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. If you do conversion dollar to euro, you will see that these celebrities are some of the wealthiest individuals across the globe. They earn huge amount of money from different sources such as endorsements, advertisements, commercials, and 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 surgery‚Ķ 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.