What’s a Wage Worth? The Pros and Cons of High and Low Paying Jobs

What’s a Wage Worth? The Pros and Cons of High and Low Paying Jobs
  • Opening Intro -

    Too often, people base their career plans on an either/or assumption: high pay plus low satisfaction vs. low pay plus fulfilling work.

    People assume it's got to be one or the other.


Be miserable by day and happy at night, or love your job while starving half to death at home.

In reality, things are much more complicated than that. The world’s got a lot of career paths, and each one has a unique set of qualities that should be taken into account by people planning their lives. Some high paying jobs offer rich, sophisticated pleasures, while many low wage jobs fail to provide any sort of value, tangible or not. When you’re thinking about work, keep the following in mind.

Your Interests

The first thing you should think about when looking for jobs—of any pay range—should be your interests. Few people can deal with being unhappy at work. You’re going to be spending around 40 hours a week doing this job, so if you’re the sort of person who wants to enjoy life, you should seek out jobs in which you can pursue your interests.

Luckily, many fields have high paying AND low paying jobs available. For instance, if you like animals, you could go the high wage way and go to veterinary school, or you could apply for an entry clerk or technician job with a veterinarian’s office.

Skills and Experience

Take a look at your skills and experience. What can you do? Basically, more skills and experience will lead to higher pay. Potential employers will look hard at your resume to figure out at which levels they’ll seek to place you in their institution.

You’ll also want to consider pay rates before developing your skills. Some skills—like scientific lab work, software coding, administrative decision-making—will grant you high paying jobs, while other skills—coffee making, hospitality, and writing—might leave you poorly paid.    


How long do plan at staying at this job? If you’re getting your next gig just to make some extra cash during your stint in college, low wages might not be such a big deal. But if this next job is your big first step into something permanent, you will probably want to take wages into account. And not just starting wages. Check into the company’s long-term employment record. Do people stay there for a long time? Is there room for upward movement? How much do veterans make? When looking at your life’s future work, wages should count.


Take safety into account. People often neglect this factor, and they sometimes pay dearly for it. Some jobs promise easy money but put you in danger. Driving jobs, for instance, might get you good tips every night, but they’re among the deadliest jobs around, far surpassing even law enforcement in some state.

Safety matters. Short-term money could cost you your long-term health. If your only option for good money involves risking your life, you should consider waiting for a safer means of grabbing the gold.  

Career Management reference:

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Last update on 2018-12-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Categories: Career Planning