‘The Big Bang Theory’: How Much Would Howard Wolowitz Make in Real Life?

Howard Wolowitz’s lack of a Ph.D. was a point of contention. His friend group, primarily made up of Ph.D.’s, never missed an opportunity to remind Howard that his master’s degree was a bit easier to come by than their advanced degrees. Regardless, Howard seemed to be doing pretty well for himself. So, how much would Howard have made in real life? The answer might surprise you.

Where did Howard Wolowitz get his degree from?

Howard might not have a super-advanced degree, but his educational background is still pretty impressive. While his friends, especially Sheldon Cooper, poke fun at his education, Howard is clearly incredibly smart. He points out on more than one occasion that he received a master’s degree from M.I.T.

M.I.T or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a highly competitive school. The university, which was founded in 1861, has an acceptance rate of just 13%. In short, the school doesn’t accept just anyone. Howard would have had to produce a solid academic track record even to be considered for admission.  According to the school’s website, MIT ranked as the number 1 university in the world, and the top school in 12 of 48 disciplines measured. It’s most prominent programs are STEM-related.  

How much money would Howard Wolowitz have made?

Howard was an aerospace engineer and later became an astronaut. For the purpose of calculations let’s look at his engineering salary. According to Payscale, an aerospace engineer can expect to make between $64,000 and $157,000 each year. The type of company a person works for and the years they’ve spent in the industry will dictate their income. Considering Howard’s education and the relatively young nature of his career, we can assume he makes the national average for an aerospace engineer, which is around $89,000.

Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz
Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)

While his friends technically make a good deal more than him, Howard’s income is still above the national average. He also has far fewer bills and, regardless of what his friends think, Howard is likely in a much better financial situation than most people, even his highly-educated friends.

Howard, theoretically, should have banked a lot of money

Howard didn’t have a Ph.D., but his bills were also substantially lower than that of his pals, at least during the first several seasons of The Big Bang Theory. He lived with his mother in his childhood home, so presumably, he didn’t pay any rent. He also drove a scooter, meaning his insurance rate was pretty low, and a car payment was not a concern.

Howard was allegedly born in 1981. The show begins in 2007, meaning he was 26 years old when the show premiered. Howard lived at home with his mother until Season 6. So, we can safely assume he lived with his mother from the time he graduated until he was 32 years old. If Howard’s studies went according to plan, he likely finished up at M.I.T at the age of 24. Howard would have lived with his mother, rent-free, for the first eight years of his working life.

Even if Howard shelled out $2,000 a month on comic books and other toys, he was still left with over $3,000 a month. If that all holds true, Howard would have left his mother’s house at the age of 32 with a cool $316,000 in the bank. Sure, he doesn’t have the Ph.D., but his lack of bills probably put him in a better financial position than his pals.