Every job/occupation/business can be reduced to two main factors. Repeatability (Number of people served at one time) and Cost to Customer/End User/Business (per time). To find the highest paid occupation we plot the occupation on a x y graph which uses repeatability and one axis and cost to customer as the other axis.
Here are some examples of occupations and where they sit in the matrix. The highest paid occupations/businesses will be in the bottom right, the lowest paid in the top left.
The Key To The Best Paying Occupation (Bottom Right)
The best paid occupations/business have a product/service that is either easily repeatable and/or doing a job once, serves millions of people. Couple this, to being able to charge/having a good profit margin on that job and you have the best combination for maximum profit/income.
The Lowest Paid Occupation (Top Left)
The lowest paying jobs will be the opposite. The tasks that make up the job needs to be constantly repeated & it only serves one person/consumer at a time and the price charged (the wage the employee charges the employer/small margin) is low. The lowest paying occupations have these two things in common.
Good Paying Occupations (Top Middle/Right)
Doctors, plumbers, garages. One job only affects one person/property/business at a time & once the job is completed it no longer brings additional income. What we don’t want. However this is made up by the fact that the price charged/the profitability of the job is good.
More Low Paid Jobs (Middle/Bottom Left)
Jobs which continue servicing people after the job has been completed. People can continue to use/enjoy the work into the future and the job only had to be done once (in the past) or it can be replicated extremely easily ie takes a hundredth of the time to replicate compared to the first time. A great situation if you do it for enjoyment but for income there needs to be a price charged for the work. YouTube pays a low amount, a local theatre performer may volunteer. For a large income the audience/customer base needs to be very large if the price charged is low per customer.
Best Paid Occupation/Business – SUMMARY
At the risk of repeating myself, the best paid occupations have a good profit margin and a task that only needs to be performed once. This is a perfect world.
Most people are going to have to compromise.
If you have to choose repeatability or profit margin, I think margin is the safest choice. You know you are going to get paid when you do the job. If the job is dependent on repeatability that income only comes if the job needs/or people want it to be repeated. Which may or may not happen.
It’s a risk to put all the eggs in the repeatability basket.
There may not be a payout.
The more eggs (money/time/resources) you put into the repeatability basket, the bigger the potential payout (margin) must be, manufacturing/software is a good example here.
On the other hand, minimal (money/time/resources) invested means the margin does not have to be so much, authors, musicians are a good example here.
I think most people focus on the margin axis ie education, being able to charge more for their labour.
Business owners start to think about the repeatability axis by employing people. The plumber can take on one job personally but can do multiple jobs at the same time by using employees. The repeatability is not there in the future but it is in the present.
I think margin is the foundation, when you have that, you can start to think of ways of multiplying the income with repeatability. This could be in the form of books, courses, physical products that can replicate the result of the task, employing people and so on.