# \$97 an Hour is How Much a Year? Before and After Taxes

With an excellent hourly rate of \$97, it’s reasonable to wonder what this high pay equates to over different periods of time. This article will break down the gross and net weekly, monthly, and yearly earnings for \$97 per hour, calculating totals for both part-time and full-time schedules.

We’ll examine how overtime pay and unpaid time off can impact total annual compensation at this rate. We’ll also assess if \$97/hour is considered a good current salary by comparing it to inflation, standard of living, and similar wages. Relevant topics covered include: converting the hourly wage to various time frames, estimating annual earnings for part-time and full-time work, calculating take-home income after taxes, sample budgets and lifestyle costs, affording major purchases like a house or car, and strategies to increase pay further.

By providing this comprehensive overview, the article will illustrate precisely what a \$97 per hour wage equates to in concrete real-world terms.

## Convert \$97 Per Hour to Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Salary

Input your wage and hours per week to see how much you’ll make monthly, yearly and more.

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### \$97 an Hour is How Much a Year?

If you make \$97 an hour, your yearly salary would be \$201,760. We calculate your annual income based on 8 hours per day, 5 days per week and 52 weeks in the year.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$97) x Weeks worked per year(52) = \$201,760

### \$97 an Hour is How Much a Month?

If you make \$97 an hour, your monthly salary would be \$16,813.33. We calculated this number by dividing your annual income by 12 months.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$97) x Weeks worked per year(52) / Months per Year(12) = \$16,813.33

### \$97 an Hour is How Much Biweekly?

If you make \$97 an hour, your biweekly salary would be \$7,760.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$97) x 2 = \$7,760

### \$97 an Hour is How Much a Week?

If you make \$97 an hour, your weekly salary would be \$3,880. Calculating based on 5 days per week and 8 hours each day.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$97) = \$3,880

### \$97 an Hour is How Much a Day?

If you make \$97 an hour, your daily salary would be \$776. We calculated your daily income based on 8 hours per day.

Hours worked per day (8) x Hourly wage(\$97) = \$776

## \$97 an Hour is How Much a Year?

The basic formula to calculate your annual salary from an hourly wage is:

Hourly Rate x Hours Worked per Week x Number of Weeks Worked per Year = Annual Salary

So for a \$20 per hour job:

\$97 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$201,760

However, this simple calculation makes some assumptions:

• You will work 40 hours every week of the year
• You will not get any paid time off

Therefore, it represents your earnings if you worked every week of the year, without any vacation, holidays, or sick days.

Accounting for Paid Time Off

The \$201,760 base salary does not yet factor in paid time off (PTO). Let’s assume the job provides:

• 2 weeks (10 days) paid vacation
• 6 paid holidays
• 3 paid sick days

This totals 19 paid days off, or nearly 4 weeks of PTO.

Importantly, this paid time off should not be deducted from the annual salary, since you still get paid for those days.

So with 4 weeks PTO, the annual salary would remain \$201,760 .

## Part time \$97 an hour is How Much a Year?

Your annual income changes significantly if you work part-time and not full-time.

For example, let’s say you work 30 hours per week instead of 40. Here’s how you calculate your new yearly total:

\$97 per hour x 30 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$151,320

By working 10 fewer hours per week (30 instead of 40), your annual earnings at \$97 an hour drop from \$201,760 to \$151,320.

That’s a \$50,440 per year difference just by working part-time!

Here’s a table summarizing how your annual earnings change depending on how many hours you work per week at \$97 an hour:

Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings
40 \$3,880 \$201,760
35 \$3,395 \$176,540
30 \$2,910 \$151,320
25 \$2,425 \$126,100
20 \$1,940 \$100,880
15 \$1,455 \$75,660

The more hours per week, the higher your total yearly earnings. But part-time work allows for more life balance if you don’t need the full salary.

## \$97 an Hour With Overtime is How Much a Year?

Now let’s look at how overtime can increase your annual earnings.

Overtime kicks in once you work more than 40 hours in a week. Typically, you earn 1.5x your regular hourly wage for overtime hours.

So if you make \$97 per hour normally, you would make \$145.50 per hour for any hours over 40 in a week.

Here’s an example:

• You work 45 hours in a Week
• 40 regular hours paid at \$97 per hour = \$3,880
• 5 overtime hours paid at \$145.50 per hour = \$727.50
• Your total one Week earnings =\$3,880 + \$727.50 = \$4,607.50

If you worked 45 hours each week for 52 weeks, here’s how your annual earnings increase thanks to overtime pay:

\$4,607.50 per week x 52 weeks per year = \$239,590

That’s \$37,830 more than you’d earn working just 40 hours per week at \$97 an hour.

Overtime can add up! But also consider taxes and work-life balance when deciding on extra hours.

Here’s a table summarizing how your annual earnings change depending on how many hours you work per week at \$97 an hour:

 Overtime hours per work day Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 40 \$3,880 \$201,760 1 45 \$4,607.50 \$239,590 2 50 \$5,335 \$277,420 3 55 \$6,062.50 \$315,250 4 60 \$6,790 \$353,080 5 65 \$7,517.50 \$390,910 6 70 \$8,245 \$428,740 7 75 \$8,972.50 \$466,570

## How Unpaid Time Off Impacts \$97/Hour Yearly Earnings

So far we’ve assumed you work 52 paid weeks per year. Any unpaid time off will reduce your total income.

For example, let’s say you take 2 weeks of unpaid leave. That brings your paid weeks down to 50:

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$97) x Weeks worked per year(50) = \$194,000 annual salary

With 2 weeks unpaid time off, your annual earnings at \$97/hour would drop by \$7,760.

The table below summarizes how your annual income changes depending on the number of weeks of unpaid leave.

 Weeks of unpaid leave Paid weeks per year Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 52 \$3,880 \$201,760 1 51 \$3,880 \$197,880 2 50 \$3,880 \$194,000 3 49 \$3,880 \$190,120 4 48 \$3,880 \$186,240 5 47 \$3,880 \$182,360 6 46 \$3,880 \$178,480 7 45 \$3,880 \$174,600

## Key Takeaways for \$97 Hourly Wage

In summary, here are some key points on annual earnings when making \$97 per hour:

• At 40 hours per week, you’ll earn \$201,760 per year.
• Part-time of 30 hours/week results in \$151,320 annual salary.
• Overtime pay can boost yearly earnings, e.g. \$37,830 extra at 45 hours/week.
• Unpaid time off reduces your total income, around \$7,760 less per 2 weeks off.
• Your specific situation and location impacts taxes and PTO.

Knowing your approximate annual salary and factors impacting it makes it easier to budget and plan your finances. The next step is calculating take-home pay after deductions like taxes.

## \$97 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes

Figuring out your actual annual earnings based on an hourly wage can be complicated once taxes are taken into account. In addition to federal, state, and local income taxes, 7.65% of your gross pay also goes to Social Security and Medicare through FICA payroll taxes. So how much does \$97 an hour equal per year after FICA and income taxes are deducted from your gross pay?

Below we’ll walk through the steps to calculate your annual net take home pay if you make \$97 per hour. This will factor in estimated federal, FICA, state, and local taxes so you know exactly what to expect.

### Factoring in Federal Income Tax

Your federal income tax will be a big chunk out of your gross pay. Federal tax rates range from 10% to 37%, depending on your tax bracket.

To estimate your federal income tax rate and liability:

Look up your federal income tax bracket based on your gross pay.

2023 tax brackets: single filers

Tax rate Taxable income bracket Tax owed
10% \$0 to \$11,000. 10% of taxable income.
12% \$11,001 to \$44,725. \$1,100 plus 12% of the amount over \$11,000.
22% \$44,726 to \$95,375. \$5,147 plus 22% of the amount over \$44,725.
24% \$95,376 to \$182,100. \$16,290 plus 24% of the amount over \$95,375.
32% \$182,101 to \$231,250. \$37,104 plus 32% of the amount over \$182,100.
35% \$231,251 to \$578,125. \$52,832 plus 35% of the amount over \$231,250.
37% \$578,126 or more. \$174,238.25 plus 37% of the amount over \$578,125.

For example, if you are single with \$201,760 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 32%.

Your estimated federal tax would be:

\$37,104 + (\$201,760 – \$182,100) x 32% = \$43,395.20

So at \$97/hour with \$201,760 gross pay, you would owe about \$43,395.20 in federal income taxes.

### Considering State Income Tax

In addition to federal tax, most states also charge a state income tax. State income tax rates range from about 1% to 13%, with most falling between 4% and 6%.

Key Takeaways

• California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and Oregon have some of the highest state income tax rates.
• Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming don’t impose an income tax at all.
• Another 10 U.S states have a flat tax rate—everyone pays the same percentage regardless of how much they earn.

A State-by-State Comparison of Income Tax Rates

STATE TAX RATES LOWEST AND HIGHEST INCOME BRACKETS
Florida 0% None
South Dakota 0% None
Tennessee 0% None
Texas 0% None
Washington 0% None
Wyoming 0% None
Colorado 4.55% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Illinois 4.95% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Indiana 3.23% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Kentucky 5% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Massachusetts 5% Flat rate applies to all incomes
New Hampshire 5% Flat rate on interest and dividend income only
North Carolina 4.99% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Pennsylvania 3.07% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Utah 4.95% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Michigan 4.25% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Arizona 2.59% to 4.5% \$27,806 and \$166,843
Arkansas 2% to 5.5% \$4,300 and \$8,501
California 1% to 13.3% \$9,325 and \$1 million
Connecticut 3% to 6.99% \$10,000 and \$500,000
Delaware 0% to 6.6% \$2,000 and \$60,001
Alabama 2% to 5% \$500 and \$3,001
Georgia 1% to 5.75% \$750 and \$7,001
Hawaii 1.4% to 11% \$2,400 and \$200,000
Idaho 1.125% to 6.5% \$1,568 and \$7,939
Iowa 0.33% to 8.53% \$1,743 and \$78,435
Kansas 3.1% to 5.7% \$15,000 and \$30,000
Louisiana 1.85% to 4.25% \$12,500 and \$50,001
Maine 5.8% to 7.15% \$23,000 and \$54,450
Maryland 2% to 5.75%  \$1,000 and \$250,000
Minnesota 5.35% to 9.85% \$28,080 and \$171,221
Mississippi 0% to 5% \$5,000 and \$10,001
Missouri 1.5% to 5.3% \$1,121 and \$8,968
Montana 1% to 6.75% \$2,900and \$17,400
Nebraska 2.46% to 6.84% \$3,340 and \$32,210
New Jersey 1.4% to 10.75% \$20,000 and \$1 million
New Mexico 1.7% to 5.9% \$5,500 and \$210,000
New York 4% to 10.9% \$8,500 and \$25 million
North Dakota 1.1% to 2.9% \$41,775 and \$458,350
Ohio 0% to 3.99% \$25,000 and \$110,650
Oklahoma 0.25% to 4.75% \$1,000 and \$7,200
Oregon 4.75% to 9.9% \$3,750 and \$125,000
Rhode Island 3.75% to 5.99% \$68,200 and \$155,050
South Carolina 0% to 7% \$3,110 and \$15,560
Vermont 3.35% to 8.75% \$42,150 and \$213,150
Virginia 2% to 5.75% \$3,000 and \$17,001
Washington, D.C. 4% to 9.75% \$10,000 and \$1 million
West Virginia 3% to 6.5% \$10,000 and \$60,000
Wisconsin 3.54% to 7.65% \$12,760 and \$280,950

To estimate your state income tax:

Look up your state income tax rate based on your gross pay and filing status.

Multiply your gross annual pay by the state tax rate.

For example, if you live in Pennsylvania which has a flat 3.07% tax rate, your estimated state tax would be:

\$201,760 gross pay x 3.07% PA tax rate = \$6,194.03 estimated state income tax

So with \$201,760 gross annual income, you would owe around \$6,194.03 in Pennsylvania state income tax. Make sure to check your specific state’s rates.

### Factoring in Local Taxes

Some cities and counties levy local income taxes ranging from 1-3% of taxable income.

To estimate potential local taxes you may owe:

• Check if your city or county charges a local income tax.
• If yes, look up the local income tax rate.
• Multiply your gross annual pay by the local tax rate.

For example, say you live in Columbus, OH which has a 2.5% local income tax. Your estimated local tax would be:

\$201,760 gross pay x 2.5% local tax rate = \$5,044 estimated local tax

So with \$201,760 in gross earnings, you may owe around \$5,044 in Columbus local income taxes. Verify rates for your own city/county.

### Accounting for FICA Taxes (Social Security & Medicare)

FICA taxes are a combination of Social Security and Medicare taxes that equal 15.3% of your earnings. You are responsible for half of the total bill (7.65%), which includes a 6.2% Social Security tax and 1.45% Medicare tax on your earnings.

In 2023, only the first \$160,200 of your earnings are subject to the Social Security tax

There is an additional 0.9% surtax on top of the standard 1.45% Medicare tax for those who earn over \$200,000 (single filers) or \$250,000 (joint filers).

To estimate your FICA tax payment:

\$160,200 x 6.2% + \$200,000 x 1.45% + \$1,760 x 0.9% = \$12,848.24

So you can expect to pay about \$12,848.24 in Social Security and Medicare taxes out of your gross \$201,760 in earnings.

### Total Estimated Tax Payments

Based on the examples above, your total estimated tax payments would be:

Federal tax: \$43,395.20

State tax: \$6,194.03

Local tax: \$5,044

FICA tax: \$12,848.24

Total Estimated Tax: \$67,481.47

### Calculating Your Take Home Pay

To calculate your annual take home pay at \$97 /hour:

2. Subtract your estimated total tax payments

\$201,760 gross pay – \$67,481.47 Total Estimated Tax = \$134,278.53 Your Take Home Pay

n summary, if you make \$97 per hour and work full-time, you would take home around \$134,278.53 per year after federal, state, local , FICA taxes.

Your actual net income may vary depending on your specific tax situation. But this gives you a general idea of what to expect.

## Convert \$97 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, and Weekly Salary After Taxes

If you make \$97 an hour and work full-time (40 hours per week), your estimated yearly salary would be \$201,760 .

The \$201,760 per year salary does not account for taxes. Federal, state, and local taxes will reduce your take-home pay. The amount withheld depends on your location, filing status, dependents, and other factors.

Just now during our calculation of \$97 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes, we assumed the following conditions:

• You are single with \$201,760 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 32 %.
• You live in Pennsylvania which has a flat 3.07% tax rate
• You live in Columbus, OH which has a 2.5% local income tax.

In the end, we calculated your Total Estimated Tax is \$67,481.47 , Your Take Home Pay is \$134,278.53 , Total tax rate is 33.45%.

So next we’ll use 33.45% as the estimated tax rate to calculate your weekly, biweekly, and monthly after-tax income.

### \$97 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, Weekly,and Week Salary After Taxes Table

 Income before taxes Estimated Tax Rate Income Taxes After Tax Income Yearly Salary \$201,760 33.45% \$67,481.47 \$134,278.53 Monthly Salary \$16,813.33 33.45% \$5,623.46 \$11,189.88 BiWeekly Salary \$7,760 33.45% \$2,595.44 \$5,164.56 Weekly Salary \$3,880 33.45% \$1,297.72 \$2,582.28

### \$97  an hour is how much a year after taxes

Here is the adjusted yearly salary after a 33.45% tax reduction:

• Yearly salary before taxes: \$201,760
• Estimated tax rate: 33.45%
• Taxes owed (33.45% * \$201,760 )= \$67,481.47
• Yearly salary after taxes: \$134,278.53
Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Worked Per Year Total Yearly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Yearly Salary
\$97 40 52 \$201,760 33.45% \$67,481.47 \$134,278.53

### \$97 an hour is how much a month after taxes

To calculate the monthly salary based on an hourly wage, you first need the yearly salary amount. Then divide by 12 months.

• Yearly salary before taxes at \$97 per hour: \$201,760
• Divided by 12 months per year: \$201,760 / 12 = \$16,813.33 per month

The monthly salary based on a 40 hour work week at \$97 per hour is \$16,813.33 before taxes.

After applying the estimated 33.45% tax rate, the monthly after-tax salary would be:

• Monthly before-tax salary: \$16,813.33
• Estimated tax rate: 33.45%
• Taxes owed (33.45% * \$16,813.33 )= \$5,623.46
• Monthly after-tax salary: \$11,189.88

Monthly Salary Based on \$97 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Yearly Salary Months Per Year Before-Tax Monthly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Monthly Salary
\$97 \$201,760 12 \$16,813.33 33.45% \$5,623.46 \$11,189.88

### \$97 an hour is how much biweekly after taxes

Many people are paid biweekly, meaning every other week. To calculate the biweekly pay at \$97 per hour:

• Hourly wage: \$97
• Hours worked per week: 40
• Weeks per biweekly pay period: 2
• \$97 * 40 hours * 2 weeks = \$7,760 biweekly

Applying the 33.45%estimated tax rate:

• Biweekly before-tax salary: \$7,760
• Estimated tax rate: 33.45%
• Taxes owed (33.45% * \$7,760 )= \$2,595.44
• Biweekly after-tax salary: \$5,164.56

Biweekly Salary at \$97 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Per Pay Period Before-Tax Biweekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Biweekly Salary
\$97 40 2 \$7,760 33.45% \$2,595.44 \$5,164.56

### \$97 an hour is how much weekly after taxes

To find the weekly salary based on an hourly wage, you need to know the number of hours worked per week. At 40 hours per week, the calculation is:

• Hourly wage: \$97
• Hours worked per week: 40
• \$97 * 40 hours = \$3,880 per week

Accounting for the estimated 33.45% tax rate:

• Weekly before-tax salary: \$3,880
• Estimated tax rate: 33.45%
• Taxes owed (33.45% * \$3,880 )= \$1,297.72
• Weekly after-tax salary: \$2,582.28

Weekly Salary at \$97 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Before-Tax Weekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Weekly Salary
\$97 40 \$3,880 33.45% \$1,297.72 \$2,582.28

### Key Takeaways

• An hourly wage of \$97 per hour equals a yearly salary of \$201,760 before taxes, assuming a 40 hour work week.
• After accounting for an estimated 33.45% tax rate, the yearly after-tax salary is approximately \$134,278.53 .
• On a monthly basis before taxes, \$97 per hour equals \$16,813.33 per month. After estimated taxes, the monthly take-home pay is about \$11,189.88 .
• The before-tax weekly salary at \$97 per hour is \$3,880 . After taxes, the weekly take-home pay is approximately \$2,582.28 .
• For biweekly pay, the pre-tax salary at \$97 per hour is \$7,760 . After estimated taxes, the biweekly take-home pay is around \$5,164.56 .

Understanding annual, monthly, weekly, and biweekly salary equivalents based on an hourly wage is useful when budgeting and financial planning. Taxes make a significant difference in take-home pay, so be sure to account for them when making income conversions. Use this guide as a reference when making salary calculations.

## What Is the Average Hourly Wage in the US?

Last Updated: Sep 1 2023

US Average Hourly Earnings is at a current level of \$33.82, up from 33.74 last month and up from 32.43 one year ago. This is a change of 0.24% from last month and 4.29% from one year ago.

Average Hourly Earnings is the average dollars that a private employee makes per hour in the US. This metric is a part of one of the most important releases every month which includes unemployment numbers as well. This is normally released on the first Friday of every month. This metric is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

## What is the average salary in the U.S.?

Last Updated: July 18, 2023

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics uses median salary data rather than averages to avoid skewed numbers from outlying high and low numbers. Median weekly earnings of the nation's 121.5 million full-time wage and salary workers were \$1,100 in the second quarter of 2023, the U.S.

If a person works 52 weeks in the year, then this represents a national annual salary of \$57,200.

## Is \$97 an Hour a Good Salary?

At full-time hours, an annual salary of \$97 an hour equates to around \$202,160. How does this compare to typical incomes?

• It’s over 3.5 times the median personal income of \$56,516 in the U.S.
• It places income in the top 10-15% of all earners nationally.
• It’s about twice the median household income of \$130,000.

So without question, \$97 per hour represents an excellent salary compared to average incomes. It’s a wage exceeded only by the top tier of professionals in fields like medicine, law, engineering, and business. Overall, \$97 an hour provides tremendously high earnings.

## Jobs that pay \$97 an hour

While not extremely common, there are select roles that pay \$97 an hour or more on average:

• Physicians – Doctors in high paying specialties like anesthesiology, surgery, and oncology often earn over \$97 per hour. The median pay for physicians is around \$90 per hour.
• Dentists – Experienced dentists such as orthodontists and oral surgeons frequently earn over \$97 per hour. The median for dentists is close to \$83 per hour.
• Law partners – Law firm partners with specialized expertise who bill over \$97 per hour on average. The median pay for lawyers is around \$67 per hour.
• Engineers – Petroleum, software application, and aerospace engineers can earn over \$97 per hour, especially with advanced experience and certifications.
• Executives – High-level management at Fortune 500 companies, private equity firms, and hedge funds can make over \$97 per hour.
• Scientists – Experienced chemists, biologists, data scientists, and agronomists working at major companies or in research often exceed \$97 per hour.

So high-skill medical, legal, engineering, business, and scientific roles offer the clearest path to this high hourly wage, but generally require substantial education and training.

## Can You Live Off \$97 An Hour?

Given today’s cost of living, does an income of \$97 an hour provide a comfortable lifestyle? Considering taxes and typical expenses, this salary creates ample income for most households budgeting wisely.

Assuming a 25% effective tax rate, the after-tax income on \$97 an hour is around \$73 per hour, or \$151,840 per year. That equates to \$12,650 per month in take home pay. Below is an example moderate budget for this level of income:

• Rent/mortgage: \$2,500
• Utilities: \$400
• Car payment: \$700
• Car insurance: \$150
• Gas: \$300
• Groceries & household items: \$1,000
• Childcare expenses: \$1,000
• Dining and entertainment: \$700
• Travel: \$500
• Clothes: \$200
• Internet and cell phones: \$250
• Retirement savings: \$1,500
• Emergency fund savings: \$500

Total Expenses: \$9,700

This leaves over \$2,950 per month for additional investments or discretionary spending. While expenses vary with preferences and locations, this budget shows \$97 an hour provides substantial income for most areas.

High cost cities like San Francisco or New York will be more expensive, but this wage still enables living comfortably while savings and investing. Overall, \$97 an hour delivers a fantastic salary to live off across most of the United States.

## The impact of inflation on the value of \$97 an hour

Despite providing high nominal income today, inflation poses a major risk to the real value of \$97 an hour over time. If inflation ran at 4% annually, the purchasing power of \$97 today would decline by around 40% over 18 years.

This illustrates why cost escalations matter so much. Someone earning \$97 per hour now may find their actual standard of living regress over their career unless they receive continued raises larger than inflation. Monitoring prices and proactively negotiating pay increases is essential to preserve purchasing power long term.

In summary, \$97 an hour represents a top tier income today, but inflation can stealthily diminish its value over decades of work. Careful financial planning around savings and investing helps counteract this.

## 5 Ways To Increase Your Hourly Wage

For those not yet earning \$97 per hour, here are proven steps to boost earnings over time:

• Pursue an advanced degree – Education opens doors to the highest paying roles. Earn a law degree, MBA, MD, or PhD.
• Obtain key certifications – Gain specialized designations like a CFA, PE, CPA or Six Sigma Black Belt.
• Develop technical expertise – Become an expert in skills like software development, data science, or biotech research.
• Transition into management – Build leadership skills and move into executive roles with greater responsibility.
• Change jobs strategically – Switch companies every few years to accelerate income growth.
• Negotiate raises aggressively – Advocate for yourself to earn higher pay and promotions with one employer.
• Pick a high-paying field – Focus your career on lucrative sectors like healthcare, technology, finance, or engineering.

Following this playbook over the long-run expedites reaching an income of \$97 an hour or more. But it requires continuous learning and skill building over decades.

## Buying a car on \$97 an hour

The take home pay from \$97 per hour provides ample budget for a very nice vehicle. Here are examples of cars affordable in the \$700 to \$1,000 per month price range on this salary:

• BMW 5-Series: \$750 – \$1,000 monthly
• Audi A6: \$800 – \$1,100 monthly
• Lexus ES: \$700 – \$900 monthly
• Acura TLX: \$600 – \$800 monthly
• Volvo S90: \$800 – \$1,100 monthly

Of course, buyers could also pay cash outright for many new cars or purchase less expensive vehicles to save money. The key is limiting auto expenses to 10-15% of monthly income, which remains very feasible on earnings of \$97 an hour.

## Can You Buy a House on \$97 An Hour?

The high salary from \$97 an hour can readily support mortgage payments on a nice home in most housing markets. As examples, this income could afford a home priced around:

• \$600,000 with a 20% down payment and 5% rate
• \$750,000 with a 20% down payment and 4% rate
• \$900,000 with a 20% down payment and 3% rate

Of course, qualifying for the mortgage depends on other factors like existing debts. But the main point is \$97 an hour provides high enough earnings to purchase a home priced well above the median U.S. home value of \$389,500. This salary creates ample purchasing power for nice real estate in affordable areas.

Now buying a home in ultra-high cost areas like San Francisco or Manhattan may require a large down payment. But overall, \$97 an hour supplies plenty of income to buy and pay the mortgage on a great home in most of the country.

## Example Budget For \$97 Per Hour

Below is an example monthly budget for a household earning \$97 per hour full time, or \$15,000 in take home pay:

• Mortgage/rent: \$3,000
• Utilities: \$500
• Property tax (if applicable): \$850
• HOA fees (if applicable): \$250
• Cell phones: \$200
• Internet and cable: \$150
• Car payment(s): \$700
• Car/home insurance: \$250
• Gas: \$300
• Groceries: \$800
• Dining out: \$500
• Family outings: \$400
• Travel/vacations: \$800
• Retirement savings: \$1,500
• College savings: \$500
• Emergency savings: \$500
• Other expenses: \$1,000

Total: \$12,200

Remaining: \$2,800

This substantial budget facilitates building wealth through ample savings while also enjoying premium convenience and entertainment. The high wage of \$97 an hour unlocks an upscale lifestyle in most areas.

## In Summary

Earning \$97 per hour places income solidly in the top 10-15% of all workers, enabling a comfortable lifestyle in virtually any area of the country. While ultra-high cost cities still require budgeting diligence, this salary level allows workers to live well in all locations while saving and investing prudently.

Workers earning \$97 an hour can afford premium housing, vehicles, entertainment and conveniences. But the real value of this high income can still be eroded long-term by inflation if pay does not keep pace. Overall, this hourly wage creates top tier purchasing power today that facilitates building wealth. But financial diligence remains vital for sustained prosperity over decades of work and retirement.