In this article, we will first look at how much a 6-figure salary is, review 10 jobs that earn 6+ figures, and finally review 7 strategies to earn a 6-figure salary.
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How much is a 6-figure salary?
A 6-figure salary is a salary of $100,000 or more per year ($100,000 has 6 digits).
You might also be wondering: “How much is 6-figure per month and per week?” $100,000 is $8.3K/month (divided by 12 months), and $1,923/week (divided by 52 weeks). Down to the hour, assuming 40 hours per week, a 6-figure salary is $48.1 per hour.
Looking for ways to make a six-figure earning? You’re in the right place! Below we’ve combined some of the careers that’ll earn you a hefty amount without needing an advanced degree, along with tips on how to get there!
10 Positions that Earn 6-Figure Salaries
1. Software Developers
Software development might be one of the best jobs on this list, having an extremely high career satisfaction rate. This field is vast and the market demand is growing every day. There is immense potential for success, especially in the mobile app development sector. An average software developer earns $101,575 and the number might even exceed $167,000 when you have three to five years of experience.
How to become a Software Developer:
You don’t really need a professional degree or even a college degree to be a software developer. The truth is that some of the highest-earning software developers in the industry are self-taught. Because software development is a skill that you learn. You attend a coding bootcamp, learn to code and practice until you master it. However, a CS degree may pave a quicker path to landing a job at a reputable tech company.
2. Commercial Pilots
While this might not be the first job that pops in your head when you think of the big bucks, working as a commercial pilot can earn you way more than you think. This job doesn’t require a specific education or degree. All you need to do is undergo proper flight training and get your commercial pilot’s license.
The average pay is $130,440 but once you work your way up, you can easily make up to $200,000 a year. As your plane takes to the air, so will your earnings!
How to become a Commercial Pilot:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you need a high school diploma to get started on this career path. After that, flight training with independent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certified instructors awaits you. This gets you your commercial pilot’s license.
3. Sales Agent
For this job, all you really need are the crucial skills of persuasion, customer interaction, and a whole lot of dedication. Having a background in business may also propel your chances of success in this career path. Make sure to keep an eye out for jobs that offer high sales commissions and you might be able to walk away with more than $102,179 a year. Some high-commission sales jobs are financial services sales agent, advertising sales agent, and software sales representative.
How to become a Sales Agent:
Companies usually require a high school diploma for a sales representative position. The rest all narrows down to your industry knowledge and persuasion skills.
4. Data Scientists
Data scientists earn up to $119,684 per year. While working as a data scientist, you’ll be responsible for analyzing and structuring large sets of data, and will need some solid mathematics and statistics skills. You’ll be able to make big bucks but the salary might vary depending on location, job title, experience and the company you work with.
How to become a Data Scientist:
To become a data scientist, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, math, physics, or other fields. You’ll be needing specialization in a computer-related major but areas of math and sciences can also work. While a bachelor’s degree might land you the job, a large percentage of data scientists hold PhDs in their respective fields. So if you want to make it to the top in this department- buckle up and invest in your education.
5. Criminal Investigator/ Detectives
This is yet another job that does not require a formal degree. Once you’ve undergone training at a police academy and earned your license, you’ll be well on your way to making a decent amount of cash. You can back up your application by studying criminal law in college, but this isn’t always necessary. So if you’ve got a keen eye as a true-crime sleuth, put that to good use and earn more than $100,929 per year.
How to become a Criminal Investigator:
Most jobs only require a high school diploma according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some may, however, require a bachelor’s degree in criminal law, forensic science or relevant field. After that, you undergo on-the-job training and get hands-on experience in crime scene analysis while honing essential skills of law enforcement.
6. Aerospace Engineers
Aerospace engineers make up to $118,610 a year. This one demands a strong passion for the field and a higher education. Aerospace engineers are involved in the manufacturing, design, analysis, and research and development of aircrafts or anything that flies. Those who dream of working at NASA, this is it for you.
How to become an Aerospace Engineer:
You must have a bachelor’s and/or a master’s degree in aerospace engineering or a relevant engineer or science-related field. You must also work on your analytical, business, math, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
7. Full-Stack Developers
Working as a full-stack developer is one of the top ways to make a 6-figure earning. Entry-level jobs pay $90,000 while an experienced full-stack web developer can make up to $106,238 per annum. A full-stack developer is skilled at both front and back end programming. Not only do they handle the server side but they also tackle UI/UX management for a user-friendly front-end.
How to become a Full-Stack Developer:
Although you don’t necessarily need a formal degree, it’s important to have some training in web development if you plan to pursue a career in this field. A coding bootcamp can do wonders to get you started as a full-stack developer.
8. Construction Manager
Construction managers are generally responsible for all aspects of a construction job- from planning to budgeting and beyond. Construction workers can make up to $126,040 a year. This occupation is ideal for someone who doesn’t want a typical desk job. The construction industry is showing a great deal of potential for future years too.
How to become a Construction Manager:
To get started, you will need a four-year bachelor’s degree. This should earn you an entry-level job with a construction company. From there, you can work your way up to managerial positions. If you want to level up fast, you can either try and work as an assistant to a CM in your company, or get a master’s degree. Both these paths will get you well on your way to making 6 figures a year.
9. Real Estate Agents
The real estate world is booming more than ever, and there are plenty of good opportunities for you to make 6 figures in this field. While entry-level jobs pay up to $25,000, if you know your business and are a fast learner, you can easily make up to $112,000 in no time.
How to become a Real Estate Agent:
You don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent. You just have to take your state’s required courses and pass a real estate license exam before jumping into the biz.
10. Marketing Managers
This career path also presents a lot of opportunities and big bucks. Marketing managers make up to $141,490 per year. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can quickly work your way up to managerial positions and secure a 6-digit salary. The amount of money you earn also depends greatly on your skillset and the company you’re associated with.
How to become a Marketing Manager:
Most companies require a bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, advertising, or journalism. You start as an intern and gradually climb up to the managerial position while sharpening your creative edge, analytical, and communication skills.
7 Strategies To Earn 6-Figure
1) Become a Successful Real Estate Agent or Sales Person. According to Indeed, a Real Estate Agent earns $93,156 on average but successful real estate agents can earn well over $100,000 after a few years of building up their business. To become a real estate agent, you can take a real estate prelicensing course and pass the licensing exam. Additionally, a Sales Manager also earns over $100,000 on average once you take into account bonuses and commissions.
2) Specialize in a Trade. Skilled labor is in high-demand. For example, according to Indeed, HVAC supervisors earn on average about $86,000 with average overtime pay, and often more than $100,000 in larger cities. Larger HVAC companies will also pay more. The same can be said of other specialized trade positions.
3) Get a Master’s or Post-Graduate degree. Several professions such as dentists, physicians or lawyers require a post-graduate degree but will earn an average of over $100,000 per year. Getting a post-graduate degree can take years and is expensive, but will eventually pay off handsomely.
4) Become a Manager / Leader. If you don’t have an impressive degree, you can still work your way up the corporate ladder to a 6-figure salary. A lot of companies such as airlines, insurance companies and hospitals offer high salaries if you work your way up to management. There are a lot of manager-level positions that let you get paid over $100,000 in the fields of marketing, finance, sales, engineering or even HR. To become a successful manager, you need to have a lot of experience and know how to lead a team. Successful people managers :
- Are emotionally intelligent: they carefully listen to and accept feedback from others, are able to easily relate to people’s emotions and concerns, and are able to collaborate and cooperate with others exceptionally well. Read Daniel Goleman’s book: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.
- Deliver results: they perform well in their jobs, regularly exceeding their managers’ expectations. They get things done and are self-starters who don’t require much supervision. Read this description of Amazon’s “Deliver Results” Principle.
- Are experts in their field: leaders who have mastered one area are usually better at leading people who work in that same field. Think of the best football player working with other top-notch football players. Read Entrepreneur’s magazine’s 7 Steps to Becoming an Expert in Your Field.
- Innovate: they come up with out-of-the-box solutions to problems. Read Harvard’s article on Leading and Building a Culture of Innovation.
5) Launch your own company. A lot of people who have become wealthy were entrepreneurs who started their own companies. Build a company that offers a service or products that customers LOVE. Think your local 5-star rated contractor, favorite always-busy restaurant or favorite smartphone apps. To build a new product that customers will love, you need to observe the market, see what problems customers have, and test your product early to get a lot of customer feedback. Read the Lean Startup’s approach: How to Build Products Customers Love.
You will also need to be persistent and relentless as launching a new company or product requires exceptional focus and passion. And remember, most startups fail as only 20-30% of new startups succeed. But if your startup succeeds you have the potential to become very wealthy and achieve financial freedom.
6) Work for a Startup. You can also get a high salary at an early-stage startup. Usually employees receive stock options in exchange for lower salaries. While the base salary might be lower (and below “6 figures”), stock compensation could mean that you will earn a nice salary and payout if the startup is successful – often well over $100,000/year.
7) Create a Side Hustle. You can create your own Amazon Seller account, a new blog or perhaps start with a freelancing business if you have skills that are in high demand. Sometimes, one job alone cannot bring in the earnings you’re wishing for. A way around this problem is to invest in a profitable side-hustle. And no, we don’t mean work yourself to your grave! Your side hustle shouldn’t be a mentally taxing and low-paying job, but instead something that can be both profitable and exciting.
More often than not, you can turn your hobbies into a profitable small business, and apply your skillset to multiple jobs without having to overwork yourself. Find a promising business idea and give it a try- the extra income might help you cross the 6-figure earning mark.