10 High-Paying Jobs That Could Make You a Millionaire

Updated November 22, 2023

Many job seekers consider potential long-term earnings when choosing a career path. There are many roles and industries that pay high salaries. There's no one category of jobs for millionaires, but working at a high-paying job and taking care of your money could potentially make you a millionaire one day. (We've intentionally left off jobs that require unique talents and abilities, like professional athlete, musician and actor.)

In this article, we'll take a look at the highest-paying industries, 10 careers that can pay enough money to potentially make you a millionaire and tips for finding a job.

Highest-paying industries

Jobs in the health care sector pay the highest regular wages, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with surgeons topping the list at $239,200 annually. Architecture and engineering, computer and information technology, legal, science, management and math occupations also pay well, with salaries well above $100,000 annually for the top jobs in each industry group. Yes, some finance workers receive large bonuses, salespeople earn commissions and athletes can make millions for a few months of work a year. But, the median annual pay for a financial analyst is $96,220. For a financial services salesperson, it's $67,480. And for a pro athlete, it's $94,270. Exceptional people who provide a valuable service have the best shot at making exceptional salaries. The jobs below can put you on the right track to becoming a millionaire.

10 high-paying jobs

Here are 10 jobs that pay well and are usually in high demand, factors that can help you become a millionaire in time if you invest and manage your money well.

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link(s) provided.

1. Pilot

National average salary: $107,395 per year

Primary duties: Airline and commercial pilots use aircraft to transport passengers and cargo on scheduled or unscheduled flights. They perform pre-flight vehicle inspections and use specialized equipment to fly the plane and control all aspects of its movement, handling their aircraft through all types of weather and reacting to in-flight mechanical issues. Captains are the pilots in charge of each flight, and first officers are second in command.

Communication, problem-solving and observational skills are all important for pilots. Commercial pilots need training and sometimes a degree. Airline pilots usually need a bachelor's degree and experience flying commercially or for the military. All pilots need certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The BLS expects employment of pilots to grow 4% annually through 2032, about the same as the average for all jobs.

Read more: Learn About Becoming a Pilot

2. Actuary

National average salary: $114,089 per year

Primary duties: Actuaries use math, statistics and analytics to assess a company's financial risk. They often work for insurance companies, banks, investors, government agencies, hospitals and other risk-averse entities. Actuaries use equations to calculate probability and the financial consequences of taking certain risks.

Actuaries need strong math, analytic and computer skills and a bachelor's degree in a math-related field. They must also be certified by the Casualty Actuarial Society, the Society of Actuaries or both. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts employment of actuaries will grow 23% through 2032, significantly faster than the average for all jobs.

Read more: 12 Best Jobs for Actuaries

3. Computer network architect

National average salary: $129,977 per year

Primary duties: Computer network architects design, build and manage data communications networks. They ensure the network operates efficiently, manage network security and perform maintenance and upgrades as needed.

Network architects need analytical and organizational skills and at least a bachelor's degree. Some employers prefer a master's, doctorate or Master of Business Administration in information systems degree. Certifications from various software and hardware vendors can also be helpful. The BLS predicts employment of network architects will grow 4% annually through 2032, about the same as the overall rate.

Related: What is a Network Architect?

4. Air traffic controller

National average salary: $132,250 per year

Primary duties: Air traffic controllers monitor the movement of aircraft and ground vehicles in and through their assigned areas. They work for airports or the government, scrutinizing weather reports, maps and fuel requirements to find the best routes for pilots. Controllers issue clearances and instructions to maintain safety and efficiency and may also handle air traffic emergencies.

They need problem-solving, decision-making, math skills, and an associate or bachelor's degree. Air traffic controllers must also be U.S. citizens and pass medical, background and Federal Aviation Administration checks. Newly hired controllers complete a yearlong training program. The BLS predicts the employment of air traffic controllers will grow 1% annually through 2032, slightly slower than the overall rate.

Note that figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) helped supplement data from Indeed.

Related: How to Become an Air Traffic Controller

5. Petroleum engineer

National average salary: $133,187 per year

Primary duties: Petroleum engineers develop plans to safely extract oil and natural gas from the earth. They design equipment, ensure it's installed and maintained correctly and monitor operations at extraction sites while controlling production costs. Petroleum engineers may specialize in predicting how much a reservoir will yield, drilling, production or completion.

They need problem-solving and analytical skills and a bachelor's degree, though some employers prefer candidates to have a master's. All U.S. states require engineers to be licensed, and petroleum engineers can also apply for certification from the Society of Petroleum Engineers. The BLS predicts the employment of petroleum engineers will grow 2% annually through 2032, about the same as the overall rate.

Related: How to Become a Petroleum Engineer

6. Lawyer

National average salary: $135,740 per year

Primary duties: Lawyers advise business, government and individual clients on legal matters and represent them in court or arbitration. They also prepare and review legal documents and contracts and may specialize in criminal, family, corporate, personal injury, employment or other types of law.

Lawyers need persuasion, problem-solving and research skills to succeed. They also must have a law degree, typically a bachelor's and a Juris Doctor degree, which takes about seven years of full-time study. Some legal specialties require additional education or certification, and all lawyers must pass the bar exam for their state. The BLS predicts the employment of lawyers will grow 8% annually through 2032, roughly double the overall average growth for all jobs.

Note that figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) helped supplement data from Indeed.

Read more: Learn About Being a Lawyer

7. Physicist

National average salary: $142,850 per year

Primary duties: Physicists study the interaction of matter and energy, looking for solutions to scientific and technological problems. They design and conduct experiments, develop theories, design new equipment and computer software and create models to explain physical phenomena. Subcategories include theoretical, experimental and applied physics.

Important skills include analytical, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, as well as self-discipline and self-motivation. Physicists who work for the U.S. government may only need a bachelor's degree, but those employed in private research and universities need a Ph.D. The BLS predicts the employment of physicists will grow 5% annually through 2032, slightly faster than the overall average growth for all jobs.

Note that figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) helped supplement data from Indeed.

Read more: Learn About Becoming a Physicist

8. Computer and information systems manager

National average salary: $164,070 per year

Primary duties: Computer and information systems managers plan, implement and oversee all computer and information technology (IT) activities in a company or other entity. Also called IT managers or IT project managers, they may have input on an organization's IT goals, maintain system security and hire and manage the work of IT personnel. IT managers can be an organization's chief technology officer (CTO), chief information officer (CIO), IT security manager or IT director.

Successful IT managers need analytical, leadership and organizational skills. They typically have a bachelor's degree in computer or information science and related experience. Some jobs require advanced degrees and specialized certifications. The BLS predicts the employment of computer and information systems managers to grow 15% annually through 2032, significantly higher than the overall average.

Note that figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) helped supplement data from Indeed.

Related: How to Become a Computer and Information Systems Manager

9. Dentist

National average salary: $226,757 per year

Primary duties: Dentists provide preventative oral care and diagnose and treat conditions and diseases of the mouth, especially the teeth and gums. They create treatment plans, prescribe medication, administer anesthetics, remove decay, fill cavities and repair or remove damaged teeth. Dentists may specialize in oral surgery, endodontics (root canals), orthodontics, periodontics or pediatrics.

Essential qualities for a dentist include manual dexterity, patience and communication and problem-solving skills. Aspiring dentists start with a bachelor's degree and then obtain a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). Specialists need additional training. All states require dentists to be licensed, and some also stipulate certification in certain areas like CPR. The BLS predicts the employment of dentists will grow 4% annually through 2032, about the same as all jobs.

Related: What Does a Dentist Do?

10. Surgeon

National average salary: $239,200 per year

Primary duties: Surgeons diagnose and treat patients using surgical and non-surgical interventions. They usually specialize in one body part or system, such as hands, backs or the gastrointestinal system, or patient groups like pediatrics or trauma victims. Surgeons examine patients, review their medical histories, discuss treatment options and perform surgeries.

In addition to medical training, surgeons need manual dexterity, physical stamina and compassion, along with communication, problem-solving and leadership skills. Count on at least 11 years to become a surgeon since you must complete a bachelor's degree and a medical degree, which each takes four years. Residency programs, where a doctor trains in a hospital or clinic, last another three to nine years. Some specialties necessitate further study. All doctors, including surgeons, must be licensed, though the requirements vary by state. The BLS predicts employment of surgeons to grow 2% annually through 2032, about the same as the overall average.

Note that figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) helped supplement data from Indeed.

Related: Learn About Being a Surgeon

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How to find millionaire jobs

You can find potential millionaire jobs in nearly any industry or location. These roles typically don't pay million-dollar salaries or even six figures a year. Instead, successful professionals in these high-paying jobs have the potential to become millionaires with careful planning and good spending and saving habits. Here are some steps to better your chances of achieving millionaire status:

  • Pursue relevant education: You may be required to complete a bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline to land a high-paying job. Some roles require graduate-level education, while others offer more advancement and increased earnings when you earn an advanced degree.

  • Gain industry-specific skills: Consider refining the skills needed in high-paying roles to make yourself a more competitive candidate. You can also complete professional certifications to demonstrate your qualifications to current or prospective employers.

  • Advance in your career: To further increase your salary, complete years of work experience. Aim to be a top performer to earn promotions and pursue leadership or executive-level roles. These positions often offer pay increases to accommodate increased responsibility.

  • Look for investment opportunities: In addition to earning a good salary, you should save and invest your money wisely so it grows and you increase your chances of attaining millionaire status. Look for jobs that not only pay well but also offer benefits, like bonuses, commissions and stock options. Then, be patient while your wealth grows.

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