If you’re between the ages of 25 and 40 then it might feel like you just can’t catch a break. And, you’d be right about that. Even though most millennials are now into their 30s and older millennials are reaching 40, the average millennial salary is just over $47,000. We all thought we’d be earning more at this point in our lives, especially given how much the cost of living has gone up over the past 20 years.
On top of that, Pew Research found that more millennial households are in poverty than any other generation. And, accurate to the jokes about the generation, millennials make up most of the country’s share of renters (yeah, we get it, we’re not ready to buy houses; maybe raise wages first?).
Talking about wages, though, which are as stagnant as ever, it might be time to look for a new job that’ll pay you what you’re worth. Want to know where you can find those types of jobs? Let’s break down the highest-paying jobs for millennials in search of an understanding of where you might head next.
Let’s tstart by clarfying that the amount of money needed to retire is ultimately different than the amount of money needed to live.
A report from 2020 showed that the youngest millennial, who is about 24 years-old, should have just over $8,000 saved away in order to retire comfortably at 67. For the oldest millennial, who is now turning 40 this year, that number goes way up; they’ll need to have saved just over $100,000 at this point in order to retire comfortably at 67.
Now, how much do we need to live in today’s current society? It’s no secret that the cost of living has gone way up for our generation versus Baby Boomers’ or even Gen Y’s average cost of living. This cost obviously varies from state to state. For example, the cost of living is 29% higher in New York City than it is in Austin, Texas.
Let’s break that down, though. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2020 was $1,098 a month. However, in the most expensive cities, including Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York City, rent can get as high as $2,324 per month. Tack on the costs transportation, food, and other costs, and those total an average of about $1,1000 per month.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that, in order to live comfortably in a major city in the US (including cities like Austin, Denver, Charlotte, and Miami), you’re looking at needing to make between $3,000-4,000 a month.
We all know that wages haven’t gone up for millennials compared to the increase in the cost of living. And, millennials aren’t earning as much as their Boomer counterparts were at the same ages.
This is evidenced by the fact that the average millennial (who is now between the ages of roughly 25 and 40) is earning just over $47,000 a year. What?! That’s 20% lower than the average salary of a Boomer at the exact same age.
While the issue isn’t a lack of skill or a lack of jobs available (although that was a major issue after the Great Recession), it’s more about the lack of increase in wages. However, since most millennials do have degrees (and the debt to show for it), there is hope for our futures!
More impressive than average earnings for millennials is the fact that we seem to be saving at high rates despite stagnant wages and debt. Recently, Bank of America found that 59% of millennials have at leat $15,000 or more in savings. And, 24% of millennials have at least $100,000 in savings.
Regardless of specific high-paying jobs, there are a few industries that are expected to be particularly lucrative throughout the 2020s. Given that the pandemic pushed us even further and faster into a totally digital world, most of these industries revolve around technology and finance.
First up, though, we’ve got the space industry. Space is a booming field expected to be worth $500B+ in 2026. And, if you’re involved somehow in the space industry, whether through research or commercialization, you can earn about $115k per year starting out.
Similarly, working in data science and artificial intelligence can have you earning anywhere between $150k-160k per year. These kinds of jobs don’t necessarily require that you be particularly scientific either. Working in artificial intelligence could mean that you snag a job in ethics or even design.
And, finally, we’ve got marketing. Growth marketers and brand strategists can earn upwards of $140k per year just to help businesses build, grow, and retain customers in today’s digital world. As companies work to understand what motivates long-term brand loyalty, growth marketers and brand strategists will become crucial roles throughout the 2020s.
If none of the above industries sound appealing to you then perhaps you need to narrow things down a bit. What are the highest-paying jobs for millennials that can help you close that wage gap and start earning real wealth for yourself?
According to recent studies, here are some of the best-paying jobs for millennials in terms of growth potential throughout their career:
Millennials have had a rough go when it comes to careers and finances. No doubt about it. However, instead of waiting for the world to change, sometimes you have to go out and change it yourself.
Regardless of the type of job you have, you can build wealth by investing in yourself. This means taking advantage of compound interest and by investing as early as possible. If that’s not a skill you currently have then no worries. We’ll teach you how to do it all!