The salary of a futurologist depends on the notoriety, credibility and credentials of the professional. Famous futurologists can command high salaries from corporations interested in capitalizing on emerging trends. In addition, futurologists can earn significant speaking fees. Futurologists can earn book deals that supplement salaries. Sometimes, furturists een receive prizes their work.
Many corporations must forecast the future and are therefore willing to pay large salaries to futurologists. Companies such as Apple, GE and IBM need to anticipate future market trends before their competitors. Futurists, such as Ray Kurzweil, are employed by leading firms to help set corporate strategy. A management position can pay an average yearly salary of $107,610, according to Portfolio.com.
For a prominent futurologist, speeches can be very lucrative. Although they technically are not salary, these fees over a period of twelve months can dwarf the average salary of corporate officers. For example, Harry Dent Jr., famed economic futurist, charges approximately $50,000 per speech appearance. Speaking fees such as Mr. Dent's can quickly eclipse normal salaried earnings.
Many futurologists supplement corporate salaries by signing book deals. Futurologists can earn a percentage of each sale or up front cash payments, depending on the publisher. This stream of income can complement speaking engagements. After a speech, futurists often sign copies of their latest book for audience members. Many copies are sold this way, which can build a fan base for future books.
In addition to salaried work for corporations, futurist book deals and significant speaking fees, futurists may also receive prestigious prizes. These prizes can be very lucrative. For example, futurist Ray Kurzweil was awarded a $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize for his innovative work. Foundations, universities and nonprofits award prizes to futurists for both individual achievements and long-term bodies of work.