Earning a six-figure income is a goal for many Americans, but few actually achieve it. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), less than 7% of American workers are employed in occupations paying a median salary of $100,000 or more. However, in some parts of the country, earning six figures is practically a requirement to live comfortably.
While the median earnings across all occupations in the U.S. is $38,640, some occupations pay far more. Nationally, general and operations managers are among the most popular occupations with median annual earnings over $100,000. Nearly 2.3 million American employees work as general and operations managers. Other six-figure jobs employing large numbers of Americans include tech jobs (software developers and computer and information systems managers) and jobs in the healthcare industry (pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants).
At the regional level, coastal states with higher costs of living tend to have more six-figure earners. Of all 50 states, California boasts the highest proportion of employees working in occupations with median earnings over $100,000, at 12.7%. Massachusetts and Maryland are close behind, with 12.2% and 11.9%, respectively. By contrast, Mississippi and Louisiana have the lowest share of six-figure earners in the country, with both states coming in at just over 1%.
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