You might have heard people talking about 6-figures in some way, whether that is related to how much they get paid or net worth.
And you may have also heard or seen references to 7-figures, 8-figures, and even 9-figures too.
These types of numbers and amounts are important to understand and will be helpful for reaching your financial goals, supporting yourself and your family, or being able to reach retirement (or even retire early).
But what do these numbers exactly mean? What is a 6-figure salary and how do you get there? What does it take to build a net worth of 6-figures, 7-figures, or 8-figures and beyond?
You’ll learn all the basics about these numbers and more below!
How Much Is A Figure?
A figure is just a single digit, or most commonly referred to as a number. Examples of figures would 0, 1, 2 (or 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9). And often when someone uses the term “figure” it’s referring to someone’s annual salary or their net worth.
How Much Is 6-Figures?
6-figures fall between $100,000 – $999,999 and when people use this term, they are typically referring to the income someone makes per year from their job or own business. Although this can be a lot of money, making 6-figures doesn’t mean someone is actually wealthy either.
What does it mean to have 6-figures?
When someone states that they “have 6-figures,” they are usually talking about the amount they have saved or their total net worth based on their appreciating assets. Having 6-figures does not refer to the salary or income in this instance.
Is A 6-Figure Salary Good?
Earning a 6-figure salary can be impactful on your financial health and help you save and invest more.
However, pending if you are on the low or high-end of 6-figures, that amount of money might not drive as much impact as it once did. The cost of living, debt, and other expenses you have can easily burn through a 6-figure salary.
Although a 6-figure salary might becoming more common than ever, it’s still a great salary and even amazing pending where you live and how you keep costs down.
For example, According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median wage for workers in the United States in the third quarter of 2020 was $994 per week or $51,688 per year.
Based on that number, a 6-figure salary is quite high compared to the average. But in order to ensure this money works well for you, there will be a few things worth focusing on:
1. Understand lifestyle creep
When people make more money, typically their expenses and spending will go up. You become accustomed to having more things and having the income afford you more. And now your “wants” slowly become “needs” in your mind, and quickly $100,000+ salary can disappear.
According to Investopedia, almost one-fifth of Americans with a six-figure income live paycheck to paycheck. And according to the Willis Tower Watson survey, 18% of employees who made more than $100,000 were living paycheck to paycheck!
While there are multiple factors in why that might be, spending and instant gratification can play a major role.
2. Know where your money is going
Often, we neglect our budgets or truly looking at the overall state of our finances. So even with a healthy 6-figure salary, you might find yourself living above your current means.
And it can help you see where you have spending issues or why you might accumulating unnecessary debt. The faster you can remove debt and stop adding to it, the more you’ll be able to save and invest.
3. Where you currently live
As you may know, where you live plays a huge role in how far your 6-figure income can go.
For example, if you live in a major city like San Fransico or New York City that $100k+ per year won’t go nearly as far as elsewhere. Naturally, those higher-paying jobs can be in those cities because of the cost of living, but it will still feel like living on $45,000 per year.
However, with the rise of remote work pending your career field, you can make more informed choices about where to move and live. Now you can live in a more affordable location and ensure your salary goes to work for you.
Making a 6-figure salary is definitely good and can certainly be huge for your personal finances. But if are not looking at your overall finances carefully, eliminating debt, and using the income to save and invest — how good is it really?
What jobs make 6-figures a year?
Currently, you might be working towards a 6-figure salary and looking for jobs that will pay you that amount or higher. And these types of jobs are much more common than you think, but can also be difficult to achieve pending your career experiences.
While 6-figures might be a fraction of what some people earn in America, it’s a lot to me personally. It took me working on my career for about 8 years before reaching $100,000 per year. But I made plenty of financial mistakes early on after graduating from college and also pivoted my career a few years after.
However, we are seeing more jobs reach $100,000+ per year due to the rising costs of living and inflation. So while it’s a great milestone to reach, the money might not go as far as you think.
If you want to get to a 6-figure salary sooner, here are some of the top 6-figure jobs that will get you to that salary.
- Computer Scientist
- Financial Manager
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
- Software Developer
- Physician Assistants
- Construction Managers
- Information Systems Managers
- Marketing and Sales Managers
Many of those tops jobs will require a college degree (Bachelors to Masters), however, there are many alternatives to college that help you save money on education, but can lead you to a 6-figure salary too.
So if you can’t afford college or aren’t interested in a four-year school, you have options! Additionally, there are many lucrative ways to reach 6-figures through various side gigs, freelance working from home, or earn extra money part-time.
How Much Is 7-Figures?
7-Figures fall between $1,000,000 – $9,999,999 and when people use this term, they are usually referring to the income or net worth someone has obtained. When you reach 7-figures, you’ll typically have reached millionaire status., unless you’re in massive debt.
What does it mean to have 7-figures?
When someone has 7-figures, this again will generally refer to their overall net worth. As it is more realistic to hit millionaire status with your overall assets, than it is to make a salary in the range of $1,000,000 to $9,999,999.
And while earning a high-income in the 7-figure range is possible, you can reach a net worth of this sum a bit more easily. Don’t get me wrong, both sides require tons of work, determination, and consistency — but becoming a millionaire without a millionaire salary is very possible.
In fact, this happens all the time. In order to do so, you have to be a consistent investor.
For example, maxing out your 401k or IRA and investing in something like the three-fund portfolio can lead you to this status. Investing in other appreciating assets, like real estate for example can also get you to a 7-figure net worth.
You’ll also need to live within your means, practice good money management, and continue to invest and earn money. When you let compound interest go to work for you, a high salary won’t exactly matter. Here’s an article that breaks down becoming a million even on a 5-figure income.
How much is a 7-figure salary?
A 7-figure salary means you are bringing in an income of anywhere from $1,000,000 to $9,999,999 per year. This type of salary is much more challenging to reach than a 6-figure income, but there are plenty of people in the United States who have a high-income like this.
What jobs pay 7-figures a year?
7-figure jobs are definitely not easy to come by, nor is getting one easy. This type of income typically falls to people who have specialized work where there is demand, but limited people in the field. It also tends to be people who are very talented in a specific industry or skill.
Examples of 7-figure jobs:
- CEOs or other C-Suite Executives
- Business Owners
- Enterprise Sales Account Executive
- Investment Banking Manager
- Private Equity Managing Director
- Corporate Lawyer
- Social Media Influencer
- Movie Actors
- Professional Athletes
- Fashion Designers
I know when you see some “jobs” like blogger, podcasting, or Youtuber you get excited. But remember, reaching a 7-figure salary from those options is incredibly difficult.
Even though you can making money through blogging and Youtube have low barriers to get started, many naively think they will get rich from working very little on a blog or Youtube channel. While that eventually could happen, there is a lot of work and skill to legit make money from those outlets.
But it can be a great way to make money eventually while working less.
How Much is 8-Figures?
8-Figures represents eight digits and a 8-figure salary will fall between $10,000,000 – $99,999,999. People who are earning this amount of income are typically multi-millionaires and would be considered quite wealthy.
What jobs pay 8-figures a year?
As you can imagine, making 8-figures in a year is not easy to come by but there are still many people in America who are making that much money and are financially in great shape. These are people who are earning multiples more for employers or are running their own mega-company.
Examples of 8-figure jobs:
- Hedge Fund Managers
- High Profile Athletes
- Movie Stars
- Fortune 500 CEOs
- Founders of Unicorn Start-Ups
Examples of People Who Earn 8-Figure Incomes:
- Walmart CEO, Douglas McMillon – $22,110,000
- Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson – $19,200,000
- Actress, Scarlett Johansson – $56,000,000
- Actor, Dwayne Johnson – $87,500,000
- Athlete, Naomi Osaka – $37,400,000
- Athlete, James Harden – $47,800,000
How Much is 9-Figures?
9-Figures represents nine digits and a 9-figure salary will fall between $100,000,000 – $999,999,999. People who are earning this amount of income are in a rare elite club and many who earn this much have a net worth in the billions.
What jobs pay 9-figures a year?
Jobs that pay 9-figures a year are in the same realm as the 8-figure earners. These are typical CEOs with years of experience and working for well-known brands, founders of extraordinary large organizations, or those in sports or arts and entertainment industries.
Examples of people who earn 9-figure incomes
- Athlete, Cristiano Ronaldo – $105,000,000
- Oracle CEO, Safra A. Catz – $108,200,000
- Discovery CEO, David Zaslav – $129,500,000
- Paolo Alto Networks CEO, Nikesh Arora – $125,000,000
- Athlete, Roger Federer – $106,300,000
What does it mean to have 9-figures?
While anyone can achieve a level of FU Money, having 9-figures is the next-level of “in-your-face” wealth. It means you will never have to worry about money again and can choose how to live your life. It’s also a net worth and income level 99% of us will never obtain.
But that’s okay! You can still accumulate wealth on your terms and reach 6-figures, 7-figures, or more in an investment portfolio or total net worth.
Increasing Your Income “Figures”
For the vast majority of us, a 7-figure salary and above is incredibly challenging to achieve and might be something you won’t ever see in your lifetime. That doesn’t mean you can’t aim for that amount or work hard to get there, but the odds are not exactly in your favor.
However, everyone does have the opportunity to generate 6-figures, which can go a long way for your finances and comfortability in life.
Of course, you can be on the low or high end of 6-figures and how far the money will go depends on your spending, cost of living, etc. But you can get to this income level!
It might feel daunting at first, looking back at 2014 I never made more than $45k in a year. And with hard work and dedication to additional income streams, I’ve reached 6-figures.
You can reach this by achieving a 6-figure salary from your job or you can combine efforts of different streams to have a total income in the 6-figure range.
Here are some tips to get you there:
- Ask for raises when deserved
- Consider job-hopping conservatively to increase pay
- Negotiate salary offers and company perks
- Start your own online business (e-commerce, dropshipping, etc.)
- Invest in appreciating assets that pay dividends for passive income
- Side hustle (freelancing or the gig economy)
- Keep learning new skills that can grow your career or income streams
I think we’ve all heard the term that money doesn’t always equal happiness. So while your goals might reach 7-figures or more of income, who is to say your overall happiness would improve?
I’m sure you could think of a few fun things to do with that amount and you might have way less financial stress, but you can build substantial wealth without a massive income too.
The key is living within your means, aggressively saving and investing, find ways to make money beyond your full-time job, and utilize smart money management techniques.
More money can certainly get you to your goals quicker, but you can build a 7-figure net worth (or more) by being consistent for years by saving and investing. That way you are set for retirement and can relax in your golden years.