Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, with 57 million millennials working or looking for work as of 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. If you’re a millennial, you’re likely looking for jobs that give you the opportunity to work among your peers and also have a high earning potential. But, which jobs offer the highest salaries for millennials who want to earn six figures?
In a recent study, GOBankingRates determined the top jobs for millennials who want to make six figures by analyzing the jobs that had the highest employment among millennials and then ranking them by average salary. The number of years it would take to earn six figures at each job was calculated by assuming that workers would receive a 3.1 percent salary increase each year, based on Aon data showing average compensation increases for 2019. If you’re a millennial who wants to get a job earning six figures, keep reading to see which jobs made the list.
If you’re a creative millennial, you might consider a career as a designer. Designers can work in a number of fields and concentrations, including graphic design, interior design, fashion design, floral design and industrial design. There are nearly 299,000 millennials who work as designers in the U.S. — making it one of the most popular millennial jobs — and the average salary for the job is $48,720. It takes approximately 24 years in the workforce to earn six figures as a designer.
Paralegals and Legal Assistants
Working in the legal field doesn’t always require a law degree. Paralegals and legal assistants conduct research and prepare documents to help lawyers in anticipation of a lawsuit initiation, defense or other legal action, and the job typically only requires an associate degree. With an average salary of $53,910, it usually takes 20 years in the field for paralegals to earn a six-figure salary. There are currently 104,000 millennials working as paralegals and legal assistants.
Computer Support Specialists
Millennials who want to work with computers and help others should consider a career as a computer support specialist. These specialists provide technical assistance to companies who rely on computer networks, as well as to individual computer users. There are 175,000 millennials who hold this position. With an average salary of $57,260, it takes an estimated 19 years to earn six figures in this role.
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
Market research analysts and marketing specialists look into market conditions and gather information — such as data on competition, prices and sales figures — to determine potential sales of a product or service in a given area. They can also help create marketing campaigns. The average salary for these marketing jobs is $71,450, so it would take 14 years in the role to earn a six-figure salary. There are 125,000 millennials who hold these positions.
Registered nurse is the No. 1 job among millennials, with 842,000 people in the 25-to-34 age range employed in this healthcare profession. The average salary for registered nurses is $73,550, so it would take 11 years to earn six figures.
Love the internet? Make your mark on the World Wide Web as a web developer. These developers design, create and update websites to meet user needs. It takes 11 years to earn a six-figure salary as a web developer, which has an average salary of $74,110. Approximately 74,000 millennials work in this role.
Credit Counselors and Loan Officers
Credit counselors work with businesses and individuals to advise them on acquiring and managing debt, while loan officers evaluate, authorize or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses. The average salary for these jobs is $74,940, so it would take 11 years to earn a six-figure salary. There are 86,000 millennials who hold these jobs.
Accountants and Auditors
After registered nurse, accountant/auditor is the job employing the highest number of millennials, with 481,000 people ages 25 to 34 holding these positions. People in accountant/auditor roles prepare and examine financial records, including tax forms. The average salary is $77,920, so it typically takes nine years on the job to earn a six-figure salary.
Psychologists study the way people think and behave to help them come up with ways to improve their mindset and behaviors. There are 38,000 millennials working as psychologists, and the average salary for this healthcare job is $82,770. That means it would take roughly seven years to start earning a six-figure salary in this position.
If you want to get a high-paying job in healthcare, you might consider a job as an occupational therapist. These professionals help people with illnesses, injuries and disabilities recover and improve their skills for everyday needs. There are 39,000 millennials who work as occupational therapists, and the average salary for the job is $84,640. It takes about six years as an occupational therapist to reach six-figure earnings.
Computer programmers write and test code for applications and software. The average salary for this tech job is $87,530, so it would take five years to make a six-figure salary as a programmer. There are 117,000 millennials in the U.S. who work as computer programmers.
Physical therapists work with people who are injured or have chronic conditions to improve their movement and manage their pain. About 96,000 millennials work as physical therapists, who earn an average salary of $88,080. Based on the average pay, it would take about five years to earn a six-figure salary as a physical therapist.
Keeping things running smoothly is often the responsibility of an industrial engineer. These engineers ensure that businesses are operating as efficiently as possible by finding ways for them to eliminate wastefulness. The average industrial engineer salary is $90,500, so it would take about five years in the role to get up to a six-figure salary. There are 68,000 millennials who have this engineering job.
A love of numbers is a prerequisite for this job. Statisticians collect and analyze numerical data to find useful takeaways, and they can work in a number of different fields, including agriculture and business. There are roughly 30,000 millennials who work as statisticians. The average salary for this job is $88,980, so it would take approximately four years to reach a six-figure salary.
Database administrators store and organize data, such as shipping records and financial information. There are 34,000 millennials with this job, which has an average salary of $89,050. To get up to six figures, you typically have to work as a database administrator for four years.
Mechanical engineers design, develop and test a variety of mechanical devices, including tools, engines and machines. The job pays an average salary of $91,500, so it would take about three years to begin making a six-figure salary. There are 95,000 millennials who work as mechanical engineers.
If you’ve driven on a highway, you’ve experienced the product of civil engineering firsthand. These engineers are responsible for designing, building and maintaining infrastructure projects, such as roads, buildings and airports. The average civil engineer salary is $91,790, so it would take roughly three years to make six figures with this job. About 149,000 millennials work as civil engineers.
Computer Systems Analysts
Blending the worlds of business and information technology, computer systems analysts study businesses’ computer systems and procedures and determine ways to help companies use them more efficiently. The job comes with high pay — $92,740, on average — and about 193,000 millennials have this gig. With the high average salary, it takes only three years to score a six-figure paycheck as a computer systems analyst.
About 212,000 millennials work as management analysts, also called management consultants. People with this job advise companies on ways to cut costs and increase revenue. The average consultant salary is $93,440, so you’d hit six figures after three years on the job.
If you’re an investing pro, you’d be well-suited for a job as a financial analyst. These professionals advise businesses and individuals about their investment decisions by analyzing the performance of stocks, bonds and other investments. The average starting salary is pretty close to six figures — $99,430 — so you could be making $100,000 after just one year on the job.
More on Making Money at Your Job
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- Watch: How One Millennial Turned His Photography Passion Into a Profitable Business
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Methodology: GOBankingRates used Bureau of Labor Statistics age and occupation data to determine the 20 jobs in which millennials have the potential to make six figures. Pew Research Center data was used to define the core millennial age group as 25 to 34. Job occupations were filtered from highest to lowest millennial employment, and GOBankingRates used BLS salary data to find jobs with the highest millennial employment and potential to earn six figures. GOBankingRates assumed a 3.1 percent salary increase each year based on Aon data, which found that 3.1 percent is the average compensation increase for 2019. A 3.1 percent yearly salary increase was calculated in the context of each occupation to determine how long it would take a millennial to earn six figures. Occupations were ranked by number of years needed to make six figures, as well as starting salary. Three occupations that begin with a base salary of over six figures but require additional schooling were not included in the ranking.
About the Author
Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert.