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Hitting the Jackpot: 15 Ways to Earn Six Figures and Live Your Dream

Earning six figures is a coveted goal for many, offering financial stability and the autonomy to shape one’s life. Countless individuals have successfully pursued this dream, crafting lives that align with their aspirations.

A user asked the forum, “What do you do that earns six figures?”. Here are the top responses.


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“I started by fixing other people’s Excel workbooks. Then, I fixed people’s Power Points. Now, I fix people’s Jira boards.

It turns out there are many really smart people who have a hard time translating what’s in their brains into something others can understand and work with.

Edit: This got way too big, and my notifications and inbox are exploding, so I’ll just add more context here.

I’m not the best at PowerPoint, Excel, or Jira. My whole career has been about collecting information from multiple experts and translating their ramblings into something concrete. Turning complex things into something others outside of their expertise can understand.

Be the person who “takes the pen” on things. Learn to focus on actionable outcomes. Take notes on what other people say in meetings, and spend your time refining those things into something that best serves those outcomes. These skills are transferable across tools, companies, industries, etc.

Good storytelling and good design go a long way. User experience principles apply to more than just software; look for ways to apply those principles in all the work you do.”


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“I drive a tractor-trailer for Dunkin’ Donuts. Maybe it’s the most sleeper job of all. I can see it on people’s faces when I tell them what I do.”


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“Film/TV actor, filmmaker. Never a guaranteed salary, but I’ve been fortunate enough to make it work.”


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“Design (sell) expensive swimming pools.”


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“Got a PhD in physics and now work as an engineer.”


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“I make six figures every month. I’m a teacher in Japan.”


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Construction project manager for a company that works for the uber-rich.

Edit: I studied Civil Engineering and am technically an APM. Further pay raises when I reach PM in 1-2 years.”


Programmer working in a software development and coding technologies. Website design.Technology concept.

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“Software developer. Honestly, to anyone in high school not sure what they want to do and reasonably good with logic, this is a very low-risk path to >$100k income.

Just leave aside any dreams of writing video games unless you want to be the only poor software developer on the planet. If that is an interest of yours, do it as a hobby or side gig.



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“Engineer with only a 4-year degree. Hit the 6-figs with five years of experience, but seems to cap out at around $150k unless you move to management.

Edit: $150k is the cap in MCOL areas. I have a few friends around ~$ 200k+ in HCOL areas like NYC and CA.”


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“Marketing Director. Took me a while, but I impressed the right people.”


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“Healthcare. I’m a midwife; in my first year of practice, I broke six figures, which was a pleasant surprise.”


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“Try to get an IT job that will help you get a security clearance. You’ll be in a whole different tier of the job market for sure.”


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“I’m a nurse practitioner. Keep in mind these subs will attract people who make more money and aren’t representative of the majority of the population.

I’m not saying you don’t already know this, but sometimes I have felt inadequate, then realized that I tend to cross paths with high-salary people just because of the industry I work in.”


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“I worked hard and learned a skill that was in demand in my region and became a subject matter expert (SME) in it (in information technology). Honestly, it was that simple. Didn’t require a degree, although later I did get a bachelor’s degree, but that was out of choice and not because it was required.

In the end, I think people would be surprised how rewarding some career choices can be. The first part, though, is “it HAS to be something you’ll enjoy or you’ll hate what you do.”



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“$200k, Emergency Room Physician Assistant.”


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For those who are curious about the path to my career. Four years undergrad, four years med school (I did an extra year in pathology just for fun), 1-year internship, four years residency, 1-year fellowship, THEN you get paid six figures.”


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“Finish carpentery. Worked for a company that paid me $30 an hour and charged the client $75 an hour. Quit and started my own company; now I make the whole $75 an hour myself.”


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“Asset Manager – no degree but got lucky with 10 + years experience being enough. If I moved companies, I would likely need a degree, which is something I’m thinking of doing but hard at 30 years old. My base is $165,000, and I receive annual incentives.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.