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10 Jobs That Make at Least $100 an Hour

by J. Money on Friday, August 12, 2011

$100 bills - benjamins
(Guest Post by Kristina)

Good Morning friends! We couldn’t enjoy the finer things in life without money, and we wouldn’t have money without having a job. But what is the different between a job and a career?

Some people say that the difference is in the level of education that’s required for the position, and others say it’s the annual salary or hourly wage that differentiates a job from a career. Can you have a career that pays an hourly wage, though?  Or better yet, let me ask you a personal question…How much do you make per hour? That’s right! I asked it!

How much money do you earn per hour at your job? Since I asked the question, I will also answer the question; I make approximately $43 per hour, which doesn’t include my quarterly or annual bonus. Even with my bonuses throughout the year I definitely don’t make $100 per hour. Here are 10 Jobs (or should I say careers?) that earn at least $100 an hour, according to CNBC. You may be surprised at which careers have the most earning potential.

  1. Underwater Welder. Could you spend 30 days at sea working underwater, 12 hours a day, to earn $1200? Underwater Welders usually repair and replace pipes for oil and gas companies.
  2. Anesthesiologist. These are MDs who administer the drugs that knock us out prior to a surgery or a medical procedure. Anesthesiologists are Doctors, and they make over $100 per hour.
  3. Tattoo Artists. Do you watch NY Ink, Miami Ink, or LA Ink? Did you think that Ami James or Kat Von Dee makes over $100 per hour? Although tattoo rates are negotiated with each client, some Tattoo Artists can earn up to $130 per hour. However, the workflow is not guaranteed, and therefore a Tattoo Artist’s monthly income can vary.
  4. Arbitrator. An Arbitrator is a legal professional, usually an Attorney, who is a neutral third party who is brought in to solve a dispute when two parties cannot agree. Arbitrators are very often used during labor relations when Union contracts are being negotiations. They are also sometimes used in divorces.
  5. Orthodontist. My parents constantly remind me that my teeth cost them $5,000, and therefore I should always take excellent care of them. It is estimated that half of all Orthodontists earn over $100. I had braces for 2.5 years and a retainer for another 2 years when I was younger – the Orthodontist bills can definitely add up.
  6. Freelance Photographers. The average starting rate for a Freelance Photographer is $13-$50. However, after 5-10 years of experience, and depending on the domain and geographic location, some Freelance Photographers can earn over $100 per hour.
  7. Interior Designers. Have you ever wanted to have your home professionally decorated? Would you pay $100 per hour for a Professional Interior Designer? A Bachelors Degree is usually required for Interior Designers, and in some cases so is a License to Design. Interior Designers may also provide architectural and engineering advice.
  8. Parts Models. A hand or feet, or other Parts Model, can earn an average of $100 per hour. However, they have to take extremely good care of that specific body part, which can be costly. Is anyone else thinking of the Seinfeld episode where the Hand Model burns herself on the hot iron?
  9. Life Coach. The goal of a Life Coach is to bridge the gap between where we are and where we want to be in our life. Life Coaches earn $100-$150 per hour.
  10. Massage Therapist. They have the potential to earn up to $100 per hour, but it will have to be in a private practice or clinic. Massage Therapists who work in a Spa earn less than half of those in private practices.

Do any of these professions interest you?  So you can make over $100 per hour? At a yearly salary, that looks to be around $195,000 a year.  How much are you making now?

————–
Guest post by Kristina – a 30 year old professional who has been working in the financial services industry for over 10 years, and who blogs at the personal finance site DINKS Finance. She’s hoping to marry her long-time boyfriend Nick in the near future, and she hails from the great country of Canada. You can follow her on Twitter @TahnyaKristina

(Photo by The Comedian)


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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa August 12, 2011 at 7:41 am

Tatoo artists are definitely skilled artists, but I find it amazing that they are in the same category as anasthesiologists! How much does the typical tatoo artist make who isn’t on tv? Still over $100 an hour? Thanks for an intersting post.

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2 Gerard August 12, 2011 at 8:12 am

Interesting post, but I think that two groups have been unjustly lumped together. Some jobs are full time, while others, like freelance photographers and parts models, are only part time gigs.
It is nice to know that I could make over $100 per hour as a hand model, but how many assignments would I get? Enough to comprise a full time job? Of just an occasional gig?

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3 cashflowmantra August 12, 2011 at 8:48 am

Interesting and varied list. I am sure that most tattoo artists can’t stay busy enough to make $100 per hour full-time so I would have to agree with Melissa that I am a little surprised to see them in this category. Photographers could stay busy enough if they are good. Between sitting fees and profit on any prints, I bet they could make a decent living.

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4 F August 12, 2011 at 9:12 am

I see 10 professions that make way to much money

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5 dbcooper December 4, 2013 at 5:04 pm

thats ignorant to say, underwater welders risk their lives daily to electric shock, explosion, and decompression issues. anesthesiologists take another persons life into their hands when they mix a chemical cocktail to put you out enough to have surgery but not too much to not wake up, not to mention potential law suits and how it would weigh on them morally. but i agree there are alot of jobs on the list that ppl are overpaid.

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6 kody @ Financial Money Tips August 12, 2011 at 9:19 am

hi Kristina, great list! I would have to choose freelance photography as being the best in the list. I think it would be so much fun traveling the world and taking the best pictures i can get. I actually hope to do that one day. Maybe ill get a snapshot of BIGFOOT :D

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7 Kristina August 12, 2011 at 9:49 am

@ Kody I think you would be making a lot more than $100 per hour if you snapped a pic of Big Foot!

Some of these jobs do not guarantee steady work, but once we build up a client base I am sure that anything is possible.

I also learned that Tatoo Artists pay a monthly chair rent to the Tatoo Shop owner. They negotiate their price with clients per tatoo. Regardless of whether they make money each month or not they still have to pay a monthly rent to the Tatoo Shop owner.

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8 alysa@impulsesave.com August 12, 2011 at 10:16 am

Interesting article – there are definitely some unexpected professions on this list! I do agree with Gerard though: there is a difference between someone who works part time vs full time. It’s also interesting to learn (from Kristina) that Tattoo Artists pay a chair rent to the shop owner – I had no idea!

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9 Melissa August 12, 2011 at 10:22 am

It’s a bit misleading to include independent contractors on this list, like tattoo artists, massage therapists and freelance photographers. They can all bill upwards of $100 an hour, this is true, but that’s the nature of freelance work. You bill high on your hourly, because the work is unsteady. The average person in any of those fields isn’t making anything CLOSE to $195k annually. Maybe half or a third of that, at the absolute most. They also have high overhead costs, which eat into their profits a lot, and they don’t work a solid 8 hours a day, five days a week.

I guess the point is, there’s a difference between billing $100/hour and making $100/hour.

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10 Melissa August 12, 2011 at 10:38 am

Oh, another point about tattoo artists is that they will almost always design the tattoo for the client. This can take a good chunk of time and they’re not paid for it, except for maybe a $50 flat rate or something, but many don’t even charge that AND the client isn’t required to go with the design, or even the artist, after the mock-up has been done. Plus they have to cover the cost of all the materials. The per-hour rate is only for when you’re actually sitting in a chair being tattooed. That’s why the per-hour rate is so high.

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11 Andi August 12, 2011 at 10:51 am

Just one thought on massage therapy is that the per hour varies far more wildly than the school advertisers would like you to know. It is a very rarified group that makes over $100 an hour. When I worked at a hotel spa that charged $150 a massage, my commission was 27%, the hotel took a portion of my tip, and it was still considered high paying for the industry. Far more common is the franchise places popping up everywhere that pay therapists $15 per massage. Not per hour, per massage. I see a lot of burnout when people thought they’d be making at least $50 an hour, but instead they’re rocking minimum wage.

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12 rubyruns August 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

I make $23 an hour as a Librarian. I only have one year of experience so far and did have to get a Masters in Library Science. It’s not that much but will get better with more experience and it’s the most stress-free job I’ve ever had so I love it!

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13 Yana August 12, 2011 at 11:16 am

If you can pay a life coach $100-$150 per hour, why do you need one?

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14 Yama August 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Yana,if people have suicidal, depression and people have mental retardation
And autism they need a life coach.

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15 Joan August 12, 2011 at 11:59 am

Quite honestly this is quite misleading. My sister is a life coach and charges about $100 for a session, however it takes her many hours of marketing to find her clients. There’s no way they can have 100% chargable time. Majority of coaches she knows make closer to $5000 per year.

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16 Natalie @ Mango August 12, 2011 at 12:21 pm

This is an interesting post, but I do agree with Gerard below. I understand the intent behind it though– to show us some of the less expected, high-paying jobs. But people like a tattoo artist are more likely to work for one hour or two at a time, so a full tattoo might cost $100-$200. While other people who charge $100/hour for their services, like lawyers or certain surgeons for example, are making much, much more in the end because they are working more hours.
But this was very interesting and I’m glad you did include some of the less expected professions, like the parts model!

PS- I hate to do this, but I am a die-hard Seinfeld fan: It is George who burns HIS hand in the episode. He was just getting into the hand model industry and then, after Jerry appears on the late night show wearing the “puffy shirt,” the “soft talker” who designed the puffy shirt, pushes George into an iron, because he makes fun of said puffy, “pirate” shirt.
Just thought you should know :o)

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17 Dani @ OK, Dani August 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Interesting list. Funny that my two “jobs” are on it!

I’m a life coach but my rates aren’t $100/hr range (yet!)
I do freelance photography as well (more of a paid hobby than a profession) but I make more doing that than I do at my coaching so far! ha!

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18 Kristina August 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm

@Natalie thanks for the Seinfeld clarification :-) That was such a great episode…I totally forgot about the “Puffy Shirt”.

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19 Jen @ Master the Art of Saving August 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm

It’s pretty interesting to see the possible earning potential for different fields. I make a big fat $0.00 an hour for my non-existant job. Wish I could afford a life-coach, so much could be done. :-)

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20 LB August 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I think Anestesiologists should make that or more, especially during a big procedure. They do more than just knock you out, they mix tthe right drugs to put you out and keep you out. If that isn’t worth a lot of money then I don’t know what is.

I don’t think I would want to do any of these professions, even if the average is supposed to be $100 an hour. Which it isn’t, at least not where I live.

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21 Chris August 12, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Underwater welders do make a lot but I heard from a few friends that they don’t have a long life span since the occupation is very dangerous.

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22 Edward Antrobus August 13, 2011 at 12:05 am

I worked 12 hours today. I didn’t do much better than $100 for the entire day.

To those questioning the pay potential of tattoo artists, yeah, even non-tv ones make $100/hour. When my wife got her latest tattoo, they charged $100/hour. Sure, some of that went into overhead, but they were still making a pretty penny. And at $100/hour, you don’t need to work 40 hours. If you manage just 10 hours of tattooing a week, you are still making better than $50,000/year.

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23 Diane August 13, 2011 at 12:27 am

No – interior designers are not allowed to provide archirectural or engineering services. And I say that as a licensed architect with an MS in structural engineering. I would no more take engineering advice from an interior designer than I would allow a aesthetician to fit me for braces.

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24 20 and Engaged August 13, 2011 at 10:31 am

I would love to be an interior designer on the side, but it’s really my mom’s passion. I’ll let her know about it and see if she can get the ball rolling. I would like to be a massage therapist but my hands are bad (carpol tunnel coming soon). But a life coach sounds interesting!

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25 Superplexa August 13, 2011 at 11:52 am

Not only are some of these jobs not full-time, but some, like being a massage therapist, include a great deal of unpaid time: keeping records, washing linens, traveling or waiting between clients, etc. That prevents other work. I don’t know a lot about the field, but I seem to recall that the average salary for a massage therapist is around $60,000.

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26 frugalforties August 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I hate lists like this. They are so full of incorrect information and/or partial information.

I have worked as a freelance photographer and I am currently a contractor billing my own hours. While my *rates* may be $100 an hour or more, what this post (and all posts like it) don’t take into account is this – which holds true for ALL freelance and self employed people:

~ I only get to keep half of what I bill. The rest goes to taxes, including federal, self-employment (social security), medicare/medicaid.
~ I have no employer subsidized healthcare or retirement so I have to pay far more towards health care for comparable coverage than someone else.
~ I have to cover all my own overhead – that’s equipment, professional insurance, computers, internet access, etc.

So by the time you take out overhead, taxes, licenses, fees, insurance, etc., my actual take home, spending money is closer to $25-$30 per hour. That’s about the equivalent of a $65k to $70k annual salary for an employed person.

These lists only build resentment and anger and bitterness about people who “make too much money” and they don’t take into account the reality of those situations.

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27 Diane August 13, 2011 at 9:44 pm

@frugalforties: You said it! I bill well over $100/hour. BUT – I also work 80+ hours a week including lots of unbilled time doing things that you need to do to run a business that you don’t get paid for. And my (private, non-subsidized) healthcare insurance bought on the private market is sky high.

These lists annoy me. They don’t reflect the reality of a freelance, self-employed person.

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28 harry August 14, 2011 at 5:25 am

I think perfect traders earn much more than that

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29 Diane August 14, 2011 at 10:07 am

There’s a big article in the NYT times on self-employed professionals starting self-employed businesses as “plan B” – and how much of their (unpaid) time it takes up – 17-hour days, being your own bookkeeper, IT guy, marketing person, etcc etc etc. Still almost all of them love it and do it despite all that.

This mirrors my experience. I love working for myself. And I charge a lot. But by the time you amortize that high billing rate over 80+ hours a week, and 7 days a week working (I never have a day without some work to be done to keep things moving), the $/hour rate is rather small.

Anyone thinking of starting their own gig should read the article. It’s 100% true IMO. But it’s still better than working for other people.

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30 J. Money August 14, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Thanks for guest posting while I was gone, Kristina! These were awesome to read – especially from someone who has career A.D.D. ;) Blogging is the only gig I’ve hung onto the longest, and it’s only been 3 years! Haha… so thanks again for giving me more ideas.

Oh, and yeah – obviously these aren’t good averages out there, but I still think if you’re GOOD you can reach these levels, just like any other career out there. I’ll agree that there is a looooooot of time and effort outside of your actual hourly work as well. I only make a living directly from 25% of my daily “work” but the rest of the hours I put in are necessary to maintain it all. Which I’m fine with cuz I love the job!

@rubyruns – I’d like to be a librarian for a day :) Or maybe a week – I bet it would be fun and you’d learn a TON. Glad it’s nice and sress-free for ya!
@Chris – Good point on the safety side of things for underwater welders – it would freak me out too much to try myself.

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31 Jerry August 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Not that becoming a doctor is everything but I think you may get a break on insurance! I think being an anesthesiologist sounds interesting. Putting your patients to sleep may lead to some pretty boring conversations, however ;)

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32 J. Money August 14, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Haha, double Zing!!

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33 No Debt MBA August 15, 2011 at 10:59 am

Just wanted to second that underwater welders face a lot of danger in their work. From what I’ve heard it’s pretty common for commercial divers to loose fingers or have other accidents. (Particularly compared to a desk job) These guys also don’t work full time. They typically have a rotational schedule with a certain number of days in the field and a certain number of days at home. This works out to fewer days worked than a normal job and thus less earnings.

Aside from the anesthesiologists, all of these positions look like independent contractors to me thus the $100/hr billing does not mean $195k per year. The total gross will vary widely depending on billable hours.

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34 J. Money August 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Yeah, no amount of money is worth losing limbs or bodies or anything! Same w/ those who go overseas in dangerous territory for a bonus of like $100k. Great great money but man, the risk is too high for my blood. I admire those who go all out though!

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35 @MoneyPerk August 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm

$100/hr. is obviously good money. But I’ve recently read an article from moneycrashers.com about 11 jobs that pay six figures a year with out an education. Some of the top jobs were real estate broker, air traffic controller, construction manager, and I thought I would just share that here because they were very similar. Some of these jobs do require some sort of education though, but not a degree that would most likely get you into massive amount of debt!

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36 Edward Antrobus August 16, 2011 at 8:31 am

That Money Crashers article has some of the same faults as this list. Air traffic controller is considered the most stressful job in the world. A mistake may not kill you (like it will in underwater welding), but will kill somebody else instead. A real estate broker is an independent contractor that is largely dependent on the state of the economy.

And as far as construction manager, nobody starts out as a construction manager. You start with some $9/hr job. Then you work your way up to foreman after a few years to a decade. You will make maybe $40,000/year. Then you are a foreman for a very long time and possibly never make it to construction manager.

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37 Amy Saves August 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm

good list! parts modeling does pay well.

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38 J. Money August 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm

@@MoneyPerk – I believe it! You don’t need to have a degree to blog full time or build companies either ;) Though you can bet your sweet ass it helps out a LOT.
@Edward Antrobus – Agreed. But it’s not “top 10 jobs that are the scariest” now is it ;) You can find pros and cons to all lists…
@Amy Saves – Do you do it?? If so, I want to hear more :)

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39 Heather August 24, 2011 at 10:02 am

I had to have surgery two years ago and I paid my anesthesiologist at least $500-$600. So they definitely make more than $100/hour.

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40 J. Money August 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Ouch. Sorry to hear!

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41 Kristan February 5, 2012 at 10:32 am

l’m working to become a tattoo artist. After a bit of research l found that tattoo artist can either charge the $100/per hour or per tattoo so it depends on how they decide to charge, but they still make alot of money considering the fact that you don’t even need to finish high school.

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42 J. Money February 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Yeah, it’s all about skill in that case for sure. My one and only tattoo cost about $80 if I recall, and lasted 2 hours – so they def. can go the “per tattoo” route for sure. Guess it all depends on the artist and/or shop they work out of :) If you end up becoming one, let us know how it goes later on! Would love to hear more.

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43 Dan April 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I’m in sales and have made well over $1000 an hour. Of course, saying that is as misleading as this article, considering it could take months to make that sale.

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44 J. Money April 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Yep, true that. All these gotta be put into perspective.

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45 Colin April 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm

It’s all about how hard you’re willing to work. A lot of people my age (20′s) are so unwilling to work and just want things handed to them. You don’t start out at any of these jobs making crazy money, just like every other job. Work and you shall be rewarded.

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46 designer chic July 23, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I have a degree in interior design, but have never worked for myself, or designed for residential clients, and even if I did, and charged $100 per hour, the overhead to run that business would seriously eat into that amount. Also, my partner is a message therapist, charges $70 per hour, which is great, and she works independently, but has to market herself, has only a handful of regular clients, and sometimes will only get about 5-7 clients a week. So this article is a bit misleading.

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47 J. Money July 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm

@Colin – Totally agreed! The more you work the luckier you get, right? ;)
@designer chic – I think you’ll find a lot of people making less and a lot of people making more, but on average perhaps it lands around there. Always exceptions with this stuff.

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48 Dave August 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I can easily see a tattoo artist making $100.00 an hour mine cost me $200.00 and took maybe 1 1/2 hrs the guy was so busy i had to book 2 months in advance.
also they dont have a plumber listed on here I payed my plumber $1150.00 for about 8 hrs work

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49 J. Money August 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Yup, I believe it! Although he/she may need to split the $ with the tattoo place too unless their on their own… and plumbers are totally expensive too, good addition :)

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50 J. Smith August 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm

The cut tattoo artists pay to the shop ranges from 40%-60%, 50%-50%, 60%-40%. If he/she is lucky, they may get to take home 70%. Hair stylists often make more than tattooers. Minus the supply if it is a professional grade, it runs $10-30 a tattoo. Which brings artist earning to be approximately $20-50/hour Obviously the guest blogger has no idea what she is talking about :p

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51 Anthony Ochoa November 1, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Let me start off by saying There is no such thing as a typical tattoo artist… Tattoo artists that own their own shops can and do make over $100hr but the “typical” tattoo artist is an employee or independant contractor who typically pays rent or a percentage to their respective shop… just as with any other job you have people who push the envelope, people who make ends meet and those who need two jobs to survive. While being a great artist will nab you a great word of mouth clientele and reapeat customers… being a good artist with an even better hustle game can net you bigger profits by shear volume of work alone… and as they said in the article tattoo artists only get paid when they work. No one gets paid if the machines arent running… but you can eaisily carve out a decent 50k a year…

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52 J. Money November 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Yes – great insight for sure. Would it be correct in assuming you’re in the industry yourself? And that you’re also one of these hustlers you’re referring to? :)

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53 John Simmons February 7, 2014 at 11:27 am

You left prostitution and adult movie actor off the list.

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54 J. Money February 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm

I guess CNBC didn’t want to extend their research that route ;)

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55 Brian February 27, 2014 at 6:05 pm

definitely Intraday Traders can make about $100 an hour. I currently make about $175 an hour, sometimes that may even double; however, I only work about 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. As an Intraday trader, you can work any hours throughout the day.

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56 J. Money February 28, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Nice! Big pimpin’ over there! :)

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