How Much is 6 Figures? Explanation, Jobs, and Examples

How Much Is 6 Figures

Table of Contents

Growing up, there were always two numbers that people seemed to be talking about.  Saving one million dollars and earning a 6-figure salary.  Like me early on, you may be asking how much is 6 figures? 

It’s a very common question, so if you don’t know what 6 figures means, you’re certainly not alone.  Luckily, I’m here to answer everything you need to know about what 6 figures means, jobs that offer six-figure salaries, and examples of positions and people who make this kind of dough. 

What Is a Figure?

Quick answer, a figure is the same thing as a digit or single number. 

  • To start, the number 1 has one digit or one figure
  • Skipping a few, the number 10,000 has five digits or five figures
  • Most importantly, the number 100,000 has six digits or six figures
  • Next, the number 1,000,000 (1 million) has seven digits or seven figures
  • Then, the number 10,000,000 has eight digits or eight figures
  • The number 100,000,000 has nine digits or nine figures
  • Lastly, the number 1,000,000,000 (1 billion) has ten digits or ten figures

How Much Is 6 Figures in Terms of Salary?

$100,000 – $999,999

Now that you understand what the figures stand for, we can move into what that translates to when thinking about a salary. 

A 6-figure salary means that you make a minimum of $100,000 per year and a maximum of $999,999 per year. 

If you make $100,000 before expenses are taken you, you make 6 figures.  It doesn’t matter that you make less than $100,000 after taxes and expenses, as long as your gross (before taxes/expenses) salary is $100,000 – $999,999, you make a 6-figure income. 

How Many People Make 6 Figures?

If you’re not a numbers person, this may get boring quickly.  I love numbers and comparisons because they help show where you’re at percentage wise when compared against others.

Average U.S. Individual Income – $32,621

Average U.S. Household Income – $60,293

Since we learned all about figures earlier, I’ll mention that these are both 5 figure incomes. 

According to Statista, 34.1% of U.S. households have a 6-figure income or greater. 

There are 128,580,000 households currently in the US. 

That means there are 43,845,780 households in the U.S. that make over $100,000 or earn a 6-figure income.  Please note, these are households and not individuals. 

Roughly 13.24 million people in the U.S. make 6 figures.  That’s about 8.5% of the workforce, and the workforce totals 155.76 million people. 

If you’d like to see what percentage of people your age makes $100,000 or more, check out this income percentile by age calculator

How to Make 6 Figures a Year?

I remember when I was around 13 years old, my mom asked what I wanted to be when I grow up.  My answer to her was basically I had no clue, but that I’d be successful. 

She asked me what I thought being successful looked like. I said making $100,000 per year and that was my goal.

Why do I mention this?  Well, because the first steps to making a 6 figure salary are psychological. 

Ambition

It’s not easy to make 6 figures.  You have to be focused, work hard, and do all you can to make it happen. 

Education

Did you know that bachelor’s degree holders earn an average of just over $32k more per year than those with just a high school diploma?  That means a bachelor’s degree can help you make twice as much as the median U.S. income. 

Emotional Intelligence

Working in wealth management, I’m around plenty of very smart people every day.  I can tell you firsthand that it’s not always about being the smartest person in the room. 

I would recommend reading Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.  It’s a great book that explains how important it is to control emotions, be able to read other people’s emotions, and the importance of social relationships. 

What Jobs Pay 6 Figures with a College Degree?

This list is compiled using a few different resource pages found at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website.  In certain cases, salary discrepancies were found, and the lower, more conservative median salary is listed. 

Medical

  • Psychiatrist – $200,000+
  • Surgeon – $200,000+
  • Anesthesiologist – $200,000+
  • Doctors/Dentist – $200,000+
  • Nurse Practitioner – $100,000+

Business/Finance

  • CEO’s – $185,000+
  • Actuary – $115,000+
  • Lawyer – $144,000+
  • Financial Manager – $110,000+

Engineering

  • Chemical Engineer – $115,000+
  • Electrical Engineer – $101,000+
  • Petroleum Engineer – $137,000+
  • Computer Hardware Engineer – $146,000+
  • System Engineer – $101,000+

Technology

  • Info Technology Manager – $100,000+
  • Info Security Analyst – $106,000+
  • System Engineer – $101,000+
  • Network Engineer – $107,000+

What Jobs Pay 6 Figures Without a College Degree?

It’s difficult to find jobs that pay $100,000+ a year without having a college degree, but it’s not impossible.  Below is a list of occupations that have the potential to make over 6 figures.

These are the median salaries of the highest paying jobs that only require a high school diploma.  

  • Power Plant Operator – $86,000
  • Elevator Installer & Repairer – $85,000+
  • Commercial Pilot – $121,000+
  • Logistics Manager – $95,000+

Can You Make 6 Figures in an Entry Level Job?

Making 6 figures right out of the gate is a lofty goal but can be achieved.  Here are several entry level 6 figure jobs with the potential to make over $100,000.  The salaries shown are the median figures, but a good percentage of new hires have negotiated annual 6-figure earnings.  

  • Data Scientist – $101,000+
  • Software Engineer – $95,000+
  • Hardware Engineer – $88,000+
  • Investment Banking Analyst – $86,000+
  • Data Engineer – $85,000+

Is Making 6 Figures Considered Wealthy?

Only 8.5% of workers make 6 figure salaries.  Does that make them wealthy?

Making $100,000 or more every year does make it easier to live comfortably.  But that doesn’t mean you’re rich. 

There are a couple factors to consider first.

Location

Where you live and the cost of living has a huge impact on how far your dollars will go.  6 figures in Tulsa, OK will help ensure you live like a king or queen. 

Living on 6 figures in San Francisco or New York City will have you rationing and eating ramen noodles.  

Financial Health

If you’re making 6 figures but have debt up the wazoo and are living paycheck to paycheck, you aren’t wealthy.  Someone earning $50,000 who saves $10,000 each year would be closer to wealthy in my book. 

Spending every dollar earned on frivolous items will prevent you from being wealthy, no matter how much money you make. 

Regardless of your income, it’s important to evaluate your finances, create a budget, and stick to it!

Net Worth

The true test of being wealthy isn’t by looking at your income, but at your net worth

I’ve worked with clients who earned 7 figures and beyond.  While I considered them a great prospect for future wealth, it didn’t make them wealthy.  Plenty of them squandered every penny and had less saved than someone who made substantially less than 6 figures. 

What matters is how much you save and have stocked away.  If I look at your finances, subtracting debts from your assets, and the number is $0…you’re not wealthy no matter how much you earn.

What About 7 Figures?

$1,000,000 – $9,999,999

A 7-figure salary means that you make a minimum of $1,000,000 per year and a maximum of $9,999,999 per year. 

How High Can You Go?  8 Figures

$10,000,000 – $99,999,999

An 8-figure salary means that you make a minimum of $10,000,000 per year and a maximum of $99,999,999 per year. 

Jobs That Pay 7 & 8 Figures

In order to make over 1 million dollar a year, you have to be driven and have a particular expertise. 

Those making 7 & 8 figures are in extremely high demand, that’s why they’re paid so well.  We’re talking far less than 1% of the population here, so it certainly isn’t easy.

Here are some jobs that can pay 7 & 8 figures.

Actor/Actress

The average actor makes less than $60,000 per year.  That’s not even in the 6-figure club!  In order to make 7 & 8 figures, the actor or actress has to be in high demand and on the A-List.  Also, their income fluctuates year to year based on their popularity. 

Here are some examples of current 7 & 8 figure actors and actresses.

  • Keanu Reeves – $2,000,000+
  • Joaquin Phoenix – $4,500,000+
  • Ben Affleck – $8,000,000+
  • Margot Robbie – $9,000,000+
  • Brad Pitt – $10,000,000+
  • Tom Cruise – $12,000,000+
  • Emily Blunt – $12,000,000+
  • Ryan Reynolds – $27,000,000+

C-Suite Corporate Executives

C-Suite executives are those that hold the ‘chief’ name and are the highest executives in the company. 

Here are some examples of current 7 & 8 figure c-suite executives.

  • Josh Silverman | Etsy CEO – $1,000,000+
  • Rachel Glaser | Etsy CFO – $3,500,000+
  • Edward Christie III | Spirit Airlines CEO – $3,400,000+
  • John Bendoraitis | Spirit Airlines COO – $2,000,000+
  • Gary Philbin | Dollar Tree CEO – $10,000,000+
  • Kevin Wampler | Dollar Tree CFO – $3,200,000+
  • Laurence Fink | BlackRock, Inc CEO – $24,000,000+
  • Gary Shedlin | BlackRock, Inc CFO – $6,400,000+
  • Jamie Dimon | JPMorgan/Chase CEO – $31,500,000+
  • Daniel Pinto | JPMorgan/Chase COO – $21,000,000+
  • Sundar Pichai | Google CEO – $281,000,000+ (yea that’s 9 figures)

Professional Athletes

The sports industry rakes in over $83,000,000,000 (billion or 11 figures) annually in the US alone.  The athletes chosen to play are the best of the best, and therefore paid a lot of money for their unique talent. 

Here are some of the highest paid professional athletes that make 7 & 8 figures.

  • Connor McDavid – $1,000,000+
  • Anthony Rizzo – $11,000,000
  • Clayton Kershaw – $27,000,000
  • Naomi Osaka – $37,000,000+
  • Kirk Cousins – $60,000,000+
  • Tiger Woods – $62,000,000+
  • Lebron James – $88,000,000+
  • Cristiano Ronaldo – $105,000,000+ (9 figures)
  • Roger Federer – $106,000,000+ (9 figures)

Alright, I Get What 6 Figures Is Now.  What Next? 

Do you already make 6 figures?  If not, what steps are you ready and willing to take in order to get there?  

The first step is What.  What do you plan on changing in your life to achieve this goal? 

The next is How? How are you going to go about making 6 figures? 

The last step is Why? Why is making 6 figures important to you?  

 

 

 

Paul W

Hello! I'm Paul, finance expert and founder of The Income Finder. With over 15 years experience in the finance industry, a bachelors from Benedictine University and MBA from DePaul, I'm well qualified and ready to share great insight and tips on money management. Read More

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Noel

    The average US household income always blows my mind because I live out in the SF Bay Area. You’re right, 100k doesn’t mean much if you live in SF or one of the adjacent suburbs. But there’s plenty of people who take advantage of the high salaries and commute in from affordable suburbs 30+ miles away (I’m in this group).

    Great list and wonderful point about separating income and net worth. One industry out here in California that pays particularly well into the 100k-200k range for both college grads and non college is construction. Union plumbers make $75 an hour out here…construction managers 200k easy.

  2. Spot on about location. $100k in SF is equivalent to $42k in Tulsa! Definitely livable, but insane to think about. That said, you can find ways to cut expenses and save a lot more money than you could with a lower salary, regardless of location.

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