How To Make 500k a Year – 15 Best Jobs To Pursue & Make Good Money

Who doesn’t want a high-paying job? Your finance will surely be secure if you get a 6-figure job. But what work do you need to get paid that much money? There are many ways to land such a job of your dreams. Read on and learn how to make 500k a year. 

Lucrative jobs exist in almost every industry. You can get paid and start earning those big bucks! 

This article explores 15 high-paying jobs in the market and what it takes to land them. We also included a list of profitable side hustles for those not yet ready to take the leap. 

15 Jobs That Make 500K a Year 

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are ranked first among the company executives. Their job roles include leadership and strategic planning. They make the company’s strategies and increase profits, which is a challenging full-time job, as the decisions made by the CEO are passed on to other departments to ensure proper execution. 

Although the average salary for CEOs in the USA is around $800k, data shows that the CEOs of S&P 500 companies made an average of $13.7 million, which is an incredible 8-figure salary

Qualification Required 

Becoming a CEO requires a bachelor’s degree with extensive industry and business experience. However, you are more likely to become a CEO if you apply with an MBA degree. 

Average Annual Salary: $798,373 

2. Neurosurgeon 

Neurosurgeons are responsible for performing surgeries related to brain disorders. These can include benign cysts, tumors, or aneurysms. 

Some neurosurgeons only treat children, while others handle both cases. 

Qualification Required 

To qualify as a neurosurgeon, you need at least 8 years of training to meet certification requirements. You must get an MBBS degree, attend medical school, and complete the internship and residency program. 

Average Annual Salary: $644,001 

3. Hedge Fund Manager 

Hedge fund managers oversee the trading of bonds, stocks, and other finances. They work with traders and market analysts to help investors generate profits. 

A hedge fund manager determines whether the security should be bought or sold. 

Qualification Required 

Being a hedge fund manager requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. If you get a master’s degree in accounting and finance, the chances of getting the job are even higher. 

Average Annual Salary: $541,382 

4. Orthopedic Surgeon 

Orthopedic surgeons specialize in issues related to bones, muscles, joints, and tendons. They diagnose injuries and suggest options such as surgery. 

Orthopedic surgeons also work with neuro-, vascular-, and cardiothoracic surgeons to assist them with their operations. 

Qualification Required 

Orthopedic surgeons’ qualifications are a bachelor’s degree, a medical degree, and 5 years of residency in orthopedic surgery. 

Average Annual Salary: $513,430 

5. Plastic Surgeon 

Plastic surgeons are experts in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, a demanding field in terms of skills and experience. 

A career as a surgeon requires patience, as you often have to deal with high-pressure situations. The salary reflects the difficulty level of the job, earning you around mid-6 figures

Even as a starter, you can get up to $350,000 annually and increase your salary with time. 

Qualification Required 

To become a professional plastic surgeon, you need a 4-year Bachelor’s degree, another 4 years for a medical degree, and at least 6 years of specialized residency training. 

Average Annual Salary: $457,407 

6. Cardiologist 

Cardiologists are heart specialists. They are specialized in cardiovascular diseases, cardiac arrhythmias, and perfusion. 

Moreover, a cardiologist can help manage congestive heart failure, angina, and other chronic conditions. 

Qualification Required 

There are 4 steps to becoming a cardiologist:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree.
  • Graduate from medical school with a specialization in cardiology. 
  • Get a medical license.
  • Complete the residency program. 

Average Annual Salary: $449,592 

Doctor Doing A Check Up On A Little Girl
Image credit: DepositPhotos

7. Anesthesiologist 

As the name suggests, anesthesiologists are professionals who specialize in anesthesia. They usually work with surgeons to decide what anesthesia suits the patient best. 

The anesthesiologist also ensures the patients are safe and comfortable after the operation. 

Qualification Required 

Anesthesiologists also require 4 years of bachelor’s degree, medical degree, and residency program completion. 

Average Annual Salary: $409,200 

8. Gastroenterologist 

Gastroenterologists specialize in gastrointestinal systems. They diagnose and treat diseases or problems related to the stomach, liver, intestines, kidneys, gallbladder, and pancreatic ducts. 

One thing that makes a gastroenterologist successful is how comfortably he talks with his patients about sensitive topics. 

Qualification Required 

Qualifications required for gastroenterologists are a 4-year college degree, 4 years of medical school, and 3 years of training program plus residency. 

Average Annual Salary: $406,000 

9. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) 

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for managing the company’s finances, which includes directing investments, overseeing financial options, and managing debts

Becoming a CFO is among the most coveted careers in finance, primarily due to the lucrative salary; however, attaining this position necessitates years of experience in finance and robust analytical skills.

Qualification Required 

To become a CFO, you need a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting and finance-related studies. 

Average Annual Salary: $393,337 

10. Dermatologist 

Dermatologists are skin specialists. They are responsible for diagnosing and treating all kinds of skin diseases. 

The most common form of dermatology is cosmetic dermatology. One downside of this job is that you will be exposed to dangerous diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, and other viruses that travel through open wounds. 

On the positive side, you get a very handsome income, especially if you open your own clinic, build an excellent professional reputation, market your services well, and even create and merchandise your line of skin products. 

More significantly, skin care and even cosmetic surgery have become imperative for an increasing number of people nowadays. 

Qualification Required 

You must have a Bachelor of Medicine-Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree to continue studying dermatology. After that, you need an MD from medical school. 

Once you have these 2 degrees, pass the state licensing exam and complete the residency program to become a dermatologist. 

Average Annual Salary: $258,095 

11. Oncologist 

Oncologists are the ones who treat cancer patients. They diagnose and treat people with leukemia, myeloma, lymphoma, tumors, and other cancerous growths. 

Oncologists not only treat people but give them a chance to live again. In most cases, they recognize early signs and treat the problem immediately. 

Being an oncologist is no part-time gig because you must focus on helping your patients more than full-time.

Qualification Required 

You must complete 4 years of a bachelor’s degree, pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) first, and then earn a medical degree, which usually takes about 4 more years. 

After that, take the United States medical licensing examination. 

Average Annual Salary: $251,446 

12. Lawyer 

Corporate lawyers make a lot of money. They are responsible for contract dealings, business acquisition issues, and drafting documents. The job also doesn’t require much effort after completing the qualification process. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the amount below is the median salary of U.S. lawyers. The top 1% of corporate lawyers earn $500,000 or more yearly. 

While their income depends on their location, specialization, and experience, it also rests on the payment arrangements with the client: hourly fee, flat fee, retainer fee, and, especially, contingent fees, which can give the lawyer 25-30% of any monetary judgment or settlement.

Short Haired Woman With Glasses Reading Using A Laptop
Image Credit: Vadymvdrobot/DepositPhotos.

Qualification Required 

Following are some steps involved in qualifying for the corporate lawyer job: 

  • Get a bachelor’s degree. 
  • Apply for law school. 
  • Earn a Juris Doctor degree. 
  • Pass the bar exam. 
  • Get a lawyer’s license. 

Average Annual Salary: $127,990

13. Professional Athlete 

Professional athletes, such as footballers, basketball players, cricketers, etc., get a very handsome salary for their services. 

To earn $500K as an athlete, you need to ensure you are at the top of your game, which requires intense workouts and training. You can easily get rich if you make it in the professional world of sports.

Qualification Required 

No qualification is required, but you should be physically fit and excellent at your respective sports. 

Average Annual Salary: $112,955 

14. Investment Banker 

Investment bankers are stock market experts. They work in financial markets to understand the right trading methods. Most investment banker jobs include many benefits, such as a company car and exclusive club memberships. 

Most importantly, their knowledge, expertise, and experience in the stock market can also guide them in their own investments, bringing them dividends and other perks on top of their salaries. This passive income can increase their earning capacity tenfold or more. 

Qualification Required 

A college degree in economics or finance can get you a job as an investment banker. 

Still, to grow further and make $500K a year, you will have to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree at a minimum with a lot of working experience in the field. 

Average Annual Salary: $67,152 

15. Entrepreneur 

Entrepreneurs are the ones who start their own new companies. They introduce a new product or service to the world. 

To be a successful entrepreneur, make sure that the product or service you provide solves a problem or fulfills a need for it to become a habit-forming product. These are some ways to make money in the world as you make money selling your products or services to the world.

Examples of entrepreneurs are full-time bloggers, those who sell products, or those who sell services.

If and when the business takes off, which depends on many factors, the basic income listed below can balloon to 500K or more.

Qualification Required 

No qualification is required to become an entrepreneur; however, you need the following high-income skills:

  • Business management skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Decision-making and analytical skills
  • Financial skills
  • Strategic thinking and planning skills 

Average Annual Salary: $62,677 

Side Hustles to Make More Money

Some jobs listed above might not make $500K for you at the beginning of your career. So, exploring other money-making opportunities is the best way to improve your overall income. 

To earn extra money up to $500K, here are some of the side hustles that you can do: 

  • Participate in online surveys. You can get paid for taking surveys, one of the best ways to make money online. Earn cash or gift cards from survey sites like:
    • Swagbucks. Signing up with Swagbucks is completely free. By browsing the web, shopping online, and taking surveys, this rewards program lets you earn points, which are convertible to gift cards or cash-backs. With their referral system, just refer a friend and earn 10% of your referral’s earnings. And you can earn money in a work-from-home setup too. Read our full Swagbucks review here.
    • InboxDollars. Start doing online tasks and earn extra cash. Earn money online by signing up and going to the InboxDollars website. Take the surveys, redeem coupons, play games online, watch videos, and more. Read our full InboxDollars review here.
    • Survey Junkie. You can earn extra cash through Survey Junkie by completing online surveys, participating in focus-group discussions, or sharing your data. You will be paid with gift cards or cash through Paypal. Read our full Survey Junkie review for more information.
  • Become an online coach. Convert your knowledge, skills, and experience into an online course, help others as an online mentor, and earn extra cash. To get more inspiration, check out these online courses on proofreading and winning the money game
  • Start blogging. What may have started as a hobby can be monetized. You get to have your own business by doing something you love. Check this guide on how to start a blog and begin using BlueHost, which provides various feature-packed web hosting options for only $3.95, including a FREE domain name ($15 value).
  • Build passive income by investing in real estate. As a passive income source, real estate increases in value over time. Earning extra income through real estate is a great way to build your bank account. But to make your real estate investment a consistent money-making source, you need to find a suitable app, such as Groundfloor and Fundrise, to help you navigate the field. Check our complete Groundfloor review and Fundrise review to get more information. 
  • Start a YouTube channel. Make money online by becoming a YouTuber. Find your niche, create your video content, build your subscriber list, and earn a lucrative income
  • Start your own online business. You can earn money in online stores or flea markets: declutter your home and sell your own preloved or unused goods; buy, curate, and then resell items at a profit. Or, sell your products, such as crafts, photos, art, etc. Online sites like Craigslist, Letgo, Decluttr, eBay, and Amazon let you earn cash this way. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – How to Make 500K a Year?

How Do I Make 500K Fast?

To make $500K fast, buy and sell items on online platforms like Amazon or Craigslist. Just be aware of scams that may lose you money instead of earning and building your account.

What Are the Best Jobs That Make 500K a Year?

The best jobs that can help you make $500K a year are:

  • CEO
  • Entrepreneur
  • Surgeon
  • Lawyer

Can I Make $500K a Year Without a Degree?

To earn $500K a year without a degree, you should pursue a career as a professional athlete or an entrepreneur. 

If these jobs are too difficult to follow, you can choose to do one of the following jobs that pay the highest salaries without asking for a degree:

  • Plumber
  • Executive assistant
  • Sales representative
  • Flight attendant
  • Electrician

Conclusion – How to Make 500K a Year?

It is possible to make $500,000 annually since many jobs across different industries pay that much. 

From being a specialist in the medical field to making sports feats as a professional athlete, these jobs’ common denominator is hard work, investment in time and effort, and perseverance in acquiring the necessary skill sets and experience. 

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