What Is a 3, 4, or 5-Figure Salary?


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Have you ever heard the term ‘figure salary‘ and wondered what it means? This is a common way people use to describe how much they make at their job.


Figures are used to describe your income in the US, though the rest of the world typically does not use this kind of phrasing.

It is often used to describe how much a person makes at their job without getting too specific. This can be important to know, especially if you are being interviewed for jobs and are hearing this phrase a lot.

So what does ‘figures‘ mean in money?

Let’s find out what a three-, four-, or five-figure salary means and whether or not these are good salaries to earn.

What Does a 3, 4, or 5-Figure Salary Mean?

If you have heard someone say that they make 3 or 5 figures, you may be wondering what this means. This is a very basic way of showcasing how much you make in a year. For example, 3 figures would be anything between $100 – $999 a year.


Usually, salaries are expressed by the year (but not always).

Figures are just an example of how many digits you make in a year. So a three-figure salary could mean that you make $800 a year. While a four-figure salary could be, and you make $8000.

This is just a very simplistic way of showcasing how much you make without going into specifics. Many people in the US use figures to describe their annual salary.

If you are being interviewed and you hear about a figure salary, you know that this is what you would make in a year at this job.

How Much is a 3-Figure Salary?

If you do not expect to be making a five-figure salary, you may be wondering if a three-figure salary is still a good option. This is the kind of salary that many people end up looking at when they are applying for jobs with very little experience.

Unfortunately, a three-figure salary is not considered notable and is not desirable.

3 figure explanation
3 figure salary explanation

A salary of this amount is not even considered to be livable as you would not be able to afford the basic necessities of life, such as:

  • Rent
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Taxes

A three-figure salary would be something like $999 or $700.

3-figures is anything between $100 and $999.

These are the amounts of money that most people would typically expect to make within a week, not within a month.

Because of this, a three-figure salary is not very good and is not considered to be a livable wage for most people. If you make this much, you would most likely have to live with someone else so that you do not have to pay all of the unnecessary expenses.

4-Figures Meaning

If you hear someone saying that they make a three, four, or five-figure salary, this is used to describe the digits of what they make in a year. So a four-figure salary would be something like $4000 a year.

It’s anything between $1000 and $9999.

4 figure explanation
4 figure salary explanation

This is used as a simplistic way of describing how much you make in a year without going into the specifics and numbers.

How Much is a 5-Figure Salary?

Now that you know what a figure salary is, you may be wondering what a five-figure salary means and if it is a good salary. This is something that you may often hear from other people or at jobs that you are being interviewed for.

A five-figure salary is considered to be an extremely good salary that you can receive within a month of working. This describes a five-digit salary, such as $10,000 or $12,000 a month.

A 5-figure salary is anything between $10,000 and $99,000.

5 figure explanation
5 figure salary explanation

This is a significantly high salary that most people are not going to be able to make within a month’s time. Because of this, a 5-figure salary is very impressive as this means that you are making substantially more than most people are within a month.

A five-figure salary is not very common, which is why you may hear people bragging about it. This type of salary would put you and the upper-class level of earnings per year.

How Much is a 6-Figure Salary?

A six-figure salary is any yearly income from $100,000 to $999,999. So when someone says they earn a ‘six-figure salary,’ they’re making somewhere within that range.

6 figure explanation
6 figure salary explanation

So, when you hear the term ‘six-figure salary‘, it signifies a reasonably high income level. Jobs with such salaries are often high-skilled roles, like doctors, engineers, or top managers.

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