Have you ever thought to yourself, how much is six figures? Have you ever wanted to make a six-figure salary? Do you want to know what it takes and how much potential earnings are out there? We’re here to tell you that while making a six-figure income sounds like an elusive dream, it’s achievable if you have the right work ethic and dedication. So let’s dive head first into the details of making a six-figure salary.
How Much is Six Figures?
Six figures is when you earn an annual income between $100,000 and $999,999 annually. You have a six-figure salary if your annual income is a six-figure number.
Who Qualifies For a Six-Figure Salary?
Six-figure salaries are typically reserved for those with specialized knowledge and experience. For example, medical staff such as doctors and surgeons often make six-figure salaries, as do corporate executives, technology specialists, lawyers, and other professionals with specialized training.
However, a six-figure salary is not out of reach for those with less experience or in less lucrative or specialized fields. Many jobs, such as mid-range management, sales, marketing, engineering, technical positions, consulting, and other related positions, can also potentially bring in a six-figure salary, depending on experience and specific job duties.
How Earners Can Reach a Six-Figure Salary
First, set goals. Focus on earning “more” instead of merely “enough” to meet your financial needs. Then, make a plan of action, listing the steps necessary and the timeline in which you want to accomplish each step.
Second, consider the areas in which you are most qualified, either through current work experience, education, or necessary skills training or certifications that you may earn in the future. Finally, identify all your skills, expertise, and qualifications and determine how to capitalize on them to achieve your six-figure salary goal.
Third, research the industries where you have the most experience and qualifications. Identify what roles and positions may be available to you and how these roles can increase your earning potential.
Fourth, successfully utilize negotiation tactics. Research the pay and benefits that exist for similar positions in the same industry and use this information as a reference during your salary negotiations. Leverage your experience, qualifications, skills, and research to ensure you get the most out of your salary.
Lastly, focus on continuing to develop and improve your skills. Take part in continuing education, career coaching, and other job-specific skill development programs that may benefit you and your current and future job prospects.
What Industries Provide Six-Figure Salaries?
There are a variety of industries that offer six-figure salaries, meaning salaries of $100,000 or more on an annual basis. Some of the most common sectors for individuals to garner six-figure salaries include finance, technology, the medical field, and engineering.
Many executives and other finance-related professionals can make six-figure salaries. Examples of positions offering six-figure salaries include Chief Financial Officers of major banks, financial advisors, financial services consultants, and hedge fund managers.
The tech industry is popular among those seeking six-figure salaries. Positions such as software developers, applications developers, big data experts, UI/UX designers, and computer network architects can easily earn salaries over $100,000.
The medical field is another industry known for six-figure salaries. Doctors are the most obvious example of individuals who make six figures. Some other roles include surgeons, anesthesiologists, physical therapists, and radiological technicians.
Engineering is one of the most popular industries for six-figure salaries. Examples of engineering-related positions include civil engineers, mechanical engineers, aerospace engineers, electrical engineers, and computer hardware engineers.
In addition to the industries mentioned above, six-figure salaries are also common in biotech, law, and higher education. C-suite executives in these industries (or any other field) can also make six-figure salaries.
How to Make a Six-Figure Salary with Limited Skills
First, identify and maximize your current skills. What are your best skills? What have you always excelled at through past employment, school, or volunteer experience? Many people with limited skills can create unique opportunities by taking advantage of their current skills. For example, if you are a master organizer, you could start an online organizing business. You could start your own freelance business if you’re an excellent writer. If you have a skill set that lends itself to a product or service in an untapped industry, you could launch a business around that.
Second, keep yourself updated on the latest trends and developments in your field or related areas. What do you mention to friends and family members when talking about your area of interest or expertise? If you’re passionate about a specific topic, district or industry, stay tuned into happenings and news about those areas. This information can help you brainstorm ideas for your own business or job opportunities in the area.
Third, embrace creativity. Think about how your skills and experience can be combined in innovative ways. Don’t restrict your ideas; be open to collaborating with others to see them through. Have the willingness to explore new ideas and use creativity to your advantage.
Fourth, network with those in your field and those who could benefit from your services or products. By building relationships with the right people, potential opportunities can become available. Get involved in networking events and join online groups that target your area of influence.
Finally, create multiple sources of income. A single six-figure salary can come in the form of a job; however, creating multiple income streams can also deliver six-figure success over time. Start small and build a portfolio of investments, businesses, and passive income ideas to generate income quickly.
Obstacles to Reaching a Six-Figure Salary
The first obstacle to reaching a six-figure salary is low wages. Everyone begins somewhere, and many people start from wages far below the six-figure mark. It can be challenging to increase your salary when starting with such limited financial resources. However, moving up the ladder and increasing your salary is possible. Finding a job that pays more is an excellent place to start. Search for positions with higher wages, research job postings to understand what skills and experiences employers are looking for, and consider seeking additional education and certifications that may be beneficial.
Another common obstacle to reaching a six-figure salary is debt. Many people have incurred financial obligations such as student loans, credit card debt, or medical bills that must be addressed. Even if you are currently working, it is difficult to move forward financially if a large portion of your income goes toward debt repayment. It is crucial to find ways to reduce or eliminate debt to have more freedom to save and invest. One approach may be to consolidate debt into one manageable payment. Consider refinancing student loans or consolidating debt with a lower annual percentage rate loan. In addition, be mindful of your spending habits and avoid additional debt.
The last common obstacle faced by those trying to reach a six-figure salary is lack of experience. New workers in an industry usually have a different experience level than those in senior or executive positions. While this can be a difficult challenge, gaining additional skills and knowledge can maximize your potential to earn more money. Look into courses or certification programs that may set you apart and propel your career. Networking can also open up doors to increasing your salary or status. If feasible, consider taking on unpaid internships or shadowing roles to gain more experience in a particular field.
Diversifying Your Income and Earning Potential
Ultimately, diversifying your income and earning potential gives you more room to grow financially and helps lessen the pressure of depending on one source of income. With multiple streams of income and more ways to make money, you can better protect yourself from hard times or unforeseen circumstances. Additionally, you may have the opportunity to gain greater financial freedom and make more of an impact on your financial future.
To diversify your income and unlock new earning potential, you must first consider the most suitable method. Investing in stocks, starting a side business, or exploring other monetary ventures could be viable options depending on your financial knowledge and risk tolerance. Numerous paths available to explore can help maximize your revenue streams.
Investing in the stock market is one way to diversify your income and earning potential. You can make a steady income by researching stocks and investing in various companies. When you invest, you’re putting your money into a company and hoping it will increase in value, thus allowing you to make money. Investing in the stock market can be quite risky, so it’s essential to research and understand what you’re getting into before taking the plunge.
An excellent way to broaden your income and make more money is to take up a side hustle. Side hustles can be any job or task you do on the side in addition to your regular work, such as an extra job, running an e-commerce store, or leasing out a room. These kinds of opportunities are ideal for those seeking supplemental earnings while diversifying their sources of revenue.
What to Do If You’re Already Struggling With a Six-Figure Salary
If you’re already struggling with a six-figure salary, it can be a difficult and daunting process to get your finances in order. While a six-figure salary may seem like a dream come true, it can present its own set of financial challenges. Here are some steps to help manage your finances if you’re already struggling with a six-figure salary.
1. Create and Stick to a Budget
One of the first steps in managing your finances with a six-figure salary is to create and stick to a budget. This will help you track your expenses and ensure that everything is being taken care of each month. Having a budget will also help you prioritize your expenditures so that you’re spending in ways that align with your long-term plans.
2. Pay Off Debt
Another critical step in managing your finances with a six-figure salary is to pay off any debt. Debt can be overwhelming, and paying it off can help to reduce stress and make it easier to manage your finances. Make sure to pay off high-interest debt first, and consider exploring debt consolidation options if you can.
3. Increase Your Savings
Once your debts are taken care of, start increasing your savings. With a six-figure salary, you should be able to start putting away a significant amount of money into different savings accounts. Make sure to set up an emergency fund and money for retirement.
4. Invest Wisely
Investing is another excellent way to make your money work for you when you’re struggling with a six-figure salary. Make sure you research and look for low-risk investments to help grow your wealth over time.
5. Talk to an Expert
Consulting a financial expert is highly recommended to ensure you are taking full advantage of your newfound six-figure income. They can provide insight into the most beneficial ways to manage your finances and offer suggestions or advice that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.
A six-figure salary can be a fantastic opportunity, but it can also come with its own set of challenges. By following the steps outlined above, however, you can make sure to take full advantage of your income and set yourself up for success in the long run. With smart financial planning and a bit of savvy investing, you can make sure to get the most out of your six-figure salary.
Jason Butler is the owner of My Money Chronicles, a website where he discusses personal finance, side hustles, travel, and more. Jason is from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah State University with his BA in Marketing. Jason has been featured in Forbes, Discover, and Investopedia.