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.

  • Thomas / Boy Toy September 19, 2013, 3:06 am

    Does male stripping fit under “entrepeneur” if I work freelance? ;-)

  • MoneyMonkeyUK September 19, 2013, 5:11 am

    I voted cubicle jockey; I deal mostly in HR and Commercial, I do work for Engineers though. I found this blog through a search engine a few months ago when asking for advice on how to save and invest.
    I am starting to see improvements in my life already putting your advice into practice, thank you.

  • Fluffy September 19, 2013, 5:31 am

    Air Force pilot…I know there are a handful of us that follow the site.

  • Michele September 19, 2013, 5:35 am

    Entrepreneur- Taxi cab company

  • sunshine September 19, 2013, 6:10 am

    UPS driver and homemaker in our household. I think many would be shocked to know what a UPS semi driver actually makes.

  • Brian September 19, 2013, 6:56 am

    I think engineers understand that everything has trade-offs, and that you have to understand them to make a good decision. In other words, there is no free lunch. Engineers complain about marketing because most want to add features without understanding what they are giving up.

    Once you understand trade offs and your constraints, you can optimize. I wouldn’t mind having a nicer car but I don’t feel like working years for it.

    That is why monthly payments and loans are popular because they cloud the trade off. A 30k car is no longer a half year of continuous work, it is only 500 a month!

  • Matt September 19, 2013, 7:02 am

    Any other janitors out there? I’m in my 20s and planning to retire by 38.

  • Richard September 19, 2013, 7:41 am

    Fascinating comments – lots of interesting people out there.

    I’m a LAWYER. I admit it. Many lawyers live a semi-Mustachian life – we’re not all bureaucratic monsters – take long lunches, help our friends, hop from project to project that we care about. The danger is that we can be co-opted. We deal with reality that isn’t always pretty, and we learn to make the best of it for our clients and for ourselves and this can be a very valuable skill for the Organization. Next thing you know you can lose your soul. But isn’t that an issue for all professions?

  • Mark September 19, 2013, 7:46 am

    “Take software engineers, for example. These are supposed to be only about 0.05% of the population (1 in 200)”.
    I think you mean 0.5%.

  • Jeremy Doolin September 19, 2013, 7:54 am

    I had to choose “Teacher”, because it’s what I actually do now. But previously I was a Software Engineer. Now I teach about it.

  • Nitin September 19, 2013, 8:15 am

    Your numbers for engineers might not be the full picture as there might be former software engineers like me who are now in ‘other cubicle’/non-engineering type of jobs :)

  • Louise (from Thelma and Louise) September 19, 2013, 8:21 am

    I work in healthcare and have worked only part time for a majority of my working years! My husband and I have saved over 30% of our income since we got out of college. (He is an engineer who works from home).
    I did go into administration for about 4 years (for the challenge-nuts I know). I was at a meeting with all of administration; looking out at the sea of people, they all looked exhausted while scanning their blackberries every few minutes. One of the ice breaker questions was, “What fun thing have you done for yourself lately?” Very few could answer the question. I have many outside interests and realized if I stayed in this field, I would become like them!
    Within 3 months, I quit, took 6 months off- found this blog and realized there are others out there who are not the lemmings and just do what everyone else does.
    Today- I do work part time because I do enjoy my profession. I also teach students going into my profession. I tell them the most important things for them to do is, keep a list of their priorities and stick to them and work to be financially independent, from the first paycheck, then you always have choices!

  • Wilson September 19, 2013, 9:34 am

    Yikes, I appear to be one of the few lawyers here. It’s looking like most of the other 5% legal industry folks aren’t lawyers. Is it because we’re scared away by numbers or experimentation? Or we’re more profligate and/or assume we’ll make a high enough salary and therefore not into saving?

    Given the work-life complaints over billable hours and draconian bosses and general discontentment with the legal profession that always shows up in surveys I would expect more lawyers to be interested in Mustachianism as a way to regain more control over their lives. Oh well, their loss.

  • Barbara September 19, 2013, 9:37 am

    Recently retired, thanks to reading Mr Money Mustache!

  • Tweet September 19, 2013, 9:51 am

    Condor biologist. Worked for several years as a zookeeper, now work for an awesome non-profit breeding California condors to be released in the wild. My (getting on board the mustachian train) husband is a manager for a transportation and logistics company.
    One of us loves what we do, while the other one typically dreads it…

  • Alexandria September 19, 2013, 10:02 am

    My Dad is an electrical engineer, and Mr. Money Mustache totally reminds me of him. :D I found this blog, and I felt it just took it to the next level. SO, there is something to engineers being creative and being able to apply that creativity to their finances.

    I am an accountant, so it’s probably natural I’d want to meld the creativity I learned from my dad with my more in-depth financial knowledge. I think my financial knowledge (tax, mostly) gives us an edge on financial efficiency.

    My husband is a creative type who is wired in a very Mustachian way. I don’t think I’d have accomplished 50% as much without his crazy ideas (he always saved 90%+ of his income). I don’t know how to explain him beyond him being both fiscally conservative and creative. He is also a pretty big non-conformist type. (Maybe he should be an engineer. I can seriously see that. For now, he doesn’t know what he wants to do to meld his practical and creative sides. He is staying home with kids and making films, for now. He has a business degree).

    The common theme seems to be creativity.

  • Robert September 19, 2013, 10:31 am

    Hi I am double category, Lawyer working in financial services; based in London. I love the blog – wish you posted more!

  • aet September 19, 2013, 11:07 am

    future doctor here; partner is an engineer. i’ve been living in a fairly mustachian way for a while — avoiding unnecessary student loan debt, riding my bike everywhere, paying down some debt even while in school — but it is nice to find a community that espouses the same philosophy. i think this generation of medical students is tending towards frugality (i hope) due to the outrageous cost of medical school. the many perks of my field (which i love) include high salaries, but that is certainly not the reason i chose to go into it. anybody who chooses to be a doctor for the money only is crazy.

  • Carolyn September 19, 2013, 12:14 pm

    I’m a graduate student in Chemistry. Not sure if I’d rather teach when I’m finished or make things like solar cells and the like. So… high tech job?

  • Abi September 19, 2013, 12:17 pm

    The poll seems to be broken for me – I’ve tried loading the page in two different browsers, but it didn’t give me a chance to vote. Instead it just loaded the results page, with one answer in bold/italic as if I’d clicked on it, but I hadn’t clicked on anything (it was a different result in each of the two browsers, neither of them my actual job category!).

    Not sure how trustworthy the poll results are if other people are having this problem too. Anyone else have the same thing?

    (I’m a doctor, by the way)

  • Amy September 19, 2013, 12:26 pm

    I’m a Las Vegas cocktail waitress. There was no hospitality bracket so I had to go with “other.” I might be the only LV cocktail here though- you could do a whole article on how most girls- even people- here are with their money. I love seeing people spend so much on a BMW each month, get their nails done at around $80 a pop each week but have no retirement account. It just really blows my mind.

  • Christine September 19, 2013, 1:21 pm

    Okay, fellow mushachians, social worker here, doing everything possible to reduce expenses to get out of the rat race. Almost mortgage free (2 years), driving the honda insight (2000) 60 mpg…reducing all expenses…going to try the cell phone offer…and anything else that frees me up!!! Love this site and it has given me so many ideas!!!

  • Howard September 19, 2013, 2:07 pm

    I’m an accountant in the public sector. The public sector is well suited for a mustachian as the opportunities to save for retirement are huge. Also there’s ample time off to enjoy.

    This blog was introduced to me from my friend who is a CPA. He was introduced to the blog (you guessed it) by a software engineer.

  • Brian September 19, 2013, 2:08 pm

    I sell steel. Didn’t know where to put that so I selected other cubicle jockey even though I don’t have a Cubicle. Anyone else in the metals industry?

    Big fan of the blog. Have been methodically trying to reduce unnecissarry expenses to add to my savins rate. Since discovering MMM, have gone from 10 percent to approx. 23 percent. Its a long road, but FI, here I come!

  • Sean September 19, 2013, 2:17 pm

    I think the reason you get so many software engineers is because we get a respectable income, but at the same time we tend to hit a ceiling more quickly than some other professions. There’s no built in way to get rich and retire. If you work at an accounting or legal or even more traditional engineering firm, there is always the chance to stay long enough and become a partner and get rich that way. I feel like developers are expected to get into the low six figures and just be happy with that. So early retirement is very achievable, but you need to do things outside your career to get there like being frugal and investing aggressively.

  • Charger01 September 19, 2013, 2:29 pm

    Just like MH, another environmental scientist here. Former consultant (who isn’t?) and now pleasantly working at a utility company. Mr. MM should be considered a hero. l love the simple idea of constant optimization. We’re still a long ways from retirement (with two kids), but I’m starting at 5% of gross for savings, working towards 25% by the end of 2014. Wish me luck!

  • Kio September 19, 2013, 2:29 pm

    This is excellent! I am a software engineer, exploring some Android App development in my free time. My first app is one which aims at spreading the tenets of Mustachianism throughout the world. What if we could all pool our skills!? Amazing things could happen.

  • Happy September 19, 2013, 3:08 pm

    I’m not an engineer, but everyone else who works, in my family, is. Big on engineering genes and an INTJ

  • Otto Lundberg September 19, 2013, 3:37 pm

    You forgot one big category: Students! I think a huge part of the “other” category is students and teenagers.

  • Joshua September 19, 2013, 4:23 pm

    I work in client services for a financial marketing firm. I found your blog from reading the No More Harvard Debt blog. It’s funny how one thing leads to another.

  • Brian Romanchuk September 19, 2013, 4:54 pm

    Canadian electrical engineer, converted into finance a long time ago. But, did a lot of software engineering as part of the job. Currently a consultant and blogger.

  • Melissa September 19, 2013, 6:45 pm

    Sales! Which is listening to fill a person’s needs but also forecasting, margins and revenues so lots of money talk!

  • john September 19, 2013, 6:47 pm

    letter carrier for the post office for 25 years. Schlepped the mail in over 50 cities, in two states, and over 500 routes so I bet I have trespassed and left little scraps of paper at over 10,000 places of abode and business. From the deep snows of Central Maine to the heat and humidity of Eastern TN. We transfered to TN about 3 years ago to escape the high taxes, energy costs, and general nastiness of the entitled class. We have saved about $12K a year in taxes and expenses. On my day off we bake 60 loaves of bread and donate it to the local food bank @ $.31 a loaf. We shop at Sam’s Club, cook at home and our bi-weekly grocery bill is about $90. Wife is retired and yearly income is about $90K, we give about 8% to charities and still have managed to save almost $1,000,000 in investments. slow but sure wins the race.

    • Christof September 22, 2013, 2:21 pm

      This is impressive! Letter carrier isn’t a job I would associated with an (almost) millionaire.

  • Cory September 19, 2013, 7:44 pm

    I am an officer in the military. Trying to retire after ten years of service rather rather than doing the full twenty. Dave Ramsey sucks…Money Mustache rocks!!

  • Janice September 19, 2013, 8:15 pm

    Other. Human Resourses in a non-profit. Any other HR folks? Hubby is a chem E so I totally get the engineering thing.

  • Olivia September 19, 2013, 8:26 pm

    I said I was in the “artsy” industries, but I’m a TV news reporter so I don’t think that’s accurate. Have to be Mustachian when you don’t make much money! :)

    • Kate September 23, 2013, 8:24 am

      Hello, fellow media person! Public radio program host here.

  • nicoleandmaggie September 19, 2013, 9:09 pm

    I picked “Other”. Researcher at a university. Some teaching, but not the main part of my job.

  • Mom @ Three is Plenty September 19, 2013, 11:34 pm

    Dad is a software engineer – I could do that work if I wanted to, but I don’t think anyone would want to read my code.

    I work in computer security – specifically in penetration testing and vulnerability assessments – I also do a lot of physical security analyses of data centers, which is why I get to travel so much.

  • bgreene September 20, 2013, 2:45 am

    What I learned from the results of this survey – engineering is the most boring profession that folks want to quit ASAP :)))

  • JT September 20, 2013, 4:25 am

    I’m an accountant in a design agency! Loved the leaf MMM!

  • casey September 20, 2013, 5:41 am

    Assistant manager at a convenience store saving 50% of take home, biking to work everyday. Landscaping on the side for extra money to invest. Debt free. Car paid for and sits in the driveway $39 a month insurance.

  • Jon September 20, 2013, 8:01 am

    Ahh, here I am in the minority again. I love it! Working as an Electrician Leader for the government on naval vessels. I’m not surprised because most of my coworkers thing I’m pretty crazy when it comes to money (and riding a bike to work, no less). I think also when you’re making a smaller amount of money it seems a lot more difficult to follow the principles of a site like this and really have a dream/goal of retiring early.

  • Mo September 20, 2013, 9:12 am

    University professor here. I love my job beyond words, and actually have zero intention of retiring anytime soon, but love this blog for its underlying philosophy on how to live happily.

  • Kim September 20, 2013, 10:00 am

    My husband & I both love reading your blog, we are both licensed mechanical engineers. He works a corporate job, I own my own consulting firm specializing in green buildings.

  • alex September 20, 2013, 11:14 am

    i’m a truck driver for a national auto parts company.

  • theRFchick September 20, 2013, 11:27 am

    I’m a sales engineer with a BSEE – and wanna-be-stay-at-home-mom and homeschooling-mom to my 4 girls 5 and under. My husband and I both work, so our au pair and preschool contributions and a bad real estate investment in Florida in 2005 (DOH!) definitely impact our ability to save to true mustachian levels. And we live in northern Virginia with no plans on moving, need I say more? I was just turned onto your site a month ago, but have certainly been reading, enjoying, and sharing.

    We cut the cable cord almost a year ago. With 4 little kids, we didn’t have much time to watch anyway. That has been truly an awesome decision. We subscribe to Netflix & Hulu – but decided to cut the Hulu cord, given the horrendous number of commercials they force us to watch.

    Neither of us have used a non-work cellphone for 10+ years, but we do have a virtual phone number. That costs us $10 a month – but I will probably sign up for Republic Wireless (using your link, of course!), once they release the new MOTO X next week given. Any chance you can offer a comparison of the new & current phones (X and DEFY XT)? Surely they will give you one for FREE to advertise for them !!! :-)

    RE unique visitors, I have to object to your assumptions. As an engineer and tech-gear afficionado, I have 4 different devices (phone, Kindle, work laptop, and personal laptop) on which I’ve read your blog. Just for argument’s sake :-)

    WRITE ON! – cheryl

  • sarah September 20, 2013, 2:05 pm

    i’m a musician, but my husband is, in fact, a software engineer. but *I* told him about MMM!! :-)

  • Moises September 20, 2013, 3:02 pm

    Psychologist from Brazil, trying to apply at least some of the MMM’s philosophy around here. Different country, with different taxes, salaries, etc., but the same soul desiring a better life through frugalitty.

  • Tax Nerd September 20, 2013, 6:24 pm

    I’m a corporate tax accountant in NJ. Squirreling away as much money as I can so that I won’t have to do this forever.

  • DJ September 20, 2013, 11:25 pm

    Business owner insurance industry, any other insurance pros out there?


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