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How to Make $100,000 a Year

For a lot of us, $100,000 represents a major milestone. It’s that mythical “six-figures” that many of us aspire to earn each year. But then of course there’s the big question of how to make $100,000 a year! Is it actually possible?

It’s a great goal to shoot for—you can live very well in most of the U.S. on that salary, after all. 

There are plenty of routes that can get you to six figures. Let’s look at how to make $100,000 a year, whether through your career, passive investments, or a lucrative side hustle. 

This post was written by our staff writer, Kate Underwood!

Careers That Pay $100,000 or More

Here’s a quick look at how to make $100,000 a year through one career path. The statistics are taken from 2019 data and gives a median base annual salary, meaning it’s the average pay per year for a full-time job. 

Keep in mind that since this is an average, not everyone will make that much in a year, while others will earn much more than the figure listed. Years of experience, geographical location, and other factors impact how much you can earn in any position. 

how to make 100000 a year - pinHow to Make $100,000 A Year with a Job:

  • Software developer: $107,510 median base annual salary
    • For this type of job, you generally need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. 
  •  Lawyer: $145,300 median base annual salary 
    • A law career requires a law degree, which means more years in school and more cost to get there. 
  • Pharmacist: $128,090 median base annual salary
    • You need a doctoral or professional degree to qualify for a job as a pharmacist. 
  • Computer and Information Research Scientist: $127,460 median base annual salary
    • This usually requires a master’s degree. 
  • Engineers (general): $100,770
    • Most engineering jobs hover right around the $100K mark, whether chemical engineer, aerospace engineer, electrical engineer, etc.
  • Physical scientists: $112,070
  • Physician Assistant: $112,260 (need a master’s)
  • Economists: $116,630

Many $100K jobs require a bachelor’s degree. And of course, this is not an exhaustive list by any means. Check the Bureau of Labor Statistics for tons more helpful career info.  

Plenty of jobs provide a great salary even without reaching six figures—check out this post for high-paying jobs that don’t require a degree!

Managerial Professions for $100,000 A Year

If you look at a list of six-figure careers, you’ll notice the word “manager” quite a bit. Managerial positions often require some experience and bring in higher pay than starting jobs, so if you’re willing to put in the extra effort to be a leader, $100,000 is totally within your reach! 

  • Construction manager: $105,000
  • Educational administrators, kindergarten through secondary: $100,340 
  • Medical and Health Services manager: $115,160
  • Human Resources (HR) manager: $129,570
  • Public Relations and Fundraising manager: $132,630

How to Make $100,000 A Year With A Side Hustle

Maybe your regular job pulls in an average salary, but you’d like to add to that. You could benefit by:

  • paying off debt,
  • beefing up your retirement savings,
  • paying off your house faster, or
  • just having more breathing room in the budget. 

A side hustle is a great strategy for boosting your yearly income to that $100,000 mark. Instead of spending money to get a degree for a higher-paying job, sticking with your current career and adding a unique side hustle can give you more money and more variety to your life. 

You can start a traditional side hustle, meaning it’s work you do outside of your “real” job, and it may eventually get you to earning a combined $100K a year. Or, who knows? Plenty of people have successfully grown their side hustles into their full-time job, and yes, it’s possible to make $100K a year! 

Side Hustles With Great Potential

  • Freelance writing: Avoid the content mills for the most part, and you can find lucrative writing gigs. If you land writing jobs that earn you $2,000 a week, after 50 weeks of working, you’ll make $100K in a year!
  • Virtual assistant: Quality VAs are in high demand these days, with more and more people venturing into entrepreneurship. As they grow, they need a VA to help manage tasks like email, marketing, bookkeeping, or whatever services you want to offer. 
  • Consulting in your professional field: You’d have to get your employer’s OK, but certain skills are in high demand, so you could do some independent-contract work in the same area of your day job.

One side note: you may want to steer clear of MLM companies, as the high earners are the exception to the rule!

options if you can't sell your house - for rentHow to Make $100K A Year In Passive Income

If you can get yourself out of the mindset of just making it from paycheck to paycheck, you’re probably thinking about how to make more money without working harder. Passive income is where it’s at! 

When you set up systems that continually bring you income—long after you’ve done the work—you’ve got passive income. While it may not be easy, it’s worth the effort. 

Dividend Investing

Not all companies offer dividends, but there are still good ones that pay a consistent dividend to their investors each quarter. Through dividend investing, you can hold solid stocks for a long period of time, continually reinvest your dividend payments into the stock market, and reap ever-greater rewards. 

By building up your stock portfolio with a healthy balance of stocks that pay dividends, you can get closer to $100,000 a year. 

Rental Property

Investing in rental properties isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you want to work towards building a rental property business, you could either supplement your full-time income nicely, or maybe (if you’re really ambitious) even earn you $100K a year on its own. 

See the link below for some simple math on how rental investments can build on each other to grow to a $100,000 annual net income! 

Related: The Rental Property Wealth Calculator: Your Path to Millionaire Status

How to Make $100,000 a Year – Final Thoughts

Many of us have wanted to figure out how to make $100,000 a year, and it’s not as elusive a milestone as you might think. 

Whether you’re going for a new career or adding some side income to your day job, aiming for a six-figure income is a worthy goal – and YES, you can achieve it!!

Do you make more than $100,000 a year? How do you do it? 

Grow Rich Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. It sure sounds nice.

    Thanks , Kate for writing an very informative article.

    • I believe anyone can do it, Eric! With the proper work ethic and side hustles, it’s certainly possible!

  2. Great article, Derek! You’re right on target here. We were on the tipping point of six figures with my husband’s job. As a homemaker, I’m not contributing to our wealth so I started a side hustle and pushed us over the top. I teach English online to children in China in the mornings before my kids get up. It’s easy and so fun!
    I like your point about rental property too. We’ve definitely been looking into that. Since we’ve been debt-free and mortgage-free since we were 25, we have enough saved now to buy another house. We’re planning to retire when we’re 45 and the extra income stream would be awesome. We’re just so nervous about owning a rental house! I think we have nightmares about bad renters! 🙂 We’ll see…
    Awesome article!

    • We have a rental house (bought it in 2015) and it has been AWESOME! They key is (1) to make the place look good enough to attract the good renters (the ones that are actually selective) and (2) to stick to your selection criteria. Not everyone will qualify and that’s okay! If you’re buying the place with cash like we did, you’ll be in less of a rush to get someone in, so you can more easily say “no” to people that you don’t want living in your place.

      We love it. It’s been great. In fact, I’m sure we’ll buy up some more in the upcoming years!

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