We're off in a little rat trap now about what the terminally awesome state is in any given career. If we were talking about salespeople, someone would be saying, "yeah, but how likely is it that you'd ever be a CEO? And hey, if you're a CEO, you might as well have started a company anyways, because most of your wealth comes from a stake."
But it's just a conversational rat trap. Unless your definition of "rich" means "owning a private jet", you never have to come close to being a VP/Engineering to become rich over a carefully managed career. You just have to be good with money.