Highlighting the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” in America, making a six-figure salary is still a rarity for most employees.

A study by Volusion of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that less than 7 percent of American workers make six figures.

In the Wichita Falls area, the figure drops significantly with just 1 percent of employees making six figures.

Out of a review of 358 metro areas, Wichita Falls ranked 327th for six-figure salaries.

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland metro area ranked the highest in Texas at number 28. There are at least 236,610 employees in this area who make six figures.

In Texas, El Paso ranked 252nd, Corpus Christi ranked higher at 283rd, and Abilene was 293rd.

Lower on the list than Wichita Falls was Lawton, Oklahoma, which ranked 333rd, with just 340 people in the city making six figures.

Also low on the list was San Angelo, which ranked 350th with 0.7 percent of the population making six figures, about 260 people.

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Last on the metro-area list was Mansfield, Ohio, which has only 0.3 percent of employees making six figures (140 people). From 2015-2018, Mansfield experienced a decline in six-figure salaries by 44 percent.

The Volusion study said the metro area with the highest number of six-figure salaries was in California-Lexington Park, Maryland – a small community near Washington D.C. In this area, 35 percent of the employed population made six figures and the median annual wage there was $61,840 – nearly double the median annual wage in Wichita falls. Many of the six-figure earners in this area are aerospace engineers.

Nationally, occupations that earned six figures include general and operations managers, tech jobs and health care jobs.

Wichita Falls has 57,000 employed individuals

In the Wichita Falls area, there are around 57,000 employed individuals, but only about 480 people that make six-figure salaries.

Psychiatrists in the North Texas area make the highest six-figure incomes with a median salary of about $282,000. The second highest six-figure salary was for physicians and surgeons with a median of about $259,000.

In 11 other job categories, employees earned between $102,000-$132,000.

For most Wichitans, a six-figure salary is far out of reach. The median hourly wage in the area is about $15 and the median annual salary is approximately $31,000.

Most people who want jobs have jobs, it seems, and Wichita Falls boasts an unemployment level of just 2.7 percent –less than the national unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.

States on both the East and West coasts have a greater share of the six-figure salary jobs than the South or Central states. Housing and other costs, however, tend to be higher in these areas as well.

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From the years 2015-2018, percentage of jobs earning six figures rose by 80 percent in the U.S., but in the same time these jobs increased just 50 percent in the Wichita Falls area.

Many of the metro areas with a high number of six-figure salaries also have high cost of living and high median wage across all occupations.

Technology hubs, such as those in California and Washington, as well as areas with highly skilled workers, like Washington D.C. and Boston, made up much of the top 10 areas for earnings.

Analysts predict the rise in six-figure salaries will continue, especially with an expected 14 percent rise (about 1.9 million new jobs) in the next decade of high-paying health care occupations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dentists, nurse practitioners, optometrists, pharmacists, physician assistants, podiatrists, physicians and surgeons all have median salaries in the six-figures.

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In the Wichita Falls area, these were the occupations with the most six-figure wages and their annual median salary:

  • Psychiatrists $282,380
  • Physicians, surgeons $258,600
  • Information technology $146,550
  • Financial managers $132,090
  • Pharmacists $131,160
  • Sales managers $129,440
  • Engineers, other $117,180
  • Industrial production $113,950
  • Nurse practitioners $113,480
  • Physician assistants $110,160
  • Electrical engineers $105,830
  • Speech language pathologists $102,540
  • Nurse anesthetists $102,430

See how other parts of the state and country ranked for six-figure jobs in the Volusion study at:

Claire Kowalick, a senior journalist for the Times Record News, covers local government, military and MSU Texas. If you have a news tip, contact Claire at

Twitter: @KowalickNews

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