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A Look At Hourly versus Salaried Employment

Some changes in my employer’s industry has changed my job’s employment type from salary to hourly.

While my manager said he would try to get me promoted as quickly as possible to the salary grade level, I don’t know if I want it.  After experiencing the perks that I’m experiencing as an hourly employee, it might not be worth it, here is why:

  • At a salaried employee, I wouldn’t get paid to work anything over 8 hour like I would sometimes have to do.  As an hourly person I get time and a half to work those days.  This turns out to be excellent money.  Now instead of avoiding working those days, I consider them a financial windfall and a great opportunity!
  • I no longer have to be on-call!  The reason is because I would get paid like I was working a regular workday.  So again this would be big money, sign me up!
  • When traveling for work, Saturday and Sunday are now considered paid time too.  Awesome!
  • My weekends are now a pleasure again!  My employer can’t call me without me getting paid so now I can go to movies and attend other social events without being interrupted.
  • The dreaded electronic leash (company cell phone) can now stay at home, and even turned off!  Shoot, I can even leave it at work if I want to (but I don’t leave it at work, I want it in case they call me since it’s an overtime opportunity).
  • If I work over my eight hours on a given day, I get paid for it!
  • Family time is pressure free and much more enjoyable!

I know this doesn’t seem obvious, but I would much rather be an hourly employee than a salaried employee… especially now that I have experienced both!  I truly no longer feel like a corporate slave (or serf, or indentured servant), it’s been a liberating experience…

I bet you wouldn’t have guessed that hourly employment could end up creating a better lifestyle, I know I didn’t…  It was a very pleasant surprise!




22 Responses to A Look At Hourly versus Salaried Employment

    • The change was a technicality, and a nice one. I’ll actually make more this year than a high job grade will! I know it’s an industry thing, so woo hoo!

  1. Getting a salary is the worst situation to be in. In the late 80’s, I worked in drug manufacturing as a supervisor. We had a “salary” but it was broken down into an hourly wage so that anything longer than 8 hours was paid at 1.5. I was on a twelve hour shift and made about 50% more than my “salary” called for. It was great.

    Now the company has to pay you for your time rather than having you feel obligated to do work for them.

    • Yeah, and what’s great about my company is: If I’m on-call, they have to pay me time and a half if I have a full work week in! It’s awesome. I’m going better, but some of the guys are almost doubling what they had as a salary (lol). I bet those that are now making double will be promoted soon to salaried (unfortunately)…

  2. The overtime pay is definitely worth it! As a sub teacher, I get paid by the hour, but there’s no such thing as overtime – the kids have to go home. 😉

    • It’s funny, I’ll probably make more this year that I have ever before because of overtime! At first it was a bummer, but then everybody realize what a perk it really was. go figure…

  3. My hourly co-workers always hesitate to move to salary. They get paid a lot more to work over time. I think the salary employees get abused quite a bit by the companies.

    • As a salaried employee at my company for a long time, I can say that they definitely did!

      I had no idea being hourly would be such a treat! All the perks without any of the negatives.

  4. Glad you’re loving the Hourly Life!

    Just be sure to watch your time management. Some companies will dump a large work load on you then tell you that you can’t go into over time. So, your option is either a) don’t complete the work on time and earn a bad rep from your boss or b) work off the clock.

  5. I’ve always been salaried with overtimen – they pay me a $35,500 a year salary, but if I work anything over 40 hours a week, they pay me time and a half, which is like $24 an hour. Needless to say, we are not allowed to work more than 40 hours. I love it.

    • Sounds pretty sweet!

      I just was converted to hourly a few months ago (with everybody in my job grade). So of us have really made out big time. I don’t think it was in my company’s benefit to do the conversion…

    • Here’s the kicker…

      I’m making more money now that they converted half of the work force to salary! Plus with the side income, I’m making as much as a promotion would be… So literally it’s a win-win for me.

      I plan to enjoy it while I can, I have a feeling the company is going to promote everybody to that higher job grade, since it’s really cheaper for them…

  6. Sounds like some bean counter at your company made a big mistake in thinking this would be a cost savings or something equally ridiculous. I can’t tell you how many crazy long hours I have pulled and all the evenings I’m driving places. If they were try to do my job hourly, they’d lose their shorts.

    • Yeah, I thought I heard it was within the industry. Thousands of employees where I work at are now hourly.

      It’s working out well for me so far though.

  7. Wow great! Where I live, there is no such option like “hourly”… all companies give salary to their employees… and yes, companies avoid paying the overtime…
    I am just thankful that my boss gives us bonus 50% of the salary twice a year. 🙂

  8. Often times, hourly employees can make more money than their salary counterpart if there are a lot of overtime involved that is why it is best to stay as an hourly employee than a salaried one.
    Some companies sell it as you can work just 3 hours and still get paid for the whole day if you are a salary employee. But how often can you really do that?
    Most salary employees tend to be supervisors or managers because since they have control of their own hours and companies think that managers may abuse them.

    • After being salaried for 10 years, I don’t think I’ve even worked less than an 8 hour day.

      The experience for me has been very liberating and financially rewarding. I don’t think it will be permanent, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

  9. the debate of which one is better really depends on which industry you work in.

    If you work retail or food service you want to work hourly or they will work you to death.
    You will see yourself working 70 hour work weeks, and soon you will figure out that when it all averages out – you are making minimum wage.

    • I remember seeing peers work 70 yo 80 hours on a project that lasted 3 months. It was a tough time for them and many of them almost quit. During that time, I too was working 50 to 60 hours a week, and I would have complained more if it weren’t for the fact that other other folks were working 70+ hours…