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You may have heard people mention the fact that a certain person has a six-figure salary or a successful investor has a seven-figure portfolio. But how much is 6 figures in money, really?

Or how much is 7 figures or even 8 figures or 9 figures in reality?

It’s fine to throw around these terms like we know what we’re talking about – but it can also be good sometimes to check exactly what this means in reality.

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And, perhaps most importantly, we can use this to find out how you could get to that level yourself.

How much is a figure?

A figure is a number or a digit. For example, the amount $123,456 has six numbers and thus someone earning this would have a 6-figure salary. However, in the context of your income, a figure generally refers to complete dollar amounts. As such, if you earn $23,456.78, this would be considered as earning five figures, not seven figures. 

Of course, it would be nice to be able to claim to earn 6 figures when your salary is $9,999.99. However, that’s not really how the term “figure” is used in this context.

How much is 6 figures?

As a figure is a number or digit, 6 figures refers to any amount between 100,000 and 999,999 inclusive. As this is usually mentioned in the context of someone’s annual salary, it thus typically refers to anyone earning $100,000 or more but less than $1 million.

This means that the answer to the question of how much is six figures can really vary between a pretty good salary, when you’re at the lower end of the scale, to a pretty amazing one as your earnings approach a 6 figure number that’s near the one million dollar mark.

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How much is a 6-figure salary?

A six-figure salary is any salary that’s more than $99,999 and less than $1,000,000. If someone refers to a six-figure salary, they’re usually talking about what someone earns in a year before tax and any other deductions. It may or may not include the value of other benefits they receive.

However, you may have spotted something with the previous explanation.

Let’s take the amount $1,234.56. If the question “how much is 6 figures?” was purely based on counting the number of figures in an amount, this would be six figures, no?

cash falling as someone works out how much is 6 figures in money and whether they could earn 8 figures

Well, yes, that would absolutely be correct purely from a counting perspective.

But when people talk about a 6-figure salary, they’re talking purely in dollars, not cents.

What does it mean to have 6 figures?

If someone says that they “have 6 figures”, they’re not generally talking about their salary. Instead, having 6 figures refers to someone’s total net worth and would usually be in the context of talking about the value of their investments.

That said, it doesn’t necessarily have to just be investments. For example, your total net worth includes your liquid net worth. That said, if someone has six figures, their liquid net worth probably isn’t going to be a large portion of that.

What jobs make 6 figures a year?

While 6 figure jobs are definitely something to aspire to, they’re no longer as rare as they once were. They include, among others:

  • Actuary
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Commercial Pilot
  • Computer and Information Research Scientist
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dentist
  • Elevator Installer/Repairer
  • Financial manager
  • Petroleum engineer
  • Web developer

Inflation and the rising cost of living has meant that salaries have, in many cases, risen as well, making a six-figure salary more common these days, although you’ll often need to develop certain high income skills to get a job in that salary range.

So let’s see what some of these jobs that make 6 figures a year actually involve.

6 figure jobs that need a college degree

Actuary

  • What they do: Actuaries use statistics to do risk assessments to minimize costs, usually for insurance companies
  • Median annual salary: $102,880

Anesthesiologist

  • What they do: Provide anesthesia (local and general) during medical procedures and keep an eye on patients’ vital signs
  • Mean annual salary: $292,369

Computer and Information Research Scientist

  • What they do: Create tools and solve problems using computer applications
  • Median annual salary: $118,370

Dentist

  • What they do: Keep your teeth and gums healthy
  • Median annual salary: $156,240

Financial manager

  • What they do: Work for banks, insurance companies and other entities to ensure the long-term health of the company and, often, its clients
  • Median annual salary: $127,990 

Petroleum Engineer

  • What they do: Work for oil companies in oil and gas extraction
  • Median annual salary: $137,170
dentist in a 6 figure job salary payout wondering how to earn 7 figures

6 figure jobs that don’t need a college degree

While you may be able score one of these six-figure jobs without a four-year college degree, they do require extensive training. This includes, in some cases, an associates degree or other professional certifications.

Air Traffic Controller

  • What they do: Monitor air traffic, including take-offs and landings
  • Median annual salary: $124,540

Commercial Pilot

  • What they do: Fly commercial planes with passengers and/or cargo
  • Median annual salary: $111,930

Dental Hygienist

  • What they do: Clean teeth, examine patients’ teeth and gums, advice on preventative care and support dentists in their work
  • Median annual salary: $101,330

Elevator Installer/Repairer

  • What they do: Install and service elevators
  • Median annual salary: $115,880

Web developer

  • What they do: Design and build websites based on client requirements
  • Median annual salary: $122,320

Note that most web developers will have some sort of college education, but if you build your skills up enough, you can definitely get a job in this field without a formal degree. 

Just ask Mark Zuckerberg, who seems to be doing pretty well for himself despite dropping out of Harvard before graduation.

web developer working out what is six figures for their job salary and how to make 9 figures

Is a 6-figure salary good?

A low six-figure salary is definitely above average and a high six-figure salary should put anyone in a very comfortable position. This is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ findings that median earnings in the US are $47,684. This rises slightly for so-called professional workers, whose median annual salary is just over $68,000.

(You can find more information on these stats here.)

But the question “are six figures rich” isn’t just based on the number itself. In fact, it depends on a variety of factors, which we’ll go through below.

And consider this: according to Nielsen, 25% of households making $150,000 per year or more are living paycheck to paycheck.

That may seem unbelievable to those of us earning less than that, like if you’re staring at your current salary of $40,000 a year. But it turns out your money habits can have a big impact on your financial situation, even when your salary makes it seem like that shouldn’t be the case.

It’s not simply a question of having a more general personal financial plan. Instead, it’s much more important, no matter your income, to make sure you’re managing your money properly.

The best way to do that is to know exactly where all your money is going and our top pick for the best app that does this is Personal Capital. And it helps that it’s completely free!

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Amount of debt you hold

As found here, the higher your income, the more likely it is your debt will be higher. 

Of course, earning more money also makes it easier to pay off your debt – if you choose to.

But with higher income earners taking our large mortgages to fund homes or other loans to support their lifestyles, paying this off can even be hard for those with a six-figure salary.

It’s why having a high income is no guarantee of having a good credit score.

And going into debt, no matter how high your salary is, is never going to end well in terms of your ability to build wealth.

Where you live

Where you live and the cost of living there has a huge impact on whether a six-figure salary is good.

The classic example is San Francisco, where a family getting by on $117,400 is now considered ‘low income’.

This is clearly due to the fact that so many tech companies are headquartered in the area, with higher than average salaries also pushing up the cost of housing and other expenses.

But it shows well how the question of whether a six-figure salary is good will involve you taking a look at the broader picture.

Related: 17 Best Financial Planning Quotes to Inspire Your Money Makeover

san francisco houses where a 6-figure salary is not good always

Your spending habits

Much like those of us who earn less than six figures, your spending habits can really make or break your financial situation.

Lifestyle creep in particular can be bad news for those trying to get their spending under control.

And a significant number of six-figure income earners also suffer from a classic case of “Keeping Up With The Joneses”.

Many in that bracket have talked about feeling the pressure to have the “right” car, home, holidays and education for their children, especially when they’re working alongside other high-income earners who also have those things.

But these things all cost a lot of money – and these costs increase over time. 

And much like those who may be earning more average salaries rather than a six-figure salary, if your spending spirals out of control, you’re never going to be able to use that money for actually reaching your financial goals.

Related: How to Get Rich From Nothing: The One Strategy That’s Proven to Work

How much of your 6-figure salary you save or invest

A 6-figure salary can only really be good if you use it to build your wealth and secure your financial future.

And the best way to do this is to have solid savings and invest, so that your money is working for you.

However, it’s been found that 45% of Americans have no investments at all. And while higher income earners are more likely than others to have the money available to put into investments, many of them are still living paycheck to paycheck for the reasons mentioned above.

So, sure, a 6 figure salary is definitely better than most. But if you’re not using it to set yourself up for the future by increasing your savings rate, how good is it really?

Related: 10 Best Personal Finance Podcasts for Beginners

cash on table earned from earning 6 figures in money

How much is 7 figures?

Seven figures refer to a number with seven digits, meaning that it’s any amount between 1,000,000 and 9,999,999. As this is usually mentioned in the context of someone’s annual salary, it thus typically refers to anyone earning $1 million or more but less than $10 million.

As you can probably tell, if you’re earning 7 figures, the meaning really isn’t bad.

How much is a 7-figure salary?

A seven-figure salary is when your income is anywhere between earning one million dollars and under ten million dollars per year. When referred to, a seven-figure salary generally means the amount that someone earns in a year before tax and any other deductions. At this level, it will also usually include the value of any other benefits they receive.

That is, this is officially when you reach millionaire territory. 

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What does it mean to have 7 figures?

As mentioned above, to “have 7 figures” generally refers to someone’s net worth rather than their salary.

And the good news is that having a 7-figure investment portfolio is absolutely not limited to those earning six- or seven-figure salaries.

This janitor, for example, had an $8 million fortune when he passed away, solely from living frugally, keeping his spending under control and investing regularly.

In fact, having a 7-figure net worth by the time we retire is something that pretty much anyone can aspire to. And the key to it is, as above, simply spending less than we earn and making our money work for us by investing.

That is, effective money management is critical, no matter your salary. In fact, it can make all the difference between being rich vs wealthy – a good problem to have, no doubt.

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What jobs make 7 figures a year?

Now you know how much is 7 figures, it’s a good step to find some 7 figure salary jobs to see how to earn this.

These include:

  • Business executive: This can include almost any high-level corporate executive in any field. Once they get to a high enough point, their benefits alone through things like stock options easily push them into seven-figure salary territory.
  • Specialized surgeon: Not all surgeons will 7 figures but those who are highly specialized with years of experience can earn this much annually.
  • Investment banker: It won’t surprise anyone to hear that investment bankers are on this list. You won’t start off at this level and the hours can be brutal for juniors, but many see the pay-off as being worth it.
  • Lawyer: Similar to investment bankers, lawyers just starting out won’t necessarily earn a spectacular salary. But by climbing the ranks to partner in major firms, they can get to a 7-figure salary.
  • Entertainer: Obviously, not everyone in the entertainment industry will find jobs that make a million a year. But the few who do can see immense financial success.
  • Professional athlete: Similarly, it’s not common for a 7-figure salary to be the point that athletes reach. A very small percentage do however, often thanks to things like endorsements.
  • Software developer: Software developers in general don’t earn seven-figure salaries. However, there are examples of those who can, including when they create a product and sell it to a major company for millions.
  • Real estate developer: If you build your property portfolio up enough, there’s every chance you could earn 7 figures from it.
  • Investor: This is different from an investment banker and focuses more on people who invest their own funds. With years of building this up and the benefits of compound interest, earning seven figures from your portfolio is possible. In fact, this can be a great way to become very wealthy while living without a job – at least based on the usual understanding of what a job is.

As you can see, seven-figure jobs are generally reserved for those who are either supremely talented at some highly specialized work, supremely talented at making money for their employer or supremely talented at timing. Or a combination of the three.

This means it becomes a question of which of those can you leverage to get to 7 figures and reach financial freedom?

businessman reading binder working out how much is 7 figures in money

Is a 7-figure salary good?

Earning a seven-figure salary is definitely good, as it means you’re earning at least one million dollars per year. This is well above the median salary in the US, meaning not only should you be very comfortable on this amount, but you will have more than enough leftover to invest significant amounts and earn even more.

Earning 7 figures is when you’re really with the high rollers. 

Safe to say, if you’re earning more than one million dollars per year, you’re doing pretty well at attracting money.

It would be hard to find someone who’s able to argue that a seven-figure salary isn’t good.

(In fact, after a short time with that kind of salary, you could probably live without a job entirely.)

However, if you’re ever lucky enough to be in the position of having a 7-figure salary, good financial management is still always important.

Even with this amount of money, things can go wrong. Just ask the millionaire lottery winners who go bankrupt within a few years of winning.

Related: How to Become Rich Overnight: The Strategy That Actually Works

How much is 8 figures?

Eight figures is anything between the numbers of 10,000,000 and 99,999,999, given that there are eight digits in these amounts. In the context of someone’s salary, it refers to anyone earning more than $10 million per year but less than $100 million.

Safe to say, if you’re asking “8 figures is how much?”, the easy answer is: not a small amount.

How much is an 8-figure salary?

An eight-figure salary is when your annual before-tax income is anywhere between $10 million dollars and under $100 million dollars. Usually, someone will not simply earn this kind of salary. Instead, it will also include the value of other benefits the person receives, such as stock options or endorsements.

So the answer to the question “how much is an eight-figure salary?” is definitely “quite a lot”.

What jobs make 8 figures a year?

These are the best of the best of the best. But not only do people in these positions have to be good at their work to hold these 8-figure salary jobs, they have to be working in fields where they’re earning a TON of money for their employers – or are the employers themselves.

In fact, in a study mentioned in our article on old money vs new money, it found that most billionaires in the US are actually self-made, with a lot of them – perhaps unsurprisingly – running the kinds of businesses that generate an 8-figure salary for them.

Jobs making eight figures a year include the following:

1. CEOs

  • In his final year as CEO of Disney, Bob Iger earned $65.6 million
  • Fabrizio Freda, the CEO of Estee Lauder, including all the companies that fall under that umbrella, took home $48.2 million
  • The CEO of PayPal, Daniel H. Schulman got a cool $37.8 million
  • Brian R. Niccol, the CEO of Chipotle, scraped by on a mere $33.5 million

2. Actors

According to Forbes, some of Hollywood’s finest are on fairly good 8-figure salaries themselves:

  • For the actors, Dwayne Johnson earned $89.4 million while second on the list was Chris Hemsworth, whose salary was $76.4 million
  • In the case of the actresses, the top earner was Scarlett Johansson at $56 million followed by Sofia Vergara on $44.1 million

There’s a point to be made here about the gender pay gap, but I’ll leave you to see it.

3. Professional athletes

You won’t be surprised to hear that many professional athletes are also well into the eight-figure salary club based on their salaries last year. According to Forbes, this includes:

  • Boxer Canelo Alvarez earned $94 million 
  • Tennis player Roger Federer took home $93.4 million
  • Seattle Seahawks player Russell Wilson made $89.5 million

And these aren’t even the top three earning athletes for the year!

tennis player wondering how much is 8 figures salary in money

Is an 8 figure salary good?

Given how high this is compared to the median salary in the US, it’s safe to say that you won’t be struggling if you’re earning an 8 figure salary, noting that it’s more than $10 million per year.

At the same time, we’ve all heard the stories of people digging themselves into mountains of debt even at that level of income.

This only reinforces the fact that, generally speaking, the main determinant of whether or not you’ll be able to build your wealth is effectively managing the money you have – even if the money you have is 8 figures every single year – which mainly means avoiding debt.

Related: 15 Incredible Debt Snowball Worksheets to Get Out of Debt

How much is 9 figures?

Nine figures is any number between 100,000,000 (yes, that’s 100 million) and 999,999,999, given that each of these have nine digits. This would mean that someone earning nine figures would be earning anywhere between $100 million and just under $1 billion.

That is, the answer to the question of how much is nine figures in money is: a ridiculous amount.

How much is a 9-figure salary?

A nine-figure salary is when your yearly earnings before tax are anywhere between $100 million dollars and under $1 billion dollars. This will never be entirely earned as an actual salary. Instead, it will also include the value of other benefits the person receives, such as stock options, endorsements and even increases in value to their own investment portfolio.

Clearly, someone earning the kind of money that’s in the nine figure range won’t be struggling.

What does it mean to have a 9 figure salary?

Having a 9-figure salary means that you’re earning anywhere between $100 million and one dollar short of $1 billion per year.

As is probably clear, this is more than most of us could ever hope to earn and, arguably, more than we would ever need. Even a 9 figure net worth is pretty insane, let alone earning 9 figures in money every single year.

Just to try to give it some perspective, the median annual salary in the US is $47,684. So to earn $100 million, someone on that salary would have to work for 2,097 years.

You may also be interested in: 10 Tips for the Day to Set Yourself Up for Success

person standing on mountain wondering how much is 9 figures in money as a salary

What jobs pay 9 figures a year?

  • Professional athletes: The top three highest earnings athletes last year earned 9-figure salaries: Lionel Messi ($127 million), Cristiano Ronaldo ($109 million) and Neymar ($105 million)
  • Entertainers: Oprah Winfrey reportedly took home more than $300 million at one stage
  • Business executives: The CEO of Discovery, David M. Zaslav, earned $129,499,005 last year, while Safra A. Catz, the CEO of Oracle (and the only woman in the top 10 highest earning CEOs) had a salary last year of $108,282,333

Final thoughts

Finding out how much is 7 figures, 8 figures or 9 figures when it comes to someone’s annual salary is definitely interesting, but it’s safe to say that they’re far beyond what any of us can even hope to earn – let alone what we need.

And now that you know how much is 6 figures, I’ve got some extra news for you: while a 6-figure salary is certainly nice, it isn’t really necessary.

While it has, actually, been found that money buys happiness, if you’re trying to get a bigger salary to do this, keep in mind that the far more important thing for getting rich is effective money management, no matter what you’re earning.

(Well, unless you’re in the range of earning nine figures, maybe.)

That is, spend less than you earn and invest the rest.

By doing that, you’ll be well on the path to having 7 figures in your net worth by the time you retire.

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