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What does Payson Schnabel do for a living?

What does Payson Schnabel do for a living?


Payson Schnabel is the big brother of famous Gold Rush television star Parker Schnabel—but he’s got a lot more achievements to his name than just being related to another reality television star.

Payson is also the grandson of iconic gold miner and businessman John Schnabel.

Hailing from Haines, Alaska, and with a reputation for working hard, playing harder, and speaking his mind at all costs, Payson Schnabel has been capturing fans’ attention in his cameo appearances on the Discovery Channel’s hit show since way back in his early 2012 appearances.

But what do we know about Payson Schnabel’s life?

What does Payson Schnabel do for a living?

And is he ever going to be gracing our screens on Gold Rush full-time?

Read on to find out more about Parker Schnabel’s older brother.

Where did Payson grow up?

Payson Schnabel was born in August of 1992 in Haines, Alaska, to Roger and Nancy Schnabel.

The environment was harsh by millennial standards, but there was good reason for the Schnabel family to set up shop in this corner of the country. In fact, there were millions of reasons, and every one of them was gold.

Payson’s parents had settled in the area to work for Payson’s grandfather, legendary gold miner and rich lister John Schnabel.

John, who was the owner of the Big Nugget gold mine in Haines, and had spent decades creating a legacy his family could protect for generations.

Initially, John Schnabel bought a claim—a gold plot—at Porcupine Creek.

Being the early 1980s, times were good for the gold mining boom, and the lucrative claim was also a good bonding opportunity for John Schnabel and his grandsons.

Payson often tagged along for his grandfather’s company, but it was younger brother Parker who would become involved in mining heavily in the future.

John often took his children—and eventually his grandchildren—to the claim during the warmer summer months.

Over the next few years, and through Payson and his brother’s adolescent years, the claim would be a big part of their induction into the world of gold mining.

By the time the Schnabel family was approached to be involved in the Discovery Channel’s latest reality television show—aptly titled Gold Rush—both Payson and his brother had some finely honed skills.

Payson, however, had plans that didn’t include a reality television career.

What does Payson Schnabel do for a living?

After graduating from Haines High School—Haines’ main high school and home to an average of 80 students per year—Payson set out with a plan in his mind.

He enrolled at the University of Northern Arizona to study a dual degree—a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, and a Bachelor of Business Administration.

Payson is often credited with a strong business mind—something both his father and his grandfather recognized in him.

He used that business mind when he went to work for his father construction company, studying and streamlining processes to boost the company’s productivity and performance.

Payson may be pretty at home in the academic world, but the savvy business studies graduate is equally at ease around construction equipment and mining gear.

He took on the role of project engineer for the family business in 2016.

When he isn’t managing infrastructure systems and analyzing data to support his family’s gold mining efforts, he is buying up property for The Big Nugget gold mining company.

Payson, his brother, and his father are shareholders.

The family’s patriarch, John Schnabel, was the former head of the business, and it was Payson who took to social media in 2020 to announce his beloved grandfather’s passing.

Do Payson Schnabel and Parker Schnabel get along?

Parker Schnabel’s inheritance

Parker Schnabel – @Getty

According to the pair—absolutely!

Payson and Parker Schnabel have both spoken about the importance of family, and used social media to showcase photos of the pair with their grandpa and parents over the years.

While Payson still avoids most of the limelight as he works on the family business from behind the scenes, he and his brother are quite comfortable together in front of the camera.

Parker Schnabel has largely taken the lead when it comes to mining and as the face of the Gold Rush, and it is clear to viewers and fans that Payson is comfortable leaving that area to his younger brother.

Payson, on the other hand, is given a freer rein behind the scenes as he and Roger Schnabel look to invest in the future of The Big Nugget gold mining company.

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How often has Payson been on Gold Rush?

Payson first appeared on the third episode of Gold Rush back in 2012, titled Road to Gold.

He appeared twice in 2014, in Grandpa’s Last Wish and Grandpa John, before appearing for the last time in 2016 in a memorial episode following John Schnabel’s death.

The episode—named Remembering John Schnabel—aired on April 1st of that year.


There is no information available about Payson Schnabel’s romantic life.

Payson Schnabel – Net Worth

Payson Schnabel has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.

Parker Schnabel’s net worth is estimated at $10 million.

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