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You hear people throwing around the term all the time…
“I just sold my business for six figures!”
“I’ll be happy once I start doing six figures.”
“You basically need a six-figure income to survive in San Francisco.”
But what does 6 figures mean anyway — and how much is 6 figures in money?
If you’re sick of wondering what everyone means when they talk about how many “figures” they earn, this guide is for you.
- The real meaning of 6 figures (as well as 5 through 10 figures)
- What jobs earn these types of salaries
- Examples of people who earn in each range
- How YOU can make 6 figures in a year
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
- TL;DR – How much is 6 figures in money?
- What do “figures” even mean?
- What does 6-figures mean in money?
- What are some 6-figure jobs?
- What does a 6-figure lifestyle look like?
- How much is 7 figures a year?
- What jobs have a 7 figure salary?
- How much is 8 figures in dollars?
- What are some 8 figure salary jobs?
- How much is 9 figures in money?
- What are some 9 figure salary jobs?
- What is a 10 figure salary?
- What are some 10-figure salary jobs?
- What about the other side of the figure scale?
- Next Steps: How can YOU make 6 figures in a year?
TL;DR – How much is 6 figures in money?
Six figures in money is an amount between $100,000 and $999,999. It’s usually used to describe an annual salary, but can also describe any number or price.
There are some nuances to these rules, however.
It’s important to understand what a “figure” actually means. That way, you know what people are talking about regardless of the number they use.
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What do “figures” even mean?
“Figures” is just a fancy way to say “digits”.
Every number is made up of digits.
The number 7 has one digit.
The number 45 has two digits.
The number 365 has three digits.
And so on.
So, if a number has six digits — like 123,456 — that is considered a six-figure number.
Figures are typically used to express an annual salary unless otherwise stated.
Are “figures” calculated before or after taxes?
Your gross income (before taxes) determines the number of figures you earn. So, depending on how much you pay in taxes, your net income (after taxes) may be a lower figure number.
For example, if you earn a $107,000 salary (six figures), taxes would knock your take-home pay down to five figures.
Revenue vs. profit
Another important distinction is revenue vs. profit. These terms can be misleading.
Revenue is the total amount of earnings before you deduct expenses. Profit is earnings after you deduct expenses.
“Gurus” online use this distinction to build a false sense of trust.
For example, many shady people sell online courses on how to build a successful e-commerce store.
They may make claims like, “My e-commerce store did multiple six figures in revenue last year!”
On the surface, this sounds impressive. But it really means nothing. For all we know, this person made $700,000 in sales…but he spent $699,000 to source his products and make those sales.
So, while he technically has six figures in revenue, he only profited four figures.
“Figures” themselves are easy to understand. It’s the extra terminology that gets confusing.
What does 6-figures mean in money?
Six figures in money means any amount between $100,000 and $999,000. That’s a pretty huge range. To avoid being vague, you can use modifiers like low-, mid-, high-, and multiple six figures to give people a better idea of the amount you’re talking about.
How much money is 6 figures in more specific terms:
- Low six figures: $100,000 to $399,999
- Mid six figures: $400,000 to $699,999
- High six figures: $700,000 to $999,999
- Multiple six figures: $200,000 to $999,999
If none of these modifiers are used, you can assume low six figures. If it were more, the person would have an incentive to add the modifier to make themselves look better.
Anyone earning high six figures is in the top 1% of U.S. earners.
How much is 6 figures monthly?
To calculate how much six figures is monthly, you simply divide the annual income by 12. Again, this can give us a huge range. But the minimum monthly income to earn six figures a year would be $8,333.33.
$100,000 per year / 12 months = $8,333.33 per month
And remember, at this amount, you technically get bumped back down to five figures after taxes.
Now, depending on how you read the question, “How much is 6 figures monthly?” — it can actually mean something else.
The other meaning is, “If you earn 6 figures per month, how much is that per year?”
In this case, the minimum annual income for a 6-figure monthly earner would be:
$100,000 per month x 12 month = $1,200,000 per year
And the maximum would be:
$999,999 per month x 12 months = $11,999,988 per year
As you can see, talking about figures can involve many assumptions, so you have to use context to understand the meaning.
How much is 6 figures a day?
To calculate how much six figures is per day, divide the annual six-figure income by 365 days. To join the six-figure club, the minimum daily earnings you need is $273.97. This assumes you are earning every single day of the year.
Here’s what the calculation looks like:
$100,000 per year / 365 days = $273.97 per day
Now, most people don’t work every single day (unless this is passive income). So let’s see how much you’d need to earn per day if you take off weekends and normal U.S. holidays.
$100,000 per year / 262 days = $381.68 per day
If you want to earn six figures without burning out, $381.68/day is a good minimum number to shoot for.
How much is 6 figures an hour?
To make six figures per year, you need to earn $381.68 per day if you work on all normal U.S. workdays. Assuming you work eight hours per day, your hourly rate would need to be at least $47.71.
$381.68 per day / 8 hours = $47.71 per hour
If you work overtime (or part-time), your hourly pay would have to average at least $47.71.
How common is a 6-figure salary?
Depending on your current salary, $47.71 might seem doable…or it may feel way out of reach.
If so, just know that a six-figure income is not the norm.
According to 2019 IRS tax data, only 19% of individual workers in the U.S. earned a six-figure income.
Fortunately, as you’ll see, you don’t even need a six-figure salary to be wealthy.
What are some 6-figure jobs?
Six-figure jobs typically fall into one of two categories:
- Traditional high-paying careers that require special degrees, training, or experience
- Entrepreneurial jobs
Traditional 6-figure jobs
Here are a few of the many jobs that earn over $100,000 in the United States. Keep in mind:
- Salaries vary by city — in expensive cities, a wider variety of jobs earn six figures.
- These are median salary figures, meaning half of workers earn more than the stated amount.
Actuaries are math wizards that calculate risks and make financial predictions for businesses. They often work for insurance companies, but work in other fields as well.
Median wage: $111,030
Pilots with years of experience earn six-figure incomes and don’t even need a college degree. It also allows you to see the world, making it one of the best jobs for travel lovers.
Median wage: $186,870 (varies widely by state, airline, and years of experience)
A physician is one of the highest-paid traditional jobs in the United States. Physicians who specialize in surgery (any kind), anesthesiology, cardiology (heart), radiologists (medical imaging), and other highly skilled areas earn mid to high six figures.
Median wage: $243,000 for unspecialized primary physicians (lowest-paid); $622,201 for neurosurgeons (highest paid)
Lawyers are known for charging outrageous hourly rates, which is one reason they can blast past the six-figure mark. A lawyer’s wage depends on the type of law, location, education, track record, and marketing abilities.
Median wage: $122,960
Financial managers take care of finances for big companies — creating reports, producing projections, directing investments, etc. Since a financial manager’s decisions for giant companies can have billion-dollar consequences, it’s easy to see why they’re paid so generously.
Median wage: $134,180
With new technology advancing at an exponential rate, software developers who stay ahead of the curve can charge a pretty penny. A skilled software engineer can easily pull in six figures — either as a freelancer or working directly for a company.
Median wage: $110,140
Entrepreneurial six-figure salary jobs without a college degree
As you can see, most traditional jobs — jobs that require years (if not decades) of study or experience — all fall in the low six-figures range.
Surprisingly, the highest potential 6-figure salary jobs do not require a degree at all. This is because traditional jobs are salaried. They have a cap.
As an entrepreneur, nobody sets your salary. Your income is capped only by the amount of value you can provide to others.
That said, just because these careers don’t require a degree doesn’t necessarily make them easy 6-figure jobs.
Far from it.
Bloggers are earning low- to high- 6 figures (and more) in just about every niche you can think of. As you’ll see, six-figure bloggers often have several different income streams, and their blog acts as the “hub” that brings all those streams together.
Nowadays, the #1 dream job for kids is to become a Youtuber — and for good reason. Youtubers with huge audiences can make a killing. That said, building an audience that you can leverage for any time of meaningful income is easier said than done (speaking from experience!).
Similar to bloggers and Youtubers, podcasting is another job that can earn six figures and beyond. If you haven’t noticed the trend, when it comes to these content creation jobs, the bigger your audience, the more you can earn. There is no limit.
E-commerce store owners
When you run an online store, your income is only limited by the number of products you can sell. And since technology gives you access to billions of potential customers, the sky is the limit. If this type of business interests you, Shopify has a ton of free training material.
Freelance writing is weird. Some earn peanuts. Others earn well into six figures. The difference between success and failure isn’t determined by writing ability (to an extent). It’s determined by the type of writing you choose, your connections, and your willingness to market yourself. The course that completely transformed my freelance writing business is called the CMC course — if you want to earn 6 figures with freelancer writing, I can’t recommend it enough.
Drop servicing is like freelancing on steroids. With freelancing, your income is limited to how many projects you can fit in a day. There are no such limits with a drop servicing business. Instead of landing clients and doing the work yourself, you land the clients and outsource all the work. That way, your income is only limited by the number of clients you can land.
Normal business owners
You can do everything above online (making them the perfect jobs for digital nomads). That said, you can earn six figures starting any type of business — a restaurant, a lawn care business, a real estate agency…you name it. However, these in-person businesses tend to have higher startup costs.
Examples of 6-figure earners
Instead of listing out random six-figure earners that don’t mean anything to you, I’ve rounded up a few people from different jobs that teach you how you can follow in their footsteps.
I have personally taken all of the following courses (and can’t recommend them enough).
Jon Morrow runs Smart Blogger, a now seven-figure site all about earning more through blogging and freelance writing. His freelance writing course recently helped me land a client with six-figure potential (only time will tell). Best of all, his course guarantees you’ll find a high-paying client. Nobody else does that. He also has a free class if you just want to dip your toes in the water. See my full Smart Blogger review for an inside look.
Derek Johanson earns a hefty six-figure income through freelance copywriting, business consulting, and sales of his famous Copyhour training. Copyhour teaches you the lucrative skill of copywriting — the highest paid form of freelance writing. It only opens four times per year, so it’s worth getting on the waitlist (he also sends some helpful email newsletters). See my full Copyhour review for an inside look.
Dylan Sigley is known by many as the “godfather of drop servicing”. Over the past few years, he’s built his drop servicing business into a multiple six-figure empire. His Drop Servicing Blueprint course is just what it sounds like — an exact blueprint on how to replicate his success (and many of his students have!). His free training also reveals tons of his secrets. See my full Drop Servicing Blueprint review for an inside look.
Jessie Festa is a six-figure travel blogger. She offers courses and a membership community to help aspiring travel bloggers create profitable blogs. So far, I’ve only taken her gold nugget-filled free training, but I plan to join the membership soon. Travel blogging gets a bad rap for being so competitive. While that may be true, if you know what you’re doing, you can still crush six figures as a travel blogger. For inspiration, check out these awesome travel blogs that make money (and lots of it!).
What does a 6-figure lifestyle look like?
When you think of a 6-figure lifestyle, maybe you imagine big houses, fancy cars, and plenty of extra money to play with at the end of the month.
And while this is certainly possible, a 6-figure lifestyle depends on many factors:
- Your family size
- Your spending habits
- The cost of living in your city
- Whether you earn low or high six-figures
A $100,000 income won’t get you far in places like San Francisco. But if you earn $100,000 living in Thailand, for example, you would live like absolute royalty.
Believe it or not, many six-figure earners in the U.S. actually feel broke.
One reason for this is that these six-figure jobs often require expensive degrees (but not always, as you’ll see).
This means a big chunk of those earnings go straight to student loan payments each month.
That said, student loans and the ever-increasing cost of living are only small pieces of the puzzle.
When 6-figure earners struggle, it’s usually due to lifestyle creep.
Lifestyle creep is when you constantly level up your lifestyle and spending to match your increased earnings.
So when you get a raise — instead of using it to save more money each month — the first thing you do is lease a fancy new car. That new car (and the monthly expenses associated with it) becomes the new “normal”.
If you earn $8,333.33 per month, but you spend $8,333.33 to maintain your lifestyle, you’re left with zero dollars in the bank.
Lifestyle creep is Enemy #1 to building wealth. The best way to avoid it is to find ways to live cheap, invest your extra cash flow, and let your money work for you.
Do you need to earn six figures to build wealth?
You do not need to earn six figures to build wealth. If you manage your money properly, you can build even more wealth than many six-figure earners.
To build wealth, all you need to do is avoid lifestyle creep. In other words, find ways to keep your expenses less than your income each month.
How much is 7 figures a year?
A 7-figure income is anything between $1,000,000 and $9,999,999. If you’ve ever wondered how many figures is a million — the answer is seven. Seven-figure earners make up 0.35% of U.S. tax filers, according to IRS tax data.
In other words, 3.5 out of 1,000 Americans make it to this milestone.
Since there are so few people who have a seven-figure income, this term is more commonly used to describe either (1) a small business income, or (2) an individual’s net worth.
For example, if you save and invest wisely through your working years, you should have a 7-figure investment portfolio when you retire.
How much is 7 figures a month?
On the low end, 7 figures a year breaks down to $83,333 per month. On the high end, you’re looking at $833,333 per month.
As you can see, mid and high seven-figure salary earners have monthly six-figure incomes.
And in case you’re curious, this equates to a whopping $3,817 to $38,168 every single workday.
What jobs have a 7 figure salary?
- Youtubers, bloggers, and podcasters
- Successful business owners
- World-class surgeons
- Professional athletes
- Ecommerce empires
- Investment bankers
- High profile lawyers
Examples of 7-Figure Earners
Steve Chou – Steve is the blogger behind MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, where he teaches how to start an e-commerce store. His last income report, published in 2017, hit $1,400,000.
John Lee Dumas – John runs the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast, which netted $1,787,013 in 2020.
Tanner Chidester – Tanner is a self-made millennial millionaire (that’s a mouthful), founder of Fit Warrior and Elite CEO.
How much is 8 figures in dollars?
Eight figures in dollars can range from $10,000,000 to $99,999,999. Very few individuals earn an eight-figure salary, so this term is used most often to describe net worth or a company’s yearly earnings.
Just for giggles, 8 figures equates to $833,333 to $8,333,333 per month or $381,679 to $3,816,793 per work day.
What are some 8 figure salary jobs?
- Professional athletes
- Hedge fund managers
- Business owners and CEOs (usually paid in stock options)
Examples of 8-figure earners
Ryan Kaji – 9-year-old Youtuber ($29.5 million)
Jimmy Donaldson AKA Mr. Beast – Youtuber ($24 million)
Preston Arsement – Video game Youtuber ($19 million)
Perez Hilton – Celebrity Blogger ($41.3 million)
Tim Sykes – Penny Stocks Blogger ($20+ million)
Joe Rogan – Celebrity, Podcaster ($30+ million)
Tyler Perry – Actor/Director – ($97 million)
Lebron James – Athlete ($88.2 million)
J.K Rowling – Author ($60 million)
Judge Judy Sheindlin – Celebrity Judge ($49 million)
How much is 9 figures in money?
Nine figures in money is anywhere between $100,000,000 and $999,999,999 (that is, $100 million to $999 million).
It’s kind of hard to wrap your mind around, but to give you an example of what 9 figures monthly and daily looks like…
Kylie Jenner reportedly earned $590 million in 2020.
That is $49,166,166 per month and $2,251,908 per day — assuming she worked 262 days per calendar year like us normal mortals).
Seven figures per day, guys. Mind-blowing!
What are some 9 figure salary jobs?
- Tech and large company CEOs
- Hedge Fund Managers
- Elite Athletes
Well-known 9-figure earners
Every once in a while, when a celebrity has a stand-out year, they manage to squeeze into 9-figure territory, but this is quite rare — even for pop superstars.
Kylie Jenner – $590 million
Kanye West – $170 million
Roger Federer – $106.3 million
Cristiano Ronaldo – $105 million
What is a 10 figure salary?
A 10-figure salary is anywhere between $1,000,000,000 and $9,999,999,999 (in other words, over $1 billion per year).
At this point, we’ve reached the top of the top.
Anyone who earns a 10-figure salary makes more in one day than many of us will earn in an entire lifetime.
At minimum, they earn $1,903 per minute.
What are some 10-figure salary jobs?
Ten figure salaries — in the original sense of the word — aren’t really a thing. There are, however, a select few whose net worth increases by 10-figures per year.
These include tech giants, philanthropists, royal family members (think Saudi Arabian princes and the such).
Surprisingly, top CEOs and tech giants earning 8-, 9-, and 10-figures often don’t take any salary (or they get paid minimum wage). Instead, they receive a “compensation package” that includes company stock options.
So when the company does well, they make bank.
Well-known 10-figure earners
Due to the complexity of their earnings, it’s hard to estimate yearly earnings for the world’s top earners. Instead, here is their estimated net worth. Good luck trying to wrap your head around these numbers!
Jeff Bezos – Amazon and others ($177 billion net worth)
Elon Musk – Tesla, SpaceX, Boring Company ($151 billion net worth)
Bernard Arnault – LVMH, which owns brands like Louis Vuitton, Hennessey, Sephora, etc ($150 billion net worth)
Bill Gates – Microsoft and others ($124 billion net worth)
Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook ($97 billion net worth)
Warren Buffet – Berkshire Hathaway ($96 billion net worth)
Larry Page & Sergey Brin – Google co-founders ($91.5 billion & $89 billion net worth, respectively)
Saud royal family – Estimated net worth $1.4 trillion (that’s 12 figures, in case you’re wondering)
What about the other side of the figure scale?
So far we’ve covered some astronomical numbers. But what about smaller figure numbers?
Four and five figures are both terms that are also thrown around a lot — just in different ways.
What is a 4 figure salary?
A 4 figure salary would be anything between $1,000 and $9,999. This falls way below the minimum wage in developed countries. It only makes sense to use four figures in the yearly sense if you’re talking about a part-time job or a third-world country.
For example, the minimum wage in Colombia equates to less than $300 USD per month. In this case, it’d make sense to use four figures in the annual sense since a minimum wage earner brings in less than $4,000 per year.
In developed countries, when people say something “earns 4-figures”, they are usually referring to an income stream that brings in 4 figures per month.
For example, Jon Dykstra of Fat Stacks runs a portfolio of several websites. One of his sites brings in five figures per month, while the rest bring in four figures.
At the time of writing, I usually make $4k a month between freelance writing and this blog, which puts me in the four-figure-per-month category. In fact, most jobs in developed nations fall into the four-figure range.
How much is 5 figures a year?
Five figures is a salary of $10,000 to $99,000. Two-thirds of all individual U.S. salaries fall in the five-figure range, and the average U.S. salary was roughly $56,310 in 2020.
Many entry-level jobs start with a five-figure salary with the potential to hop into six figures after promotions and years of experience.
You have to be careful not to get mixed up when you hear someone talk about five figures. Sometimes six-figure (annual) earners use five figures to describe how much they earn per month.
When reading, it’s easy to skim over the per month part, which can make a big difference.
For example, when I first heard about Jon from Fat Stacks, I read “earns five figures with his niche sites” but missed the “per month” part.
It seems like I’m not the only one to make this mistake because on the landing page for his free course, he now makes it crystal clear.
Next Steps: How can YOU make 6 figures in a year?
By now, all this “figure talk” either has you feeling inspired…or discouraged.
It goes to show that money is not a scarce object. There is SO much of it to go around. And most importantly…
You don’t need a 6, 7, or 8-figure income to build wealth.
The key to building your net worth is to first set your financial goals.
What is your dream lifestyle? How much money do you actually need?
There’s no point in chasing money for money’s sake.
From there, find ways to continually increase your income. Instead of letting lifestyle creep eat up those extra earnings, invest them and let your portfolio snowball over time.
To get started, here are 15 awesome ways to make an extra $50 a day.
Choose one, work hard, invest the profit, and watch as your net worth eventually hits six figures, seven figures, and beyond.
Mitch is your typical nomadic backpacker. Or at least, he was. But after stopping in Colombia to take “one week” of salsa lessons, his life took a sharp left turn. He met a cute Colombian girl in dance class, fell in love, and got married. Over half a decade has passed since he left his career to travel the world as a digital nomad, and he’s never looked back.
Nowadays, he’s the blogger behind Project Untethered — where he runs an awesome email newsletter and Youtube channel teaching adventure-craved wanderlusters how to escape the rat race, earn money from anywhere, and build an “untethered life”.
His advice has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, Yahoo, MSN, Reader’s Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, and more.
Mitch's Travel Recommendations:
Travel Planning Resources - Everything you need to plan your trip on one convenient page.
Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills.
Booking.com - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Skyscanner - Find cheap flights.
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Anytime Mailbox - Virtual mail service that can handle your mail while you’re away.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).