It’s well known that the entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX has a massive fortune, but how much does Elon Musk make a year?
Elon Musk’s annual earnings from his various endeavors are unknown, especially as most of his wealth is tied up in stock. He is the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Inc. and refuses his annual minimum wage salary from Tesla year on year, instead of entering into a long-term compensation plan.
Read on to learn more about the billionaire, his unusual Tesla earnings, and what he chooses to spend his fortune on.
Following the American Dream
Elon Musk’s net worth is a reported $65.4 billion, which makes him one of the richest people in the world today but while it’s mostly been acquired in America, Elon Musk actually hails from South Africa.
He knew early on that America was where he wanted to be and he chased this dream by moving first to Canada at 17, before enrolling at the University of Pennsylvania.
He’d begun coding and programming before he was even a teenager and sold a video game at age 12, no doubt opening his eyes to the money he could make from his skills.
He became wealthy early on in his professional career and founded the startup Zip2 straight out of college which was sold four years later, earning Musk $22 million.
Then came the merging of his company X.com with PayPal, which earned him $180 million when it was bought by eBay in 2002.
SpaceX was one of his next ventures, which he founded in his commitment to space exploration saying “I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars”.
Tesla, an electric vehicle company, is one of his most high profile ventures. It’s not abnormal for tech CEOs to have a $0 salary, and Elon Musk is no different.
He has refused his annual paycheck from Tesla every year, as he has instead opted into a compensation program, at his own risk, which is tied up in Tesla’s long-term success.
He has a compensation plan with Tesla in which there is “no guaranteed compensation of any kind” and which includes certain milestones that will give him massive payouts if he reaches them. If not, he’ll get nothing.
However the potential rewards are huge, and Entrepreneur calculated, taking into account his long work hours, that he could be earning $900,000 an hour if everything goes to plan.
What to Spend his Money on?
Although his annual earnings from Tesla are, as of yet, nonexistent, Musk is clearly still making a nice income from his other ventures, if his spending is anything to go by.
He’s not shy about flashing his cash and has a reported $100 million worth of property in California, including a property that used to belong to Gene Wilder.
He invests a lot of his earnings back into shares in his companies but does have an interest in cars, which is only natural given his Tesla background.
In addition to his Tesla models, which he’s seen driving most frequently and include the Cybertruck, Model X, Model 3, and the Model S Performance, he’s also owned a Porsche 911, a Ford Model T, and a Hamann BMW M5 sports car.
It’s not all flashy cars and houses for Musk, but it’s not lavish holidays either. He was open about the lack of time he takes away from work. On ‘60 Minutes’ he admitted that he would sometimes work 120 hour weeks at Tesla to keep the company alive.
In terms of his philanthropic endeavors, Elon Musk, along with many other tech entrepreneurs including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, signed The Giving Pledge in 2012. The pledge shows his commitment to giving away the majority of his wealth in his lifetime.
Learn more about how Elon Musk has amassed his wealth in the YouTube video below.