Careers

Your road to the RFD 100k individual Salary!

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  • Oct 18th, 2017 12:50 am
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Jr. Member
Apr 14, 2017
199 posts
65 upvotes
DT Calgary
2heaven wrote:
May 28th, 2017 1:26 pm
Interesting read to see the different career progressions on this thread. Here's mine:

From 08-15 same company, base salary - doesn't count bonus/benefits.

2008 - newgrad 53k
2009 - raise 56k
2010 - promotion 75k
2011/12/13/14 - raises 85k/92k/94k/99k
2015 - promotion 106k

Left to new company - no bonus/benefits.
2016 - contractor 150k+ (equivalent to ~125k salary)
Seems like a good company to work for (the one you started out with)! Congrats
Jr. Member
Apr 14, 2017
199 posts
65 upvotes
DT Calgary
Does salary include bonus or relocation expenses according to RFD standards? If it includes bonuses and relocation I'll be at the 100k RFD benchmark to be a member now at 25.
Newbie
Jan 15, 2017
48 posts
48 upvotes
Did my undergrad in Economics; graduated with distinction. School did not provide me with a lot of career guidance beyond suggesting I go to grad school. At the time, I was largely unaware of the potential jobs/careers out there and basically figured I wanted to be an equity analyst because what's more financey than picking stocks? CFA claimed that the average charterholder made ~$250k. I'm just a young dumb kid, who am I to argue with results?

My first company out of school was cheap and short sighted when it came to talent management. But I did not know better.
It was a small shop, and I worked there for too many years. Salary went from $40k to $41k by the time I got laid off. Bonus was between zero and $2000 each year. On the bright side, they gave me very flexible work hours, paid for my CFA, and qualified for the work experience. Still a ways to go until the fabled $250k though...

Next job was contract @ $25/hr. More accounting related than investments, but a job is a job, and the unemployed can't be picky.

Went to MBA, had a natural advantage in finance courses due to CFA, got a good GPA, interned on the buy-side during the summer at ~$35/hr.
Graduated MBA, and landed job on the buy-side with low-six figure base and a healthy annual bonus.

Looking back, I've come to appreciate how important that first job out of school is. The interns that I've hired are way ahead of me when I was their age, and will likely have significantly better careers. Early success begets more success. It feels unfair, but it's also reality.
Banned
Dec 5, 2015
1344 posts
437 upvotes
Thornhill, ON
FreshCo wrote:
May 29th, 2017 1:09 am
Does salary include bonus or relocation expenses according to RFD standards? If it includes bonuses and relocation I'll be at the 100k RFD benchmark to be a member now at 25.
What part of salary do you not understand?

Salary does not include bonuses, benefits, stock options etc
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
13129 posts
651 upvotes
Doubleshot wrote:
May 31st, 2017 6:29 am
What part of salary do you not understand?

Salary does not include bonuses, benefits, stock options etc
For some of us, I would included bonuses if they are clearly defined. Right now I get 25% bonus target based on my performance rating and KPIs for Canadian and North American Performance. The reality is that the bonus will range between 15% and 50% of base--will not go lower and while potentially uncapped, it would be unrealistic to go much higher than 50%.


I can tell you that as I am interviewing candidates, every single one mentions base plus bonus as what they currently earn and what would be their expectation.

From a leadership team perspective we don't look at base, we look at total compensation:
Base plus Bonus achieved at 100% for salaried staff
Base plus Commission achieving 100% of plan



1998 - 35 - First long term Position
2000 - 45 -
2003 - 70 - New Company (takeover)
2008 - 85 +20% - New Role, New Company (takeover)
2012 - 110 +15% - New Role - US responsibility
2013 - 120 +25% - New Role - Canada
2015 - 140 +25% - New Company
Banned
Dec 5, 2015
1344 posts
437 upvotes
Thornhill, ON
nalababe wrote:
Jun 1st, 2017 7:16 am
For some of us, I would included bonuses if they are clearly defined. Right now I get 25% bonus target based on my performance rating and KPIs for Canadian and North American Performance. The reality is that the bonus will range between 15% and 50% of base--will not go lower and while potentially uncapped, it would be unrealistic to go much higher than 50%.


I can tell you that as I am interviewing candidates, every single one mentions base plus bonus as what they currently earn and what would be their expectation.

From a leadership team perspective we don't look at base, we look at total compensation:
Base plus Bonus achieved at 100% for salaried staff
Base plus Commission achieving 100% of plan



1998 - 35 - First long term Position
2000 - 45 -
2003 - 70 - New Company (takeover)
2008 - 85 +20% - New Role, New Company (takeover)
2012 - 110 +15% - New Role - US responsibility
2013 - 120 +25% - New Role - Canada
2015 - 140 +25% - New Company
I understand and that's why I said salary does not include bonuses and benefits

Total compensation is made up of base salary plus others...my topup from hardship pay topip, stock bonus and options were 2x my base salary last year
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2014
1108 posts
327 upvotes
New York City
I joined a management consulting firm. Not making anywhere close to my classmates who went into Finance (Goldman, BlackRock etc...). But they do take care of my (luxury) living expenses and my entire paycheque goes to the bank, so it kind of evens out.
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2009
562 posts
36 upvotes
What's typical/average salary for MEng electrical engineer (Canadian university) with 5 years experience?
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 11, 2005
625 posts
2 upvotes
sonajatt wrote:
Jun 1st, 2017 7:47 pm
What's typical/average salary for MEng electrical engineer (Canadian university) with 5 years experience?
Depends on which field. If you're in semiconductors, 70-85k in GTA would be the norm I would guess. But I find that semiconductor pay is largely meritocratic, so if you're good at what you do, your pay will jump. Really hard to find good semiconductor engineers in the GTA these days.
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2009
562 posts
36 upvotes
Thanks. Power, protection and control to be specific. Consider myself above average
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2013
4711 posts
845 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
(1) Worked on a Math and Economics degree (Computer Science Minor) until April 2013, in GVA. 3/4 Years completed at Age 19.

(2) First job was landscaping in Alberta as a means of getting more money for school.

(3) Moved into oilsands labour in August 2013- learned there was no money in oilsands unless you held a skilled trade. But discovered there was money in Power Engineering and other trades- much better opportunities than what my university background would had led to- switched plan to go that route. Relatively speaking, financially it was too risky to continue university studies.

(4) Started working on Service Rigs (“oil rigs”) in Winter 2013. Money was good but too unstable to be a reliable means to raise funds for school, and the work and environment terrible.

(5) Decided to acquire trucking license (Class 1) to be more employable and increase earning power to fund school and start building an investment portfolio. School is to eventually increase earning power once income in trucking was stagnated. Acquired Trucking License (Class 1 or Class AZ) through Trucking School by August 2014; Age 21.

(6) Started trucking in road construction and oilfield in August 2014. Also found electrician apprenticeship and was indentured as apprentice as of November 2014. Offered multiple jobs upon a week of graduation Trucking School. Though inexperience resulted in work inconsistency as more experienced personnel were favoured. Income in 2014 was around $65,000.

(7) Price of oil collapsed in January 2015, resulting in a 6 week layoff. Electrician apprentice work opportunities grinded to a halt and most occupations across the province either reduced positions available and/or wages. Spent remainder of 2015 working at subpar wages as trucker in road construction and oilfield. Income was around $76,000 (71,000 on paper).

(8) Found oilsands operator job in late 2015 as I worked on electrician 1st year school part-time. $91,822 salary factoring in EI (the plant only allowed us to work half of each month for safety reasons). Tried to look for extra work on days off, but no one wanted to employ someone for half a month at a time- especially with a questionable, desperate labour market.

(9) April 2016: Bought first home at Age of 22 with no cosigner or any family financial assistance (2013 814 sq ft. condo near university and downtown) for $328,000 (a lowball). Same unit cost original owner $343,000 in 2013. Completed 1st year Electrician School, but still no work for apprenticeship.

(10) Found renter for 1/2 of the condo same evening it was posted in Kijiji for $750/month (below market).

(11) Job loss in August 2016 because of (A) jealousy towards young guy buying a home among financially starved oilfield workers, (B) dislike for the lack of desperate “grateful just to have a job” dog attitude, and (C) finding manager’s nephew willing to do my job for $22/hr for half of each month.

(12) Returned to previous road construction employer in September 2016. Had 11 job offers 3 weeks after job loss.

(13) Completed 2nd year Electrician School by December 2016. Had several job offers within this month, though none in electrical trade. Electrical apprenticeship work prospects seemed doomed. Began trucking for pipeline and oilfield rig/drilling work for new employer. Income on average for this employer was approx. $8500/month during the busy season, but had to be on call for 30 days/month in order to “catch” all the available work, and work all over the province. Did not enjoy my time there at all, but had to bide time.

(14) 2016 income was $85,000 ($102,350 equivalency factoring in tax writeoffs).

(15) Started own trucking contracting business in April 2017 upon leaving that employer at spring seasonal slowdown. Rationale for this move were:

(A) hitting income ceiling for trucking, which is around $100,000/year working year round in today’s economy

(B) tax writeoff implications and tax deferral

(C) flexibility

(D) reduced trucking wages in a employer’s market

(E) in realization that I’d never make money working as an employee, regardless of it were trucking, electrician, power engineering, analyst, accountant, lawyer, etc. General consensus is that if you’re good at what you do, you tend to make $100-150K in Alberta as an employee- but to exceed that requires decades of experience in a senior role, self-employment, and/or investment income. Business started producing positive earnings 3 days later upon calling client who originally offered me a job in Winter 2016. This one originally offered two raises within the interview to convince me to say yes.

(16) April 2017: Purchased second property 3 minutes away from university- pre construction unit for $296,000- a 1 br 650 sq ft. top floor condo. Age 23. Pre-construction discount and lowball resulted in about 10% below market value acquisition. Expected completion is Summer 2018. Market rental value of current property determined to be $2500/month furnished, $1850/month unfurnished.

(17) May 2017: Stopped performing work for contracting business and returned to road construction trucking/operating work. Latter average income is around $9,000/month, but only employed for 5-6 months/year. Client was much more pleasant to work for compared to all previous jobs. Average income was around $7000/month, but only 45-50 hours/week of work required. Enough to live on after taxes with some savings to grow, but progression very slow. However, it is a means to be happier and complete a considerable amount of education in the spare time, or look for other business opportunities.

Current objective is a combination of the following:

(A) Stay in trucking, with the road construction employer as a base of stable income from May – October, then work on business as contractor for remainder of the year.

(B) Use savings gained from trucking and contracting business to invest as aggressively as possible with a long-term (5+ year) horizon- specifically targeting undervalued real estate and stocks (value investing approach). The high income (especially that of the recognized road construction employer) is a formality enabling high leverage with real estate to amplify returns in the Alberta buyer’s market. In the beginning there will be a heavy reliance on real estate due to limited capital, and diversification to stocks in multiple sectors will be gradual. The goal is to acquire one additional piece of real estate every year. Between appreciation (in Edmonton, we are happy to see around 4% YoY, but high rents make cash flow positive or neutral situations common) and principal contributions, each property around the $300,000 range is expected to make $25,000/year- in today’s dollars. Upon expiration of 5-year mortgage terms (or two 2-year mortgage terms), each will be liquidated to cash out on appreciation and principal contributions- then cash re-balanced.

(C) Keep going to school every year part-time, completing one year of the electrician apprenticeship academic portion for now until the economy improves. Considering Power Engineering as well during the Winter of 2017 – 2018, but the upfront investment is many times larger ($15,000+ after considering tuition, books, and lost income). School is a path to increasing earning power, and increases in earning power are to fund more investments.
Jr. Member
Apr 14, 2017
199 posts
65 upvotes
DT Calgary
FirstGear wrote:
Jun 1st, 2017 10:41 pm
(1) Worked on a Math and Economics degree (Computer Science Minor) until April 2013, in GVA. 3/4 Years completed at Age 19.

(2) First job was landscaping in Alberta as a means of getting more money for school.

(3) Moved into oilsands labour in August 2013- learned there was no money in oilsands unless you held a skilled trade. But discovered there was money in Power Engineering and other trades- much better opportunities than what my university background would had led to- switched plan to go that route. Relatively speaking, financially it was too risky to continue university studies.

(4) Started working on Service Rigs (“oil rigs”) in Winter 2013. Money was good but too unstable to be a reliable means to raise funds for school, and the work and environment terrible.

(5) Decided to acquire trucking license (Class 1) to be more employable and increase earning power to fund school and start building an investment portfolio. School is to eventually increase earning power once income in trucking was stagnated. Acquired Trucking License (Class 1 or Class AZ) through Trucking School by August 2014; Age 21.

(6) Started trucking in road construction and oilfield in August 2014. Also found electrician apprenticeship and was indentured as apprentice as of November 2014. Offered multiple jobs upon a week of graduation Trucking School. Though inexperience resulted in work inconsistency as more experienced personnel were favoured. Income in 2014 was around $65,000.

(7) Price of oil collapsed in January 2015, resulting in a 6 week layoff. Electrician apprentice work opportunities grinded to a halt and most occupations across the province either reduced positions available and/or wages. Spent remainder of 2015 working at subpar wages as trucker in road construction and oilfield. Income was around $76,000 (71,000 on paper).

(8) Found oilsands operator job in late 2015 as I worked on electrician 1st year school part-time. $91,822 salary factoring in EI (the plant only allowed us to work half of each month for safety reasons). Tried to look for extra work on days off, but no one wanted to employ someone for half a month at a time- especially with a questionable, desperate labour market.

(9) April 2016: Bought first home at Age of 22 with no cosigner or any family financial assistance (2013 814 sq ft. condo near university and downtown) for $328,000 (a lowball). Same unit cost original owner $343,000 in 2013. Completed 1st year Electrician School, but still no work for apprenticeship.

(10) Found renter for 1/2 of the condo same evening it was posted in Kijiji for $750/month (below market).

(11) Job loss in August 2016 because of (A) jealousy towards young guy buying a home among financially starved oilfield workers, (B) dislike for the lack of desperate “grateful just to have a job” dog attitude, and (C) finding manager’s nephew willing to do my job for $22/hr for half of each month.

(12) Returned to previous road construction employer in September 2016. Had 11 job offers 3 weeks after job loss.

(13) Completed 2nd year Electrician School by December 2016. Had several job offers within this month, though none in electrical trade. Electrical apprenticeship work prospects seemed doomed. Began trucking for pipeline and oilfield rig/drilling work for new employer. Income on average for this employer was approx. $8500/month during the busy season, but had to be on call for 30 days/month in order to “catch” all the available work, and work all over the province. Did not enjoy my time there at all, but had to bide time.

(14) 2016 income was $85,000 ($102,350 equivalency factoring in tax writeoffs).

(15) Started own trucking contracting business in April 2017 upon leaving that employer at spring seasonal slowdown. Rationale for this move were:

(A) hitting income ceiling for trucking, which is around $100,000/year working year round in today’s economy

(B) tax writeoff implications and tax deferral

(C) flexibility

(D) reduced trucking wages in a employer’s market

(E) in realization that I’d never make money working as an employee, regardless of it were trucking, electrician, power engineering, analyst, accountant, lawyer, etc. General consensus is that if you’re good at what you do, you tend to make $100-150K in Alberta as an employee- but to exceed that requires decades of experience in a senior role, self-employment, and/or investment income. Business started producing positive earnings 3 days later upon calling client who originally offered me a job in Winter 2016. This one originally offered two raises within the interview to convince me to say yes.

(16) April 2017: Purchased second property 3 minutes away from university- pre construction unit for $296,000- a 1 br 650 sq ft. top floor condo. Age 23. Pre-construction discount and lowball resulted in about 10% below market value acquisition. Expected completion is Summer 2018. Market rental value of current property determined to be $2500/month furnished, $1850/month unfurnished.

(17) May 2017: Stopped performing work for contracting business and returned to road construction trucking/operating work. Latter average income is around $9,000/month, but only employed for 5-6 months/year. Client was much more pleasant to work for compared to all previous jobs. Average income was around $7000/month, but only 45-50 hours/week of work required. Enough to live on after taxes with some savings to grow, but progression very slow. However, it is a means to be happier and complete a considerable amount of education in the spare time, or look for other business opportunities.

Current objective is a combination of the following:

(A) Stay in trucking, with the road construction employer as a base of stable income from May – October, then work on business as contractor for remainder of the year.

(B) Use savings gained from trucking and contracting business to invest as aggressively as possible with a long-term (5+ year) horizon- specifically targeting undervalued real estate and stocks (value investing approach). The high income (especially that of the recognized road construction employer) is a formality enabling high leverage with real estate to amplify returns in the Alberta buyer’s market. In the beginning there will be a heavy reliance on real estate due to limited capital, and diversification to stocks in multiple sectors will be gradual. The goal is to acquire one additional piece of real estate every year. Between appreciation (in Edmonton, we are happy to see around 4% YoY, but high rents make cash flow positive or neutral situations common) and principal contributions, each property around the $300,000 range is expected to make $25,000/year- in today’s dollars. Upon expiration of 5-year mortgage terms (or two 2-year mortgage terms), each will be liquidated to cash out on appreciation and principal contributions- then cash re-balanced.

(C) Keep going to school every year part-time, completing one year of the electrician apprenticeship academic portion for now until the economy improves. Considering Power Engineering as well during the Winter of 2017 – 2018, but the upfront investment is many times larger ($15,000+ after considering tuition, books, and lost income). School is a path to increasing earning power, and increases in earning power are to fund more investments.
What about women?
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2013
4711 posts
845 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
FreshCo wrote:
Jun 1st, 2017 11:34 pm
What about women?
Most men are worried about her taking half.

The problem is most want to waste your time. So if your mind is on them, you won't even get to make money for her to take. Lol.

Otherwise that generates another entire discussion.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
3363 posts
1313 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
FirstGear wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2017 12:19 am
Most men are worried about her taking half.

The problem is most want to waste your time. So if your mind is on them, you won't even get to make money for her to take. Lol.

Otherwise that generates another entire discussion.
"Most want to waste your time" is an extreme generalization (and not an accurate one). You need to find a woman with her own career and goals in life. Just don't get hooked up with a Welfare mother or a woman who wants to leech off you. If they have their own deal going on in life they can be a tremendous asset to you. I know this to be true. I am an incredible help to my partner, and I've always worked. His ex is in the category of "leech" to society and him.

Life is about more than chasing money (or it should be). Just don't be stupid about the women you choose.
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2013
4711 posts
845 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
Chickinvic wrote:
Jun 3rd, 2017 10:48 am
"Most want to waste your time" is an extreme generalization (and not an accurate one). You need to find a woman with her own career and goals in life. Just don't get hooked up with a Welfare mother or a woman who wants to leech off you. If they have their own deal going on in life they can be a tremendous asset to you. I know this to be true. I am an incredible help to my partner, and I've always worked. His ex is in the category of "leech" to society and him.

Life is about more than chasing money (or it should be). Just don't be stupid about the women you choose.
Forgot to mention- demographics is a biggie. You're likely older than I am so the women you run into are likely to be more of career women.

Even that aside, most just spend their spare time daydreaming about finding men, getting married and having kids. The more attractive they are, they tend to crave attention from many men more. Though this is partly due to societal pressures in the woman world. Many men are fine with that- but I am not at that stage of life yet.

Also Alberta has the highest percentage of women doing "unpaid work" (i.e. housewives), and highest divorce rate. The stereotype here is they want to find many men to chase them and give them attention, get knocked up by a oilfield tradesman to "entrap" the man into a relationship and financial support, and cheat on him when he is busy working long hours away from home. Generalization of course but it is an extremely common rant here.

Philosophy of life is another discussion, probably beyond the scope of this thread, and we can argue endlessly about that one. I have my rationale but I usually just tell people to do what works for them.

Though it sounds like I'm complaining I'd prefer much of the above to stay that way. Reaching my financial goals hinges critically on the lack of competition. The last thing I want is my lines of work to turn into the next white collar world where a lineup of students are ready to do my work for less to nothing and following suit to all start similar businesses and get into the same investments to drive down rates (or eliminate available work) and returns.

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