6 Figure Salaries and the Myth of the American Dream

Nick Burgess
8 min readApr 21, 2022

Explaining A Six Figure Salary

In today’s world, it can seem like everything is getting more and more expensive. We have a war in Asia directly affecting the price of our Tesla’s, we have drug cartels limiting the avocado supply, and inflation is doing its best Miley Cyrus impression and coming through like a wrecking ball.

a wallet with credit cards and cash
Photo by Emil Kalibradov on Unsplash

All of this being said, however, the economic conditions we’re in today have given rise to some of the most leverage the American worker has ever had. Talent is now in short supply, and companies are doing whatever they can in order to get great employees through the door, including paying out the nose for them.

As a quick note, you’ll usually hear these terms of six, seven, eight and nine figures in reference to net worth, rather than a paycheck. Having a six figure net worth is actually pretty common, while having a six figure salary is really not. However, since it’s way more fun to look at high paying jobs rather than someone’s personal balance sheet, let’s do that instead.

Today, let’s cover what a these salary ranges actually mean, who makes all this money, and why it might not matter anymore.

Related: How I Doubled My Income In One Year

What Is a Six Figure Salary?

A six figure salary is any salary where you make between $100,000-$999,999 per year, hence the “six figures.” In a 2019 YouGov study shared with Yahoo Finance, just 9% of Americans reported having six figure salaries. But what do those people actually do?

What Jobs Pay Six Figures?

The most attainable level on this list (sadly), quite a few different industries pay six figures, and not just later in life. Of course, jobs with specific certifications (doctors, lawyers, etc) will pay six figures basically straight out of school. Another great way to blow right past $100,000 is to get into tech, working for one of the FAANG companies who will pay you whatever it takes to come in and code for them.

However, there are some non-traditional ways to get over that $100,000 number pretty quickly. According to Glassdoor, here are some of the top jobs to get you there, along…



Nick Burgess

Making investing, stocks, cryptocurrency and personal finance easier for everyone.