Best Jobs for Early Retirement

Updated on April 4, 2024

In today’s fast-paced world, the concept of early retirement is more appealing than ever. With the right career, achieving financial independence to retire early can be within your reach. Here’s a look at the top ten jobs that can help you hang up your work boots sooner than expected.

Software Developer

  • Average Salary: $124,200
  • Description: Software developers are at the forefront of technology, creating applications and systems.
  • Responsibilities: Design, test, and develop software to meet user needs.
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field.


  • Average Salary: $229,300
  • Description: Physicians diagnose and treat patients for a variety of ailments.
  • Responsibilities: Provide patient care, prescribe medications, and perform surgeries.
  • Education: Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.


  • Average Salary: $159,530
  • Description: Dentists care for patients’ oral health through diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of dental conditions.
  • Responsibilities: Conduct oral examinations, provide treatment plans, and perform dental procedures.
  • Education: Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree.

Financial Advisor

  • Average Salary: $95,390
  • Description: Financial advisors help individuals manage their finances and plan for their financial future.
  • Responsibilities: Assess financial needs, provide investment advice, and develop financial plans.
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree, preferably in finance, economics, or a related field.

Airline Pilot

  • Average Salary: $148,900
  • Description: Airline pilots are responsible for flying passengers and cargo on various routes.
  • Responsibilities: Operate aircraft, ensure passenger safety, and navigate during flights.
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree along with commercial pilot’s license and Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate.

Engineering Manager

  • Average Salary: $159,920
  • Description: Engineering managers oversee engineering projects and lead teams of engineers.
  • Responsibilities: Plan, direct, and coordinate engineering activities and projects.
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in engineering and significant experience in the field.

Rail Yard Engineer

  • Average Salary: $58,430
  • Description: Rail yard engineers coordinate the activities of trains in rail yards.
  • Responsibilities: Operate locomotives, organize train cars, and ensure smooth operations within rail yards.
  • Education: High school diploma and on-the-job training; some positions might require an associate degree.


  • Average Salary: $129,410
  • Description: Pharmacists dispense medications and advise on their appropriate use.
  • Responsibilities: Review prescriptions, provide medication guidance, and manage health and wellness screenings.
  • Education: Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.


  • Average Salary: $113,990
  • Description: Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to study uncertain future events.
  • Responsibilities: Analyze statistical data, estimate risks and returns, and advise on insurance policies and investments.
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in actuarial science, mathematics, or statistics.

College Professor

  • Average Salary: $80,840
  • Description: College professors teach at the postsecondary level and conduct research.
  • Responsibilities: Instruct students, prepare course materials, and perform research in their field of expertise.
  • Education: Typically a Doctoral degree in their subject area.

Final Thoughts

Achieving early retirement is not just a dream; it’s a plausible reality with the right career path. These top ten jobs not only offer lucrative salaries but also provide the potential for substantial savings, allowing you to consider stepping away from the workforce earlier than most.


For the average salaries and additional details regarding the professions listed, please visit:

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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