What comes to your mind when you hear the words “six-figure salary?”
Do you also think that this person is living a good comfortable life, probably with a massive home, a high-end car, and lots of extra cash for luxuries?
A six-figure income is definitely a goal many people wish to achieve. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of full-time US workers is only $936 per week. If this person works 40 hours per week, he or she would earn an average of $48, 672. This is a five-figure income.
So, if you are going to surpass this threshold and earn a 6-figures salary, it means that you are earning significantly more than many people.
To say that you are making six figures in annual income might draw some impressive remarks from people. But how much is 6 figures, really? And how much is six figures in money? How does one make this much money?
Today, we will take a look at what a six figure salary means, as well as 5, 7, and 8 figures income. If you have the goal of increasing your income, it makes sense to understand what these numbers stand for.
What is a Six Figure Salary?
Going back to the basics of math, we know that a figure stands for a single number. Number 1 is just one figure, while 34 is two figures and 5678 is four figures.
Therefore, when we say six figures, it is a number more than 99,999 and less than 1,000,000.
What Is 6 Figures In Money?
When someone says he is earning a six-figure income, it means that he makes more than $100,000 but not more than a million dollars.
Given that a 6-figure salary is double the average income in the US, it might impress to us that a person earning six figures makes twice the income of an average US full-time worker. And that’s something one can be proud of.
But are 6 figure income earners wealthy? If you are earning six figures, does that mean that you belong to the middle class or the rich?
Well, it depends on where your six-figure income lies. According to US News:
- the middle class earns between $53,413 – $106,827
- the upper middle class earns between $106,827 – $373,894
- and the rich make $373,894 and up
Looking at six figures as a whole, it’s easy to say that it’s a bunch of money. But how much is 6 figures a month?
Running the math, it comes down to $8,333. How much is 6 figures an hour? To earn six figures working 40 hours a week, you need to earn at least $48 per hour.
It is important to remember that when we say earning six figures per year (or any other figure, for that matter), it typically means before tax and deductions. Therefore, an annual income includes anything that’s earned from a full-time job, side gig, and business, including tips, bonuses, and commissions. This figure also includes income from retirement funds, pension, child support and alimony, disability assistance, and income from investments and properties.
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Jobs That Pay 6 Figures
Now that we know what is 6 figures and how much is six figures in salary, it’s now time to know what jobs pay this much income.
The following is a list of six-figure jobs that typically require a bachelor’s degree or higher.
According to Career Karma, here are the top six-figure jobs:
- Senior Business Consultant – this entails giving expert advice and solutions to new and existing businesses.
2. Petroleum Engineer – the job entails designing equipment and coming up with feasible strategies for extracting oil and gas.
3. Air Traffic Controller – air controllers are responsible for directing aircraft, making sure they arrive and depart safely from the airport.
4. Construction Manager – overlooks construction projects and makes sure that everything goes smoothly according to the plan.
5. Commercial Pilot – transports cargo and passengers via an aircraft safely.
LiveCareer adds that these jobs command six-figure pay as well:
6. General and operations manager – coordinate the operations between locations and departments in a company or organization.
7. Software Developers and Engineers – they create systems, applications, and software to be used for electronic devices.
8. Physicians and surgeons – overlook human health by administering and/or prescribing treatment, interpreting tests, and performing procedures. One may specialize on a field (oncology, cardiology, neurosurgery, etc.) or serve as a general practitioner.
Salary: $214, 770
9. Lawyers – provide legal advice, draft legal documents and represent clients in civil and criminal cases.
Salary: $141, 890
10. Marketing and Sales Manager – they handle sales and marketing operations to increase profits, appeal to new customers, and retain old ones.
How To Earn Six Figures Without a College Degree
Making 6 figures is not exclusive to people who have finished college, passed their licensure exams, and pursued higher education. In most cases, having high education attainment does put you in a position to earn more money. But even without a degree, it’s still very much possible to make six figures a year.
Here are some of the jobs that make over $100,000 or more without a college degree, according to Go Banking Rates:
1. Craft and Fine Artists – artists are not required to furnish education credentials to create and sell art. Top earners make around $106,000 per year.
2. Dental Hygienist – this job mostly requires an associate degree and license. Dental hygienists work with dentists, and their roles revolve around examining patients’ teeth, taking X-rays, and giving dental hygiene advice. Top earners make around $103, 340.
3. Funeral service manager – those who previously worked as morticians or worked in the funeral service can take a state licensing exam to become qualified to work as funeral service managers. Top earners make around $161,870.
4. Radiation therapist – you only need an associate degree or complete a certificate program, plus a license or certification to work as a radiation therapist. Top earners make around $128,630.
5. Web developer – an associate degree is often required to work as a web developer, as well as knowledge in programming and graphic design. Top earners make around $142,080.
Six-Figure Salary Jobs You Can Do from Home
As you know, I’m an advocate of money-making opportunities from home. It’s a set-up that’s worked amazingly for me and my family. Naturally, I was curious if it’s possible for home-based workers to make six figures, and which work-from-home jobs earn this much income.
As it turns out, some work-from-home jobs can be lucrative! According to FlexJobs, people with the right skills (high-income skills, at that) and experience, can pretty much command a six-digit figure income while working from home. Here are some of the high-paying work-from-home jobs that command top dollar:
1. IT Senior Manager – earns up to $84,000 – $145,000
2. Business Development Manager – earns up to $44,000 – 121,000
3. Front-end Developer – earns up to $46,000 – 107,000
4. Mobile Developer – earns $49,000 – $112,000
5. Cyber Security Analyst – earns $51,000 – $117,000
6. Clinical Trial Manager – earns $65,000 – $132,000
7. Cloud Architect – earns $69,000 – $164,000
8. Research Engineer – $58,000 – $119,000
9. Senior Systems Engineer – $78,000 – $140,000
10. Software Engineer – $60,000 – $124,000
But of course, these jobs require specific degrees, licenses, and certifications, and most of the people who make it to the six-figure level have acquired numerous years of experience under their belt.
What about those of us who don’t who aren’t engineers or developers? Can we also make six figures from home?
The answer is yes!
Nowadays, there are several non-traditional jobs that pay handsomely. Let’s take a look at the following jobs that also make six figures:
Let’s start with my favorite money-making activity: blogging. Income from blogging can come from various sources: ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, selling merch and products, and more.
Abby Lawson, for instance, of Just A Girl and Her Blog, makes around $41,000 per month (or $492,000 a year). Her blog centers around productivity, organization, and lifestyle, presenting it in a way that’s educational and entertaining.
A good portion of her income comes from affiliate marketing, and she also makes some money selling her own digital products.
Given that blogging income is never really the same month after month, Abby’s blog has come to a point where she makes a 6-figure salary.
Want to learn how to start blogging? Read my detailed tutorial on how to start a blog and make money!
Many people now consider running a YouTube channel a job. With the right monetization strategies, one can make quite a fortune from this platform.
Look at Jessica Tull, a mom of three and owner of a YouTube channel that showcases time-lapsed videos on cleaning and organizing. Surprisingly, these cleaning videos are a huge hit, and she’s been able to make six figures off them.
Interested making money on YouTube? Check out How to Become a YouTuber and Ways to Make Money on YouTube
Instagram is one of the best platforms for influencer marketing. The highest-paid Instagram influencers are mostly made up of famous personalities in sports and entertainment. Christiano Ronaldo, for example, makes $466,100 – $776,833 per post. He is followed by Ariana Grande who charges $391,530 -$652,550 per post, and Dwayne Johnson who earns around $383,014 – $638,356.
Most of these influencers already have a “built-in fame” so growing their following was probably easy. But regular people like us can also make a good income on Instagram. For instance, this well-traveled couple makes six figures on Instagram by showing their followers all the wonderful places they’re visiting.
Apart from influencer marketing, one can also make six figures on Instagram as a consultant. In fact, this is exactly how Joey Ruben, a high school senior, makes money. He runs a consulting business that uses Instagram and TikTok, in growing a brand’s image, exposure, and engagement.
These are just a few examples. There are still many high-paying jobs that don’t require a degree. Check out our post 25 Stay-at-Home Mom Jobs that Pay Well for more information!
Is a 6-Figure Salary a Lot of Money?
How much is 6 figures in money? What do six figures mean to you?
Unfortunately, there are no straight answers to these questions. One person earning six figures might feel that he is rich, while others may feel that it is not enough. According to Business Insider, many millennials who make six figures still feel like they’re broke. Apparently, this group of people is called HENRY (high earner, not rich yet).
So, if you’re going to ask a HENRY: is 6 figures a lot of money, they’d probably answer no.
Why is that?
According to the same article on Business Insider, these could be the reasons:
- LIFESTYLE CREEP – they keep inflating their spending along with their increase in income.
- STUDENT DEBT – most HENRYs are dragged down by the cost of their student debts.
Additionally, there are a lot of other factors that come into play when determining whether six figures is a ton of money. Apart from the numbers themselves, we also need to look into the how, why, and where the money is spent.
How Much Is 6 Figures Worth In Real Life?
Are you dreaming of a six-figure lifestyle? Sure, hitting the six-figure mark is an achievement for most people.
But the worth of these figures depends mostly on these important factors:
- Your lifestyle
- Your location
- And how well you handle your finances
For example, two people (A and B) earn $100,000 a year. A is a frugal person. He carefully budgets every dollar, making sure that his bills are paid, he has savings, and is putting a portion towards investments. Additionally, A knows what he needs and wants, and he makes sure to prioritize his needs first. A is super aware of what six figures means to his life, so he tries to manage his income properly.
B, on the other hand, is a happy spender. He purchases the latest gadgets, upgrades his vehicle every few years, and goes on lavish vacations. Then, he misses paying his bills and his savings are depleted. He also has zero investments.
So, as you can see, even if both of them earn the same six figures, such money can only go as far as you’re properly handling it. For A, earning $100,000 allows him to live securely and comfortably. While for B, such an amount is not enough to feed his lifestyle because he’s always running on a deficit.
What Is 7 Figures?
Let’s say you want to aim higher and want to surpass the six-figure mark. So, you move on the next level: seven figures.
Given that you’ve added an extra digit to six figures, it’s easy to see that seven figures are worth much more. In fact, seven figures are figures between 1,000,000 to 9,999,999. That is a lot of money! Once you’ve reached the 7 figures salary, you are officially called a millionaire.
If you have your eyes set on making 7 figures salary, you must put your mind to it because it won’t be an easy feat. If you wanted to make a million dollars a year, you would need to make $83,333,333 a month. Remember that this figure is before your tax and deductibles.
Jobs That Pay a Seven-Figure Income
Many people who make seven figures did not get to this point right away. Instead, they started low and slowly climbed their way up. They chose a career that gave them plenty of room to grow, and with the right mindset and methods, they were able to reach the seven-figure income level.
According to Indeed, these are the top career paths of people who make 7 figures:
- Investment Banking – this job requires you to have a solid understanding of the stock market, calculate risks and determine opportunities for investments.
- Entrepreneur – starting your own business gives you the limitless potential for income growth, so it’s highly possible to make seven figures from this venture.
- Enterprise Sales – this role involves engaging with high-level sales and going into massive sales contracts which can prove to be highly profitable.
- Consultant – business consultants provide sound advice and strategies to help a business succeed. As the business grows, so do your profits.
- C-level executive – holding a high position in a company or organization, such that of a CEO, CFO or COO gives you the potential to earn more money.
These jobs typically require higher educational attainments and years of experience. However, there are also non-traditional jobs that allow you to make 7 figures, such as the following:
- Influencer – by leveraging the power of social media, you can partner with companies and promote their products/services to your followers.
Take a look at these TikTok influencers who are making millions a year. Some of them are just teens, but they’ve scored some massive deals with giant companies, which allowed them to rake in a lot of money.
- Amazon FBA – this is a popular business model wherein entrepreneurs sell their products on Amazon while allowing Amazon to handle the logistics.
Sohrab (Rob) Izad, is one of the people who successfully became a millionaire with Amazon FBA. He started with a $3,000 initial investment and earned $200,000 a month over the next couple of months.
Apart from these non-traditional jobs, other careers that command seven figures are those in the professional sports and entertainment industry.
What is Eight Figures?
Moving on, we will now tackle how much is eight figures and what jobs command this income level.
In math, 8 figures run between 10,000,000 to 99,999,999.
So, how much is 8 figures in money?
If you translate this figure into income, 8 figures mean earning over $10 million but less than $100 million. At which point, such a person would be called a multi-millionaire. To earn this much money is quite a feat, and not a lot of people are able to do this.
Jobs That Make Eight Figures Salary
You’re probably wondering what multimillionaires do for a living. Well, there’s an assortment of jobs that allow millionaires to increase their wealth even more. This includes:
Some of the most famous CEOs who make 8 figures in annual income are Abigail Johnson ($17 million) of Fidelity Investments, Michael Dell ($32 million) of Dell, and Jack Ma ($50 million) of Alibaba.
Many CEOs are well-educated, but there are some of them who dropped out of college but were able to build multi-million empires. Yes, we’re talking about the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Oprah.
YouTube is indeed a wonderful source of lucrative income, some people even make eight figures out of it. The top millionaires on YouTube in 2021 include Ryan Kaji of Ryan’s World ($30 million); Dude Perfect ($50 million) and PewDiePie ($40 million).
The entertainment industry pays off very well, with many of the celebrities making 8 figures or more per year.
Dwayne Johnson, for example, earns $87.5 million, Ariana Grande with $72 million, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran at $65 million in annual income.
It’s worth mentioning though that Kylie Jenner, the highest-paid celebrity, makes $590 million dollars, and therefore earns way more than 8 figures in annual income.
- Professional Athletes
Professional athletes also make quite a living, with many of them earning around the 8-figure scale, which includes Lebron James ($96.5 million); Roger Federer ($90 million), Kevin Durant ($75 million), and Tom Brady ($76 million).
What is Five Figures? What Does a Five Figure Salary Means?
We’ve discussed 6,7, and 8 figures so far, but let’s take it down a notch and get into the income level where many of us belong: 5 figures.
Right now, we would have a solid idea of how much 5 figures is: it’s a number with five digits in it. So, 5 figures go anywhere between 10,000 to 99,999. In the US, most people earn five figures income.
If your salary belongs to this range, read the following post to know what a 5-figure salary means:
Jobs That Pay a 5-Figure Salary
Several jobs, whether mainstream or non-traditional, make 5 figures. These careers typically include jobs that most of us are already familiar with, such as:
- Police officer
- Truck driver
- Childcare worker
- Online freelancers (proofreaders, translators, tutors, etc.)
If you were looking to answer the question “how much is six figures,” I hope that this article has satiated your curiosity.
I would like to emphasize once again that it’s hard to put a definite worth on any income because our personal and financial circumstances are different from one another. Some people are happy to earn five figures, while others wish to make more, so they strive to go for 6 figures, even more.
But I believe that whatever income you are earning right now or aspire to make in the future, there are many ways to make the most out of your hard-earned money: paying yourself first, setting the boundaries between needs and wants, saving for long-term goals, and paying your debts. Apart from these, it’s also good to diversify your income by setting aside a portion towards investments, as well as creating multiple income streams. With a sound financial mindset and strategy, you’re on the right path towards reaching your desired income level.