Which Jobs Are Truly Underpaid?

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Sat, Sep 5 - 10:24 am EDT | 5 years ago by
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Most of us think we are underpaid for what we do. Indeed, many of us look at what we have to deal with, and sigh that it may not be worth it. I am lucky, in that I think that I am, for the most part, fairly compensated. I make living as a freelance writer working from home. It’s hard to complain about a job that provides me the essentials of life (and some wants) from the comfort of my home and (for the most part) on my own schedule.

But there are some people out there who are truly underpaid. Len Penzo offers a look at 10 jobs that he thinks don’t get enough compensation and credit:2936384313_4d5b25bd8e

  1. Military soldier/sailor
  2. Trauma scene clean-up worker
  3. Lineman
  4. Embalmer
  5. Septic tank servicer
  6. Exterminator
  7. Nurse
  8. Little League board member
  9. Youth sports ump and/or ref
  10. Janitor

Of course, there are other jobs, like teacher, that many consider underpaid. But perhaps not to the same degree as these other jobs. It’s interesting to me what we value as a society. Ordinary soldiers and sailors put their lives on the line, on the front line, for us every day, but make less than $20,000 a year. But we accept that professional athletes make millions. It’s interesting what it says about our society when we are willing to pay crooked CEOs millions in severance packages, but teachers make barely enough to live on.

Image source: Dunechaser via Flickr

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  • http://thebizoflife.blogspot.com/ The Biz of Life

    By the way, who are the crooked CEOs? Eliot Spitzer wants to know. He’s planning a comeback.

    Of course, skill, education, and the number of people capable of doing a job (supply vs demand) play a big part in determining pay. Pro athletes are 1 in a 1000, and the best way to get their salaries lowered over time is to stop buying tickets to their games and stop watching them on TV. Same with CEOs, 1 in a 1000, and while some are good and some aren’t, the CEOs of big corporations all seem to have golden parachutes that set them up for life if they get fired for underperformance or incompetence; that’s the fault of the board of directors, the compensation committees, and the shareholders for allowing the corporation to be fleeced by these people.

    I’d add policemen and firefighters to the list of the undercompensated. Mothers, also.

  • Miranda Marquit

    I agree that firefighters and law enforcement are underpaid. And I certainly agree that mothers are often underappreciated. In our society, if you don’t make money, it appears that you aren’t doing anything worthwhile. Which is too bad. Even though they don’t always have an income, mothers contribute rather meaningfully to household and to society. And, increasingly, so do stay at home dads.

  • http://www.lenpenzo.com Len Penzo

    Miranda, thanks for the mention! :-)

    The debate over what we should be paid to do our jobs will never end. In the free market at least, it ultimately comes down to we are worth what the market is willing to pay for our services.

    All the best,