Before you came across this article, you have more than likely encountered the term “six figures.” The phrase is usually associated with business deals, salaries, and the like. Even before you figure out what it means, you get an idea that it is something significant. According to YouGov, only 9% of Americans make $100,000 or more a year.
What Does Six Figures Mean?
Technically speaking, six figures range from 100,000 to 999,999. So, in mathematics, we refer to numbers with six digits, thus the term six figures. Nowadays, though, whenever this term is mentioned, the speaker is usually alluding to annual salaries or contracts. Six figures is a significant number.
What Is Six Figures In Money?
The most common question associated with this would be, “What is a six-figure salary?”
Six figures in dollars is considered pretty good, considering that the average US household earns about $60000 annually. If you count the digits, that showcases a five-digit figure, under $100,000. The average full-time worker in the US earns $47,216, which is a five-figure salary. So, you can say that people who do end up making six-digit figures are a cut above the rest.
However, people who earn six-figures in money also fall under a rather diverse bunch. Someone who is earning $100,000 has already reached this mark. On the other hand, someone who is on his way to a million is still part of this group. Imagine earning $999,999; it’s a mere dollar short of making $1,000,000, a seven-figure salary.
How Much is 6 Figures a Year?
According to ZipRecruiter, as of 2020, the average six-figure earner takes home $100,434. So, you can see that while six figures sounds impressive, most of those who earn at least $100,000 lean more towards the lower end of the spectrum.
Per the annual average six-figure salary above, this amount boils down to earning $48.29 an hour. I have to approximate here a little because not everyone who gets the same annual salary makes the same every hour. For example, some people have to work Saturdays while others only go to work on weekdays.
The average six-figure salary will have you taking home about $1931 a week or $8370 a month. It does not sound bad at all, even if you’re at the bottom range of 6 figures a year. No wonder everyone gets excited when people hear the phrase.
How much do you have to make a day to make 6 figures?
As mentioned in the last section, you must make $48.29 per hour. This number, however, applies to the median salary. It leans more towards the lower range of the six-figure spectrum. However, if you want to see what the dissected figure looks like for both low-six figures and mid-six figures, take a look at the following:
Low six figures
So, perhaps you just started earning in the low six figures. Maybe, you have just penetrated a section of the thick glass ceiling that only 9% of Americans reach. Of course, this is something to celebrate because most median six-figure incomes are on the low end.
What if you are getting $100,000 flat a year? You will then take home about $8,333.33 a month. That’s not too shabby. Hopefully, future inflation will not render that amount practically useless, given all the global stimulus before and during the pandemic. $277 is the daily salary if you assume 30-day months as the norm, with no regard for whether there are off days or not.
If you have to think of the range of low six figures as a whole, it is from $100,000 to $400,000. So, at its peak, a daily salary of $1,111.11 is what you will get for low six figures. That sounds like something a regular person can only dream about. It is happening, and you can make it happen for yourself. Think about it: this is the “low six-figure range,” and we haven’t even talked about the mid-six figures yet.
If you earn low six figures in some states such as Hawaii, District of Columbia, and California, you will find it to be a low-income if you are maintaining a four-member family. This is especially true if your partner does not provide a second salary to your family.
Mid six figures
A mid-six-figure salary will be around $500,000 or so. If the wage is precisely equivalent to half a million, the monthly salary is approximately $41,666.67. The daily salary is at $1388.89, assuming a 40-hour workweek and 52-weeks a year. Can you imagine earning that much daily? For some people, it takes them two weeks or even a whole month to earn that much. According to
What does it take to be in the top 1% of annual income earners?
According to Pew Research, someone earning an annual income of about $539,000 is among the top 1%.
The range of mid-six figures is from $400,000 to $700,000. Someone at the top of this range will earn $58,333.33 a month or approximately $1,944.44 a day to make mid-six figures. Also, keep in mind that higher income means higher taxes and more significant responsibilities in many cases.
According to the Tax Foundation, individuals earning at least $518,401 or married individuals filing joint earning at least $622,051 are in the 37% tax bracket in 2020.
High six figures
At the peak of the high six-figure category are people close to earning a million per year. This is still nothing compared to the top 1% earning an average annual income of about $1.7 million. But it surely doesn’t hurt if you make anywhere from $700,000 to $999,999!
If you take on a worldwide perspective of where you are as a six-figure earner, you’ll be among the top 10% wealthiest in the world by saving $100,000 in your bank account. You must take the cost of living index into account when understanding how far your money will take you. A $100,000 salary will buy you a large multifamily house in some cities, and other cities will get you a small apartment.
Cost of Living Index By State
Per World Population Review, the state’s cost of living index is vastly different among the 50 states. It’s defined as the amount of money needed to afford basics such as food, housing, healthcare, and more. For example, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,192 per month, while in Mississippi, it’s $746, and in the District of Columbia, it’s $2,776. There’s a $2,030 different from highest to lowest, or a 3.72x difference.
Here is a map showing the composite cost of living index in the USA from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
How to make a 6 figure income?
At this point, you know how good a 6 figure income looks. So, you know that it is a worthy goal to try even reaching the low end of six-figures for annual take-home pay.
How to make 6 figures a year?
How to make six figures can be a thought in your head right now. It is not going to be easy, for sure.
However, you can try the following steps to inch closer to your goal of 6 figures income:
- Conduct research on jobs that pay six-figure salaries.
- Study the requirements needed to land any of the high paying jobs
- Develop some experience in your target job.
- Discover ways to supplement your current income with freelance jobs.
Jobs That Pay Six Figure
The previous points lead us to this point. What are jobs that pay six figures? A lot of these jobs are in tech. So, you typically need to go through formal education and training for high-paying technology jobs. That is the ideal way to go about it, not just because some of these courses are challenging but also because it would help if you have a certificate or diploma to validate your expertise.
Of course, you also have to develop a portfolio of your past projects. You may need to work on some initial projects pro-bono or very cheap to build a portfolio and track record.
Easy jobs that make 6 figures
Some jobs are relatively easy to do for the salary that they can deliver. You have to admit that “jobs” and “easy” do not always come hand in hand. You must work to earn a living, and each job comes with its own challenge.
Easy jobs that make 6 figures can perhaps be defined as jobs that do not need a lot of training. It can go either way: the job can require a degree but can help you reach the six figures more quickly, OR the job needs you to work harder but does not require a college or graduate degree.
How to make six figures without a degree?
Thankfully, some six-figure jobs do not require a college degree. However, several of them require some extra experience. It would help if you were the best or hired by the best to earn the top salaries; some may not earn six figures immediately, but with some experience and over time. Many of the following are listed in our detailed guide on top low-stress high paying jobs for introverts.
1. Air Traffic Controller
You only need an associate’s degree and on-the-job training to become an air traffic controller. The job is stressful knowing you’re dealing with people’s lives and may even be more challenging to get. However, when you get in, you can quickly increase your salary to its median of $124 540
If you desire to soar to the skies and have the courage to go through with it, then train for a commercial pilot’s license. A pilot’s certification can lead you to a median salary of $111,930.
3. Dental hygienist
Without earning a dental degree, you can still work at a dental office as a hygienist. While the median salary is only $74,820 for this associate degree job, you can earn as much as $101,820 a year if you reach the 90th percentile.
4. Diagnostic Imaging worker
Just like being a dental hygienist, you need to be at the 90th percentile to get to six figures if you work as a diagnostic imaging worker. You need training and certification with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. You may need an associate degree to reach a peak salary.
5. Web Developer
Indeed, nowadays, you need a degree to become a web developer. Though, many self-employed freelancers don’t need a degree, just experience or expertise. Suppose you have certifications and strong working knowledge in several programming languages. In that case, you can still have a chance to get a median salary of $69,430 but easily make six figured as you build your portfolio and experience grows. If you’re an introvert, it’s one of those jobs where you work alone.
6. Radiation Therapist
Most radiation therapists need an associate degree and certification while also being licensed or certified in most states. The median salary is attractive enough for radiation therapists at $82,330. However, you can still aim for its peak salary, which is currently at $124,320.
7. Nuclear Medicine Technologist
As a nuclear medicine technologist, you can earn as much as $76,820 as your median salary. With a post-secondary certificate, training, and experience, you can earn up to $104,730. Some employers prefer an associate degree, though.
8. Water Transportation Worker
You don’t need formal education unless you aim to become a captain or an engineer of the ship. The median salary is pretty good, at $54,400, but you may want to peak at $118,260. A water transportation work career has projected job growth of 8%. You can get started in the industry now, but you may need to study more to earn higher salaries.
9. Sales Representative
You can become a sales representative and make 6 figures without a college degree; some people are born with the skills to sell. If you are pretty persuasive and willing to be trained, you can earn a median of $61,660. That is pretty good considering that it is also the national median at the moment. Work hard, and you may take home the projected top salary of $122,770 or more. You may need to work for companies that sell high-value products or exclusive products to reach a six-figure income.
Keep in mind, it’s listed as one of our worst jobs for introverts, but best for extroverts. Make sure it’s the right career for you.
10. Real Estate Broker
A high school diploma should be sufficient, but a post-secondary diploma may raise your chances. To become a real estate broker, you must also be trained and certified. Initially, you may just earn a median of $58,210 (still pretty good considering you don’t need a college degree), but you can reach a whopping $163,540 since you are dealing with houses, which are high-ticket items.
11. Funeral Service Manager
If you are not wary of the doom and gloom, you can work as a funeral service manager. You’ll need an associate degree in mortuary science and learn how to perform cremations and handle funeral services. The median salary is $79,180. You can reach a maximum salary of $151,680, as well. The expected job growth through 2026 is projected to be 5%.
12. Underwater Welding
Recently, there has been a big demand for skilled underwater welders. This need has grown from additional demand for underwater construction and repair programs, especially in the US. A tradesman who is a certified diver and trained in underwater welding can usually bring in a very reasonable yearly salary. Underwater welder salaries range between $100,000, starting out, and can go as high as $200,000 per year for very skilled welders. However, it’s important to note that work is not always regular as other welding industries tend to be.
Lastly, underwater welding jobs usually require years of specific training and on-the-job apprenticeship. If you want to get into welding then it’s important you understand the different welding processes and importantly what welding equipment is right for you. The best welders for beginners balance usability, ease of use, weight, additional features and most importantly safety.
How to make six figures online?
A lot of jobs are going online nowadays. So, you should find ways to make six figures online. However, do tread carefully with some of them. You may want to keep your day job while you are still waiting for your online job to take off.
Start an online course
Nowadays, it’s easy to post your videos on social media or your own website to make money; it’s not just celebrities that can make money online. There are several free or affordable online course platforms to start your business and make money fast.
Most online platforms will cost a monthly fee for development tools, hosting, and payment processing. Be ready to display your credentials and to talk about yourself via a video. It would help if you had something that will establish you as an expert on what you are proposing to teach.
The initial startup cost will include your computer, electricity use, WiFi, and monthly or annual online course platform subscription. It will take time to slowly buildup a client base through SEO, social media, and networking. Ask your initial clients for authentic testimonials to boost your enrollment with credibility.
Offer consulting services online
Consulting is something that can be done either face to face or online. Several individuals and companies have been using their professional websites as a landing page to advertise their consulting services.
It’s inexpensive to start an online consulting company. The consulting will be based on what you bring to the table. You’re selling your knowledge and experience.
Your landing page needs enough pull to get people interested in hiring your consulting services. If you have some professional experience, post pictures of events or sound bite testimonials of past clients to establish your integrity and background. You may also invest in an online ad, such as a sponsored one on Facebook, to your desired demographic. Offer something unique or something more specific. Research your competitors to see what’s working for them.
Consider offering introductory discounts or free trials to establish yourself online. If you charge too cheap, people may think your services are worth nothing. On the other hand, inflated fees can turn off most people.
Work as a sales representative
Yeah, this is a tough one. You need to find a product or service that sells well for this to work. This takes a lot of grit and perseverance to get you to the sales numbers that you need to earn six figures.
You need to find leads and conduct necessary follow-up meetings to achieve sales quotas. It’s not a 9 to 5 job and can be tailored to your schedule or needs. Sales are easier to manage online with proper tools, creativity, and time management skills. Here are some tips on how to become a better salesman.
Start a niche blog
Writing is not generally associated with high salaries. It is still not unless you are a prominently named author such as Stephen King. Of course, it does not mean writing should be relegated to one of those last resort jobs that you just have to grab because you are good at it but know that you won’t earn much.
As with life, if you know your skill, you will know your worth better.
Build a successful niche blog, and you can run ads on your website that help you monetize your writing skills. The easiest affiliate programs to join start with Amazon Affiliates. You must have an active blog, website, YouTube channel, or app to join Amazon Associates and earn a commission on purchases made through you.
Produce content to make money
Content is not limited to words. It may include videos, illustrations, jokes, memes, and instructional materials. If you find the right home for your content, you could earn from views, ads, and sales.
Just find something that you are good at and make the most use of it by sharing it. For example, some artists have turned to the Internet to sell prints of their artworks. Others self-publish their e-books. Independent publishing has made way for amateur authors who may not typically be noticed by publishers but have enough talent and serious content to offer to their audience.
All the above can lead you to a six-figure salary. However, you notice that all of these online jobs need some patience and hard work to make six-figure online. They are legit ways to make money without a degree. It is possible. Give it a try. Some are so basic that they can be online jobs for 13 year old’s to start, like a niche blog.
How to make six figures working from home?
Six figures can also be earned from working from home. The six-figure online jobs talked about in the previous section can be done from your home. Other jobs that can be done at home that have the potential to reach six figures include:
- Technical lead
- Web development
- Web design
- Book illustrations
- Book writing
- Senior recruiter
- Director of business development
- Audit manager
- Product management coach
- Machine learning engineer
How Much Is Six Figures Summary
Just because we are earning the national median salary (or even below) right now does not mean we shouldn’t aspire for a six-figure income. With the right tools and knowledge, you can find ways to supplement – and maybe eventually replace – your current income to reach the top 10% of the world earners. Though, to make six figures, it likely won’t be an under the table job that pays cash.
Take out your notepad (digital or otherwise) and list the jobs that you are interested in. You must be passionate about what you do to make the career lucrative and doable for the long run. Then, compare the requirements to what you already have in your resume of skills and educational backgrounds.
See what else you must do (training, education, research) to get the job you want. Make sure to research how much employers in that field pay their low-ranking and high-ranking employees. Of course, you also need to keep on gaining experience in the area that you have chosen. It may take longer for a non-degree holder to reach six figures, but it is possible.