When talking about salary, people often mention figures. Six figures is an excellent salary that everybody strives for and envies. But what exactly does “figure” mean? How much is 6 figures, and how does your salary compare?
If you’re looking for the answer to all these questions, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explain how much a 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, and 9-figure salary is while contextualizing the info with statistics and data.
What Is 6 Figures?
The meaning of 6 figures is very straightforward. It means that whatever number you’re looking at is made up of six individual digits.
When talking about money, six figures refers to a sum between $100,000 and $999,999. Easy, right?
1. What Is a Figure in Money?
Let’s define what a “figure” is.
This term is used in mathematics and refers to the numbers between zero and nine. When used to describe salary, this word describes how many digits your annual income has. For example, a $50,000 yearly salary is a 5-figure salary.
The average salary in the United States is $53,490, a 5-figure salary. Unless we’re talking about people living in almost-abject poverty, you’ll seldom hear about a one-, two-, three-, or four-figure pay.
2. How Much Is 5 Figures?
A 5-figure salary refers to a sum between $10,000 and $99,999.
As you can see, there’s quite a difference between each extreme. While making only $10,000 a year will make your life very difficult and almost unbearable, a $99,999 salary is almost twice what the average American makes.
3. What Is a 6-Figure Salary?
As we saw before, six figures describes any number composed of six digits. A 6-figure salary refers to a six-digit annual income, anywhere between $100,000 and $999,999.
To learn what is total annual income and how to calculate it, check out this guide.
Such a salary, especially when approaching the higher end of the 6-figure spectrum, could land you among the top 1% earners in the United States. For example, the top 1% average income in the US is $597,815 . The state with the lowest top 1% income is West Virginia, at $350,212, and Connecticut is the state with the highest top 1% income, sitting at $896,490.
4. How to Make 6 Figures
Let’s take a look at the necessary assets to achieve the goal of bringing home a six-figure salary.
Unless you’re an extremely talented individual, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to earn a $100,000 income.
For example, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only people with decades of education and training, like anesthesiologists, orthodontists, judges, and dentists, earn more than $100,000.
If you’re looking for some hard skills to pick up, we suggest you consider some tech skills like coding or web designing.
These days, people with extensive coding experience can easily reach an annual salary of $100,000, and talented web designers can kickstart their careers from home and start earning a 6-figure income in just a couple of years.
Soft skills, such as problem-solving or time management, are abilities that you can acquire through experience, hard work, and special classes or seminars.
These skills are transferable, which means that once you’ve developed a soft skill, you can employ it successfully in a myriad of other projects.
The most sought-after soft skills are:
- Public speaking
- Critical thinking
- Effective communication
Examples of Jobs with an Annual Salary of Over $100,000
Now, let’s look at some of the most in-demand 6-figure jobs. As you will see, most of these require years of studying, training, and sacrifices to make it.
- Business Teachers ($100,270)
- Electronics Engineers ($106,760)
- Human Resources Managers ($123,510)
- Architectural and Engineering Managers ($146,290)
- Computer and Information Systems Managers ($149,730)
- Dentists ($180,010)
- Chief Executives ($196,050)
- Physicians and Surgeons ($214,700)
5. How Common Is a 6-Figure Salary?
By looking at the latest statistics, we can see that around 5.4% of Americans (17.874 million individuals) bring home six figures. However, the majority are stuck in the lower range. 15.5% of these workers make between $100,000 and $149,999.
Around 8.3% of American six-figure earners earn between $150,000 and $199,999, and 10.3% of them earn $200,000 and higher.
It’s important to note that most American households make five figures, and those who earn six are few and far between.
So, is a six-figure salary good? The answer is a resounding yes—but it’s not particularly common.
6. How Much Is 7 Figures?
If earning six figures means you bring home from $100,000 to $999,999, earning a seven-figure salary means you make between $1,000,000 and $9,999,999 every year. If the difference between a lower-end and higher-end six-figure salary looked like a lot, it’s almost incomprehensibly huge among seven-figure incomes.
Most people won’t even make that much money throughout their careers, let alone in a single year. To put it into perspective, only 0.35% of Americans make seven figures or more every year: just 1.15 million people out of 331 million.
7. How Much Money Is 8 Figures?
8 figures is anything between $10,000,000 and $99,999,999. Let’s be honest—no regular person earns that much in a single year. Even most businesses don’t manage to gross that much cash in that period.
However, it’s still possible to be successful enough to earn an 8-figure salary. For example, real estate brokers, Fortune 500 CEOs, or unicorn start-up owners can make that much money, or even more.
8. How Much Is 9 Figures?
The highest salaries in the world are 9-figure salaries. They range from $100,000,000 to $999,999,999. That said, the highest-paid employee in the world, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, earns “just” $265 million. Not even Lionel Messi, Neymar, or Cristiano Ronaldo make that much money in a year.
9. How Many Figures Is a Million?
To make a million dollars means earning a 7-figure salary. Achieving such an income will put you among the world’s top 0.1% earners.
For example, with that money, you could buy 48 Toyota Corollas or 363,636 cups of $2.75 coffee from Starbucks.
Bottom line—one million dollars is a lot of money to make in a single year.
As you can see, understanding how many figures there are in a particular salary is very easy. However, becoming successful enough to earn those salaries? That’s another story, but we’re sure anybody can make it with due time and effort.
We hope you enjoyed this read about 6 figures’ meaning. Thank you for sticking with us until the end, and good luck out there!