Teachers MillionairesLooking to join the millionaire's club and wondering what it takes? Finding the right occupation is a good place to start. But some surprising occupations hold a greater chance of getting there than others.

According to a report released last week by the Spectrem Group's Millionaire Corner, the number of millionaire households in the U.S. rose 2% last year to 8.2 million. And capturing the greatest number of millionaire households were ones that included a manager as a breadwinner.

But while managers are tops on the list, accounting for 17% of households with $1 million to $5 million in net assets excluding their primary residence, educators are close behind with 12% of the millionaire pie, according to the report.

That's right -- educators.

What gives these occupations their relatively large slice is that many are living in dual-income households, says George Walper, president of the Spectrum Group.

Compare that to other high-paying jobs such as attorneys, doctors, or dentists, which only account for 2% of the millionaire pool. People in those ultra-demanding occupations are often the sole breadwinners in their families, with spouses or partners holding down the fort at home. And when it's time to retire, the payout may be less.

Age is another key factor in crossing the millionaire mark: The average age of U.S. millionaires is 63, according to the report.

Millionaire Household Occupations

Percent of Millionaires
Sr. Corporate Executive
Business Owner
Sales Person
Source: Spectrem Group Millionaire Corner

What It Takes to Get Wealthy

Getting from zero to a one and six zeros on the wealth meter takes more than hard work and education, although both were listed in the top spots with 95% and 85% of survey respondents, respectively.

Surprisingly, risk taking was listed as a reason by 56% of survey respondents, placing it No. 5 out of 11 factors, while "being in the right place, at the right time" took No. 6 with 42% and "luck" No. 7 with 39%.

If you're expecting people to claim their family connections paid off big, think again. It ranked dead last with only 9% of survey respondents citing the coattail factor.

(Note: In the chart above, UHNW refers to "ultra-high net worth" -- the folks whose net worth is at least $5 million without factoring in their primary residence.)

Tasting a Slice of the Millionaire Pie

As consumers consider their assets, they may want to take a gander at how the really rich align their portfolios.

According to the Spectrem Group, millionaires had 56% in investable assets last year. Of that, 29% was in IRAs, versus 22% in the previous year, while the proportion held in stocks and bonds dipped from 19% to 15%.

The market's free fall in 2008 cracked the nest eggs of millions of retirees, kicking many of them out the millionaire club. Although this group has seen its numbers inch up back for three consecutive years, their numbers are still substantially down from 2007, when the U.S. included 9.2 million millionaire households.

In order for the pool of millionaires to swell to pre-recession levels, Walper notes: "Investments in real estate would need to improve and the economy, since that would help privately owned businesses and entrepreneurs."

Those events would also be good for the average working Joe, too.


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I'm a little late to this thread, but I wanted to chime in. Even "lowly" high school teachers can become millionaires. My wife and I will be millionaires in a few years. We are not administrators, we inherited $0, and we do not have income-producing side businesses. Had we not retired early, we would probably already be millionaires. Teaching can be a gold mine if you manage your money wisely.



December 27 2013 at 10:36 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Educator is an insanely broad term - much broader than senior corporate executive, for example... so we are not necessarily comparing apples to apples here. Perhaps superintendents and presidents of colleges are likely to become millionaires, but the average teacher will never achieve that status. I've been teaching 20 years. My students score, on average, nearly 200 points above what is expected on standardized tests. I'm producing significant results in my classroom. Now, at year 20, I make $53,000 per year. It seems there are several 0's missing from my salary. If you look into this further, you will find that most of these educator millionaires live in 2-income houses (with the second income being higher than that of the teacher), have inherited a large sum of money, or became millionaires before entering the teaching profession. Let's not forget, also, how many teachers there are - a far greater number, I suspect, than senior corporate executives. What we should really compare is the percentage of educators who are millionaires vs. the percentage of senior corporate executives who are millionaires. I suspect that would yield much different results. A very small percentage of educators are millionaires; I suspect a very large percentage of senior corporate executives are. I am not complaining about that at all. I didn't expect to become a millionaire when I went into teaching... but I also didn't expect to be villified for becoming a millionaire at taxpayers' expense. I just want the facts presented accurately.

October 14 2012 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When they say educators I assume they are talking about Deans of colleges or high administration. But then again my Finance professor at my state college made 225k and his wife taught accounting there as well and make 180k. This article isn't talking about your "average" high school teacher who teaches 9 months out of the year with every vacation imaginable and is done by 2:30pm everyday... and they complain they don't get paid enough either...

April 21 2012 at 11:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to watson's comment

watson - SHUT THE **** UP. not only teachers have one of the most difficult stressful jobs in the world, but also they don't work 9-5 like most of us, after 230 they have to prepare class sessions, materials, grade exams, etc so they actually work 24-7/ besides, the 3 months some of them don't work - their salaries is distributed equally in 12 so they earn less money, and many work on summers. what is your problem with teachers? *******.

November 28 2013 at 12:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

What sort of educator? I know some professors make a good living but not millions.....And of course management would, they decide who gets paid how much. Give the rest of us something real, please.

March 27 2012 at 10:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh, now education is too expensive, time for Obamacation.....

March 27 2012 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the job seeker privacy now thats going a bit to far.thats just a crock of horsehockey.

March 27 2012 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh, better hide this from OWS. They dont like people with money.

March 27 2012 at 7:25 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

you mean public union managers........stealing from taxpayers

March 27 2012 at 6:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

59B? Dayum, and here I thought a few hundred mill was near impossible to get =O

March 27 2012 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am an educator - a special education teacher. I am not surprised by this at all. We start out making very little money, and many of us have to budget very carefully in order to make it through the summer without a paycheck. Therefore, we learn very early to become savers. We also tend to live within our means. I drive a 13 year old car, and fix my major appliances before buying new. I buy quality items - not quantity! The teachers I know are very good with money. Although I make a lot less than many of my neighbors and friends, my net worth is very healthy compared to many others. And, before you say I make too much, I say walk a mile in my shoes. Save at least 10% of what you earn - and you, too, can join the club.

March 27 2012 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply