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What Are the Different Types of Minimum Wage Jobs?

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  • Written By: T. Carrier
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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Political and social commentary often centers on economic issues such as minimum wage. Minimum wage laws have thus been created in many regions. These laws tend to impact certain professional areas that retain a large number of minimum wage jobs and employees, like the food service industry, retail, and caretaker positions. Specific minimum wage jobs in these areas include the following: wait staff, dishwashers, table setters, sales clerks, housekeepers, childcare providers, and many others. General labor represents another common area where minimum wage is paid by employers.

Minimum wage jobs are employment opportunities that carry the lowest allowable amount of compensation. The specific cut-off point for minimum wage varies widely by region, with some governments enforcing a set minimum wage while others do not. In many cases, wage laws operate by an hourly wage: a recognized payment per hour of work. These types of jobs often lead to a lower standard of living for employees.

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Traditionally, a surplus of minimum wage jobs exist in the food service industry. These positions are usually found in restaurants, hotels, bars, or other places of business that serve customers food and drinks. A majority of the jobs in these establishments pay employees minimum wage, including individuals who greet or wait on customers, the employees who clean tables, fast food cooks and cashiers, and dishwashers. Waiters or waitresses in non-fast food restaurants may have a slight economic advantage over their peers, however, since they can collect additional money in the form of tips.

Hospitality service minimum wage jobs can include housekeeping or janitorial services. Hotels and places of business often employ individuals to maintain a clean environment, and typical duties might range from mopping floors to dusting and vacuuming rooms. Like most minimum wage positions, these employment opportunities do not require advanced education or specific skills.

Several other types of jobs that pay minimum wage exist, variable by regions. Sales clerks and cashiers in retail outlets and grocery stores start at a minimum wage salary in many areas, with opportunities for pay increase. Some individuals also take on minimum wage caretaking services for disadvantaged populations like the elderly or the disabled. Regardless of region, individuals who perform general physical labor such as lawn care, agricultural field work, and some construction and factory work are among the most abundant occupants of minimum wage jobs.

Some types of jobs may or may not be considered minimum wage depending on the employee’s individual work situation. For example, individuals who take care of children — mainly nannies and daycare workers — work widely contrasting hours with a large pay scale range. This pay rate is usually dependent on a number of factors, such as whether the individual is self-employed or whether he or she works for a funded organization that oversees many children. More rural areas are perhaps less able to provide a pay scale above minimum wage because they lack financial resources. In addition, a region’s cost of living may influence how large of a paycheck will be needed to maintain a comfortable standard of living.

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