This Is How Much Money the Average Person Earns in Their Lifetime

You might be surprised!

Man gets money from the walletChampion studio/Shutterstock

How much money people make depends on a few different factors—and could change drastically from industry to industry. But a new report from Zippia, a career information site, found that the average person earns nearly $2.7 million over their lifetime.

According to the most recent Census data, the average earner’s income rises through their mid-forties before it plateaus until retirement. When broken down by industry, the data show that some workers see a 50 percent increase in salaries as their career progresses. Meanwhile, full-time workers in other industries might never even hit that average $2.7 million.

The results cover five career types including lawyer careers, white-collar, grey-collar, blue-collar, and dead-end careers. That is also the order of the highest to least average income by industry.

Lawyer careers include paralegals and lawyers. White-collar jobs include business executives, finance workers, and computer programmers. Grey-collar jobs cover professions that require some skills such as sales workers and police officers. Blue-collar career examples include construction and education. And dead-end careers are classified as jobs that offer few opportunities for promotion, high turnover rates, and no monetary progression. Find out the highest paying jobs in every state.

The worst industry to work in is in the service industry: those in food preparation and servers, mainly due to a high turnover rate and a median annual wage of $22,730 nationwide. The next-worst is the farming, fishing, and forestry industry. The median yearly salary across the industry was $24,390 in 2017, which checks out as one of the lowest paying occupation groups in the country. The personal care and service, cleaning and maintenance, and the healthcare support industries follow as some of the worst industries to be in.

The report notes that these dead-end jobs typically have no middle management and low education requirements. Although every millionaire hasn’t gone to college, the data shows that more education links to higher pay and non-dead-end careers. That’s why lawyer careers and white-collar workers lead the pack for average income by industry—and why there are more likely to surpass that $2.7 million mark.

Next, check out the best careers where you can be your own boss.

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Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is an assistant staff writer at Reader's Digest who previously wrote for INSIDER, the Food Network, POPSUGAR, Well + Good, Westchester Magazine, and more. There's also a 90 percent chance Emily is drinking tea right now, but when she's not writing away about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting heavy things at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts, and liking one too many astrology memes.