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Ten most underpaid jobs in the U.S

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by mexiking, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. mexiking

    mexiking LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 565

    Restaurant dishwashers ($7.25 an hour): The germs and bacteria these people are exposed to are scary enough to make a cat walk backwards up a wall hissing the whole time. The mountains of garbage they scrap off plates, the grease that permeates pores opened wide by steaming commercial dishwashers and the general thanklessness of the job make it horrible work at twice the pay.

    Consumer Loan Collection Agents ($22,826): The financial-services industry enriches a lot of its employees, and then pays these people peanuts to lean on deadbeats. If they've got you on the line, don't blame them for applying some pressure and unload a verbal assault on them. Blame the last zero-percent financing offer you bought hook, line and sinker.

    Pest Controller ($24,120): In eradicating vermin from rats to cockroaches, they must crawl into the dark recesses that rodents inhabit, administer all manner of chemical "treatments" and retrieve rotting carcasses on their periodic service calls. We pay them a pittance to make the noises in the wall go away, and rid our kitchens of creepy crawlers we don't want to admit to hosting.

    Slaughterers and Meatpackers ($20,010): Unlike their often well-paid counterparts -- unionized supermarket butchers -- these heavy lifters of the meat-processing industry are doing the work that we never want to think about as we're marinating our strip steaks or searing our baby backs on the grill.

    Police Officers ($41,950): For all the strain the job puts on their psyches, cops don't earn nearly enough, never mind that they're always in harm's way. We pay them to be society's voice of authority, and then shy away from them. No man is an island -- except for a police officer.

    Substance Abuse Counselors ($31,300): This is the real missionary work of the social-service system, trying to rehabilitate lost souls. Many are former abusers who can't find gainful work from suspicious employers and risk falling backward from being around dopers and drunks. They generally fail to save a population most of us have written off -- including relatives and friends we've abandoned -- but persevere for that one they'll help recover.

    Medical residents ($40,000): -- These doctors in training work 60 to 100 hours a week -- the equivalent of the dishwasher's hourly wage. The medical industry skirts overtime laws because the pay is deemed a "stipend." Sure, they move on from four years of residency into six-figure jobs, but if we paid them more at this stage, maybe they wouldn't feel so entitled and anxious for the hefty income awaiting them.

    Funeral Home Attendants ($19,200) and Morgue Attendants ($26,167): They see dead people, in the flesh every day. They check in corpses and comfort grieving relatives in the most depressing work environment short of the front lines of a battlefield. A cancer ward is cheery by comparison.

    Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics ($25,450): Down the road, their patients will be treated by well-compensated doctors if they survive; it's these front-line medical experts who greatly enhance survival chances. Look for their pay to increase as overweight Baby Boomers discover their maintenance meds failing them in the damnedest of places.

    Preschool Teacher ($21,907): Day-care workers ($19,900) are notoriously underpaid, but the real dishonor is paid to the preschool teachers who lead our three-and four-year-olds in ABCs and 123s in our vast, dual-income absence. Birth to age five are critical years in the development of a child's personality and intelligence, yet we pay these people little more than we fork out for a babysitter on a Saturday night.

    The vast majority of Americans would never consider doing these 10 jobs, either because of the poor pay or what's involved. Still, in every case, they're performing an indispensable service, and we all owe them a debt of gratitude for it.
  2. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    No, we don't. I have extremely personal knowledge of four of the industries you sited.
    Did you come up with the comments following the quoted salaried areas or was it already posted?
  3. mexiking

    mexiking LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 565

    it was all pasted
  4. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    If they couldn't find people to do these jobs at those wages it would change. Apparently they find enough people to do it at those wages.JMO.
  5. greasy_gun

    greasy_gun LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    interesting topic
    always wondered why a guy that can shhot hoops, hit a ball, or a catch a ball, makes millions/year...
    but then, my local law enforcement guys, that put their life on the line to protect/have a safe society, make appx 20,000/year.
    i know the answer=>demand for our luxuries
  6. Enviro Green

    Enviro Green LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Just a bit of a personal observation, I think you missed the mark on that one. Not to belittle our law enforcement, fire fighters, etc., but the guy who can just shoop a hoop or hit a ball is the very best in his profession, just imagine if you were in the top 1% of the lawn care industry. How much money would you have just for killing weeds or mowing grass?

    They are paid that well because the top 1% in ANY profession make a lot more money than the average individual.

    Just my thoughts...

  7. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 976

    I don't mean to start anything here, but Enviro Green I think you are the one missing the mark here. By your own statement; that means the top 1% of any profession (including law enforcement, fire fighters, teachers) should be making millions of dollars each year. It is a fact that our society has become so superficial and backwards that entertainers are worth more than the people that actually contribute a valuable service to our society. Lets look at this realistically. As a society we would fail miserably without teachers, firemen, police, etc. I can't say the same about sports stars, entertainers, or (I hate to say it) people in our profession.

    Those are just my thoughts...
  8. hoyboy

    hoyboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 346

    people are paid exactly what they are worth in a market driven economy, in the long run. Fact is, dishwashers are a dime a dozen. Would you pay $10,000 for 10 year old walkbehind mower? i don't think so. Does that mean it isn't valuable to somebody? no. it just has it's price. People pay $ for things...equipment, labor, whatever....based on what they are worth to THEM. We get it trouble when other people start telling us what to pay for something/someone...often because of emotions, greed, or various other reasons. Look at the unions and the grip they have on our government contracts. So called "prevailing wage" is $35/hr for maintenance workers working on Illinois government contracts. What a joke. there is no way that kind of pay would stand up in the market...but the unions have used non-market methods to get what they could not get in the market. Taxpayers are buying labor at an inflated price.

    Emotions aside, there is good reason dishwashers make what they make...same can be said of all the other occupations listed. I'm sure every profession out there could come up with some very good reasons why they should be getting more pay. That's great...let them make their case. But it should be done via negotiations with their employer...not through coercion (sp?), bribery, paybacks, or any other false method.

    Dan Norton
  9. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    This is a real personal issue with me.

    As a first grade teacher with 2 masters degrees I see that my salary falls right in with the jobs listed above. Figured out with hours that I normally work on classroom activities and I make $8.30 an hour. Or $0.41 per kid/hr.

    Which is why I also own my own business and work an extra 300 hours a week doing that.

    I could go into why teachers are paid what they are and how society still classifies teachers as young women working until they find a husband. But the bottom line ie --- I actually agree with Hoyboy above. Teachers earn what they do because it is what the market can sustain to pay them. If I had 75,000 people come pay $100 to watch me teach every week and a tv station that would pay me 37 million dollars a year to show my teaching on TV -- then I would be paid more. But - that's not the way that it is. In this America we have siad that all children have the right to a free and appropriate education. In order for that to be provided, we must have highly qualified people willing to work for less than they might make in other professions. Although returns may be meager on the paycheck each month they are bountiful in the heart and spirit.

    Man - o - man ---- I sound sappy, bu this is something I beleive very strongly in.
  10. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Messages: 925

    "Which is why I also own my own business and work an extra 300 hours a week doing that."

    Hey uh teacher how do you work 300 hours in a 168 hour week. LOL
    You may feel like you do. I'd buy that. LOL

    JK I know you meant 30. Never could resist teasing the teachers.

    Just for the record my dad and mom were both teachers and I agree with you.

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