What Exactly Is A Minimum Wage Job? Best Minimum Wage Jobs & How To Earn More Than The Federal Minimum Wage

by Andrea

find a job, recession proof jobs, salary

What types of jobs are minimum wage jobs? You just might be surprised!

Searching for minimum wage jobs isn't as hard as it used to be.

You’re probably also wondering what is the current minimum wage?

I’ll cover that and more about minimum wage jobs:

  • Best minimum wage jobs that you probably wouldn’t think of.
  • High-paying jobs that you don’t realize are higher paying.
  • Tips for moving beyond minimum wage jobs.


What Is The Current Minimum Wage?

So, what is the minimum wage right now, you ask?

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and it hasn’t increased since July 2009.

However, some states have a higher minimum wage rate.

See the current minimum wage by state.

When the state minimum wage rate is higher than the federal rate, employers are required to pay workers the higher amount.


Examples Of Minimum Wage Jobs

Now, let’s talk about some of the most common minimum wage jobs.

What is the current minimum wage - find out here

Here’s a list of the most popular minimum wage jobs:

#1 – Food Service Workers

Workers who receive tips are usually paid below the minimum hourly wage, because their salary is  based on expected tip income.

If people tip less — or don’t leave a tip at all — the food service worker ends up earning less than minimum wage. This is becoming more and more common.

Within the service occupations, 1 out of every 5 food service workers earned $5.15 or less per hour. Three out of every 5 workers paid less than the minimum wage were, in fact, employed in food service occupations. Such a large proportion may reflect the tip credit provisions of the Federal minimum wage statutes. Under these provisions, a worker who receives tips generally may be paid a wage below $5.15, provided that the employee’s tips, combined with a minimum cash wage of $2.13, equal at least $5.15. Source

#2 – Security Guards

Security guards risk their lives on a daily basis. Many of them are responsible for guarding valuables and sensitive information.

Private security guards paid little more than janitors and restaurant cooks are guarding many of the critical security sites in the United States — usually with minimal or no anti-terrorist training.  Source

#3 – Retail Store Employees: Chain store employees, who typically have the responsibility of manning a store for many hours a day without assistance, usually make no more than minimum wage.

A promotion to store manager or “key holder” typically only warrants a dollar an hour raise.

Is there a standard or accepted percentage [for a raise]? Yes. From your employer’s perspective, your correct compensation is the lower of the following 2 numbers: (1) The cost to retain you as an employee; and (2) The cost to hire a new employee and train them to take your position. Source

# 4 – Garbage Collectors: There was a time when sanitation jobs paid decent wages. After all, a garbage collector was a job that many people did not want to do. However consider this:

One of the most disturbing aspects of the sanitation department is the pay disparity between the drivers and the guys working the back of the truck. This is because drivers are city employees, making between $11 and $18 per hour, and the garbage collectors are considered temporary (and are often immigrant) workers, who are making minimum wage.  Source

# 5 – Child Care Workers: Those who care for the nation’s most precious commodities, our babies, usually only make minimum wage or close to it.

What is the current minimum wage? Hint: it hasn't changed in years!

Caregivers are grossly undervalued and underpaid, with some salaries close to the minimum wage. Consequently, turnover among early childhood education teachers exceeds 40%. These high turnover rates severely undermine the quality of care that children receive. Source

Here’s another list of minimum wage jobs.


Jobs That Pay More Than Minimum Wage

There are many jobs that pay a lot more than minimum wage — but you probably didn’t realize it.

For example, you might think that bingo managers, farmers, and elevator inspectors command a minimum wage income — right? Think again!

Landscapers and gardeners typically make a lot more than the current minimum wage.

If you’re looking for a job, then take a look at these job opportunities:


How To Move Beyond The Federal Minimum Wage

Minimum wage jobs are a great place to start, if you’re rejoining the workforce. However, once you’ve been in the position for awhile, you should keep your eye open for jobs that pay beyond the federal minimum wage.

It’s time to start thinking outside the box a little bit!

tips for moving beyond the federal minimum wage

There are some great ways to move beyond minimum wage jobs that you might not have thought of:

#1 – Study for a trade. You don’t have to get a 4-year or even a 2-year degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs including medical secretary, home-health aide, and medical assistant are expected to have some of the greatest job growth through the year 2022.

#2 – Enroll in state job training. Your state may also offer specialized training to fill open positions in industries that are popular in your area.

Contact your state’s employment department to find out which industries are hiring and whether your state has any job training programs.

#3 – Work your way up. Don’t overlook the jobs that start out at minimum wage but have a clear path toward raises and advancement.

#4 – Start your own business. Think of what you like to do or skills that you already have. Then spread the word to family and friends that you’re offering those services — at a rate that’s higher than minimum wage, of course.


More About Minimum Wage Jobs

In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some a few others that offer great information about minimum wage jobs: