How To Make Six Figures A Year At Almost Any Age (2024)

How To Make Six Figures A Year At Almost Any Age (1)

If you want to make six-figures, know that you can if you want to. Nothing in this world is stopping you with the right money mindset to get rich. I'll teach you how to make six figures a year at almost any age.

I believe$250,000 is the ideal six-figure income for an individual for maximum happiness. $350,000 is the ideal household income for a family of up to four. Inflation is really forcing households to earn more money just to run in place.

At these income levels, you're earning a healthy six figures to buy a lot of what you want. But you're not earning a super-high six figure income that takes a lot of work and gets taxed like crazy.

Further, taxes might be increased for individuals making over $400,000 and married couples making over $450,000. If you're already working 60+ hours a week and miserable, paying even more taxes won't feel great.

I've been making six figures since my second year in investment banking in 2000. Earning a six figure income helped me achieve financial independence at age 34 in 2012. Today, my passive investment income generates roughly $340,000 a year to take care of my wife and two children.

If you want to learn how to earn a six figure income at almost any age, you've come to the right place! After earning six-figures at work for 12 years, I now earn six-figures online.

Skills You Need To Get A Six-Figure Salary

If you have a high IQ, that's great! But, intelligence alone does not guarantee success in life. If you want to make a six-figure income, there are a set of core skillsets you must acquire first.

Let's Start With Some Basic Necessities To Earn Six-Figures

1) Desire To Make Six-Figures

If you want to make six figures, you must desire to make a lot of money. Mr. Miyagi said it best to Daniel-san, “You Karate do “yes” or Karate do “no,” you Karate do “guess so” get squished like grape.”

2) Effort To Work Harder Than Average

Unfortunately for the lazy, you're actually going to have to try hard at first. Maybe you'll wake up earlier than everyone else. Or you'll start to network like a mad person. Hopefully, you'll stop making excuses. No effort, no results earning six figures.

3) Have The Desire For More Knowledge

The more you educate yourself, the easier things will be. Lucky for you, you're reading this post and likely other great financial publicationsas well.

I spent the past 13 years working in finance. Then I got my MBA from Berkeley. I considered getting a Ph.D., but felt it was too much.

I've written over 2,500 personal finance articles since 2009. You're in good hands here on Financial Samurai! You're especially good if you subscribe to my free weekly newsletter where I recap the most important financial information and share my thoughts.

4) Optimism To Make More

Positive people succeed more in life. Optimism is what will drive you to keep going when things turn sour. Optimism will make you do great things because you believe things will improve. If you have optimism, you will always find the right direction.

5) A Fantastic Personality

At the very minimum, it's important to be nice if you want to make over $100,000 a year in income. At the maximum, your charisma will make believers out of others. People will be drawn to you and naturally want to start helping you and doing business with you. Be nice, but also be respectful.

There will be haters everywhere. Embrace them. Learn how to develop a better personality so more people will follow, support, and like you.

Get A Six-Figure Income At Any Age

Now that we have the basics out of the way, let's explore the many possibilities of making over $100,000 at any age. I truly believe anybody who wants to make more can make more. This post isn't meant to be controversial at all. But, as always, feel free to share your thoughts below.

High School & College Years

It's important not to be a donkey and get mediocre grades. If you're just coasting with a “B” or worse, you're going to end up going to a “B” college or worse. At your “B” college, if you are mediocre again, well then you are going to be stuck with mediocre opportunities.

Do you really think you're going to be able to compete with the student who gets straight A's in high school who then gets straight A's at Columbia for the same jobs and opportunities post graduation? No. A rational employer will choose the straight-A student over the B-student 9 times out of 10 all else being equal.

If you're curious, the median income for Ivy League graduates 20 years after graduation is roughly $160,888. So going to a top college is a good predictor of making more money. However, you can go to about 75-100 colleges today that provide similar income and career upward mobility to the Ivy League schools.

However, more important than where you attend college is your major. Majors that pay the most are in engineering, medicine, and finance.

How To Make Six Figures A Year At Almost Any Age (2)

Top 5 Industries With Six-Figure Jobs

Now that you are a terrific student, all you've got to do is identify industries that often pay six figures within two years out of school. Many of the industries pay over $100,000 to start now.

Here are the top-five industries paying six-figures:

  • Venture capital
  • Investment banking
  • Management/strategic consulting
  • High tech
  • Internet

Therefore, go apply to the top five companies in each field. For example, the companies listed below are offer opportunities to get a six-figure salary.

Venture Capital: Sequoia, Benchmark, Accel, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Kleiner Perkins.

Investment Banking: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Strategic Consulting: Bain, BCG, McKinsey, Monitor, Arthur D. Little, Booz Allen Hamilton,LEK, Oliver Wyman, A.T. Kearney.

Tech/Software: Apple, Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft, HP.

Internet: Google, Facebook, eBay, Paypal, AirbnB, Dropbox, Quora, Uber, Slack, Pinterest, Netflix.

Related: Should I Work In Investment Banking, Technology, Or At A Startup?

Even More Six-Figure Industries

IT Consulting/Accounting: KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers (takes longer to break $100,000, but a high certainty before 30 if you start out of undergrad)

Oil, Mining, Commodities Trading: Vitol Group, BHP Billington, Glencore International, Cargill Group, Koch Industries, Trafigura, Archer Daniels Midland Co, Gunvor International, Noble Group, Bunge, Phibro

Computer & Movie Animation: Pixar Studios (Toy Story), Weta (Lord Of The Rings), Blizzard (World of War Craft)

Engineering: Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering, Software engineering, Structural engineering. Engineers have the starting highest paid salaries around. They can find jobs at many tech, internet, software, research, and construction companies.

Health Care: Doctors, Hospital Administrators, Specialists, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, etc.

Classical Music: The San Francisco Symphony's median salary is $160,000. We know this because they went on strike on March 13, 2013. They felt underpaid by 5% compared to their LA and Chicago peers! 5% and they go on strike!

Police Officersand Firefighters: Cops and firefighters with a couple decades worth of experience regularly earn over six figures a year. Add on their well deserved lifelong pensions and you've got a recipe for financial success! Retired SF Chief of Police Heather Fong makes $200,000+ a year from her pension for example.

Big Government: Reach any top tier position in the Federal or State government and you will make six figures a year a long with a nice pension. In fact, there are more than 450,000 Federal employees making over $100,000 a year. Prison guards make $150,000-$200,000+ with overtime. San Francisco janitors and elevator technicians make over $270,000 a year.

Government Contractors: The average total compensation for a Navy, Army, and Air Force contractor is $180,000 according according to a 2016 report by the Defense Business Board.

Education: Principals, Head Coaches, professors. Professors actually have one the best combination of riches and status today.

Real estate: There are plenty of real estate agents who make six figures a year. With commission staying stubbornly high at 5%, all you've got to do is sell $4 million worth of real estate a year to earn six figures (part of your commissions goes to the brokerage firm).

How To Make Six Figures A Year At Almost Any Age (3)

Make Six Figures Through Passive Income

Another goal you should have is to make six figures through your passive investment income. Meaningful passive investment income takes forever to generate, which is why you need to get in the mindset ASAP.

My current favorite passive income investment is through real estate crowdfunding. I love owning a physical asset that I don't have to manage. The best real estate platforms today are Fundrise, for all investors and CrowdStreet for accredited investors. Both are free to sign up and explore. Before investing, make sure to do extensive due diligence on each sponsor. Understanding each sponsor's track record and experience is vital.

I've invested$954,000in real estate crowdfunding so far. My goal is to diversify my expensive SF real estate holdings and earn more 100% passive income. I plan to continue dollar-cost investing into private real estate for the next decade.

It's taken me over 21 years to amass enough capital to generate $380,00 a year in passive income. Then I blew up my passive income in 4Q2023 because I sold stocks and bonds to buy a forever home.

Although I'm no longer technically financially independent based on the first rule of FIRE, I'm still earning a healthy six-figure passive income stream.

How To Make Six Figures A Year At Almost Any Age (4)

Make Six-Figures A Year In Your 20s

So there we have it. Great grades, great schools, and working in particular industries will make you $100,000 a year in your 20s. This post names roughly 30firms which employ tens of thousands. There are many more firms out there which pay just as well.

The great thing is that if you stick it out at any of these firms for 10+ years, there’s a great chance you will be a millionaire in your 30s and amulti-millionaire in your 40s.

What If Your Grades Were Terrible?

How To Make Six Figures A Year At Almost Any Age (5)

Let's say you've got some work experience under your belt. However, you just aren't satisfied with your career or your profession.

You didn't do particularly well in school and read this post a little too late.

You could always go for an elevator technician job in SF and make close to $300K. There are so many regular jobs paying six figures if you swallow your pride.

However, I understand not everybody wants to sweep floors and clean toilets to make a high income. The good news is there are many other options.

Go To Business School To Make Six Figures

How else might you figure out how to make six figures a year? You've got a second chance at a six-figure salary by simply going to business school. Again, you can't just go to any business school. You've got to go to one of the top 20 business schools given the competition, supply, and cost.

Lucky for you, the top business schools let in thousands of students a year, so no worries!

Top 15 Business Schools: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Penn, Columbia, Dartmouth, Berkeley, Chicago, Northwestern, Michigan, Virginia, Yale, Duke, and Cornell.

Get in any of the above schools. Then enter any of the five industries I mentioned. If you do, you'll likely make a median total pay package of over $100,000 your very first year.

Five years out, you'll probably make double. You can attend business school at age 25 or 55. So long as you go to one of the best schools, most will make well over six figures upon graduation.

Even if you don't go into one of the aforementioned fields, you will still probably make six figures a year in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG like Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola), retail, and hospitality industries.

Related: If You Want To Be Happy, Making Over $400,000 A Year Won't Help

Many Other Money Making Options Abound

There are plenty of different avenues you can take to breach that magical six-figure mark. Doctors and lawyers routinely make multiple six figures.Longshoremen (dockworker) average $120,000 a year as we discovered during the Oakland longshoremen strike in 2001 and2015.

After 20 years on the police force and fire department, the majority of our brave men and women make $100,000+. Not only that, their capitalized pensions are worth millions!

Marrying for money sometimes works, but you'll have to often sleep with a less than desirable looking spouse. I'm not sure if that's worth it to have a six-figure household.

You can start your own business or work two jobs. Making an online income from home is one of the best ways to make six figures.

I started Financial Samurai back in 2009. Three years later, I was able to leave my investment banking job to work on this site full time. You never know what you might be able to do. At the very least, register your name online and build your brand.

Today, it is vital to own online real estate. As we all learned from the pandemic, having a website that cannot be shut down is huge. Not only will you build your brand with your own website, you can also potentially generate an extra amount of income.

Cultivate your X-Factor before you hate your job and can't escape.

Visualize The Money And It Will Come

Finally, to help you visualize your path to $100,000 or more a year, simply break down the annual income by month and then by day. Doesn't $8,333 a month sound a little less daunting? How about making $274 a day? That's surely possible isn't it? Of course it is! Making six-figures is possible for all of you readers.

If you are happy with making $99,999 a year, more power to you. Just remember that your happiness, as measured by income will continue to grow until about $250,000. Then your happiness fades because of government persecution and the bitter populace who want to keep you down.

And if you're really smart, you'lllearn how to negotiate a severance from a job you hate before moving onto your next great opportunity.

In 2012, I was able to negotiate a severance worth over $550,000 to take my time building this site stress-free. Always be thinking ahead before making any drastic career moves.

Once you've mastered making six figures a year, you can then shoot to make a million dollars a year or more if you want to!

Make Six Figures Through Real Estate

Real estate is my favorite way to achieve financial freedom. It is a tangible asset that is less volatile, provides utility, and generates income. Stocks are fine, but stock yields are low and stocks are much more volatile.

In an inflationary environment, you want to own real estate with a fixed-rate mortgage. Over time, inflation whittles down the cost of your mortgage and helps boost the value of your real estate. This one-two combination helps the average person get wealthy over time.

Take a look at the two best real estate crowdfunding platforms. They are both free to sign up and explore.

Fundrise: A way for all investors to diversify into real estate through private funds with just $10. Fundrise has been around since 2012 and manages over $3.3 billion for 400,000+ investors.

The real estate platform invests primarily in residential and industrial properties in the Sunbelt, where valuations are cheaper and yields are higher. The spreading out of America is a long-term demographic trend. For most people, investing in a diversified fund is the way to go.

CrowdStreet: A way for accredited investors to invest in individual real estate opportunities mostly in 18-hour cities. 18-hour cities are secondary cities with lower valuations and higher rental yields. These cities also have higher growth potential due to job growth and demographic trends.

If you are a real estate enthusiast with more time, you can build your own diversified real estate portfolio with CrowdStreet.However, before investing in each deal, make sure to do extensive due diligence on each sponsor. Understanding each sponsor's track record and experience is vital.

I've invested$954,000in real estate crowdfunding so far. My goal is to diversify my expensive SF real estate holdings and earn more 100% passive income. I plan to continue dollar-cost investing into private real estate for the next decade.

Wealth Management Recommendation

Sign up forEmpower, the web's #1 free wealth management tool to get a better handle on your finances. When you make six figures, you need to track your finances even more.

Run your investments through their award-winning Investment Checkup tool to see exactly how much you are paying in fees. I was paying $1,700 a year in fees I had no idea I was paying.

After you link all your accounts, use the EmpowerRetirement Planning calculator. It pulls your real data to give you as pure an estimation of your financial future as possible.

I've been using Empower since 2012. As a result, I have seen my net worth skyrocket during this time thanks to better money management.

Buy The Best-Selling Personal Finance Book

If you plan to retire early and gain financial freedom, then you must read How To Engineer Your Layoff. The book teaches you how to negotiate a severance package. Given you wanted to quit anyway, there is no downside in trying to negotiate a severance.

I negotiated a six-figure severance that paid for five plus years of living expenses. It was my #1 catalyst to leaving his well-paying finance job behind. Think about a severance as giving you a financial runway during your transition or buying back time.

I incorporate all my wisdom and strategies on how to negotiate a severance package in his book. How To Engineer Your Layoff is now in its 6th edition as it's continuously updated with new strategies and rules. Use the code “saveten” at checkout to save $10.

How To Make Six Figures A Year At Almost Any Age is a Financial Samurai original post. Join 65,000+ others and sign up for my free weekly newsletter below.

How To Make Six Figures A Year At Almost Any Age (2024)


At what age should I make 6 figures? ›

Some workers begin earning six figures in their twenties and thirties. Economists nickname them HENRYs, for “high earners, not rich yet.” But for most people, their “peak earning years” are from age 35 to 54. The majority of people who make six figures will do so in their 30s.

How can I make 6 figures a year? ›

Common six-figure jobs
  1. Healthcare worker. ...
  2. Business management. ...
  3. Technology and computer-related roles. ...
  4. Lawyer. ...
  5. Real estate. ...
  6. Set career goals. ...
  7. Negotiate your salary. ...
  8. Network and look for the right opportunities.
Oct 12, 2023

How can I make $500,000 a year? ›

13 jobs that can pay over $500k a year
  1. Actor. National average salary: $80,056 per year Primary duties: An actor portrays a character in a movie or TV series using their voice or physical presence. ...
  2. Author. ...
  3. Accountant. ...
  4. Insurance agent. ...
  5. Investment banker. ...
  6. Professional athlete. ...
  7. Entrepreneur. ...
  8. Hedge fund manager.
Apr 18, 2024

How to make 150k a year without a degree? ›

150k no degree jobs in remote
  1. Licensed Medicare Sales Agent (072924) ...
  2. Real Estate Listing Agent. ...
  3. Outside Sales for Wireless Telecom Company - Carrier Wireless Experience Only. ...
  4. Territory Sales Manager. ...
  5. Senior Product Manager - Developer Experience and Ecosystem. ...
  6. What are your desired job types? ...
  7. Sales Executive.

Is 7 figures a year rich? ›

When referring to "seven figures," this typically means an annual salary that falls between $1,000,000 and $9,999,999. This income bracket places individuals and families in a distinct financial category, generally associated with significant wealth accumulation and financial success.

How to earn 250k a year? ›

Jobs that pay at least $250,000 per year
  1. Anesthesiologist.
  2. Cardiologist.
  3. Periodontist.
  4. Dentist.
  5. Physician.
  6. Certified nurse anesthetist.
Apr 18, 2024

Is $100 000 a 6 figure salary? ›

The term “six figures” refers to any annual six-digit salary that falls within the $100,000 to $999,999 range. Securing a post-graduate degree or attaining a highly in-demand position can help you earn six figures over time.

How to make $100,000 a year? ›

Jobs with salaries over $100,000
  1. Hardware design engineer. ...
  2. Investment banking analyst. ...
  3. User experience manager. ...
  4. Financial reporting manager. ...
  5. Senior project manager. ...
  6. Physician assistant. ...
  7. Psychiatric nurse. ...
  8. Engineering manager.
Apr 18, 2024

Is 6 figures a millionaire? ›

"Six figures"

This typically refers to an amount of money that is in the range of $100,000 to $999,999. It is used to describe a level of income or a financial transaction that is above the range of five figures (between $10,000 and $99,999) but below the range of seven figures (over $1 million).

Is 600k a year rich? ›

With a $500,000+ income, you are considered rich, wherever you live! According to the IRS, any household who makes over $500,000 a year in 2023 is considered a top 1% income earner. Of course, some parts of the country require a higher income level to be in the top 1% income, e.g. Connecticut at $580,000.

What jobs pay $1million a year? ›

Top Jobs That Pay Over $1 Million a Year
  • Content Creator. Best for: People who want to make videos, podcasts, blog articles, social media posts, and more. ...
  • Entrepreneur. ...
  • Real Estate Agent / Broker. ...
  • E-commerce Business Owner. ...
  • CEO / Corporate Executive. ...
  • Software Developer. ...
  • Hedge Fund Manager. ...
  • Pro Athlete.
5 days ago

Is making $100,000 a year a lot? ›

For most individuals and small families, the answer to “Is $100,000 a good salary?” is a resounding “yes.” Cost of living and family size can affect how far $100,000 will go, but generally speaking, you can live comfortably on $100,000 a year.

How much is 100K a year hourly? ›

$100,000 a year is how much an hour? If you make $100,000 a year, your hourly salary would be $48.08.

What are 6 figure jobs? ›

Best 6 Figure Jobs
  • Distribution Managers. As the title suggests, distribution managers oversee daily operations at warehouses and manage staff members. ...
  • Physician Assistants. ...
  • Human Resource Managers. ...
  • Financial Advisors. ...
  • Chief Executive Officers. ...
  • Software Developers. ...
  • Chief Information Officer. ...
  • Anesthesiologist.
Aug 11, 2023

What is the highest paying no degree job? ›

Here are the top 10 highest-paying jobs that don't require a degree.
  • Airline and commercial pilot. ...
  • Information security analyst. ...
  • Elevator and escalator installer and repairer. ...
  • Special effects artist and animator. ...
  • Transportation, storage, and distribution manager. ...
  • First-line supervisors of police and detective.
Jan 28, 2024

What age should I be making 100k? ›

From age 18-24, only 1% of earners (7% altogether) earn $100k per year or more. This makes these age groups by far the lowest earners in the US. Americans make the most income gains between 25 and 35. Only 2% of 25-year-olds make over $100k per year, but this jumps to a considerable 12% by 35.

How common is a 6 figure salary? ›

What Percent of America Makes Six Figures? When you remove demographics such as infants, students, and stay-at-home spouses and focus only on full-time workers, around 18% of all earners in the US make at least six figures. Conversely, the median American household income in 2023 was approximately $44,225.

How long does it take to make 6 figures? ›

Usually, people don't earn 6 figures until they are in their 30s. However, there is no specific timeline for this and everyone is different. Workers in America are usually expected to be making 6 figures or more by the time they are 30 because of their experience.

Is 6 figures considered rich? ›

Six figures can be anywhere between $100,000 – $999,000. Depending on where you live, six figures is considered rich by many people's standards. A top 1% income earner in America makes about $470,000 a year nowadays. Further, it takes at least $3 million to be a real millionaire now thanks to inflation.

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