The beauty of the Bachelor franchise is that it take nobodies and makes them most famous person on reality TV for three to four months. So, naturally, fans want to know what Katie Thurston’s job was before she became the Bachelorette.
Katie, a 30-year-old bank marketing manager from Renton, Washington, was announced as the season 17 Bachelorette at the “After the Final Rose” special for season 25 of The Bachelor with Matt James in March. Katie was a contestant on Matt’s season and was eliminated in 10th place, which makes her one of the earliest Bachelor or Bachelorette eliminees to become the lead of her own season. (Michelle Young, a 27-year-old teacher from Edina, Minnesota, was also announced as the season 18 Bachelorette. Her season will premiere later this year.)
Katie filmed season 16 of The Bachelorette from the beginning of March to the end of April at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa in New Mexico. Instead of Chris Harrison, her season was hosted by season 16 Bachelorette Tayshia Adams and season 11 Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe.
In her Bachelor bio for Matt’s season, Katie said that she wants a man who is as “daring and adventurous” as she is. “Katie knows exactly what she wants in a man and is done wasting her time on boys who won’t live up to her expectations,” her bio read. “She is a witty storyteller who says when she finds someone worth committing to, she is the most loving and committed partner anyone could ask for. Katie is daring and adventurous.”
Her bio continued, “While Katie is serious about finding her person, she needs a man who can laugh along with her but is okay with him laughing at her too when the moment calls for it. Katie is looking for a mature man who has ambitions to succeed in everything he does, both personally and professionally. Her dream man will be passionate about building a long-term life with her and will treat Katie as his equal in the relationship. Nothing turns her off more than someone who sits around playing video games all day or a man who tries to kiss her at the inopportune moment … it’s all about creating the right vibe with Katie!”
A source told Us Weekly in April that Katie was “in control” of her season and knew exactly the man she wanted. “Katie was in control and made sure the men she wanted were there and the men she wasn’t interested in, she sent packing,” the insider said. “[Filming] went great and it wrapped a week ahead of schedule.” The source continued, “Tayshia and Kaitlyn can relate to Katie’s journey in a lot of different ways, which you’ll see play out, so it was nice to have them there to help out with whatever situation came up. Tayshia had fun and loved doing it. She and Katilyn made a great team.”
Though she didn’t confirm whether she’s single or engaged, Katie told E! News in June that she planned to watch her Bachelorette season alone—without her winner. “I mean, single or engaged, I would be watching this alone,” she said. “I can’t watch it with my family or my friends, seeing myself make out with all these guys. I just need to be alone and embrace it and process it myself.”
So that’s what Katie is looking for in a man. But how much did she make on The Bachelorette and what was Katie’s job before she became the famous single woman on television? Read on to find out what Katie did for a living pre-Bachelorette.
How much did Katie make on The Bachelorette?
It’s unclear how much Katie’s exact salary was as the Bachelorette, but we can assume that she made around $100,000 for about two months’ worth of filming. According to Reality Steve, the current standard rate for Bachelors and Bachelorettes is $100,000. That said, there have been recent Bachelors and Bachelorettes who have made more or less, depending on how good their negotiations skills are.
For example, season 8 Bachelorette Emily Maynard made a reported $250,000 as the Bachelorette in 2012 thanks to negotiations. “The producers have completely changed the format this season in order to meet Emily’s demands,” a source told In Touch at the time.
What was Katie’s job before The Bachelorette?
In her Bachelor bio for Matt’s season, Katie listed her job as a “bank marketing manager.” Per various reports, Katie worked at First Financial Northwest in Seattle, Washington. According to In Touch, the average salary for a bank marketing manager in Seattle is $114,612. In an Instagram in December 2021, Katie said it was “super awkward” to see her co-workers for the first time since she left to film The Bachelor and for her to know that they saw the non-work side of herself.
Along with her desk job, Katie was a famous TikToker under the handle @ventwithkatie with more than 249,000 followers and 1.4 million likes. Since she was announced as the season 17 Bachelorette, Katie has deactivated her TikTok account and created a new account under the handle @thekatiethurston. Before she deleted her account, however, Katie’s TikTok included all sorts of content from parodies to challenges to Bachelor videos, but what Katie was best known for among her subscribers before she was a reality TV star was her sex-positive content. One of her most popular videos was a storytime in June 2020 where she talked about having sex with a ghost.
To get more of an inside scoop, check out Los Angeles Times writer Amy Kaufman’s book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, for a deep dive into the Bachelor franchise. The book uncovers the secrets of Bachelor Nation, from how much the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are paid to the rules contestants have to follow, that producers don’t want fans to know. It’s a must-read for any Bachelor Nation member.
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