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Interested in learning exactly how much 6 figures is when broken down on a weekly, monthly, and annual salary basis? Want to know what types of job earn 6 figures (and beyond), and how to jumpstart your career to get there?
In this post, we’ll deep-dive into everything surrounding the question: how much is 6 figures, plus looking into 7, 8, 9, and even 10 figure sums.
6 figures is typically the term that refers to people earning a 6-figure sum each year. In numbers, this ranges between $100,000 to $999,999. Although $100,000 is still an impressive number, the variance between just how much someone could be earning on 6-figures is huge.
We’ll take a look into how to build enough wealth to be a 6-figure (or more) earner, jobs and professions that earn this much, and more.
When we talk about money, one term that often pops up is “figures.” But what exactly does this mean? In the financial world, “figures” is a colloquial term that we use to discuss salary or net worth. Each figure represents a digit in a number, specifically looking at the digits before the decimal point.
Let’s break this down:
- 1-Figure: Amounts from $1 to $9. It’s rare to discuss wages or salaries in single figures, but we often use this when talking about pricing for small items or value deals.
- 2-Figures: This ranges from $10 to $99. You might hear this in relation to low-cost items or services, but it’s seldom used when discussing salaries.
- 3-Figures: Now, we’re looking at $100 to $999. This might be the cost of a new smartphone or a fancy dinner for two.
- 4-Figures: This category, $1,000 to $9,999, is often where we start talking about larger expenses like a used car, a down payment, or even lower-end annual salaries.
- 5-Figures: Here, we’re dealing with $10,000 to $99,999. This is a common salary range for many jobs, and it’s also the price range for a new car or a down payment on a house in some markets.
- 6-Figures: This magic range of $100,000 to $999,999 is often seen as a key marker of financial success. It’s a common goal for personal income, and it’s also used when discussing the cost of higher-end homes or luxury items.
- 7-Figures: Once you’re talking about $1,000,000 to $9,999,999, you’re in the millionaire range. This term is used to talk about net worth, high-end real estate, or the salary of an executive or successful entrepreneur.
- 8-Figures and beyond: These are the ranges of multi-millionaires and billionaires.
Understanding the concept of “figures” can simplify discussions around money, salary, and wealth.
In the sections that follow, we’ll delve deeper into what it means to earn a 6-figure salary, how common this is, and what types of jobs offer this level of compensation. We’ll also explore what life looks like with a 6-figure income, and provide some tips on how you might be able to achieve it yourself.
Now that we’ve defined what “figures” mean in a financial context, let’s look at how these figures are calculated. Specifically, we want to address two key questions:
Are “figures” calculated before or after taxes, and do benefits or bonuses count towards the figure calculation?
When we talk about “figures” in terms of salary, it’s crucial to note that this typically refers to gross income. That means it’s the total amount of money you earn before taxes, benefits, or other deductions are taken into account.
So, if someone tells you they earn a 6-figure salary, they’re referring to their pre-tax income. In practical terms, the actual amount they take home, or their net income, will be less once taxes are deducted.
As for benefits and bonuses, these are generally not included in the figure count when discussing salary. So, if someone has a base salary of $95,000, but they receive an annual bonus of $10,000, they would usually still be considered to earn a 5-figure salary, even though their total yearly compensation surpasses $100,000.
In the case of benefits like health insurance, retirement contributions, or company car provisions, these are almost universally left out of the “figures” conversation. Even though these perks undoubtedly add to your overall compensation package, they’re not considered part of your salary.
Deep Dive into 6-Figures
Armed with an understanding of what “figures” mean in a monetary context and how they’re calculated, it’s time to delve into the world of 6-figure salaries.
When we say that someone is making “6 figures,” we’re stating that they earn an annual salary of between $100,000 and $999,999.
That’s quite a broad range, encompassing everyone from the lower end of the high-income earners to those on the cusp of becoming millionaires.
Let’s break this down a bit further.
How Much Is 6-Figures Annually?
Annually: A 6-figure salary means that the total gross income over the year, before taxes, is at least $100,000. This might seem like a significant amount—and it is. Yet, it’s also a diverse category, ranging from those barely clearing the 6-figure mark to those nearly hitting 7 figures.
How Much Is 6-Figures Monthly?
Monthly: If we break it down by month, a person earning a 6-figure salary would make at least $8,333.33 per month before taxes, minimum.
This calculation is simply the annual income divided by 12 months. Of course, the exact amount could be higher depending on where the salary falls within the 6-figure range.
How Much Is 6-Figures Daily?
Daily: Looking at it daily, someone earning $100,000 per year would be making approximately $273.97 per day, assuming they work all 365 days of the year. However, if they work a standard 5-day workweek with holidays and vacation time accounted for (say, about 250 days), their daily earnings would be closer to $400.
How Much is 6-Figures Hourly?
Hourly: On an hourly basis, the amount would depend on the number of hours worked per week. Assuming a traditional 40-hour work week for 50 weeks (allowing for a two-week vacation), a 6-figure earner would be making at least $50 per hour.
Remember, these calculations give us ballpark figures based on a salary of exactly $100,000. Someone making $200,000 or $700,000 per year would obviously earn significantly more on a monthly, daily, and hourly basis.
Also, it’s important to remember that these are gross income figures, meaning they don’t account for taxes or other deductions. The actual take-home pay would be less, and the exact amount would depend on the individual’s tax situation, benefit contributions, and other factors.
How Common is a 6-Figure Salary?
According to Zippia, a career advising company, approximately 18% of individuals in the US earn more than $100,000. This salary is considered to be upper-middle class today in the US, reflecting just how much it would take to mark someone as ‘rich’ here.
For reference, the median US salary at the end of 2022 was $44,225 – so someone earning $100,000 is earning more than double the average salary.
Earning a $100,000 salary (working an average of 40 hour weeks) at the end of 2022 puts you in the 78th income percentile. At the extreme end of the scale, a top 1% earner in 2022 would be earning at least $401,622.
As you can see in the table below, of the top 10 median annual wages in the US (grouped by major occupation) in 2022, just two have a median annual wage of 6 figures.
A few traditional jobs earning 6-figures include:
- Hardware design engineer: Hardware design engineers earn an average of $107,308 annually. These individuals are responsible for designing and creating computer hardware elements.
- Investment banker analysts: Earning an average of $108,527 annually, investment banking analysts help their clients maintain investments and build their portfolios.
- Psychiatric nurse: Earning an average of $119,381 per year, psychiatric nurses work with families and individuals to help assess and treat mental health illnesses.
- Engineering manager: An engineering manager direct and plans engineering projects and processes. An individual in this role can expect to earn around $118,338 per year.
- Chief financial officer: A chief financial officer (CFO) is responsible for managing the financial activities of a business. Individuals in this role earn an average salary of $143,971.
Spotlight on 6-Figure Earners
Living on a 6-Figure Salary
When we talk about a 6-figure salary, it often conjures up images of luxury cars, large homes, and lavish vacations.
However, it’s important to remember that a 6-figure salary doesn’t automatically equate to a life of extravagance.
Your lifestyle will largely depend on your financial habits, cost of living, family size, and personal choices.
What does a 6-figure lifestyle look like?
A 6-figure income can afford a comfortable lifestyle in most areas. This could include owning a home, driving a reliable car, and having the means to enjoy leisure activities and regular vacations.
It can provide the flexibility to dine out regularly, pursue hobbies, and provide for a family. In short, this level of income often affords a quality of life that meets or exceeds the average American’s expectations.
However, it’s crucial to note that the purchasing power of a 6-figure income can vary significantly based on location.
What’s more, rising inflation in the past few years has meant a 6-figure salary will not get you quite as far as it used to. A survey from PYMNTS and LendingClub recently showed that a huge 51% of people earning more than $100,000 still live paycheck to paycheck.
(Read our guide on putting a stop to living paycheck to paycheck!)
This table shows where in the US 6-figures go furthest after taxes and cost-of-living adjustment:
Pros and Cons of a 6-figure lifestyle
- Financial Security:
A 6-figure salary often provides a higher level of financial security. It can offer more wiggle room for savings, investments, and unexpected expenses.
- Increased Opportunities:
Higher-incomes can provide increased opportunities for travel, education, and unique experiences.
- Better Work-Life Balance:
Jobs that come with a 6-figure salary often offer more flexibility, autonomy, and better work-life balance.
- Increased Responsibility and Stress: Jobs that command 6-figure salaries often come with more responsibility, longer hours, and higher stress levels.
- Lifestyle Inflation: With a higher income, it's easy to fall into the trap of lifestyle inflation—spending more as you earn more, which can lead to less saving and investing.
- Higher Taxes: A 6-figure income can push you into a higher tax bracket, meaning a larger portion of your salary goes to taxes.
6-Figures and Wealth Building
A 6-figure income can undoubtedly provide a solid foundation for building wealth. With greater financial resources at your disposal, you're well-placed to invest more, save more, and potentially grow your wealth faster. However, a 6-figure salary is not a prerequisite for wealth building.
Do you need to earn six figures to build wealth?
The short answer is, no, you don't.
While a larger income can certainly help speed up the process, wealth-building fundamentally comes down to consistently spending less than you earn, saving diligently, and investing wisely.
Many people with modest incomes have successfully built significant wealth through frugal living and smart investing.
Wealth-building strategies at different income levels
Regardless of your income level, there are certain key strategies for building wealth:
This helps you understand your income and expenses, enabling you to maximize savings and minimize unnecessary spending. Being frugal with your cash is a sensible habit no matter what pay bracket you’re in.
Saving and Investing
Regular savings, coupled with sensible investments, can lead to substantial wealth over time thanks to the power of compound interest. Many individuals earning 6-figures and beyond are wisely investing their wealth to create additional passive income streams and build their assets.
Spreading your investments across various asset classes can help manage risk while offering opportunities for growth. This guide to investing is a great place to start.
Continual Learning and Upgrading Skills
Increasing your income potential can also accelerate wealth building. This could involve further education, professional development, or even starting a side hustle.
A huge proportion of people earning those high-figure numbers do not just rely on one source of income.
Understanding 7, 8, 9, and 10 Figures
As we move into the territory of 7, 8, 9, and 10-figure incomes, we're looking at an elite group of earners. These income brackets are inhabited by top executives, successful entrepreneurs, celebrities, and people with significant investment income.
Jobs and professions that offer these salaries
Jobs that offer these lofty salaries are typically in high-level leadership roles in large corporations, extremely successful entrepreneurs, or top-tier celebrities and athletes.
- 7-Figures: These are typically earned by high-ranking corporate executives, successful entrepreneurs, top-tier physicians, lawyers, and entertainers.
- 8-Figures: Here, we're looking at ultra-successful entrepreneurs, CEOs of major corporations, and a handful of top celebrities and athletes.
- 9-Figures and Beyond: This is largely the domain of billionaires, including founders of major tech companies, top hedge fund managers, and a very select group of entertainers and athletes.
Most people earning these ultra-high-figures won’t actually be employed by anyone - instead, they’ll often be the owner or partner of a business, accumulating wealth directly into their own empire.
You’ll struggle to earn figures this gargantuan being on a payroll of someone else.
Examples of 7, 8, 9, and 10-figure earners
While these income levels may seem out of reach, there are numerous examples of individuals who have reached these lofty heights.
There are approximately 2,640 10-figure earners around the world at last count (in May 2023) - making these highly-successful individuals billionaires. These include well-known entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, Space X, and Twitter, and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com.
When we look at the number of millionaires around the world - 7,8, and 9 figure earners - this figure goes up astronomically. There are an estimated 56.1 million millionaires in the world at this time.
It’s important to note, however, that not all millionaires necessarily earn 7,8, or 9 figures each year - their total combined assets may be what marks them as a millionaire.
Something quite startling is that there are so many millionaires in the world, there’s no official ranking. Instead, those ultra-wealthy billionaires are the individuals taking the top spots on rich lists around the world.
How to Achieve a 6-Figure Salary
A 6-figure salary can provide a comfortable lifestyle, increase financial security, and provide a solid foundation for wealth building. But how can you achieve this income level? Here are some strategies that can help you increase your earning potential:
Education and Training
Investing in your education and training can have a significant impact on your earning potential. Consider fields that command high salaries, such as medicine, engineering, law, or tech. Look for opportunities to upskill in your current role or industry, as this can increase your value to employers.
Don’t be afraid to ask your employer for opportunities to expand your skill set, either. They’d often rather you grow with them than jump to other opportunities!
Seek promotions or higher-level positions within your field. This might mean taking on more responsibilities or managing larger teams. While this may increase your workload and stress levels, it can also significantly increase your earnings.
Many highly successful individuals will zig-zag between jobs to rapidly jump between pay-brackets.
Consider transitioning to an industry known for higher salaries. For instance, the tech industry is notorious for its high-paying roles, especially in areas like cybersecurity, AI, and data science.
If you’ve got your sites set on a 6-figure annual sum, you may need to take a stark look at your current career path and ask yourself if it’s really realistic for you.
Starting your own business can be a route to a 6-figure income, and potentially much more. However, entrepreneurship also comes with its own set of risks and challenges, and success often requires significant effort and persistence.
We talk in-depth about ways to make money online here, because we believe that working for yourself brings you far more benefits than simply the potential to earn big bucks.
Negotiate Your Salary
Many people are uncomfortable negotiating their salary, but doing so can result in a significant pay increase. Do your research to understand what people in similar roles and industries are earning, and use this data to make your case.
While this isn't a traditional salary, income from investments can significantly boost your overall income. This could be through real estate, the stock market, or other investment vehicles.
With the rise of the gig economy, there are numerous opportunities to supplement your income. From freelance work to even selling your own house plants (or selling feet photos!!), the options are nearly limitless. A successful side hustle can eventually even become a full-time endeavor.
Remember, achieving a 6-figure salary often doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and strategy. It's also not the only measure of financial success.
Building wealth and achieving financial independence can be accomplished at many different income levels. The key is to live within your means, save consistently, and invest wisely.
Looking at Lower Figures
While 6-figure salaries and beyond often grab the headlines, the reality is that many people earn 4 and 5-figure salaries. Understanding these salary ranges, the jobs that offer them, and the lifestyle they afford can provide a broader perspective on personal finance and wealth building.
How much is a 4 and 5-figure salary?
A 4-figure salary ranges from $1,000 to $9,999 per year, while a 5-figure salary ranges from $10,000 to $99,999. These salary ranges can represent part-time, entry-level, or lower-paying occupations, and depending on cost of living, they might be associated with more frugal lifestyles.
While these salaries may not offer the same financial freedom as a 6-figure salary, they can still provide a basis for financial security if managed correctly. Effective budgeting, disciplined saving, and wise financial habits are crucial at these income levels.
Typical jobs with 4-figures and 5-figures
4-figure salaries ($1,000 - $9,999) are typically associated with part-time or temporary jobs. This could include roles like retail associates, restaurant servers, or gig economy workers.
5-figure salaries ($10,000 - $99,999), on the other hand, can include a broad range of full-time jobs. This could encompass roles like teachers, office managers, graphic designers, journalists, and many skilled trades.
Most full-time jobs will sit in the 5-figure range, and many people live an extremely comfortable lifestyle within the higher ends of this range.
Jumping from 5-figures to a six figure salary
For those earning 4 or 5-figure salaries who aspire to reach a higher income level, several strategies can be effective:
Pursue further education or training
Higher levels of education and specialized training can often lead to higher-paying jobs. This doesn't necessarily mean obtaining a four-year degree; vocational training, certifications, or associate degrees can also lead to higher-paying opportunities.
Negotiate your salary
If you're already employed, negotiating your salary or asking for a raise can increase your income. It's important to research average salaries for your role and present a strong case to your employer.
Develop a side hustle
Many people supplement their income with side jobs or freelance work. This could be something related to your current job or an entirely different field.
Consider a career switch
If you're in a low-paying industry and feel stuck, it might be worthwhile to consider switching to a higher-paying field. This might require additional education or training, but the long-term payoff can be significant.
Continually improve your skills
Whether it's becoming more proficient in a certain software, learning a new language, or improving your leadership skills, continual self-improvement can lead to new opportunities and higher pay.
Remember, while earning a higher salary can help accelerate wealth-building, it's not the only factor. Smart financial habits, disciplined saving, and wise investing are also key components of long-term financial success.
So, how much is 6-figures and how can you get there? As we’ve demonstrated, earning 6-figures can mean some wildly different things, taking you from a $100,000 salary to nearly millionaire-status.
Most importantly, we’ve covered some of the steps you could take if you’ve still got your eyes set on seeing these types of figures make their way into your life. Persistence, intensity, and consistency are absolute key to success - so make a plan, and stick to it, and you’ll get there.
Enjoyed this post? Take a look at our deep-dives into how much other salaries breakdown to, plus some exciting ways you could boost your income today: