475 comments

A One-Question Survey – Who Are the Mustachians?

bigleafAll right, I’ve been curious about this for a while, and maybe you have been too: Who are you? Who are we in general?

As this blog has grown, the people have come from all corners of the internet. Search engines, newspaper and magazine features, other blogs, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and any number of other places.

While the overall numbers are easy to track with the “see the stats” link I make public down there in the footer, and the mix of countries is nicely displayed in a pie chart, it would be really neat to see a quick breakdown of the types of people we have around here.

Since this is a blog about work and money, I figured we could just share the industries in which we work. From there, it will be fun to look through the data and see what it means. I’ll add a section after the poll once we have enough results.

Don’t worry if you don’t quite fit into one category exactly, just take a guess. For Science!

What type of work do you do?

View Results

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Numbers now updated for June 2017

Wow, this has been a fun poll – most of the responses happened in the early days, but a trickle of later readers have kept contributing to the poll and I encourage you to do so as well. It only takes about one second.

I think the poll has answered my biggest speculation: we are indeed way heavy on engineers. Take software engineers, for example. These are supposed to be only about 0.5% of the population (1 in 200).. but we are 1 in 6 here! I have noticed this while meeting groups of readers in the US and Canada as well, but now with the poll results we can present a few interesting statistics:

There are about 1.1 million software developers in the US these days, according to the BLS.

Over the past 3 months, about 2,130,000 unique visitors have stopped by this site, according to Google Analytics’ best guess. They made 5 million visits and pulled down 22 million page views.

If 16% of these are software people as the poll suggests, that adds up to about 340,800 developers. Of course, only 75% of us are in the United States, so we are down to 225,600.

In other words, if these stats are anywhere close to correct, about 23% of the Entire US Software Engineering Workforce has read Mr. Money Mustache in the past 3 months.

This would explain why existing readers have been telling me that their coworkers spontaneously came up and told them about the blog. Statistics tell us this should be a rare event, as the blog only reaches 0.5% of the US population (1 in 200). But among software engineers, the likelihood of Mustachianism is a solid 50 times higher.

So, nice work, fellow engineers. Now that we’re all hanging out like this, graced with the company of an even larger group of talented people in other fields, I’m sure we can accomplish more powerful things than ever before.

  • CincyCat September 18, 2013, 11:09 am

    Misc. Cubicle Jockey here, although at an extremely flexible workplace. (Ex. Yesterday, I worked from home, and I am free to leave early most days to pick up the kiddos from school.) I’m salaried, so I risk no hit to the paycheck as long as I get my work done. They really don’t care when or where I work since everything we do is in the cloud.

    Reply
  • Steve September 18, 2013, 11:09 am

    I work in electrical power and distribution as a lineman (call me crazy but I kind of like working in conditions where my life is literally on the line). I’ve put in extensive hours learning more about electrical therory than the average lineman and have considered trying to become an electrical engineer. however I love my work now and the pay is pretty good. Hopefully I can continue to enjoy it until I have my stash built big enough to retire.

    Reply
  • Jamie September 18, 2013, 11:10 am

    I’m surprised that there don’t seem to be more work at home moms on here! I have two very small children and I have a couple of computer gigs that I do during naptime with a cup of coffee. When they wake up, I’m going to teach them how to make granola! (Cheap… delicious.)

    Reply
  • Giddings Plaza FI September 18, 2013, 11:10 am

    Normally I work as a project manager / web producer, but during my sabbatical, I’ve been doing a blog, and am about to launch a news roll-up web site. I’ll be back in the pm / web world soon, as I still have almost three years to go before I hit financial independence.

    Reply
  • Andrew September 18, 2013, 11:12 am

    Civil Engineer here! Transportation Engineer to be exact. We like to be more specific. (i.e. transportation, environmental, structural, geotechnical, hydraulic)

    Reply
    • MandyM September 19, 2013, 12:11 pm

      A fellow Civil Engineer! Water Resources for me.

      Reply
  • L.T. Smash September 18, 2013, 11:13 am

    Federal bureaucrat in the federal bureaucracy of Canada. :D

    Reply
  • Tom September 18, 2013, 11:15 am

    Lieutenant and Flight RN/Medic for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. My wife is an ICU RN.

    Reply
  • Ryan September 18, 2013, 11:17 am

    First time poster, long time reader!

    I would love to see the age distribution! I am 19 and an entrepreneur. I wonder how many other younglings there are out there.

    Reply
  • Tiffany September 18, 2013, 11:18 am

    I’m a grad student, pursuing my Masters of Global Innovation Management. However I’m also an entrepreneur, I own a condo which I rent & manage myself. So I ticked “entrepreneur.” I hope to buy a few more properties in the very near future and continue in real estate as a side gig (I have my RE license as well) :-)

    Reply
  • Lorin September 18, 2013, 11:23 am

    I’m an architect. I picked the “artsy” category, though I suppose “desk jockey” and “other engineer” could fit too. But salary-wise, I make far, far less than my consultants with PE after their name.

    Reply
    • Anne September 19, 2013, 12:51 pm

      Yay, I was starting to wonder if I’m the only architect here. As in building architect, NOT software “architect”. ;)

      Reply
      • Jessie September 21, 2013, 7:14 am

        +1 another architect here : ) currently working on becoming licensed. I put down “other engineering/high tech”.

        Reply
  • Sue September 18, 2013, 11:28 am

    I’m in risk management in the finance industry. But I grew up among engineers (mech E and software). Does that count? ;)

    Reply
  • freetopursue September 18, 2013, 11:33 am

    I appreciate what you are trying to accomplish with this survey and want to offer MORE! A given profession won’t give you very much I’m afraid. As you say, expense is even more important than income in some respects.

    I wish we could answer 3 or 4 of the options! We are FI as of this year (couple in our 30s), entrepreneurs, former cubicle jockey, home builder, plumber by trade, lecturer/instructor, student…In this day and age, the idea of defining ourselves with one title seems impossible. How would you define yourself MMM? Only as retired? Seems much too narrow of a definition. How about “a retired tech engineer, husband and father, home builder/renovator, handyman, finance coach, world traveller, blogger and entrepreneur. What a way to mess with your stats!!!

    Reply
  • Aarchman10001 September 18, 2013, 11:39 am

    Architect here.

    I, too, went with ‘Artsy’, because that’s where my heart is, although Architecture–at least the way I practice–is equal parts Arts, Engineering, Service, Construction & Entrepreneur. I get paid pretty well to design residential projects for the 1% of the 10%–insanely high-end projects for the plutocrats.

    God forbid one of my clients should ever stumble across MMM and figure out that they are wasting their money chasing happiness through acquisition of “stuff”. Let’s keep it amongst ourselves, shall we????

    Reply
  • John September 18, 2013, 11:39 am

    Entrepreneur in solar energy, blogging, and more recently guitar lessons!

    Reply
  • Georgina September 18, 2013, 11:40 am

    Thank you for writing and inspiring me. I am a South African retired teacher trainer living in Cape Town. I retired at 55, twenty years ago. I enjoy it.

    Reply
  • veganbetty September 18, 2013, 11:42 am

    I would have preferred multi-select checkboxes as opposed to radio buttons because although I am currently a software engineer, I am also an entrepreneur working on a side business with my husband that is growing rapidly and will allow us both to retire shortly (in our mid forties).

    Reply
  • Christine September 18, 2013, 11:43 am

    Web development!

    Reply
  • mollyjade September 18, 2013, 11:44 am

    Nonprofit educational publishing. Not sure if that puts me in education, artsy, or cubicle jockey.

    Reply
  • Natalie September 18, 2013, 11:48 am

    Where’s the option for Stay at home parent?

    Reply
    • Danny September 18, 2013, 2:43 pm

      Agreed! Best job in the world? Stay at home parent (dad, in my case).

      Reply
  • Green Money Stream September 18, 2013, 11:48 am

    I like the survey! Also not surprised at the large proportion of engineers. I started out in the engineering field, but now work in the financial services industry. But hoping for freedom in the near future!

    Reply
  • Dina September 18, 2013, 11:55 am

    I clicked Other. I’m a stay-at-home mom of six kids living in the Chicago area. I guess that means I am rarely home as there are always doctor’s appointments, dance and gymnastics classes, and scout meetings. We have a Suburban which we need but is a bear to drive in this congested area. And I constantly have to reboot the food and school supplies! I am also resurrecting my law degree by volunteering at pro bono legal clinics. I am always interested in ideas on saving and enjoy MMM’s exuberant writing style. I especially like the article on Republic cellphones and plan to check them out once our contracts expire.

    Reply
  • Kevin September 18, 2013, 11:55 am

    Biotechnology Sales

    Reply
  • Sarah September 18, 2013, 12:02 pm

    I quit working when my kids were born and have been home ever since. I’m still working on my Husband’s frugality. We’re in a different arena than many of you since we have a retirement income and medical from the government. Frugality is very difficult to embrace though and my husband is getting ready to retire permanently the first of the year. I feel like we’re wading in goo!

    Reply
  • J kenny September 18, 2013, 12:04 pm

    I agree with other readers – would be great to know more about MMM followers. Personally, I am interested in how many readers have kids at home versus single or two adults. Maybe this survey can just be the first of a series…

    Reply
  • Nancy September 18, 2013, 12:06 pm

    Reasonably new here, but I spent 22+ years homeschooling, managing a home with 8 kids, went to school myself, recently divorced after 41 years and work as a contract paralegal. I work for multiple attorneys in different offices. On the two days a week I commute my drive is 110 miles a day, the rest of the time I work at home. Finding something closer wouldn’t pay anywhere near what I make with the drive and I live in the boonies besides.

    My ex was a spendthrift so I am starting from scratch with student loans, my own small household, etc. I am also working on my own small business of designing and making quality children’s clothing and serious costumes for those who do period reenactments and ren fairs.

    I have learned alot and can’t thank you enough. I may or may not ever be able to truly retire, but I am treating debt as if my hair is on fire, and enjoying each day as it comes. Thank you for maintaining the blog.

    Reply
  • Debbie M September 18, 2013, 12:18 pm

    I went with other cube jockey because that’s what my last job was, what all my decent-paying jobs have been, and what I’m looking for now. However, I may also be about to just give up and live off my savings until I qualify for my pension, in which case whatever-I-want retired is a better answer. For now, though, I’m job hunting, which is not what I want, so I went with cube jockey.

    Virtually all my friends are engineers and programmers. I’m not one myself because those jobs sound boring and frustrating to me. And it turns out that boring cube jockey positions aren’t horrifyingly boring to me because I get off on finishing things/putting things in the out box. I also like working only 40 hours per week when I’m working full time.

    Reply
  • Doug F. September 18, 2013, 12:18 pm

    Trades (manage a countertop fabrication company).

    Reply
  • Cee September 18, 2013, 12:22 pm

    I’m a mental health epidemiologist and I work for an international non-profit research organization. I’m working on paying off student loans to boost my savings from 10% to 50% of my income.

    Reply
  • Cynthia September 18, 2013, 12:23 pm

    I’m an ‘other’ – work for an NGO in humanitarian assistance / development – but I have 2 engineering degrees and a PhD in social sciences … but I decided to do what I love, not what makes me a lot of money. Will take longer to reach ‘financial freedom’ but I love what I do, so don’t feel ‘enslaved’ – which I think is part of the MMM point.

    Reply
  • Albert September 18, 2013, 12:24 pm

    I’m a chemist in my late 30-ties living in Switzerland.

    Reply
  • dr hamlet September 18, 2013, 12:30 pm

    I first heard about MMM from Raptitude.com. I am now hardcore and have read all posts from the beginning to more than halfway. My hardcore reading began in earnest after seeing this mention:

    http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/general-discussion/meet-mr-money-mustache-who-retired-at-the-age-30/msg118126/#msg118126

    which is a dedicated message board for value investors who clone themselves after Warren Buffett (of Berkshire Hathaway) and Prem “Warren-Buffett-of-Canada” Watsa (of Fairfax Financial).

    I wonder how many of your readers are Buffett value investor-types. I won’t be surprised if it’s a sizable number.

    Reply
  • Terrie September 18, 2013, 12:30 pm

    You left out a category for homemakers. I was forced to put “other”.

    Reply
  • Meech September 18, 2013, 12:32 pm

    Medical ethics, a sector of the pharmaceutical industry. I don’t consider myself to be in “healthcare” because it’s strictly regulatory in nature and completely non-clinical. I can’t click “cubicle jockey” because I work from home, flexible hours, while my kids play.

    Reply
  • Freaksta September 18, 2013, 12:36 pm

    Really was hoping for a slightly longer survey! I’m sure most of your readers would be happy to answer 5 to 10 questions!

    Reply
  • Sally September 18, 2013, 12:40 pm

    I’m of mixture of careers. A medical microbiologist who also completed a master’s degree in counseling. I juggled both and taught …so education and healthcare. I am now a gardener, food preserver, photographer, and household financial manager. I get to use both analytical and creative skills. My commute is within our 3 acres and I am one happy camper.

    Reply
  • Kristen Jenson September 18, 2013, 12:41 pm

    Writer, blogger, speaker. I’m currently writing a book entitled Good Pictures, Bad Pictures, a non-religious book for kids and parents explaining what porn is, how it can hurt the brain via addiction, and 5 strategies to stay in control. My husband is a software engineer in the scientific instruments industry. Still, I’m the one who found MMM!

    Reply
  • Cattis September 18, 2013, 1:10 pm

    I´m in sales as a trainee. I´m from Sweden and I´ve read your blog since 11 sep 2013, came here via Frugal Girl. I had to check it out when she warned about “colourful language”, I knew I wolud love your blog!

    Reply
  • Chuck September 18, 2013, 1:12 pm

    I’m a counselor for victims of violent crime in Pennsylvania. Love the blog!

    Reply
  • katybee September 18, 2013, 1:15 pm

    Federal gov’t purchasing/pharmacy tech.

    Reply
  • Gunhild September 18, 2013, 1:26 pm

    I’m a student, delivering my master thesis in comparative religion next tuesday.
    I’m also a dane, mother, wife of an engineer and probably/hopefully a future entrepreneur and early FI/retiree (well, everything is relative … I’m 28 yo now) and maybe even future unschooling mom. Life is so full of possibilities for “being” and “becoming”!

    Reply
  • Michelle September 18, 2013, 1:40 pm

    I am a legal secretary and hubby works in the natural gas/electrical installation business. I am more frugal than my husband and have directed him to this site several times. I am determined that we will become more financially fit!

    Reply
  • Doug September 18, 2013, 1:41 pm

    I’ve been eagerly awaiting such a topic as I would like to see what, if anything we who are Mustachian all have in common. I do notice a lot of engineering, science, and technical types here, myself included.

    I’ve mentioned in other posts above that we science and engineering types have a good understanding of efficiency, but that’s only part of the picture. We are also inquisitive types, the small minority who haven’t lost the curiosity everyone is born with but most lose in teenage years. For that reason, we have a lot of hobbies interests and would like more time to pursue those interests. That’s much easier to do when partly or fully retired.

    Reply
  • sockgal September 18, 2013, 1:51 pm

    Many of us have more than one job or are looking for work. My husband and I own our own retail web business with declining revenue over the last six years. I went to college for teaching, but haven’t been able to land a teaching job in over five years. I am desperate to train for another career, but am hesitant to take the loans to go back to college, again at the age of 42. My husband has a second job working at Trader Joe’s as a crew member. His job is actually pretty promising for the future, but working two jobs is pretty difficult. If he can get promoted in the next couple of years it will really help our financial circumstances. We actually make pretty good money on our web business, but the future doesn’t look too good considering people just aren’t buying gift type items. I have been combing through this website getting ideas on how to save money. With two teens, a mortgage, taxes, groceries, ect… it is just so hard to live life with less financial stress. We haven’t had pay tv (besides Netflix) for three years, no vacations, and seemed to have cut back in every area possible, but still can’t make it on $85,000 a year. I know, I sound crazy compared to all these mustachians on this website living on $30,000 a year, but boy could I use some help. Where does all our money go? I hate to admit this great fault, but we need help!

    Reply
  • Debt Blag September 18, 2013, 2:10 pm

    Great idea to have a poll! Always nice to know where your readers are coming from :)

    Reply
  • Terry September 18, 2013, 2:12 pm

    I went through this entire list, and am surprised to be the only one to say homemaker. Childless. MA in Professional Writing. Volunteered instead of wages which has slowed down the FI; increased happiness. I’m canning salsa verde right now, so got to go.

    Reply
  • Lisa September 18, 2013, 2:23 pm

    I work in the social services (which really should be an option on your next survey!) as a support facilitator for families affected by intellectual disabilities.

    Reply
  • Mary Wofford September 18, 2013, 2:31 pm

    heath care, work for the federal government

    Reply
  • Kathy September 18, 2013, 2:36 pm

    I’m another cubester, I do risk insurance compliance for the Owner Controlled Insurance construction projects at LAX.
    One more year till retirement, then it’s volunteer work for various non profits.

    Reply
  • Tami September 18, 2013, 2:49 pm

    Seem to have missed a big category – service industry. I’m sure loads of people work in retail type jobs like me:)

    Reply
  • Cindy Brick September 18, 2013, 2:58 pm

    Gee, I don’t feel I fit in specifically with any of your categories. (And it’s “artsy fartsy,” by the way.)

    I judge and teach quilting nationally – write books and articles on the subject.

    But I also write a lot of posts and articles on PF, specifically frugal living. (You can find me consistently on Penny Thots and Midlife Finance… .com.)

    Husband was a mechanical engineer for twenty-some years, and is currently in IT…does that count?

    (Oh yes, and we live in Colorado, but not an area that got flooded.)

    Reply

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