Jobs That Pay $500K A YEAR


If you’ve ever wondered if there were any jobs or vocations that will fetch you a cool 500k annual paycheck, then this article is for you; here, I’ll try to pinpoint jobs that pay $500k. These jobs range from being a software developer to holding down a high-level CEO gig, then there is YouTube content creation and raking in the big bucks with a hit Movie role. In this article, I will explain why these careers are immensely profitable; and the requirements for being in such a position.

In these times of unrest, and uncertainty, largely due to the global effect of the covid-18 pandemic, most people are simply trying to get by, yet, would it surprise you that there are still folks who earn in the region of half a million dollars and upwards on an annual basis. According to the bureau of labor statistics, the average salary for a worker in America is in the region of $49k/year, throw in a few bills and rent and that’s really not much left. $500k is quite an amount of money to earn in a year, and the path to earning it is paved with long years of determination, hard work, networking, and sheer tenacity, plus talent. 

Here are Jobs that Pay $500k Per Year:


A doctor fresh out of med school is miles away from drawing a $500k a year, yet this is entirely feasible. This hardly implies that doctors are underpaid in the United States, far from it, according to Nomad health on Medium, they peg the mean salary of a doctor in the united states at a tidy 294k/year. But, here’s where it gets interesting, a Neurosurgeon, on average, pulls in more than $600k a year; the same goes for a thoracic surgeon and a couple of other specialties such as orthopedic surgery.

These doctors can earn even more than listed above; this depends on their employer’s skill level and value. It takes in the region of 8 years of studying to become a specialist in a field such as neurosurgery, which is one of the highest paying niches in the medical field, then even many more years practicing and honing your skill as a surgeon before you even have a chance to earn such figures. This entails long working hours, endless shifts, and midnight calls, but the good news is; these tend to reduce as you work your way up the ladder, and at some point, you can choose the hours you work while still commanding a hefty sum.

Other Medical Niches with the Potential to Net You $500k Annually Include:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Oncology
  • Plastic surgery

Software Developers

Without any doubt, it’s safe to say that we’re in a highly digitalized age, an age where virtually most of our activities are linked to the internet one way or another; in fact, you’re reading this article right on the internet. The people who create these systems and ensure they run perfectly are the software developers, engineers, and programmers. From Apple to Google to Facebook to Twitter to Uber, these companies employ hordes of techies to ensure smooth operations.

The Software development world is quite technical and; so demands a high level of skill, commitment, and talent to get a job at any of these companies. An entry-level Developer can expect in the range of $60 -$90k as average salary, but a senior software developer draws far more than that. This is largely based on the level of experience and resume strength.

To make $500k as a software developer, you’ll have to work at a top 25% tech company, E.g., Google, where they pay their L6 level developers a mix of cash and Stocks, which tally to over $500k. Inversely, you can build a problem-solving software that addressed a strategic issue; this has the potential to net more than $500k in a year.

An example of such strategic software is The Teleconferencing App, Zoom, which as of October 2020 had a market valuation of $139B according to Forbes.


Sportspeople are known to rake in the big bucks on a regular. Soccer players are paid Weekly, including bonuses; this sometimes translates to way more than $500k per month– never mind a year. With its high profile as a very entertaining game, players still have sponsorships and endorsements on the side to boost their base earnings. The National Basketball Association league is the paramount basketball league globally; and, so, draws hefty amounts of sponsorships from corporates brands and companies. This influx of massive revenue coupled with the sales of merchandise; and the popularity of its players has ensured that the NBA remains very lucrative. All that cash flow is not lost on the players as they earn more than average sums on a match-by-match basis plus tons of bonuses and add-ons.

According to, a newbie Basketballer In the NBA takes home in the vicinity of $800k, while the big players like Steph Curry, LeBron James, James Harding take home millions of dollars every year. To make anything near this amount of money, you have to be drafted into the NBA, and that itself is not an easy task, you have to impress coaches and scouts immensely, as well as have a track record of exceptional performance, a grueling workout routine which only gets more intense if you’re drafted. So, if you can play basketball exceptionally well, you stand a chance to raking in not just $500k but millions. Other Sports that reel in $500k easily are cricket, boxing, Track & field, etc.


Holding this position entails being the highest-ranking officer in the company; these come with numerous responsibilities. You are the go-to for every major executive decision in the company. According to, the average salary of a CEO is in the range of $758K yearly, going up to $1M in top-tier companies. Along with this, salary is a compensation package that often runs into millions. Yet, as wonderful as these figures sound, they’re not lightly attained. To ascend to the CEO position, you would need at least 10- 15 years in the industry whilst maintaining strong communication and leadership skills.

Investment Banking

Investment bankers are some of the hardest workers in the financial sector; they work long and hard on financial models and transactions in a highly volatile marketplace. Starting at anything near $100k per year, that figure increases gradually as the banker moves up through the ranks.

To make $500k per year, you would have to make a partner or hold a principal position in a big investment firm; that is where and when the earning skyrockets, along with bonuses from successfully closed deals and allowances, a senior partner can earn more than a million dollars easily.

Corporate Law

To earn half a million as a corporate lawyer yearly, you need to make a partner at a law firm; that in itself involves more than a decade of hard work right from your first day at that firm.

Graduating with a stellar record from a reputable law school and an exceptional track record outside of law school is usually enough to get you inside the big firms; then it’s up to you to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your career to not only prove useful and indispensable to the firm, that’s your path to becoming a partner and by extension making over $500k a year.

Real Estate Development

A real estate developer is responsible for scouting profitable locations to site property, then networks with engineers, builders, etc., to develop the property to the leasing stage. The Real estate industry is rather volatile; the yields can be varying, but after a developer has found their feet and learned to navigate the business’s twists and turns, their earnings gradually increase. As their portfolio of property increases, making $500k yearly becomes feasible. The biggest developers in the business report a year take-home that runs into millions.

Founding Your Own Company

Every day a new business sprouts up, grabs the attention of investors, and goes on to raise millions of seed money, then goes on to hit a market valuation of billions. The founder of those companies makes way more than $500k in a year. Owning a business and growing it up to a million dollars’ business is hard work that pays handsomely in the long run. This might take a while, but the dividends are worth it.

Film Actor

Film actors are one of the highest paid in the industry with many of them making over $500K


$500k per year is not an average sum for any worker in the United States, especially if you’re working a 9-5; the jobs listed above require more above-average commitment and drive. They are jobs resulting from long years of putting in maximum effort and time; they are possible to attain, but not easy. So go ahead, choose which suits you, and put in your best.

Good luck.

Also read Highest Paying Jobs in Finance

Jobs That Pay $500K A YEAR

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