Employment Trends

7 jobs that are incredibly underpaid 

Written by Eric Titner

We live in a world where not all jobs—or salaries—are created equal. While some jobs are glamorous and come with equally glamorous paychecks, others offer more humble salaries—and some of them just might surprise you.

According to a recent article on Glassdoor.com, the average American worker is underpaid by approximately $7,500—this translates to salaries that are roughly 13% less than their potential market values. This is attributable to a variety of factors, from job market conditions and supply vs. demand of available talent to the tendency of some new employees to not negotiate for higher salaries when starting new jobs.

Let’s take a closer look at 7 jobs that are incredibly underpaid, often despite having very important responsibilities.

1. Medical assistant

Medical assistants work directly under the guidance of doctors and nurses, and have a host of important responsibilities including maintaining medical records, prepping patients for exams, and administering medications. That said, they don’t typically command large salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean average wage for medical assistants is $32,850.

2. Web developer

If you’re looking to break into the web developer profession, you may find a wealth of opportunities across industries, and even across borders as international projects abound. That said, the growing supply of talented web developers both around the United States and abroad has adversely impacted salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean average wage for web developers is $72,150.

3. Social worker

Social workers are typically dedicated and qualified individuals who provide important support services to populations in need. Despite being a rewarding and commendable profession, the average social worker is not earning a huge payday. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean average wage for social workers is approximately $59,410.

4. Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

Nurses are incredibly important professionals who handle a wide array of critical tasks in a variety of healthcare settings, and are essential personnel for handling patient needs. That said, they typically make far less than their colleagues who are doctors or registered nurses (RNs). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean average wage for LPNs is $44,840.

5. Pharmacy technician

When you’re purchasing prescription medications at your local pharmacy, you’re likely to encounter a pharmacy tech at the front lines. These workers mix, measure, count out, and label medications as well as interact directly with customers. However, pharmacy techs don’t command the same salaries as the pharmacists they work beside. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean average wage for pharmacy techs is $32,170.

6. Veterinary technician

When your pet needs a checkup or isn’t feeling well, you can count on a vet tech to help you out when you first arrive at the veterinarian’s office. They’re responsible for a host of things that help keep veterinarian practices running smoothly, including performing medical tests, preparing serums and vaccines, taking and preparing samples, and maintaining charts and medical equipment. Vet techs likely aren’t in the field to get rich quick; the mean average wage according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is $33,870.

7. Emergency medical technician (EMT)

Few can argue about the importance of EMTs—when an accident or medical emergency occurs, they are often the first on the scene, and assess injuries, administer aid, and transport individuals to hospitals and medical facilities. Despite their incredible importance in saving lives, they just don’t command big salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean average wage for EMTs is $36,110.

As you can see, not all employees are compensated equally. The 7 jobs listed here may offer professional fulfillment and satisfaction, depending on one’s job-related goals, but they will probably not set you on a road to riches. If you’re on the hunt for a new job and salary is a big factor for you, use this information to help guide you towards—and away—from certain positions.

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About the author

Eric Titner

Eric is a NYC-based editor and writer, with years of experience in career-focused content development across a wide range of industries.

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