Million dollar jobs for regular people

Does it ever seem to you that earning a lot of money is impossible? Surprisingly, million dollar jobs are more common than you might think.

They aren’t everywhere you look, and in most cases they have to be developed or even created from scratch. But once you’ve decided what you want to do, it may just take a lot of elbow grease for as many years as it takes to get there.

If you want to earn seven figures, we have provided the following list of job opportunities. Some seem conventional, even obvious, others less so.

As you read the reviews below, keep in mind that we focus on the higher end of the pay scale in each area. If you search job boards, you’ll likely find much lower average pay levels. We don’t cover the average salary for average people but the best pay for those willing to put in the effort to get there.

And it can happen.

  1. business leaders
  2. Contractors
  3. Real estate agents
  4. Investment bankers
  5. Franchise owners
  6. surgeons
  7. Law Firm Partners
  8. Management Consultants
  9. Social Media Influencers
  10. Final Thoughts on Million Dollar Jobs

business leaders

Bloomberg recently reported that the average CEO compensation of an S&P 500 company is $18.3 million! They also included a list of the 14 highest paid executives in the United States, all earning over $200 million. Topping the list was Tesla’s Elon Musk with over $10 billion a year!

It may look like an elite group of executives; after all, they are the leaders of the 500 biggest companies in the country. But there are plenty of CEO positions in small companies that also pay over $1 million a year. And along with CEOs, there are also corporate presidents, chief financial officers (CFOs), chief information officers (CIOs), and even a good number of vice presidents who earn seven figures a year.


CNBC recently reported on a millennial mom who started a million-dollar business at the age of 33. How did she do it? Etsy! That’s about as basic as it gets in the realm of entrepreneurship, but it proves that it’s possible to generate a seven-figure income from scratch.

What is equally interesting about this woman’s story is that she is something of a serial entrepreneur. Along with her Etsy business, she has a blog and a series of online courses on creating additional income streams.

Not everyone who starts a business sees their income jump to $1 million. But stories like this show that it is possible. Millions of people start businesses every year, and enough success to retain new hires. It usually takes several years to reach this level, so don’t be discouraged if your current business idea isn’t reaping big rewards yet.

Real estate agents

If you’ve never heard of Graham Stephan, he’s someone you need to pay close attention to if you want to succeed in any business. He became a multi-millionaire in his twenties and currently has a very successful Youtube channel.

But Stephan got his start in real estate sales as a teenager. After a college education, he jumped straight into the real estate industry, first as a photographer and then as an agent. He rose through the ranks as an agent to become one of the most successful in the Los Angeles market, all during the “bad real estate market” of the 2008 recession.

There are a lot of people who work as real estate agents, and obviously the vast majority never make close to a million dollars. But with hard work, dedication, and serial self-improvement, it is possible to do it.

Investment bankers

According to the Mergers & Inquisitions site (this is not a misprint, it is investigation, not Acquisitions), investment bankers can earn more than $1 million a year. This applies, at least to general managers and managers who are senior vice presidents.

The table below published on this website shows the levels of remuneration. Note that even analysts, who are at the entry level, can earn up to $250,000 per year. But the pay scale increases dramatically from there.

typical age
Base salary
Deadline for
Analyst 22 – 27 $100 to $125,000 $150 to $250,000 2-3 years
Associated 25 – 35 $175 to $225,000 $300 to $550,000 3-4 years old
vice president 28 – 40 $250 to $300,000 $500-900,000 3-4 years old
Director / Senior
vice president
32 – 45 $300 to $350,000 $800 to $1,200,000 2-3 years
Direct management 35 – 50 $400 to $600,000 $1,000 to $3,000,000 n / A

In case you are unfamiliar with what an investment banker is, they are professionals who provide a wide variety of financial services to corporate clients, including investment advice. The profession is commonly associated with mergers and acquisitions between companies.

Franchise owners

Back when I was an accountant at CPA firms, I worked for franchise owners who made seven figures. I will not say that it is a common income for the group. But it’s much more likely with some franchises than others.

The franchise is a very diverse group. Many of these are low-level business, where an aspiring business owner invests a few thousand dollars to join a franchise organization, primarily to benefit from the marketing and advertising of the business. But that’s usually not where the big bucks are.

In the actual examples I have witnessed, most million dollar franchise owners were involved in the fast food industry. Some fast food franchises are serious money-makers. They not only have top-notch marketing, but they also know exactly where to locate restaurants.

A client I worked with had multiple stores with the same food franchise chain. He wasn’t making $1 million a year but several million dollars. If you’ve ever seen the movie The Blind Side, the rich dad owned “like a million Taco Bells.” It happens in the real world.


Contrary to what many think, not everyone who wears a variation of the “MD” designation makes close to a million dollars. But there are specializations in the field where it is possible.

Surgeons are perhaps the most common example. Their work is highly specialized and they can earn several times more than general practitioners and even emergency doctors.

Some of the highest paid in the field include brain surgeons, heart surgeons, and especially reconstructive surgeons.

The reconstruction industry, commonly referred to as plastic surgeons, can be particularly lucrative. It is not uncommon to see highly paid reconstructive surgeons offering their services to the wealthy at high prices.

Law Firm Partners

Law is another very segregated area, from a compensation perspective. The salary of a lawyer depends on the area of ​​specialization, the company that employs him and even the location of the company.

Remuneration in large law firms is significantly higher than in smaller ones, especially among sole practitioners. The average partner compensation at a large law firm is $1.39 million.

Partners of law firms located in major cities, such as New York and Washington DC, are at the top of the pay scale. And there are certain areas of specialization where the pay is above the norm. This will certainly be the case for law firms that typically represent parties in high-profile court cases or merger and acquisition transactions.

Management Consultants

The word “consultant” is one of the most overused terms in the employment world. It’s a catch-all when a more descriptive term isn’t available. For example, there are sales advisors, financial advisors, insurance advisors, etc.

But unlike those other job descriptions, the management consultant is very specific. They are usually independent professionals who help companies improve certain aspects of their business or even solve specific problems. The best in the field can earn over a million dollars a year.

There is a well-defined career path to becoming a management consultant. An MBA is a typical required degree. Many independent consultants start with a management consulting firm or even a large CPA firm. In most cases, the consultant will work with large, well-known clients, providing hands-on experience of the best kind.

The best consultants become specialists in specific industries and are usually self-employed. For example, a management consultant may specialize in finance, marketing, management, or mergers and acquisitions. The higher the specialization and skill level, the higher the pay.

Business Insider recently reported that a social media influencer booked $700,000 in brand deals in just six months. This gives you an idea of ​​the potential earning power. Obviously, this is becoming a very lucrative field.

Social media influencer is a relatively new profession. Or, more accurately, it’s more of an entrepreneurial venture than an occupation. This is because your success in this area is highly dependent on the size of your social networks.

Social media influencers are even broken down by size. A nano influencer is someone with less than 10,000 followers. Micro-influencers have up to 100,000, while macro or mega-influencers have several hundred thousand or even more than a million.

The larger the suite, the higher the income. The lady who made $700,000 in six months has reported 275,000 followers on Instagram. And there’s no shortage of highly-followed people earning huge sums on YouTube. Essentially, advertisers are willing to pay attractive fees to get people with large social media followings to endorse their products and services.

If you already have several thousand followers on one of the major social media platforms, you might want to try your hand at this area. This can be especially lucrative if your tracking is based on a specific niche, such as travel, cooking, working out, or one of many aspects of finance.

Final Thoughts on Million Dollar Jobs

It’s a good time to remind yourself that these aren’t the kinds of jobs you can passively pursue, at least not if you want to make $1 million or more. In every field there are thousands, maybe tens of thousands of people working in the profession. You’ll only make it to the big leagues money-wise if you’re willing to outplay your competition.

Each of these jobs has the demonstrated potential to make seven figures. You will need to put in the effort, work in a profession or industry that matches you and your skills well, and be willing to work longer and harder than you ever imagined.

The payoff will be that coveted $1 million income.

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