Million Dollar Careers: What a Salary Looks like by Profession

The United States Census Bureau reported the 2012 national median income for Americans is $51,017. This number varies slightly by age – individuals age 45-54 make the most, with a median income of $66,411; race – Asian Americans make the most, with a median income of $68,636; and gender – men with incomes make $11,607 more than women with incomes.

So what does a million dollar career look like? And what about a career at the national average, or below? Here is a list of professions, broken down by salary bracket.

$15,000,000 – $30,000,000 – Professional Athlete

25 MLB players made more than $15 million in 2013 alone. Topping the list? Alex Rodriguez, third baseman for the New York Yankees, who racked in $30 million in 2013.

$10,000,000 – Reality TV Star

Kim Kardashian’s estimated earnings for 2013 were $10 million. Where does she earn all of that dough? Reality TV shows, guest appearances and her family’s clothing line, among others.

$5,000,000 – Chicago-area CEOs

The average CEO salary of a Chicago-based CEO is $5 million, according to a recent Crain’s Chicago Business article. While this number includes additional benefits beyond base pay, such as stock options, pensions and year-end rewards, this number isn’t too shabby for the Chicago elite.

$1,000,000,000 – A Banker in London

While several bankers in London make at least 1,000,000 British pounds, (the equivalent of US $1.6 million) many feel it’s just not enough. Check out the logic of these British millionaires.

$500,000 – Brain Surgeon (Neurologist)

The average salary of a United States Neurologist is $529,176, according to Wow, that salary is high! It’s not like it’s brain surgeryâÂ?¦ err, maybe it is!

$400,000 – President of the United States

While the United States President makes a cool $400,000 a year in salary, the President and First Lady filed a 2012 adjusted gross income of $608,611. Where did they find the extra income? Book deals and interest for invested securities.

$150,000 – Dentist

The average salary for a dentist in a major U.S. city is around $150,000. Interestingly, this number doesn’t vary much across location. From San Francisco to Boston, Cincinnati to Miami, the range is pretty consistently from $140-$150K.

$100,000 – An attorney in Ohio

While the starting salary varies by firm, Ohio is home to an average attorney salary of $100,000. Lawyers will need this double-than-national-average salary to help pay back all of those student loans.

$70,000 – A Teacher in Illinois

Illinois is the highest paying state for high school teachers, with the average salary at $69,830. It’s good to see that the individuals teaching our nation’s future are paid above the national average, althought not much more!

$40,000 – New York City (NYC) Firefighter

The starting salary of a NYC firefighter is a blazing $43,074, almost $8,000 below the national average. Good news is, the number jumps to $99,104 after just five years of service. That’s a nice promotion schedule.

$20,000 – Food Service Worker

The average salary of a food service worker is $24,613. Assuming 52 weeks of 40 hour work weeks, that number actually averages out to $11.80 an hour, more than $4 higher than the national minimum wage of $7.25, yet still half of the national average.

There you have it. From the ultra-rich to the minimum wage careers, this is what a million dollar (and a $20K) salary looks like.

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