Whats considered a good wage for a person 5 years out of high school. Not in college?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Rogers, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

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    Obviously the name says it all.
    I graduated in 97' I have recently begun chipping away at community college. I have a steady job, pretty decent pay. But sometimes I still feel shunned by people that have their degrees. Even though some of them can't find jobs and I make more than some people with a degree.
    What is considered good or successful? When you're 23?
    Anyone else in the same boat??
     
  2. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Depends on what the cost of living is like in Nebraska. Here in Los Angeles, it's hard to get by on anything less than $20,000, and it really wasn't until I got past $30,000 that I started having some breathing room.
    I graduated college, and if there's one thing I learned:
    It's not what you know, it's who you know
    Even among college grads, GPA is basically a useless measure of future success. Two of my friends who graduated 3.8 are making in the mid-30's. One of my friends who nearly failed out of college got a job with one of his dad's friend's company and is now sitting pretty at $60K.
    Also, don't forget to factor in job security when calculating how much is a good wage. I make $40K working for the state. I could probably fetch between $45K-$50K in the private sector, but would have to show results every year to justify my employment. Don't get me wrong, I work hard, but with the state, as long as I don't go whacko on the job, I've got it for as long as I want. There's nothing that can really replace that security. Not at under $100K anyway... [​IMG]
     
  3. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

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    Cost of living here is pretty decent. You can see a movie for 3 bucks for crying out loud.
    My 3 bdrm apmt. is only 799 and I think thats pretty reasonable.
    I guess I'm trying to find out what is considered respectable, and enough to justify not going gung ho with college right away [​IMG]
     
  4. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Okay, we need a little more info:

    1. How do you live and how do you WANT to live? Extravagant? Miserly?

    2. Do you share your apartment?

    3. Do you want to put money away towards retirement?

    4. Do you have a family? Or plan to have one soon?

    See, the bar always moves up. While in college in the early 90's I made $9 an hour. I swore that $25K was what I needed to be comfortable. I got that right out of college in 1996. I wasn't comfortable. I said I need to make $35K+ in 5 years to be comfortable. Well in 2000 I got a promotion and made that amount. Guess what? It's not enough again. The circle goes round and round...
     
  5. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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    One huge problem with the status quo today, is that there is no consistant or fair guage for measuring the value of work. Therefore you are going to find people who wake up at 11 AM to 'visit the office' and who make over 80K, and then there are wage slaves who give up more of their time and resources for $7/hr (or less). The amount of money you make may not be solely determined by your college background, but you find more substance, breadth and satisfaction in your chosen field with a college degree.

    Without a degree, one's options are extremely limited, but it is possible to make a lot of money if you 1) know the right people and 2)get into the right field. If you know someone in a lucrative field (law for instance) and they are willing to back you up despite the lack of a law degree, you may be able to earn a decent living.

    For those out there (like me) still chipping away at the old school block, working full time and miraculously finding time for this HT hobby, I say Bravo!

    To answer your question in a roundabout way: It depends. It really does. Job experience is often a deciding factor in hiring someone, sometimes a factor that overshadows a school degree. School denotes knowledge but experience denotes training and experience. Employers are almost always more impressed by work experience. 5 years after I graduated high school, I was not making very much to survive on (and this is the bay area, where cost of living amazes even the most jaded). By displaying the qualities afforded me by my wealth of job experience (and by knowing the right person at the right time), I was later able to find a great job that has allowed me to return to school again and pursue my degree.

    It is not uncommon for many folks nowadays to take this 'reverse' approach (job ---> into school).

    Joseph
     
  6. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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  7. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

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  8. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I make 35k a year and cannot live on my own in NY. Im dying to get out of here
     
  9. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    It's all up in the air. Of my group of friends that I graduated high school with, I went straight to the work force. And I struggled making 20-22k a yr for awhile while living in S. Florida where I would call it a moderate cost of living state, you can live cheap but you won't like it. For instance a 3bdr apt for $800/mth down here will land you in a "bad" neighborhood. $800/mth will get you a very nice 800sq/ft 1bdrm apartment. Of course now after some hard work, sometimes with some long hours and some persistance I'm comfortably much higher than that (and mix in the fiance' we're doing much better than the average). Now all of my friends are either just graduating college with Bachelors or Masters degrees, but they have a long way to catch up. They have no "real" work experience, whereas I have 10yrs (which rates me pretty well in my field). They may start out a little higher than I did, but I still have tons of experience that they don't.

    To give you an idea, I think I was making $26k by the time I was 21 (that was 6yrs ago, so adjust for inflation), almost $50k by the time I was 25. Now with the market the way it is I don't know if I'll be able to double again by the time I'm 30, it's possible, but I'm at a great job right now so I don't worry about it. Overall I think I've done fairly well so far, but somebody always does better, like my best friend who probably is/was able to double my numbers at any given time.

    Andrew
     
  10. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

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    To give the details....

    I am tired of being slighted by people (whether it be adults or parents of a girlfirend) that say that since I haven't graduated college and don't go full time--that I am worthless.

    I say that I make enough to support myself and in some cases, make more than people that spend 30,000 on an education and can't find a job.....

    I just started going to school just to shut people. Shallow yeah....:b
     
  11. Allen W

    Allen W Stunt Coordinator

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    Bill Gates and Michael Dell don't have their degrees, they sort of blow the curve for the non-graduates. From some studies I read 5 years ago, on averarge in the US people with degrees earn $750,000 more over their lifetime than people without.

    I went to college for a year or two and was working and seemed to be living the same lifestyle as all of my friends with degrees. So I thought why should I go back? I'm smart and there doesn't seem to be any difference. I noticed a big change though with nearly all of them later on. Those with degrees and 2-3 years of work experience just took off in earning capacity and I couldn't catch up with them no matter how hard I worked.

    It wasn't the first job out of school that made the difference, it was a promotion 2 or 3 years later or the 2nd job out of school. The thing I noticed too was that regardless of their field they all seemed to really like what they doing, and I was sort of stuck, so I went back to school.

    Having a degree definitely gives you more choices.
     
  12. Michael Silla

    Michael Silla Second Unit

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    "Having a degree definitely gives you more choices."

    Amen Allen.

    I know several people who, without any college education have met or exceeded my college educated salary at one point or another. Problem is, as someone previously mentioned, they don't have much mobility. As well, if they somehow lose their job or become disatisfied with it there just isn't as many options open to them.

    Michael.
     
  13. Eve T

    Eve T Supporting Actor

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    I really lucked out in my job I suppose. I never went to college allthough I wanted to, my father raised me on his own and never had the money to send both my sister and I to college. He sent us through private school and that's where most of his earnings went. I applied for assistance but they said he made too much. I had many different jobs over the years until I finally got married . I then landed my dream job, I suppose it's not a dream job to many but to me it will suffice. I make close to 40k a year which might not seem like much but I don't work many hours a week and my husband works as well. I'm in my 20's. So I guess I got lucky with the not having a degree bit. I work as a retail specialist in the cosmetic/fragrance industry for several department stores, the good thing about that is A) I'm very good at it (I just had to find out what I was good at) and B) there is always a need for people in this position no matter where you go so if we had to move I could find a job in this area with my list of connections. Someone posted that as far as the money goes it's never enough...boy isn't that the truth? I'd like to know where all my money goes. [​IMG]
    I still would like to have a degree, maybe someday I can make my way to college but for now I'm content.
    Whatever decision you make I wish you the best of luck. If you are happy with the way things are now then don't let other people who have degrees make you feel bad. It's your life and you are the one that has to live it.
    Peace,
    Eve
     
  14. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    There are still many amazing opportunities in this country for getting someone else to pay for your education. With my hindsight (I'm 48) here's a cheap plan if you are bright and willing to work:
    1) Get into a service academy, major in EE
    2) Do the minimal hitch upon graduation
    3) Get a job with the US Patent Office (they never turn down veterans with engineering degrees)
    4) Let the PTO pay for you to attend GWU law school part time while drawing a decent salary. If you work for the PTO for several years they WAIVE taking the patent bar exam (pass rate 30%)
    5) Bail upon graduation as a new patent attorney. Around here new patent attorneys get about $135,000 a year fresh out of law school.
    You can do all this without fronting one penny of your own money. [​IMG]
     
  15. Jay Heyl

    Jay Heyl Stunt Coordinator

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    To quote the great philosopher, Tyler Durden, "You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis."

    Your worth is not measured by the job you do or the money you make. If you're happy doing what you're doing, that's all that should matter.

    That said, having a degree will give you a lot more opportunities for jobs you might enjoy. If you intend to ever get through college, do it now. As you get older it will get tougher and tougher to find the time.
     
  16. Tony_Faville

    Tony_Faville Supporting Actor

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    For what it's worth Jeff, I make $50+ a year without a college degree....yes, I do have 7 years experience in my field (IT) but no formal education to back it up.
     
  17. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  18. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    I graduate this year with two degrees. A BSc in Computer Science and an Advanced Certificate in Biology (focus was genetics). I'm not really worried yet. But I really wonder where I'm gonna end up and how much I'm gonna make.

    I can't really help you with your question, I'll be able to add a little something in 3-6 months when I will hopefully have started my first real job.

    But I just thought I'd add this little bit about rent in Saskatchewan. I actually own the building, but I rent the basement out (raised basement so lots of light gets in). Two bedroom, kitchen with a dishwasher, they have access to a washing machine and drier. The only utility they pay is power (gas and water are included in the rent). $400CDN/month (now really I could probably get $600CDN/month, but still). That works out to about $250USD/month or $125 per person that is living down there right now :p)

    I think I'm gonna be in shock when I write the rent check, if I get a job in a larger Canadian or US city.
     
  19. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  20. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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