In-N-Out Burger inspires the kind of lifelong customer devotion that many businesses would kill to have. And as it turns out, the Southern California-founded fast food chain is also pretty great to its employees. You might have heard that In-N-Out's employees are happier than notoriously coddled Google employees. And now consider this: Top store managers for the company make a rather staggering annual sum.
Store managers earn $160,000 per year, which is about three times the national average for comparable positions, according to California Sun (via Food & Wine).
But there's a catch, if you're a mid-career person thinking of walking right in to In-N-Out and picking up a manager application... you can't do it that way. Every single store manager must necessarily start as an hourly worker, which could mean cleaning the floors or serving take-out through the drive-through window.
(And you'll probably have to learn all the intricacies of the In-N-Out not-so-secret menu — which hey, is a great party trick anyway.)
Workers can get in on the ground floor at $13 per hour ($2.50 per hour more than California's current minimum wage) and work their way up in the company. That's not all: The job also comes with health insurance, a vision and dental plan, a 401K, and paid vacation.
So that could mean getting the lucrative manager job takes a while, after starting at the bottom. Naturally, the same can be said for law school and many other professions that require repaying enormous student loans. (Advantage there: In-N-Out.)
Also consider the In-N-Out store manager job — and its happiness potential — in comparison to, say, a commercial pilot's job, consistently named one of the most stressful jobs in America. (Sure, for its stress, it also comes with thrills and fulfillment of aviation and travel dreams.) Median annual commercial pilot income: $102,520.
Now back to your regularly scheduled career soul searching.
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