Personal Finance Expert Dave Ramsey Explains Why Teachers Become Millionaires More Often Than Doctors

By: Georgia | Last updated: Nov 07, 2023

The “National Study of Millionaires” conducted by Ramsey Solutions, spearheaded by finance guru Dave Ramsey, has shed light on an unexpected trend in the world of millionaires. Recently, another self-made millionaire explained the 5 Best Habits to Make a Million Dollars.

Astonishingly, school teachers, who typically earn an average annual salary of $61,000, clinch the third spot in professions most likely to produce millionaires. What’s even more surprising is the absence of physicians, renowned for their high salaries, from the top five.

The Real Wealth Factors

The study, drawing from a vast pool of 10,000 participants, delivered some vital insights into wealth accumulation. A remarkable 79% of these millionaires didn’t inherit their financial status. 


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Furthermore, 80% were proactive in their financial planning, consistently investing in 401(k) plans. Most revealing was the fact that a dominant 93% believed their wealth stemmed more from hard work and dedication than from commanding high salaries.


The Job Titles of Millionaires

A closer look into the professional backgrounds of these millionaires offered some surprises. Only a modest 15% occupied coveted senior management roles, such as VP or those in the C-suite. 



Just 31% had ever enjoyed an annual salary surpassing $100,000 at any point in their careers. Dave Ramsey, sharing these insights on his show, stressed that possessing a hefty paycheck alone is far from a surefire recipe for financial prosperity.

Elite Credentials Aren’t Mandatory

The educational trajectories of these millionaires also provided intriguing data. A sizable 88% held college degrees. However, defying popular belief, only a meager 8% were alumni of elite, Ivy League-style institutions. 


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Additionally, over half of these financially successful individuals, about 52%, ventured into postgraduate studies. Ramsey’s analysis concludes that these individuals, regardless of academic pedigree, share a methodical and principled approach to finance, steering their wealth-building journey.

Physicians Vs. Teachers

Brent Lacey, a prominent voice on “The Scope of Practice” podcast, drew attention to the considerable financial burden physicians often grapple with. Starting their careers, they’re laden with a staggering average debt of $200,000 from medical schooling, a burden that usually takes around 13 years to offload. 


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This financial weight stalls their early investment ventures. In stark contrast, many teachers, including personal anecdotes like Lacey’s own grandmother, showcased remarkable financial frugality, ultimately retiring with millionaire status.