How do you become a millionaire by collecting a paycheck at the end of each month? When we think about very high paying jobs, we often point to entrepreneurs, or specialist occupations such as acting or being in band (the successful ones at least), but not the regular folks clocking into work day in and day out. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in 2016 was $59,039, so saving one million is no small feat. In fact, according to Statistica, only 12.4 percent of American households earn $75,000 – $99,000; 14.1 percent earn $100,000 – $149,000; 6.6 percent earn $150,000 – $199,000 and 7 percent earn over $200,000. So, what kind of job do you need to get your cool million? That’s what we’ll find out today, in this episode of the Infographics Show, Regular jobs that could soon make you a millionaire.

Before we start the list, we understand that where you work, from country to city to the actual workplace, will all affect the wage bracket. What we’ll do here is look at averages and also what career websites tell us. Most of the data out there – in English at least – relates to jobs in the USA. We could say, however, that if an occupation pays a high salary in one country, then it likely does in another, in relative terms at least. We should also add that there will no doubt be plenty of high-paying jobs we didn’t mention, because such a list would too vast. So now we begin.

10. A number of tech-related positions recently made a list of all the best positions in tech, featuring IT workers in regular companies rather than tech entrepreneurs.  The top three positions were: eCommerce vice president ($172,400); Vice president of information technology ($162,900); and Chief information security officer ($162,400). We then clicked on the links for positions available for each job, and there were plenty. These are jobs of course that you can’t just walk into, as they require experience in the field. They are, however, jobs that may not require you to attend university if you have proven yourself to be exceptionally good at what you do. That’s some hope to those people who want a great salary but didn’t have the perfect start in life.

9. Pediatrician

 Photo by didesign021/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by didesign021/iStock / Getty Images

For this job, you will have to study a lot. These people take care of kids, both younger and older. The word “Pediatrics” actually means “healer of children.” And a very fulfilling occupation it can be. One pediatrician said in an interview, “It’s one of the few jobs where a doctor gets to hug his patients.” According to, there will be a growing need for these people, and the median salary is currently around $168,990. As for how to become one, that depends on where you live. But for many countries, you’ll need a university degree and then have to complete medical school.

8. Dentist

We all know the expense of getting our teeth fixed, so it’s not surprising that dentists are well paid. Again, it all depends on how much experience you have, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the median wage in 2016 in the U.S. was $159,770. Some dentists, however, earn as much as $208,000. What about that tricky root canal procedure you need? That’s done by an endodontist and they can earn anywhere from $100,000 to $400,000 a year. That’s one of the best salaries out there if you are at the top of the pack. You need to pass dental school to become a dentist, and to become an endodontist you’ll have to do postgraduate training in endodontics.

7. Psychiatrist

If you don’t have your own practice, and you don’t treat the rich and famous for outlandish hourly rates, you may not need to, because labor statistics tell us their median salary is $194,740. Many of the higher paid healers of the mind get over $210,000, but when you are just starting out, you may only be paid around $75,000. According to the website PayScale, these people have high job satisfaction. It also says the best in the business can earn over $300,000. Again, this is not an easy job to get. You’ll have to complete medical school, and then do another four years applying yourself to a psychiatry residency. Then to become board certified, you’ll have to pass exams at the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Then, and only then, can you start charging Hollywood actors $1,000 an hour.

6. Petroleum Engineer

PayScale puts the yearly salary for these people at anywhere from $59,906 – $195,807, and it all depends on which firm you are working for. The averages, though, seem to be about $150,000. What will you be doing? Well, finding crude oil or natural gas, or maintaining the flow of it. This is, err, a very crude description (pun intended). People going into this field often study physics, but they might have studied chemical or mining engineering. They then usually train for some time within a company. It’s seen as a great job to have, but be warned, there have been big layoffs in the past when the price of oil decreased.

5. Corporate lawyer

Ok, so not all corporate lawyers get paid anything near as much as some of the jobs we’ve just talked about. The average wage for all lawyers is around $100,000 according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, but that could easily go up to $210,000 for those that know their game and are in demand. As for those at the tip of the iceberg working for the biggest firms, well, it was reported that in 2012 Qualcomm’s Donald Rosenberg was pulling in $9,840,184 a year. In fact, many of these big company lawyers earn millions. It’s time-consuming to get to the top, as you’ll need to take a four-year undergraduate course, followed by law school and then you need to pass the bar exam to be certified. Then you have many years to prove yourself before you get to the big money.

4. Actuary

An actuary works in business and measures risk. It’s an important job, as they tell you how you might lose money, whether it is in investments or insurance or all manner of things. They should keep you from stressing. The job has been rated as the most desirable occupation to go into in the past, and the wage isn’t bad either. CNNMoney puts the median pay at $132,000, but it can go up to $204,000. It will take years to become qualified and you will have to pass a series of difficult examinations. The reason this is so high on the list is because there doesn’t seem to be a low wage for these people.

3. Anesthesiologist

 Photo by torwai/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by torwai/iStock / Getty Images

Now we get to the big guns. For putting you to sleep, or numbing you up, and making sure nothing bad happens to you, anesthesiologists get paid anywhere from $208,000 – $399,629, but some as much as $450,000. They have an important role to fill in life, and that is ensuring we don’t pass out from pain or suffer too much. We’ve come a long way since a bottle of whiskey and a stick in the mouth before an amputation takes place. It’s super stressful, given that most days you have lives in your hands. You’ll need medical school training after earning a degree, and then you’ll have to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination. After that you will be an intern for a year and after that do a three-year residency in anesthesiology. You can then take an exam with the American Board of Anesthesiology.

2. Radiologist

According to CNN the median salary for radiologists is $316,000 but the pay can be as much as $492,000. The lowest wages we could find were closer to around $170,000. PayScale says different, putting the median salary at $260,843 per year, although it does say you can earn much more than that. What do they do? We think you know, they take X-Rays and they analyze images and make recommendations. Again, they can’t really afford to mess up as it could mean the end of someone’s life. You get paid handsomely for such a job. The same applies to this job as the last one, in terms of qualifications and length of study – but of course applying yourself to radiology and not anesthesiology.

1. Surgeon

Maybe you guessed it, because it seems life and death types of jobs are the highest paid in terms of regular jobs. According to Forbes in 2012, the average wage for an orthopedic surgeon was $519,000. In general, Payscale puts a surgeon’s wage at anywhere from $103,098 – $397,465. We guess it just depends on experience, where you work, and what field you are working in. It seems there are no surgeons earning very little, though. You could say being a surgeon means going in and fixing the body after the last two jobs have done their bit. It’s up to you now. Chron tells us that heart and brain surgeons earn on average well over $700,000. How do you become a neurosurgeon? Degree, medical school, medical exam, one-year internship, 6- to 8-year neurosurgical residency, get your license, and you are good to go.

None of these jobs sound easy, but all of them are achievable with hardwork and determination. So, which jobs do you think we should have added to the list? Let us know in the comments. 




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