I work for Exxon/Mobil and set the gas prices and take my $Billion or 2.
Long story short, before prescription drugs are approved by the FDA they go through an average 10-year research process from the microscope to when your doctor can prescribe it. I just play an impartial, 3rd-party role in the middle of the process -- reviewing and submitting data, subject safety oversight, FDA regulation enforcement, and racking up the frequent flyer miles. In the meantime, I work from home writing reports on my findings and wasting time at GasSavers ;-) It pays the bills, and I actually enjoy my job.
When I get out of college, I'll be working as an engineer making $50-70k/year, and living in a van. Imagine it: 3 years later, $100k Tesla Roadster parked outside a $500 van, electricity pwoered by a small solar array and wind turbine with a small battery bank as backup, and all debts paid. I might upgrade to a VW Vanagon, cheap trailer, or beat up RV depending on my needs.
Houses, electricity bills, water bills, and all that crap are over-rated.
I made my bills tee-neensy and spend about $350/mo to live.
That is awesome! I spend that much on toys alone.
The van idea is attractive (I would do it in a sailboat but it's the same idea). lindermant is right about the benefits of home ownership though. Since I have owned my home (2003), the appreciation has been about the same as my income over the same time period. When my mortgage payment is $1200 and my home is appreciating at $5000/month, the mortgage payment isn't so painful. Of course appreciation has slowed a bit recently.
I work as a mechanical engineer in a R&D facility for Horiba, a company that makes mass flow controllers for the semiconductor industry (among other things). It's the best job I've ever had and I get to play with cool new stuff all the time.
Do you ever notice how we seem to adjust every time our income increases (or decreases)? When I was living on less than $1000/month while in college I lived just fine and had lots of fun and toys. I am no happier than I was before, just more toys. I say persue the work you love, the money doesn't matter so much.
I convert two dimensional autocad files to three dimensional and then do one of two things to them:
1) Compare the "exisitng" ground to the "proposed" (construction sites) and figure out how much dirt is going to be moved and let the construction companies know. THe amount of dirt to be imported/exported is a key factor in bidding on jobs.
2) Make a super detailed 3D model of the construction site in autocad which they feed into their GPS powered bulldozers/scrapers/etc. Using my 3D model and the GPS antennae, computers, etc... they are able to work ultra fast and be super accurate (within 1/10 of a foot... usually within 1/20 - 1/30 of a foot).
I also sell software to do exactly what I do to other people.
I work from home for a company in California that I've been working for since 2000. I really like my job.
On the side I run a few websites and I do custom programming for people using Microsoft Access.
Retired (at 35-now 40) Automotive engineer specialising in performance improvments.
Was the chief engineer for a small WRC team (world rally championship) and since moving to this new country I have been offered a job as consultying engineer and engine builder for a team that runs 8 cars across 4 different formulas.(i declined - but still considering the engine build side of it).
I owned a performance shop where we used to do all aspects of race car preperation and repairs.
Roll cages , turbo's , cylinder heads - the lot.
We also used to shoe horn massive motors into small cars - which often needed massive structual changes to the body shell.
Most of our customers cars were for off road use only - these customers are far better than found in normal retail. (they have money)
Engines that I have built have ranged from 1000+ Hp turbo v8's (they were complete sik) down to small RC plane motors. (if it runs and makes noise I love it).
The last 5 years has seen me turn away from cars in general (ide rather relax in the sun) but now with gassavers my interest has begun to rise again.
My current work is a residential building manager , but really , I dont do anything much except let people in when they lose there keys.
In return I got a free renovated apartment and a bunch of money every month.
I dont track my weekly costs , I just buy what i want - but suffice it to say is that I have no debt , everything is owned and I dont have to worry about who is knocking on the front door. (repo man)
When I get my laxy but off the sun chair I must get that Supermid and do sum FE experiments.