GOBankingRates

43 Jobs That Can Make You a Millionaire Before Retirement

10 min Read

PeopleImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

PeopleImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Many Americans harbor a dream of becoming a millionaire, but precious few manage to reach that goal in their lifetime. After all, the multitude of costs that come with living and raising a family make saving enough income to hit that second comma on your net worth a challenging feat. You need the sort of job that’s going to pay well in excess of what it takes to cover your bills.

So which jobs can you expect to accomplish that? To answer the question, GOBankingRates used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine the average salaries of many common jobs. Then, it deducted the cost of federal taxes and the average cost of living from that figure to show how much income you would have left over after covering the basics. Using that figure, the study then calculated how long it will take you to save up that $1 million while making an average salary in the profession.

It doesn’t factor in the cost of your education — obviously a major expenditure for many of these occupations, based on their requirements — or how you can grow your savings through investment, but it should still give you a clear sense of how fast someone can stash away money in each job.

So, who can expect to reach that million-dollar goal the fastest? Here’s a look at which jobs will get you there.

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43. Petroleum Engineers

  • Annual salary: $142,800
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $107,528
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $40,600
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 24 years 7 months 12 days

42. Compensation and Benefits Managers

  • Annual salary: $143,140
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $107,760
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $40,832
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 24 years 5 months 22 days

Check Out: 5 Ways To Use AI To Generate Passive Income

41. Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

  • Annual salary: $144,610
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $108,765
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $41,837
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 23 years 10 months 20 days

40. Human Resources Managers

  • Annual salary: $145,750
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $109,544
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $42,616
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 23 years 5 months 13 days

39. Advertising and Promotions Managers

  • Annual salary: $147,050
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $110,433
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $43,505
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 22 years 11 months 19 days
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38. Public Relations Managers

  • Annual salary: $150,030
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $112,470
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $45,542
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 21 years 11 month 9 days

37. Physicists

  • Annual salary: $150,130
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $112,538
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $45,610
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 21 years 10 months 28 days

36. Sales Managers

  • Annual salary: $150,530
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $112,811
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $45,883
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 21 years 9 months 11 days

35. Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates

  • Annual salary: $153,700
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $114,978
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $48,050
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 20 years 9 months 17 days

34. Broadcast Announcers and Radio Disc Jockeys

  • Annual salary: $155,730
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $116,366
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $49,438
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 20 years 2 months 16 days
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33. Computer and Information Research Scientists

  • Annual salary: $155,880
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $116,468
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $49,540
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 20 years 2 months 1 days

32. Podiatrists

  • Annual salary: $157,970
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $118,896
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $50,968
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 19 years 7 months 10 days

31. Marketing Managers

  • Annual salary: $158,280
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $118,109
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $51,181
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 19 years 6 months 10 days

30. Architectural and Engineering Managers

  • Annual salary: $163,310
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $121,740
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $54,812
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 18 years 2 months 23 days

29. Natural Sciences Managers

  • Annual salary: $163,610
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $121,963
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $55,035
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 18 years 1 month 27 days

28. Lawyers

  • Annual salary: $163,770
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $122,082
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $55,154
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 18 years 1 month 12 days
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27. Financial Managers

  • Annual salary: $166,050
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $123,782
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $56,854
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 17 years 6 month 28 days

26. Dentists, General

  • Annual salary: $172,290
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $128,433
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $61,505
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 16 years 3 months 0 days

25. Computer and Information Systems Managers

  • Annual salary: $173,670
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $129,462
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $62,534
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 15 years 11 months 23 days

24. Pediatricians, General

  • Annual salary: $203,240
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $150,894
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $83,966
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 11 years 10 months 25 days

23. Nurse Anesthetists

  • Annual salary: $205,770
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $152,556
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $85,628
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 11 years 8 months 2 days

22. Orthodontists

  • Annual salary: $216,320
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $159,482
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $92,554
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 10 years 9 months 17 days
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21. Family Medicine Physicians

  • Annual salary: $224,4460
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $164,826
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $97,898
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 10 years 2 months 14 days

20. General Internal Medicine Physicians

  • Annual salary: $225,270
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $165,358
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $98,430
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 10 years 1 month 25 days

19. Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

  • Annual salary: $225,740
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $165,666
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $98,738
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 10 years 1 month 13 days

18. Dentists, All Other Specialists

  • Annual salary: $233,430
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $170,714
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $103,786
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 9 years 7 months 17 days

17. Physicians, All Other

  • Annual salary: $238,700
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $174,174
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $107,246
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 9 years 3 months 26 days
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16. Chief Executives

  • Annual salary: $246,440
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $179,215
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $112,287
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 8 years 10 months 24 days

15. Psychiatrists

  • Annual salary: $247,350
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $179,785
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $112,857
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 8 years 10 months 8 days

14. Physicians, Pathologists

  • Annual salary: $252,850
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $183,231
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $116,303
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 8 years 7 months 4 days

13. Neurologists

  • Annual salary: $255,510
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $184,897
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $117,969
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 8 years 5 months 21 days

12. Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric

  • Annual salary: $265,450
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $191,125
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $124,197
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 8 years 0 months 17 days

11. Obstetricians and Gynecologists

  • Annual salary: $277,320
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $198,562
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $131,634
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 7 years 7 months 4 days
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10. Anesthesiologists

  • Annual salary: $302,970
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $214,631
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $147,703
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 6 years 9 months 6 days

9. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

  • Annual salary: $309,410
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $218,665
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $151,737
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 6 years 7 months 2 days

8. Emergency Medicine Physicians

  • Annual salary: $316,600
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $223,171
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $156,243
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 6 years 4 months 24 days

7. Dermatologists

  • Annual salary: $327,650
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $230,093
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $163,165
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 6 years 1 month 14 days

6. Radiologists

  • Annual salary: $329,080
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $230,989
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $164,061
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 6 years 1 months 2 days
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5. Surgeons, All Other

  • Annual salary: $347,870
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $242,761
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $175,833
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 5 years 8 months 6 days

4. Athletes and Sports Competitors

  • Annual salary: $358,080
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $249,158
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $182,230
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 5 years 5 months 25 days

3. Pediatric Surgeons

  • Annual salary: $362,970
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $252,221
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $185,293
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 5 years 4 months 22 days

2. Orthopedic Surgeons, Except Pediatric

  • Annual salary: $371,400
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $257,503
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $190,575
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 5 years 2 months 27 days

1. Cardiologists

  • Annual salary: $421,330
  • Annual salary after federal taxes: $288,783
  • Annual income after average expenditures: $221,855
  • How long it takes to earn a million dollars: 4 years 6 months 2 days

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Jake Arky, Jordan Rosenfeld and Joel Anderson contributed to the reporting for this article. 

Methodology: To determine the jobs that can make you a millionaire before 65, GOBankingRates analyzed salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; jobs used in this study have the highest mean pay as of May 2022, according to its Occupational Employment Statistics .The study takes the annual salary of each given job, subtracts Federal income taxes (FICA and Medicare taxes included) and the average cost of living in the United States, based on average annual expenditure, sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey; the difference left over is then multiplied by 35, 30, and 25 years in order to find out whether that job will get you past the $1 million threshold. *Note: The majority of these jobs require additional schooling and the cost of schooling is not accounted for in the study. The study assumes that the listed salary is the salary you earn every year for the given period. All income taxes calculated using in-house calculator using 2023 tax brackets as sourced from the Tax Foundation. All data was collected on and up to date as of May 1, 2023.

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