Salary vs Hourly Wage

When you’re offered a job, one of the first things you need to consider is whether it’s an hourly or salaried position. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, and it can be difficult to decide which is better for you.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the differences between salaried and hourly positions and help you decide which is right for you. So, let’s get started!

Salary vs Hourly: What’s the Difference?

The first thing we need to discuss is salary vs hourly pay. As you might imagine, a salary is a fixed amount of money that an employer pays you for your work for a year, month, week, or another predetermined period. On the other hand, on hourly wage positions, employees are paid for every hour they work.

Salaried employees receive the same paycheck every given period, regardless of their work hours. Hourly workers receive pay for every hour worked at their job and may have varying wages from one period to the next based on overtime and other factors.

Salaried positions are also typically exempt from overtime laws, meaning you can work more than 40 hours per week without receiving overtime pay. Hourly jobs are non-exempt, which means that you must be paid time and a half for any hours worked over 40 in a week.

Unlike hourly employees, though, their salaried counterparts typically receive paid vacation days and sick leave pay.

Hourly vs Salary Positions

Most white-collar jobs – such as managers, executives, accountants, engineers, doctors, and lawyers – tend to be salaried positions. They are typically more educated than their hourly counterparts and have a higher responsibility in the organization they work for.

Blue-collar or service jobs – such as janitors, waiters/waitresses, retail associates, etc. – tend to be paid hourly. These positions don’t require as much education or training and often have less responsibility than salary positions.

Salary vs Hourly Pros and Cons

They both have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Let’s see what the pros and cons of salary vs hourly pay are!

What are the benefits of a salaried position?

There are several benefits to being a salaried employee.

The first is that you typically receive paid vacation days and sick leave. You may also be able to take national holidays off without using any of your vacation time.

Another benefit of being a salaried employee is that you may have a better chance of getting promoted and advancing in your career.

Employer-sponsored benefits such as health insurance are also typically available to salary employees, making them more attractive than hourly positions.

What are the benefits of an hourly position?

One of the most obvious benefits of being an hourly employee is your ability to work overtime if you need to make more money.

Another benefit is that you may have a flexible schedule, allowing you to work when it’s convenient for you and your family.

Lastly, hourly positions are often easier to find than salary ones because there is less competition among job seekers in this category of employment opportunities.

What are the downsides of salaried positions?

One of the main downsides to salary positions is that you may have less flexibility in your schedule. This can make it difficult if you have children or other responsibilities at home that need attention during normal business hours.

Salaried positions typically require more education and training than hourly jobs, so they’re not always as accessible for someone who doesn’t have a degree or years of experience in the field.

The salary may be less than what you would make working an hourly job with overtime pay included.

What are the downsides of hourly positions?

One downside to being paid hourly is that your income fluctuates depending on how many hours you work. If you work more hours in a week, your payment will be higher, but if you take time off or have a slow week, you may earn less than if you were on salary.

Hourly positions can also be less secure than salary positions. If your employer needs to reduce staff, they are more likely to lay off hourly employees than those who are salary.

Lastly, many employers don’t offer benefits such as health insurance or paid vacation days to their hourly employees.

What Should I Consider Before Accepting an Hourly vs Salary Position?

When considering whether to take a salary or hourly position, there are several factors you should consider.

First, think about how many hours per week you want (or need) to work. If you’re only available for part-time work, an hourly position is probably the best option for you. If you’re looking for full-time employment, salary may be a better choice because it’s more likely that salary positions require 40 hours per week than hourly ones do.

Consider also what benefits are offered by each position and whether they’re important to you or your family’s needs – such as health insurance coverage, paid time off (PTO), etc.

Lastly, salary positions come with a set payment, while hourly positions may have the potential to earn more through overtime pay. So consider whether you want to be in control of your earnings before making your decision.

Salary vs Hourly: Which Is Better?

There is no easy answer when it comes to deciding whether a salary or an hourly wage is better for you. Each position comes with its own benefits and downsides, so make sure to weigh all of your options before accepting a position.

Salary or hourly? It’s up to you!


Can you work more than 40 hours a week on salary?

Yes, you can work more than 40 hours a week on salary, but you may not be paid for the extra hours.

Can I take vacation time if I'm a salaried employee?

It depends on your employer’s policy. Some offer salary employees paid vacation days, while others don’t.

What is the difference between exempt and non-exempt salaried employees?

Exempt salary employees are not entitled to overtime pay, even if they work more than 40 hours per week. Non-exempt salary workers can earn time and half for any hours over 40 worked in a week.

What is the difference between salary vs hourly positions when it comes to benefits like health insurance?

Most salaried positions come with benefits like paid vacation time, sick days, and health insurance. Hourly jobs typically don’t include these benefits or offer them at a reduced rate than salary positions would.

Can I negotiate salary vs hourly wages? If so, how much can I expect to earn in either position?

Yes, salary and hourly wages are negotiable. The amount you can expect to earn in either position depends on various factors such as your skills, experience, and the company’s budget.

Are there any other benefits I should consider when deciding between salary vs hourly positions?

Other benefits to consider include job security, retirement savings plans, and work/life balance. Think about what is important to you and weigh all of your options before accepting a position.


After I got my degree in translation and interpreting, I started working in a typical office. To get away from my nine-to-five job, I ventured into freelance writing. One thing led to another, and I ended up creating content for SpendMeNot. I have been involved with this site ever since its launch — first as a writer and now as a manager.

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