How Much Is Six Figures? (Income Levels Explained)
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How Much Is Six Figures? (Income Levels Explained)

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It seems like a dream come true to have a six-figure salary. But how much is six figures really?

At the end of the day, after all your hard work, you want more zeroes on your paycheck. It’s a reward for your patience, perseverance, and dedication to your post.

But did you know getting those zeroes on your paycheck doesn’t necessarily mean a rich life for you?

How much is six figures?

In terms of salary, six figures seem to be the epitome of earning potential. It is a goal that many strive to reach. Unfortunately, not everyone can achieve this salary target.

But for those lucky enough to earn that much, what does it really mean?

How much is six figures and what does it mean for your bottom line?

With a six-figure salary, you’re probably thinking about fancy cars, large homes, and luxury vacations.

The more money that comes in, the greater the comfort and extravagance.

But the downside to that is the carelessness of your finances.

Because you can afford a lot of things, you tend to spend more, not knowing you begin to eat through your earnings really quickly.

A life of expensive things and plush amenities becomes an illusion, and you are left with no savings or financial security for your future.

How much is six figures for you?

Wondering how does it feel to have 6 figures salary?

It may give you a feeling that you’ve made it.

The big paycheck delivers the satisfaction, the glee, and the sense of success. It’s like having reached the pinnacle of the American Dream and making it your reality.

However, that may not be true in all cases of six-figure salary peeps.

Here’s the unfortunate reality. With more money comes the inclination to spend more.

Because there is money to spend, some people tend to become lavish. This “rich” life features a lot of unnecessary purchases on shiny things.

And before these people know it, they are trapped in a vicious cycle. Despite having large paychecks, they will be swept into a life of living from paycheck to paycheck.

Income isn’t wealth.

Despite what it appears to be, income isn’t wealth.

Unfortunately, many people confuse income with wealth.

You’re probably wondering what is income and what is wealth. Or what is the relationship between the two.

Income is money that comes into your pocket or bank account every payday.

On the other hand, wealth is what you grow and develop through wise investments and savings. This is something that doesn’t appear just like that. It is what you cultivate and nurture over time.

Now, let’s look into the relationship between income and wealth.

You use your income to grow your wealth. You save a portion of your income, stashing it for the rainy days or investing it to make more money.

But you don’t rely on income like it’s your wealth.

Income depends on your ability to make or earn money. Now, if you think you are a wealthy person because you have 6 figures salary, you’ll be in for a rude awakening when you lose that job.

On the other hand, wealth is what you have regardless if you have a job or just lost it. That’s because wealth isn’t easily lost. Once you established it and let it grow, it will help you get through the rainy days.

Here’s to illustrate the concepts of income and wealth.

Let’s say you are earning 6 figures salary (or 8 figures salary or even 9 figures) but you have no savings. The moment you lose that high-paying job, you’re in for a bad headache.

Because you have no savings to catch you on the rainy days, you’re in for a difficult financial quandary.

Now, on the other hand, if you have enough savings, even if you have a low-paying job and you just lost it, you’re still going to be all right. After all, you have your emergency funds to take care of you during the rainy days.

But really, how much is six figures as it applies to everyday life?

I’m sure you have encountered people saying they earn 6 figures salary. Or perhaps 7 or 8 figures salary. Or even 9 figures.

So what does that mean in the everyday sense?

When you hear 6 figures salary, what comes to your mind?

Six figures is anywhere between 100,000 and 999,999. And that’s on a yearly basis.

So when it reaches 7 or 8 figures, we’re talking millions in annual salary; as for 9 figures, that’s close to a billion.

What’s the percentage of Americans that make six figures?

Did you know only around 9 percent of Americans make at least $100,000 or six figures a year?

That’s close to 15 million Americans every year.

According to a 2016 study, here are the median wages of Americans.

Around 70 million people in the U.S. were earning under $25,000. 

For the income bracket between $20,000 and $50,000, there were about 44 million people in it. That’s about 27 percent.

As for the $50,000 to $100,000 bracket, there were about 34 million people or roughly 21 percent of the U.S. population.

Is making 6 figures salary good?

Yes, it can be very good.

At that amount, you get to lead a comfortable life for you and your family. You won’t have to worry about how to make ends meet.

With six figures coming in every year, you’re quite in the middle to the upper-class range. By today’s standards, you can be considered as “rich.”

How to earn a six-figure salary?

There are a lot of ways to reach that goal.

You can go the traditional route, which is to go through college and obtain a degree in the following fields: medicine (including dentistry), law, engineering, and software development.

Or you can go the other way, which is doing these side hustles: online blogging, online tutoring, virtual assistant work, and more.

Well, there’s also a nanny that rakes in $200,000 per year.

Here are the top jobs that let you earn $100,000 or more a year.

First on the list are anesthesiologists. On average, they earn around $266,000 per year.

This is followed by surgeons; they earn close to $252,000 annually.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons occupy the third spot, earning $242,740 a year while obstetricians and gynecologists make $235,240.

Orthodontists earn $228,400 while psychiatrists make $216,000 a year.

Physicians earn $211,000 a year; on the other hand, general and family practitioners get $208,000.

Dentists and similar specialists earn around $200,000. Internists make about $198,000 yearly. Meanwhile, prosthodontists get around $197,000.

The streak of medical, dental, and healthcare professionals is interrupted by the chief executive who gets around $196,000 a year.

Now, it’s back to doctors with pediatricians getting $187,500 yearly.

Lastly, nurse anesthetists earn close to $170,000 every year.

How much is six figures worth of side hustles?

Did you know you don’t have to be a doctor or a healthcare professional to earn 6 figures salary?

Believe it or not, you can get the same amount of money every year with these online jobs for moms.

You’ll be happy to know you can do these jobs in the comfort of your home. They usually don’t have fixed hours; you can do the work at your convenience, following your own schedule.

If you are a stay-at-home mom and want to earn some money, these jobs are perfect for you. These are legit jobs that let you attain your financial goals while you take care of your household.

Are you looking to try out these online jobs?

Depending on your flexibility or needs, these online jobs can help you achieve your six-figure goal.

1. Have you considered blogging?

It’s a popular online job for moms.


Because it affords more flexibility, allowing moms to work whatever hours or days they are available.

During the start of my blogging stint, I usually started working at around 10 in the evening. That’s right about when everyone in the house was asleep, allowing me to work on my blog uninterrupted.

I was working my full-time job during the daytime while focusing on my blog during the evening. It was challenging, requiring hard work, dedication, and perseverance.

Thankfully, I was able to make money from it. My blog grew that I was earning more from it than what I made from my former full-time job.

What’s the earning potential for bloggers?

You can earn between $500 and $50,000 a month through blogging.

Of course, the more effort you put into it, the more money you can make.

The great thing about being a blogger is that you don’t need to be a programming wiz; not even a computer techie.

As long as you are passionate about something and you are willing to share your interests to a wider audience, then you can become a blogger. Perhaps share a bit of your knowledge regarding certain aspects of everyday life.

This ultimate guide shows you exactly how to start your blog.

2. Are you passionate about writing?

If you enjoying writing, then freelance writing might be a good option for you.

Just like blogging, freelance writing gives stay-at-home moms the opportunity to earn money while taking care of the family. Plus, it offers flexibility, allowing you to accommodate your own schedule.

Why freelance writing?

Because the pay is great, and there are plenty of job opportunities available.

A lot of businesses out there need writers. You can write for companies that seek to promote their brand. You can also work for media publications, magazines, and social media. Hey, even bloggers need people to help write for them.

What do you need to become a freelance writer?

You don’t need to be an impeccable writer to start. Everyone started out with just basic writing abilities. In time, they just developed them, honing their skills. And just like them, so will you develop yours.

What’s the earning potential for freelance writers?

Some can earn up to $200,000 a year.

3. Earn money as a virtual assistant.

What does a virtual assistant do?

Well, it’s like what a regular assistant does. Checking emails, writing and editing stuff, doing research, scheduling meetings, and more.

But the only difference here is that you’re doing all these things from your home. And everything is done online; hence, the term virtual.

As a virtual assistant, you will be carrying out other tasks in addition to those mentioned above. You may be managing social media accounts, sending invoices, doing graphic design, perform customer service work, and handling administrative tasks.

But the great thing about doing these virtual assistant tasks is that you get to learn and develop new skills. These are skills that can help you grow your own business, should you decide to get into one in the future.

How much do virtual assistants earn?

Many start out at $15. But as you develop more skills and have specialties in certain fields, you can earn as high as $50 an hour.

What’s great about it is that you can handle multiple clients at a time.

Imagine taking on four or more clients at the same time. That $50 hourly rate, multiplied by the number of clients you have, can give you serious earnings.

4. Have you thought about selling on Amazon?

If you’re good at making great deals, you might want to consider selling on Amazon.

You can make over $100,000 a year, selling things online.

There are two ways that you can do this: retail arbitrage and private label.

In retail arbitrage, you find things on sale or on clearance and buy them. Then you sell them on Amazon for profit.

On the other hand, private label is where you purchase products in bulk then put your own label on it, selling them as your own.

You’ll be happy to know a lot of people are very successful in either way.

If you’re looking to start out, I suggest that you do retail arbitrage first. Get a feel of things and do a bit of trial and error. Learn the ropes until you’re comfortable selling stuff as your own products.

And if you’re confident enough, you can put it a bit more money and invest in more products. Expand your line and market reach, so to speak.

You can also try dropshipping. Here, you’re not really carrying any product. You simply create a Shopify store and sell products directly sourced from the manufacturer.

Here’s how it works.

You contact manufacturers and tell them you want to sell their stuff.

So when a customer rings up and orders the stuff you’re advertising, you just go in and tell the manufacturer to ship the goods directly to your customer.

In dropshipping, you’re not carrying an inventory. There’s no money upfront either.

You just take orders, contact the manufacturer, and have the latter send the goods directly to the buyer.

Quite simple, right? Plus, there’s little to no investment.

How much is six figures?

Want to earn a 6 figures salary or even more?

Looking for ways to make this much in a year?

Try some of the recommendations above and feel free to share your thoughts on the comment below.

McKinzie Bean
McKinzie is a mom of two, and a personal finance enthusiast. She loves teaching other moms how to save money, make money, and take control of their financial situation. She has started five profitable businesses and in college, she double-majored in Financial Planning and Psychology. You may have seen her in publications like Forbes, The US Chamber of Commerce, Yahoo Finance,, The Penny Hoarder, & more.

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