How Much Money Does Elon Musk Earn Every Second

Elon Musk, a renowned public figure, is recognized as one of the wealthiest individuals globally and a prominent business titan in the United States. His claim to fame stems from his pivotal role in establishing several highly successful companies during the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Noteworthy among his contributions is his significant involvement in propelling PayPal to become one of the most widely used online payment platforms. Additionally, Musk played a crucial part in transforming Tesla into a leading electric vehicle manufacturer. Furthermore, he has made substantial strides in the privatization of space travel through SpaceX.

Given his business triumphs, it is only natural to wonder about the magnitude of Elon Musk’s earnings. This article will explore his humble beginnings, the steps he took to amass his billionaire status, and shed light on the astonishing figure of his earnings per second.

Quick Facts

Elon Musk’s Career Journey

Elon’s career took shape during his early years as a young prodigy, displaying a knack for computer programming and a keen business acumen. He taught himself computer programming and, at the tender age of 12, developed a BASIC-based video game named Blastar, which he subsequently sold to a magazine company, PC and Office Technology, earning around $500.

From a young age, Musk’s sights were set on migrating to the United States, where he believed there were more opportunities than in South Africa. Fortunately, his Canadian mother, Maye Musk, facilitated his migration by obtaining a Canadian passport, enabling him to later make his way into the U.S.

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In 1988, Musk departed South Africa and ventured to Canada to evade the compulsory military service imposed by the South African government, due to his opposition to the Apartheid system. He took on various odd jobs in Canada before enrolling at Queen’s University in Ontario.

However, he did not complete his studies in Canada. Instead, Musk transferred to the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Economics, respectively.

Below are some notable milestones in Elon Musk’s career.


Elon Musk’s initial foray into the business world was marked by the establishment of a technology company called Zip2. He founded the company with the assistance of his brother, Kimbal Musk, an associate named Greg Kouri, and an investment from his father, Errol Musk.

Zip2 primarily focused on developing maps and business directories, which they intended to license to publishing companies like newspapers. However, facing challenges in securing such contracts, they resorted to charging businesses for inclusion in the Zip2 business directory. Eventually, Zip2 garnered contracts from major newspaper publishers, including the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.

The company’s popularity in the publishing industry soon attracted the attention of other businesses seeking to expand their portfolios. One such entity was CitySearch, a Zip2 competitor interested in merging with Zip2. Nonetheless, Elon Musk opposed the merger and successfully convinced the board of directors to abandon the idea. Subsequently, Compaq expressed interest and, in 1999, acquired Zip2 for a staggering $307 million. At the time of the sale, Musk owned approximately 7% of Zip2, earning him a payout of roughly $20 million.

Elon’s subsequent venture was the creation of the online financial services provider,, in 1999, shortly after the sale of Zip2. represented an early version of online banking, insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Within a few months, the company amassed over 200,000 users.

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However, after a short period of operation, merged with its primary competitor, Confinity Inc., but retained the name Due to his majority ownership stake in the newly formed firm, Musk was appointed CEO by the board.

Unfortunately, Musk’s tenure as’s CEO was short-lived. His leadership style, or lack thereof, became a subject of concern. For instance, he insisted on using Microsoft software instead of Unix software, leading to a division among employees who favored one over the other.

Consequently, the internal rift began to impact the company’s operations, resulting in technical difficulties on the online platform. The problems exposed Elon’s inept leadership skills, leaving the board with no choice but to take action.

In September 2000, the board ousted Musk as CEO, replacing him with Confinity co-founder Peter Thiel. Under Thiel’s leadership, changed its name to PayPal, which offered a clearer reflection of its core business – online money transfers. The company thrived under Thiel’s guidance until it was acquired by eBay for a substantial sum of $1.5 billion on October 3, 2002. Musk’s share in PayPal was estimated to be at least 11.7%, earning him over $150 million from the company’s sale.


Following his abrupt departure from, Elon Musk redirected his focus towards other areas of interest, such as space travel and investments in groundbreaking technology companies. He began engaging with the Mars Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting a practical human mission to Mars.

Elon’s involvement with the Mars Society further fueled his passion for space exploration. In 2002, he founded SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies) using the proceeds from the sale of his previous ventures. The company’s initial goal was to develop affordable rockets capable of transporting payloads into space and eventually facilitating human missions to Mars.

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It took SpaceX four years to develop its maiden rocket, the Falcon 1. While the rocket’s initial launch in 2006 did not achieve Earth’s orbit, subsequent attempts proved successful in 2008.

The company’s successful launches attracted the attention of NASA, which sought a replacement for the retiring space shuttle program. Recognizing SpaceX as a viable contender, NASA awarded the company a contract under Elon’s leadership to supply the International Space Station (ISS) using the newly developed Falcon 9 rocket.

Since the inception of SpaceX’s partnership with NASA, Musk has overseen numerous milestones, including the development of the first commercial spacecraft to successfully dock at the ISS. SpaceX also achieved another historic feat by becoming the first company to launch a human-crewed spacecraft into orbit.

Further accomplishments under Musk’s guidance include the development and launch of the Falcon Heavy, a larger and more powerful successor to the Falcon 9, as well as the creation of Starlink communication satellites aimed at providing internet access to remote areas worldwide.

Tesla, Inc.

Tesla Motors, founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, originally aimed to manufacture electric vehicles (EVs). Elon Musk joined the Tesla family by contributing a significant sum of $6.5 million, making him the largest shareholder and chairman of the board.

Elon Musk’s tenure as CEO of Tesla, which began in 2008, has been exceptionally fruitful. After just two years, the company sold approximately 2,000 units of the Tesla Roadster. Tesla proceeded to raise $226 million through a public offering, enabling the launch of the Model S, X, Y, 3, and the Cybertruck.

In addition to these achievements, Tesla established gigafactories in Nevada, Texas, New York, Berlin, and Shanghai, dedicated to the production of EVs and lithium-ion batteries. Musk continues to lead Tesla as its CEO, propelling the company to become one of the most valuable brands in the United States and worldwide.

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Elon Musk joined Twitter in June 2009 and has since become one of the platform’s most popular users, boasting over 133 million followers. On numerous occasions, his tweets have influenced market trends, causing fluctuations in the value of stocks, particularly those associated with Tesla.

Recognizing his considerable influence on the platform, Musk expressed interest in acquiring Twitter. However, it wasn’t until January 2022 that he took action, gradually purchasing Twitter shares. By April 2022, he became the largest single shareholder in the company.

Musk’s share acquisitions earned him a seat on Twitter’s board, and he subsequently offered to purchase the company for $43 billion. Although the board initially resisted the proposal, Musk increased his offer to $44 billion, and the acquisition was finalized on October 27, 2022. As a result, Musk assumed the role of Twitter’s CEO and oversaw significant staff cuts.

Other Ventures

In addition to his involvement in companies like SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter, Musk has also ventured into other areas of interest. Notably, he established The Boring Company, which aims to develop a hyperloop system to facilitate intra-city travel. Furthermore, Musk owns Neuralink, an enterprise focused on creating brain-computer interfaces for implantation in humans.

How Much Elon Musk Earns: Noteworthy Investments and Sales

Elon Musk has accumulated substantial wealth as one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. However, it is important to note that his earnings are not derived from a fixed salary, unlike most CEOs. Instead, Musk’s wealth is primarily tied to stock options and the appreciation of his investment portfolio.

How Much Elon Musk Earns Every Year

Since achieving billionaire status in 2012, Elon Musk’s fortune has grown exponentially, surging from approximately $2 billion to a staggering $180 billion in 2023. This translates to an average yearly earning of $16.18 billion from the growth in stock value.

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However, there have been years when his earnings far exceeded the average. For instance, in 2020, his net worth increased by around $140 billion, followed by a growth of approximately $120 billion in 2021. Conversely, in 2022, Musk experienced a decline of over $100 billion in his net worth. These figures are truly astronomical, considering that the average annual income in the United States is slightly above $50,000.

How Much Elon Musk Earns Every Day

Based on an annual income of $16.18 billion, Elon Musk earns an estimated $44.38 million on an average trading day. To put this in perspective, only around 140,000 individuals in the United States possess a net worth exceeding $50 million. Elon’s daily earnings could theoretically turn 336 non-millionaires into millionaires each year if he were to distribute his earnings randomly.

How Much Elon Musk Earns Every Hour

Breaking down his earnings further, Elon Musk brings in approximately $1,847,000 per hour. This figure surpasses the lifetime earnings of most individuals. On average, a person in the United States earns around $1.7 million in their lifetime, before accounting for taxes and living expenses, which typically consume 60-80% of their income. Consequently, it is challenging for most individuals to attain millionaire status within their lifetime.

How Much Elon Musk Earns Every Second

It is mind-boggling to grasp that Elon Musk earns $513 every second. This amount is more than twice the daily earnings of an average individual working an 8-hour shift. It also exceeds the weekly income of some individuals in the United States.


Elon Musk is an exceptional investor, leveraging his background, education, and popularity to rank among the wealthiest people in history. Much of his wealth is held in shares of Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, Neuralink, and The Boring Company. Consequently, his net worth continues to rise alongside the success of these ventures. Moreover, with the recent acquisition of Twitter and the eagerly anticipated release of the Cybertruck and the second-generation Roadster from Tesla, Elon Musk’s fortune is expected to continue its upward trajectory.

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