Original question from Quora:

What job in IT has a very high paying salary?

I’m talking about a job that pays more than $30 000 per month,

My Answer:

Very few jobs in IT have a salary of more than $30,000 a month. Unless you get to a VP level or C level executive, you won’t find many gigs that pay that kind of money in salary.

However, there are quite a few people making that kind of money, but before I tell you who, I have to tell you why.

You see, if you break down the working hours per month, it’s about 160 or so.

$30,000 a month is $187.50 an hour.

The better question to ask is, who is making $187.50 or more per hour?

Now, I know some guys who are making that kind of money and the funny thing is they are often making that kind of money working alongside people earning closer to $40 or $60 an hour.

In fact, there are quite a few people earning over $200 an hour, some even $300 an hour, and a few over $500 an hour.

For the most part, none of the people I’m talking about are on salary.

If you’ve ever run a business, you probably know who is making the money…

Consultants.

Yep, those people that come in, tell you what to do, mess everything up, and leave before anyone notices. Okay, not all are like that, but enough are to give the rest a bad name.

Now, you don’t get paid over $200 an hour by accident, so how on earth are some people charging that much?

The answer is simple, but it’s so obvious that most are blind to it. Instead of me just telling you, let me back into it a bit by explaining how it happens.

There is a pattern where someone is a developer earning anywhere from $20–60 dollars an hour and they do good work. At some point they either work as a consultant for someone else or their work is otherwise hired out at a rate much higher than they are making - at least $100 per hour or more.

They like getting paid so they go along with it for a while. However, at some point they realize they are doing all the work while the boss takes a profit for doing very little. Things like overhead and project management certainly don’t cost the difference and so at some point they cut out the middleman and do freelance themselves.

Still, they aren’t too confident and they undercut their old boss by $20/hr. and only charge $80/hr.

This is all well and good until they start meeting other freelancers and find out that a lot of their buddies are charging $100–120/hr.

It takes a while for this to sink in, but eventually they decide to charge the going rate and by their great surprise, they convince someone to pay them $100/hr!

Holy moley! That’s a lot of money!

Okay, so they are feeling like a hero until they go to some national technology conference and find out that some guys are charging crazy money. They get to talking and realize the guys making the money aren’t any better at writing code than they are.

At first this was discouraging, but eventually it sinks in that it is possible to charge more, and after learning a bit more about sales, and building up some confidence, our little worker bee manages to land a client paying $150/hr!

Now they’re really cooking with gas (what does that mean anyway?)

Onward, now this cycle of upward expectations keeps going on for a while, and after a period of years and a lot of relationship building, our hero manages to charge $400 an hour to do high level architecture work and training.

Also, our hero starts selling online courses and books at $500/seat and manages to double their income again, without adding any more hours to their weekly load!

When it’s all said and done this guy is making about $500/hr. but only working maybe 1,000 hours a year.

Our hero is happy with his work and his life and is making a giant pile of money along the way.

Now, the moral of this story, if there is one, is that our hero didn’t just show up one day and charge $500/hr. He struggled, learned, and improved along the way and after years of doing that, he found himself making a great sum of money for his time.

This is not something anyone will hand you and you don’t end up there by accident.

Those that get to that level usually do a lot more than their peers to get there.

So, people like that are the people making $30,000+ a month in IT. There’s a lot more of them than you think, but most are self-employed and largely invisible to the rest of us.

-Brian

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