Average Salary: $74,280
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $3,101,000
Programmers make very good money. Partly because when most of us consider the possibility of spending our days doing what they do, we want to cry.
Usually you're looking at about 70-90k, depending on the exact nature of the work you are doing and who you are doing it for. But this is just base salary for an average run of the mill coder. If you're actually good and have some gumption there is a chance you can become a multi-billionaire before you are 30 like the founders of Google, Yahoo!, eBay, Netflix, LinkedIn, Facebook, Zynga, Twitter...and so on. But you'll need quite a bit of luck as well, and you have to happen upon a truly original and marketable idea, as did the founders of each of the preceding. If you start building "Google 2," it isn't likely to have quite the same effect as the original.
Even if you aren't a founder, the top coders at each of these companies made well in excess of $50 million as the value of their stock options grew. The business of start-ups in Silicon Valley is arguably the single most lucrative industry in the world and is wide open to you—as long as you speak geek.
We're not sure, but we think this has something to do with D&D.