The 6 Figure Tech Salary Myth

The Test Lead
5 min readApr 10

The tech industry is often portrayed as a gold mine for high salaries, where people can easily earn six figures just by working in the industry. This goes for people all jobs in the tech space from manual QA software testing, developers, software sales and every other role that you can think of. However, the reality is more nuanced, and it’s important to understand the myths and facts surrounding tech salaries so you know what you are getting yourself into.

I know people who are 20+ years in and still haven’t hit six figures, I also know people who clear $200k+ yearly. My goal when I first entered the tech space was to 1 day hit 6 figures, however, I frequently speak to people new to the field who feel they will be thrown 6 figure salaries for just being in the tech space. This article is not meant to discourage you, just give you realistic expectations.

What “Six Figures” Means

Let’s start by looking at what “six figures” means. A six-figure salary refers to an annual salary of $100,000 or more. While this might seem like a lot of money, it’s important to remember that this is before taxes, and it may not go as far in some areas as it does in others. You may be better off focusing on the purchasing power of where you live instead of this global magic number that everyone thinks is standard.

Diversity of Tech Industry Salaries

It’s also important to note that the tech industry is incredibly diverse, and different roles within the industry come with vastly different pay scales. For example, software engineers, data scientists, and product managers are often the most high-paying jobs in tech, and they may indeed earn six-figure salaries.

However, there are many other tech jobs that do not pay six figures. For example, customer service representatives, administrative assistants, and marketing associates may work in the tech industry, but they are unlikely to earn six figures. In other roles such as software testing, you may eventually hit 6 figures, but this can take time, and it most likely won't happen overnight.

Role of Location in Tech Salaries

Additionally, the idea that all tech jobs pay six figures ignores the fact that location…

The Test Lead

SDET at fintech company in NYC. Visit personal page Twitter @juss_bailey Youtube @The Test Lead