинации

    Продолжение саги о моих внимательных и технически грамотных однофамильцах: + некий Alexandr сделал прививку от ковида, о чём мне сообщил…

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    Приобрел некоторое время назад велобагажник (bike rach). Так получилось, что местного производства и, как следствие, весь из себя…