Want to earn an $80K salary?

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From our years of research and experience here at CareerBuilder.com, we know there’s one thing that resonates with almost all job seekers and workers alike: salary. What should I be earning? How do I get a bigger salary? How much will a 2% increase mean to my weekly paycheck?

Considering that the U.S. median income is $40,690 a year, how would you like to earn double that?

Here are 10 jobs that pay between $80,000 and $89,999 a year, according to CBsalary.com.

1.
Associate actuary
Annual mean income: $81,924*

2. Attorney
Annual mean income: $88,235

3. Compensation and benefits manager
Annual mean income: $80,011

4. Economist
Annual mean income: $80,817

5. Floor broker
Annual mean income: $83,608

6. Marketing manager
Annual mean income: $86,283

7. Petroleum engineer
Annual mean income: $86,899

8. Pharmacist
Annual mean income: $88,786

9. Risk management supervisor
Annual mean income: $85,655

10. Veterinarian
Annual mean income: $80,069

Editor’s note: We’ve had a huge response to this post and it hit a nerve with many of you. We love getting feedback and will follow up on many of the issues raised including lists of jobs that are more plentiful or may not require as much training as the ones we featured today. Stay tuned… Thank you!

102 Comments
    • Hi David, thanks for the comment. We are going to cover all salary ranges and decided to start with 80k. These are all averages for the entire US so there will be differences in location and experience level. Keep coming back to TheWorkBuzz.com for more salary info.

  1. Most of these jobs are beyond the reach of large majority of the population, why not be realistic and publish about jobs are above the median income of $40,000 so the lower half has a general idea where to go as far as increasing their income.

  2. Great. So what. There are lots of great jobs and there are lots of great people doing them. How do you get a job like that? Win the lottery? I have responded to dozens of e-job opportunities over the past year and have not even received a thank you. These e-job sites may produce a good email list for someone but don’t seem to reflect any real desire to fill a position that I can see.

  3. Kate ,
    I recieved information from a career Builder web publication from the United kingdom . Is it legitimate ? is it a notice that you published ? i am very concern that these types of notices are being allowed . It seems to be a check cashing scheme . You cash a check and recieve 10% of the amount to perform the task.

  4. Great, now, how many FLOOR BROKER jobs are advertised today, anywhere?
    Find one, please….

    Wish I had three years full-time to attend law school, too!

  5. I make 180,000 a year but I do my job in Iraq. Bombs, guns, things that will give you a bad day. I’m looking at comming home 75% of the people know and even ding the same job back home don’t make 80,000 a year.

  6. This is nice reading but pretty useless to 90% of the people who are here looking for jobs.
    The majority of the middle class have family, full time jobs and live paycheck to paycheck.
    These jobs all require graduate schooling or training just to start at the base in that industry. Please be more realistic and not just fill your colums with useless INFO. Give your readers infornation that gives us real oppurtunity.
    Thanks,
    Brett Webber

  7. I’ve been seeking full time employment since October of 2002, sent out in excess of 2,000 resumes, and have nothing to show for my efforts but a duffel bag filled with “thank you for your interest” letters and a bad attitude. I’ve slso received numerous job posting notices via your web site to which I’ve applied but received NO responses whatsoever. A little research on my part has turned up and interesting fact. 85% of all resumes are tossed unread. From extensive personal experience I can also tell you that “NO WHITE, MIDDLE-AGED MALES NEED APPLY.”
    Sobering. You really ought to address this to your subscribers who may naively believe that the best candidate is the one hired. Not likely.

  8. it is a scam. they send you a check and you cash it an keep the money and they stop payment on the check. It involves usually you sending them the money back.

  9. $80k…? Seriously? I’ve never had a job that paid me over $16k. But I’m over 50, now, and hardly think I can get the appropriate education for ANY of those jobs before I’d have to retire. I do writing/editing/proof-reading but – because I don’t have a degree to back up what I’ve learned from Real Life – I can’t even get an interview for those jobs. Now, I’ve been out of work for 18 months and you’re waving a high-end job at me?! SO *not* what I need right now…

  10. I have been in the insurance business since Feb 1965. auto and home insurance. I am looking to getting out of insurance and was looking for a job with large agency as an underwriter or agency mananger. any suggestions as to where do I turn?????
    thanks, Sherman M Brown

  11. furthermore, the jobs listed are the “1 in a million” jobs. They are hard to get into, hard to get a shot and generally misleading to many of us trying to get a grasp of what the REAL trends are in the new American workforce.

    Times are chaning financially and carrer wise for most of us. Isnt it time that your offerings and stories should also change and reflect a more practical approach rather than a fantasy like (and mostly unachievable) list of “ultimate” careers?

    I have found most (more than 75%) of the articles sent to me are quite impractical and ineffective in my real career search (I have a MA so I do want more than middle rank work) and i am realistic enough to know what I am suited for and most practically can get into.

    30K would be ok….
    “WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!! 20K is the new way”

  12. How nice but really not helpful in these times.

    If I could only run right out and become a veterinarian or an economist,but,alas, food and shelter (pesky little problems aren’t they?) do get in the way of the grand plan for us less than $80K a year folks. Thanks anyway!

  13. Hey, thanks for the info on 80k salaries. Now that I’m unemployed – I’ll just go ahead and go back to school – spend money I’m no longer making – and just keep going on student loans.
    Why not, I’m sure you know continuing ed is all the rave this year. Why? Graduates can’t find jobs either – so they sign up for grad school because its not so scary!

  14. I can see why. You appear to me to be a person with some issues. It is easy to pick up on so if I can see it this quickly I imagine potential employers can as well.

  15. Another useless article…..totally unrealistic. I have extensive experience selling parts in the heavy equipment industry, including management experience-and what am I doing today?? A temporary data entry position making less than $20,000/yr. The economy is in the toilet and you’re posting articles like this??

  16. Try thinking outside the box a bit folks. the attitudes here are so negative any potential employer is bound to pick it up. We may not all need 80K, but it’s nice to know there are still jobs offering that if you want to go for it. I just left an industry I’ve been in for 30 years (where I made over 100k regularly and made about 25K this past year) to try something new. I don’t have any special skills or advanced degree, and altho the income is less at the moment, I am excited at the potential and am willing to take the shot. And yes, I got the job by a recruiter calling me from my posted resume. I never would have thought about this until they contacted me.

  17. These people posting on here are a joke. Given their attitudes none have a chance of ever earning close to $80K. This article was never intended to be a solution to your specific career problem but rather a look into well paying jobs that are currently in demand.

    If you are unemployed (one guy since 2002) then you are not very good at what you do! Consider a different career field. Maybe a few of you should consider going back to school between collecting your unemployment checks – yes, even if that means more debt.

  18. This is a good article for young people who don’t know what career they want yet. I had no idea that veterinarians made so much! But I also have to agree with the other posters that it would be nice to explore all different kinds of salaries. Some of do live in the real world. I would just be happy to land a second part-time job to make ends meet.

  19. Hey, check this out. I’m an attorney with about 10 years of trial experience and would fall all over myself to make $80K per year. I started out as a prosecutor (low-paying) and scratched my way down to lower-paying jobs because the market is glutted with too many attorneys. Go to school? I would never advise it to anyone. It’s a waste of time and money. Go to the bookstore and read as much as you want and it won’t cost you a fucking dime.

  20. People seriously need to know about jobs earning $80,000 a year that do not require a degree. Someone that has tons of experience. For example, someone who has worked as a legal secretary for over 20 years. What is the next step for them? There is a ceiling when it comes to these positions. What about someone who worked in HR for a number of years without a degree? People would love to return to school to obtain a Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D.; however, those little things like rent, food, car payments, insurance, etc. just seem to get in the way of returning to school full time over working.

  21. Francie,
    Do you have any education? I did not get a college education until I was 40 years old. The most I made prior to that was $36K YR and then I went to college and got a BS and MS degrees in 4 years time as I wanted to make something of myself. I currently work in forensic auditing making over $80K. So if the economy is bad well student loan rates are cheap right now. Go back and get an education and look at government jobs (federal) and contracting companies for DoD, DOE, and various oil companies. If you become a contract specialist I promise you will make close to $80K a year in 5 years time. Go to School.

  22. Found the article interesting. This information would be useful for someone in college and considering a major, or for someone thinking about a change in career. For college grads, some of the jobs mentioned above take about three years post grad, although others take less. College loans can be deferred while one is in school, and can be spread out over many years. If the time investment is an obstacle, simply think about it this way: In four years you can have the new career or not. You’ll still be four years older. How might you feel about it in four years if you decided not to pursue your goal only because of the time it would take to achieve it?

  23. I also forgot to mention I did it while “WORKING FULL-TIME” to earn my dgrees. It is how much do you want to sacrifice to get your dreams. Mine was time and sleep deprevation but I made it through and am now one over $80K yr.

  24. These jobs aren’t realistic. I have a master’s and bachelor’s in accounting and I still can’t find a good job. I don’t even make 30k a year but I can’t afford to go back to school and have no desire to do so. I thought having a Master’s degree would open more doors for me but I was wrong. I doubt if I’ll ever see 80k!

  25. Hi Kate,

    Very interesting stats. Thanks! I checked out the CBsalary.com website and it was spot on for my present job.

    I too went through a very tough job search a few years ago and sent out about 1000 resumes – I got exactly 2 interviews (that didn’t result in jobs), and about 20 thanks-but-no-thanks responses. I also attended many networking sessions offered by local schools/orgs as well as my alma mater. I also replied to over 300 interent job ads. With 0 results. It was very depressing and a waste of my time. I can see from the others’ responses that they are seeing the same problems.

    There has to be a better way to find a job (especially for very technical guys like me – I’m a real, honest to goodness, jack-of-all-trades)!

    Do you have any job hunting suggestions for people like me?

    To finish my story, in desperation after 14 months of hunting, I finally turned to low-pay consulting in a field outside my experience base. Once I was able to show my worth, I was able to convince them to make an offer me full-time at better than market rate.

    Unbelievably, that same week, a person at my present employer, who was skimming resumes at Monster, called me with an offer I couldn’t refuse. (What are the chances, eh?) So I ended up back in my old field, but will never forget the chance the other consulting place gave me to be productive and learn new stuff.

    I’m only telling you these things in the hope that what happened to me can encourage someone else to keep at it.

    To those of you presently out of work, I wish you the best of luck, I know it keeps getting tougher and tougher out there. Don’t give up. Keep trying, and don’t be afraid to take a chance and maybe stretch beyond your comfort zone.

  26. n 2004-2005 I was making $79,400 a year not counting overtime, estimating the cost of repair/replacement of government buildings damaged by the hurricanes. I’ve been building custom homes for forty plus years. Problems occur and neither the super nor the architect would have an immediate answer for. Knowing what was desired in the finished product I can usually see the solution right away, but never any longer than overnight. And stay within budget and on time. I have freelanced most of my life so my work history on paper doesn’t look so good. But I know construction and how to get things done the right way. Case in point; I was hired as lead carpenter on the Smithsonian Institute in Ft. Pierce, Fl… I was there a week and the super told me to take my pouch off and keep an eye on things. I was all over that building making sure that what was being done was being done right and the way it was done would not cause a problem for the other trades that had to follow. After getting things straightened out and planned a couple of days in advance I could continue working with my guys on the carpentry and still keep an eye on the other trades. I started in construction when I was 14 and doing this as long as I have; I have a superb minds eye on foreseeing problems and avoiding them before they happen. I can draw plans, do take-offs, create a spreadsheet, schedule sub-contractors, meet with the owners, and cover all aspects of the job. I had a partner while in Pinellas County and when a sub didn’t show up to finish his job, I would finish it so the next sub could do his thing and keep the job on schedule.
    It use to be you would talk to the super and he would hire you to see if you worked out. If you did you’d get more responsibility and work yourself up from there. Now I have a hard time getting a job because I don’t have a piece of paper saying I know what I’m doing. I will stand toe to toe with any MA or BA carrying super and nine times out of ten run circles around them. Now you need a BA to get a job throwing sod. Hey fellow, green side up! Did you miss that on the test)?
    It’s really a sad situation when years of experience in performing a quality job takes a back seat to having a piece of paper and not knowing how things really work in your chosen field. They get the paper for the money. After three years of college getting my MCSE and Core+ Hardware degrees I went right back to building because that’s where my heart is. I love my job and find it very gratifying. I just can’t find a job!

  27. Well my sis works at an employment agency in the bay area and she says she has clients that have a lot of experience and more than one degree and they are nicely dressed and have good personalities but she sends them out on jobs and they can’t get them. I’ve heard friends say that they have relatives that have lots of experience and degrees and they can’t get a job either. I have heard that some people have employees that have out and out said they want to have young people work in their office because everyone else does and surprise surprise she was fired because she was 60 we suspect. I think also that employers like the younger people because insurance coverage is less. But also, there is a growing trend that employers are using temp agencies because they don’t have to pay insurance. The temp agencies do. Then they don’t have to worry about benefits or firing the person.

  28. Most of these jobs require significant education and opportunities. I think most people know that there are jobs that pay that level, but these are virtually unattainable without the education, experience, and opportunity.

    I get paid 60K/year as an electrical engineer – on this I am now supporting 7 people, 4 of which are unemployed adults!

    How about featuring jobs that require 2 to 4 year degree, regardless of age, sex, or horoscope that most people could get if they tried for it?

    Where can people get affordable training or education? what financial aid is available to everyone? while they are working what job they can get? What industries are hiring? What jobs are available? What do employers want to see on a resume? How do you really score an interview? What cities have jobs? What is a realistic starting salary? How do you make a resume look competetive? How do you help friends and family who are unemployed?

  29. $80k is not so out of reach, depending on your background and experience. As an experienced Marketing Manager, $80k-$90k is in line with what companies offer to someone with an MBA and good experience.

  30. how about telling those of us who aren’t going to school and have been working 20+ years what jobs are available? jobs for old over qualified honest hard working people instead of putting out all that useless info.

  31. Also, if you’re having difficulty finding a good position, an economic downturn is the perfect time to invest in your future by going back to graduate school to study for a career that you’ll enjoy that has a high earning potential. By the time the program is complete, the economic forecast is likely to be brighter than it is now. Don’t have the money? Look into the wonderful (and generous) loan programs sponsored by Uncle Sam (Stafford Loans, Pell Grants, etc.) and contact your state’s College Loan Foundation. While in school full-time, you and your classmates are all living on student budgets — you’re able to live on less than you do now. With affordable student housing options, student-only health insurance, and and the federal loans, a master’s degree is easily within reach.

  32. My advise do not go back to college for a Radiology Technologist career. I have been out of college for over a year and can not get a job in this field………….STOP!!! do not make the same mistake I did. Now my student loans are *!$?………..

  33. To all thoe unemployed folks out there I have some advice: Don’t give up! I was unemployed for 10 months. I have two engineering degrees and an MBA. I finally landed a decent job after 10 long months. During those 10 months i took free classes to improvement myself from the local unemployment office. I used friends and friends of friends to network. Trust me it works! My background is in Aerospace, but my new job is in Information Technology. I emphsized transferable skills like management and technical writing to get into this new career field. It worked. I had a job offer 15 minutes after my interview! I started 2 days later. Think like Tazan: keep reaching and swinging for the next tree to get somewhere. Don’t stay in the same tree climbing up and down! Good luck and believe in yourself!

  34. I have a graduate degree completed 3 years ago and still looking for dream job. Lots of work experience and schooling and still doing same temporary job I had during my graD school years. A middled aged man dependant on wife.

  35. Betty –
    You wrote “$80k…? Seriously? I’ve never had a job that paid me over $16k.”
    I worked with a guy who did writing/editing/proofreading in the NYC metro area that got $50/hr.
    The jobs are out there, but I guess it’s based on location

  36. I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and vent my 2 cents worth. This article stinks – and yes to the majority of us looking for meaningful employment it’s a slap in the face. Most of us are qualified, possess experience and have good work ethics, there just isn’t enough jobs to go around. My biggest complaint is HR managers, or ops. managers not responding to an application or intro letter, or phone messages. Respect is a 2 way street. Are they really that busy that they can’t fire off an email these days? Having applied for over 20 different jobs in the last 2 months and only hearing from one has really dragged me down – to all those who posted good luck and may you be prosperous in 09′
    Thanks for the time

  37. I agree with the majority of posters on this site that these jobs are unattainable for the majority of Americans out of work, and do require advanced degrees. However, one of the realities of the present economy is that one must retrain and retrain continuously to become skilled in any field. 4 years of college will not cut it any longer. Experience is helpful, but will not open the doors to those 80k+ jobs. Employers are actually paying less today than they were 5 years ago, for the same jobs, and some have cut bennies, too. Sorry to say it, but yeah, you will have to go back to school. Over 50? I’m 48 and in a PhD program, and the best I can hope for after graduation is $60,000 as an assistant prof in a middle rank institution. Face the music, people. The times they have a-changed. This is not your mama’s and papa’s world anymore.

  38. I have a question an an observation.
    First the question. What is the average salary range for a Network Administrator with a CCNP and a CCSP certification and 5 years experience?
    Second the observation. I keep hearing that $40K is the “average” salary. How then can a family of 4, where both parents work earning $80K ($60K after taxes) be able to afford to live in the Greater Phoenix/Scottsdale area. The average home goes for $300K (monthly pmt $2100). This leaves only $2900 for everything else, including savings and retirement. So, then what happens if the wife decides not to work after the children are born? It would seem that $80K should be the “average” salary (all other costs being equal), or what is the point? Do you think that I.T. will ever become a “unionized” industry? I think that unions are the only way that workers – in any industry – will ever be able to get a fair shake!

  39. I know how hard it is trying to find a good job… I went to school for computer programming and web design for four years and moved to Seattle looking for my dream job. Got a short term contract job for 37,500 a year and thought it was great using my degree and making decent money but that didn’t last long. Had trouble finding anything using my degree so I started working as a commercial plumber for my dad it’s something I did in the past, not my dream job but we do prevailing wage jobs like schools so the work is government funded so there’s always steady work. I’m in my first year apprenticeship my hourly pay is 38.78 an hour which Is a little over 80,000 a year granted it’s not easy work but in another 3 months I get my first big raise to 46.94 which is nearly 100k, and I get another raise every 2000 hours, the new journeyman wage will be 75/hr in two years which is a blessing so I’ll be able to payback my student loans of 74000 for a degree I’m not using. With times as hard as they are there’s still room in the construction business in some areas.

  40. Reading some of your comments are really depressing. I think in times like these we have to double up our efforts and refocus and rethink how we sell our selves. Think outside that box. I realize that life came easier when things were better. So many of you give up too easy. I will never except those words in my life, it sounds like some of you already have. Look within and refocus your thoughts and energy. Then you will be successful. (I read alot this has given me ideas which have given me ways on making money, by myself and not depending on any employer to provide it for me, you can too.) Think outside the box!

    Edward

  41. Kate just wants to get everyone aware that 80K/yr job is possible. To reach this range, it requires planning, commitment, focus on the goal and many sacrifie. Education, not a waste of time, is a tool to help to achieve the goal or easing the career transition. This is base on my experience.Thanks God for give me strengths to stay focus. I got a coupl good technical schools and jobs. I even got a degree in engineering. However when thing get sour, even with a degree, I worked as carpet cleaner at Yahoo, Well Fargo buildings… But at the end, I still able to earn 80K plus either with or without engineering title and helped family so that my wife could change her career from accountant to become nurse. Please don’t give up…

  42. I have to laugh at this post. Get a degree doing something with computers. You want to make 80k and actually have a chance of FINDING a job in the field? COMPUTERS are the way to go. You can get cheap education, start out small, work your way up, the tech industry doesn’t care about your education unless you are going into the very top end, and those people are making 150k or more. The bottom end of IT is a burgeoning pool of 50-100k a year jobs that are not too glorious but pay the bills. And if you end up getting really good at it you can go work for Microsoft, Google, Apple, and start working your way towards millionaire status…

  43. Amen to the no response and not really wanting to fill the position David. I have had much the same experiences with all of the sites myself. It has to cost them money to post on those sites and I wonder if I would want to work for anyone who squanders money for a bottomless pile of resumes.

  44. Thanks for the great article. It is one piece of information needed to determine what education and training is needed to better myself and my family. Keep up the good work.

  45. I attended seminar People Hire People here is the website http://www.kconnersllc.com/ She also has a book you can purchase if your not in the area to attend the free workshop. Her thinking outside the box might help some. I have been blessed to stay employed. I attended just in case. Her book or seminar will address sending resume off to job boards etc…. Best of luck and these hard time in my opinion wouldn’t hurt to look up for help :)

  46. I totally agree with David! Are these job sites paying these companies to post jobs? Not to be pompous, but I have a pretty impressive resume with an excellent work history. I have replied to at least 100 postings and I haven’t even received a thank you. These sites from Monster to Career Builder are an absolute joke! The only ones you hear back from are the “revolving door” jobs that a monkey could fill. Happy New Year!!!

  47. I went to school at a top University(#6 in the country in my field), and still haven’t found a job in my field….but I’m not giving up. With the economy the way it is, you have to get used to busting your tail to get anything.

    If employers cared about education and prestige, I’d be making a lot more than 20K. All that they really care about is how well you can bust your tail for the customer. I focus on that; I know that eventually I will land a great salary. For me, a great salary is 40K.

    Just focus on busting your tail.

  48. I’m 45 years old, so is my husband, a Veterinarian??? Pharmacist????
    So should we start school now with no income and in 12 years we’ll make $80K????? Let’s be real here, people need to work NOW!!! No more time for schooling, if I could afford school I wouldn’t be looking for a job!

  49. At one time or another it was merit, knowledge, and experience. Then it was the paper chaise (degree), and experience. Now if you do not have the exact amount of experience; or have worked for a company for 12+ year you do not have a chance; and/or who you know, you can forget it.
    I love it when every one says that education opens doors; it doesn’t. I started as a reupholster and could not make ends meet, then I received a Bachelors degree in animation and fine arts. I now repair furniture for a living; and I make less than 30,000 a yr.
    The thing that really rubs me the wrong way is that you spend all that time and money to get an education only to pay it back and see no return on your investment.

  50. Very inspiring, Pete. I’m 36, work full-time, have a BA and I’ve been considering going back to school to get a Masters. Thanks for the inspiration!

  51. Alright, I disagree with this article. I believe that the average USA salary is below 80k a year. If you take out of the equation all the outliers incomes of people that make milions than you will see that the actual average income in USA is lower than 80k a year. There is a small chunk of ppl in USA that make outrageous money so they should be eliminated from these statistics in order to get realistic data.

  52. I am not sure why this article was wrote. Do you feel that people are unaware of the possibilities that there are careers that are paying 80+?
    Secondly, the choice of some of these careers are questionable. Floor Broker? Are you kidding me? Kate, I would state that in times such as these Floor Brokers are taking huge cutbacks in terms of salary and bonus. Luckily, some may avoid the pink slips but hang on for a very uncompromising future. Associate Actuary? There are too many actuary students that have flooded the market over the past few years…Economists? Where? In Washington DC? Or on Wall Street? … Oh yeah, there is only the tumble grass floating on Wall and DC non-profit economists might make a few dollars but the economics training has yet to do anything of a profound nature to resolve our “economic” situation. I will give you credit for the Risk Management positions! There are traces of good positions nationwide that pay well and require innovation but the quality of background to prepare one for this kind of work is not known since the conventional methods of getting a degree and experience do not work for landing this position. Please do everyone a favor and not post an article like this to get attention but use your skills to guide those in need of assistance that can really be applied.

  53. Not usually—the check is bogus in the first place—So you cash it at your bank, send them most of it back in guaranteed funds (western union,etc) and a week or so later the fraudulent check comes out of your account and you are stuck for the whole amount… I know, I’ve seen it happen numerous times to our customers at the bank.

  54. tayler, would you pleas contact me as i was a fool an a victim of the subjet you are talking about regarding the invisible co in the uk. yes it is a chech cashing scheme. they send you bogus checks drawn on a bank and you have to cash the checks first then send the cash to someone they advise by western union. if i can get any information you have from these people please advise as i already hane filed a police report. if you want you can reach me by phone 845-368-2743. This is about it in a nutshell.

  55. I like the information that is published on careers that pay $80K – although my position has been eliminated, would like some insight on how to generate this much income without having to return to school (already have a BBA degree!)

  56. I was in the same boat as severalof you over the past 16 yrs.
    I bounced back with perseverance. It was not easy and I had to take big cuts each time, but I worked my way back up in earnings.
    I currently work for a local County and got the job after my last contract shutdown back in 2001.
    You may have to wait a while,b ut I believe there may be many opportunities to get a job locally with your City/County/State agencies due to losts of retirees and promotions going on now.
    Try it and see if you can get a listing of jobs being advertised in those agencies at entry levels and migrate up through the ranks when you find the right connections.

    Have an interesting climb up the new ladders of success.
    Bob

  57. Maybe all these negative nelly’s should realize that not every article is geared toward every person. This is a great feature for someone who is still in school and deciding what career path to choose. Furthermore, it was a report on careers that earn in that salary range. I do not see it as a “here are some good jobs to apply for” type of an article. Don’t let your personal bitterness cloud your vision.

  58. To all who suggest you go back to school, how does a school loan pay for my mortgage, utilities, and groceries? These 80K jobs are unattainable for all but those kids with wealthy parents who are just starting to consider future careers. For those who suggest you work while you go to school, not all of us are young kids that can survive on 4 hours of sleep.

    How about suggesting some good 40K “median income” jobs that will be strong even in the weak economy, and don’t require 2-6 years of additional education? I have a BS, but the degree is over 25 years old now, and useless even with great experience. After being laid off, so these posts are quite sobering. I can only hope the job market will pick up once Obama’s in office.

  59. What is funny to me is that all you people want to know about jobs making $80K a year WITHOUT an education!!!!! What does that make the education worth that so many of us went to school and lost years in the workforce worth? I personally am lucky enough to be gainfully employed at this time, but I would love to make a career change… Those of you who scratched your way through High School and want to make $80K+, I say go lose your 4-5 years in the workforce now (I know it sucks and yes the pay is worse). Get a degree, then come back here and bitch again when you are fighting with the rest of us with multiple years experience in these fields for the same jobs…

  60. I will like to add also that if I spent as much time working as I do submitting Resumes for the last two years I would be( RICH )write now. White yes, little older, but well established in my carrer, so welcome to the real world. Thanks (Bush).

  61. I agree with the majority of the comments posted here. The information in this article is pretty useless to most people especially those who are out of work right now. I’m an employment specialist working with many people like this and they need more information on lower level job openings, networking, and how to find a job outside just posting on the internet which does not really work anyway (I’ve tried it myself).

  62. I do agree with Anonymous – $80k isn’t actually all that much, considering the cost of living in the metro areas where many of the high-paying jobs are. Housing costs are high (prices have not dropped to their “pre-real estate bubble” prices), and the cash that goes into raising a family, contributing to retirement savings, paying taxes, etc. adds up to $80k sounding like a lot more that it really is.

    To the plumber, etc – It’s not uncommon to work in a field that’s different than one imagined, especially when just starting out. Don’t lose sight of your goals. Plumbers with websights, online ads, etc, will get more business as people increasingly turn to Google rather than the Yellow Pages that sit gathering dust. Perhaps there are other plumbers and contractors that could use your talent to market their services as well. With time, you can turn your web skills into a business targeting a niche that you understand better than most web designers.

  63. I have a BS and about to finish my MBA and have been looking for a full time job for 3 YEARS! Please someone explain to me what’s wrong and what I should do rather than making up silly topics just to fill up space. I know I’m not the only one that that needs USEFUL info that can help me with my real-life problems!

  64. I too have recieved information from a career Builder web publication from the United kingdom. It a notice that you published . It seems to be a check cashing scheme . You cash a check and recieve 10% of the amount to perform the task. Why does’nt careerbuilder monitor these types of email???

  65. Some good thoughts out there.For the people not makingwhat they keep trying. Right I dont have a job its hard especially the way things are going in this world. I ama full-time student in debt out the ass and cant get a job for nothing Ill do anything right know i need money. no money but plenty of bills.Does anybody want any Lol.. Nevermine that Iam in debt with school loans about 30000 and I still got 1 and half left for my BA. I’mjust trying to get by its hard. I sleep on my mothers couch. My stuff in storage there about to sell. What I’m suppose to do????? Cant give up! 100s of applications and not a single call back. Well Im going to look for a job take care good luck everyone. rememember only the strong survive

  66. I agree that some of these people responding need an attitude change. I’m sorry, but if you have been looking for full time employment since 2002, then something is wrong – with you! Yes, these are careers that you just can’t jump into – especially if you are in mid-life with family and immediate income needs. You need to network, get your profile out on the networking sites (e.g. Linkedin), join and participate in the groups and forums in the areas you specialize in, go to local events related to business or other groups you may have an interest in, etc. Also, Google your name and see what comes up – don’t have anything embarassing out there (including on Facebook or MySpace). Online job sites are way too crowded these days and only contain a fraction of what is out there. Most jobs are filled by referrals or friends of friends anyway.

  67. Pete,
    Good to see your comment. I just recently received my bachelors degree at the age of 40 and presently I am working on continuing on for my masters. I like hearing from others in my position that have gone on and achieved their goals. It gives me the push that I need. Thanks, I hope to join you in the near future of achieving over $80K in salary.

  68. I think this is a great article! Everyone can make $80,000 if you put effort into it. My parents are both only HS graduates and I just earned my masters degree. You CAN go to school and earn be successful! If you think you lot in life is minimum wage, changes are that will be your lot in life… Only you can change your life…

  69. I work a full-time job that pays me 53,000/yr. I have to work a part-time job for about 9,000/yr plus my wife works full-time at about 31,000/yr. We still can’t pay our bills on time and we have no extra money with 2 teens 4 cars to pay insurance on. I don’t know how 40K could ever be enough for any family. 80K sounds closer to what it takes to make it. You have to either own your own business or have a sales job if you don’t have a degree.

  70. I made over 80k working in sales for a Fortune 30 company in NJ. That was 10 years ago, I now work day-day in local school district asa substitute for $95 per day. I haven’t made over 50k since 2005 and would be elated to land a solid job in 40-50k range. I know I cannot be the only 50+ seeing good jobs and good wages evaporate in this country. I am thinking Australia!!

  71. You people are pathetic. I’m glad some you negative fools have lost hope. Gives me more of a chance to get these jobs that you are too pessimistic to even make an effort to go for. Thanks for that. Ill be laughing all the way to the bank while you collect unemployment.

  72. Hi,

    I wished I can even go to USA to land a better pay.. I just wished and hope new year would bring positive replies to me. I am a Filipino. I graduated Bachelor of Arts in English but I worked with Commercial and Industrial Printing company as a Warehouse Manager for 3 years and 8 years in Operations Planning. I hope you can just even reply me..
    Thanks. 09193466032 Philippines

  73. Amazing comments. You can do almost anything you set you mind to. I have degree in airport management, now I am a senior software engineer making a great salary. It is all just a matter of making a commitment to the work and making the right decisions to get where you want to be.

    To Mr. Anonymous in Phoenix, you don’t make the decision to have the kids if you can’t afford to do it. If the kids are more important, then plan on a lifestyle change.

  74. Reading these comments can depress even the most optimistic person. I have a degree in Occupational Safety and Health (worked 4.5 years in Loss Prevention) an AA degree and recently completed a BSN degree. One would think that with this education a person would receive job offers from a posted resume, and common courtesy from “professional” individuals when it comes to a reply for not being at an interview you traveled almost 70 miles to attend, and no one showed up from the company. Maybe some of the “professionals” need to get some education in human relations, people skills, and common manners in order to expect the same from their interviewee’s….Sorry, I just believe in common courtesy and good manners no matter what your station in life is…and I will continue to post my resume, and go to interviews(in hopes that an individual from the company to interview me does actually show up). So guys keep your chin up because you will run into a brick wall if you are continually looking down, and keep hoping that the economy decides to look up as well. P.S. Guess what, I haven’t ever made $80K either but I sure hope one day I might.

  75. I see that you have generated many negative responses for your article. I will give you a positive one from my perspective. I know that your articles go to many different people in many different occupations (or not). As a high school guidance counselor, I am in the position to help my students look to the future. For those just starting their education, this article may help them find occupations that provide a better than average wage. If one can step back and realize that every article that is written by Career Builder, isn’t directed at him – then one can realize we have 18 year old students graduating each year and looking for lucrative careers. I see that the “Me Generation” is still very alive and kicking!

  76. Pingback: Job Search 2009 : The Work Buzz

  77. Why do veterinarians earn less than Associate Actuaries, Floor Brokers, and Marketing Managers? In my view, veterinarians should be more highly compensated than anyone else on this (otherwise mostly ridiculous) list.

  78. I’ve made over 60k in year without any degree at all. Of course there wasnt as much anti-labor anti -consumer politics and anti union pundits yammering. There was also a Clinton in the White House.

    But to make as little as 88k an attorney would bedoing a very small town practice.

  79. So much negativity here. An indication of why we do have a shot at jobs like these. Those that believe in themselves have less to compete with.

  80. Why doesn’t everyone face it, ever since they globalized everything and outsourced, jobs have been scarce and will remain that way. 6 billion people on this planet and counting…makes me feel all warm and cozy inside.

  81. I will probably never make 80K per year and I have a degree that is pretty much useless. I work now at Amazon.com and it’s a good job. I was in security before this and I was qualified to be a supervisor, but when you are a small white female who doesn’t know spanish your job search is extremely limited. So I moved away and changed jobs.

  82. Pingback: Careers that only need on-the-job training : The Work Buzz

  83. I am just tired of people bragging about how much money they make. Shut the &^%$ up! Is life all COMPLETELY what you make of it? Really? Completely? Hmm. Not sure about that one

  84. these comments are totally amazing – i wish all of you proserity, its rough as it is and as for comparing salaries, know that you will be taken care of, think positivity and wirk toward whatever your goal is and it will happen. . .patience! You are in control of all aspects of your life and know that no one should be able to have control over you, follow your own pathway and bless those who bless you

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