People Break Down Which Professions Are Criminally Underpaid

How in the "richest" country in the world, do people still make pennies on the dollar for hard, often extraordinary work?

It was exposed during the pandemic just how little some are compensated.

What happened to giving people their worth?

Something has to be done. It's a travesty.

RedditorDarlaPAwanted to discuss the careers that need a raise... ASAP! So they asked:

"Which profession is criminally underpaid?"

So what do we do? First... let's make a list...


Law Lawyer GIF by GIPHY Studios OriginalsGiphy

"Public Defenders. I have a private law practice. The public defenders make a fraction of what guys like me make, know criminal law inside and out, and carry obscene caseloads. The system would break down immediately if they went on strike. Which honestly they should."


Medicine Stress

"I made 9.50 an hour as an EMT. Never ask 'why is there an EMS shortage' around me I will go OFF."


"I’m working on getting my EMT license right now and the main reason I’m doing it is as a stepping stone toward a different career in medicine. I’ve heard lots of people in the medical field say that working as an EMT/Paramedic is great field experience and makes getting into med school much easier and it’s just generally very valuable experience to have."


for the vulnerable...

"Basically any profession that requires you to work with vulnerable people."


"Social workers. High dollar educational costs with licensure for case loads that are not humanely manageable safely and not enough money to eek out a living."


"My wife is a social worker, the expectations are ridiculous and the definitely don't pay enough."


I'll go to Walmart

"Worked as a direct support professional for adults with disabilities in a long term care home. Cooked, cleaned, dispensed meds, bathed, worked on skills goals, drove, shopped, planned enrichment activities, and more. I loved the job most of the time. I really enjoyed helping the people live a decent life. Was paid $9.79 an hour in 2015. I left when I realized I could be a cashier at Walmart for that kind of money and I was putting my future career in jeopardy when some negligent stuff was happening."



Scrubs Fist GIFGiphy

"Janitors. They clean up all our crap, get no respect, and are sometimes some of the chillest people I've ever met. We should pay them more."


Janitors. They are essential and saviors. That was proven during COVID.

In the Wild

Big Cat Love GIF by BBC EarthGiphy

"People in wildlife/conservation."


"This is why I f**king hate disaster type movies. Always show the rich scientist in their top tier lab driving a tesla. Irl is more like broke phds trying to find the protocol for a donated piece of equipment and its corresponding software from 1998 that can only run on win95. Would be rad if we could get 1/1000th the funding of a mid size biotech to save the elephants and penguins."


It’s sad...

"Used to work in childcare. Can confirm the pay is garbage. I make more as a receptionist at a law firm where I mostly just sit there and occasionally answer a phone than I did doing actual work. It’s sad. And children need stable people for them at schools, but turnover at schools is high because the pay is so bad."


Soul Sucking

"I’m a therapist at a non-profit. I have a master’s degree and most of the time I’m getting paid $15/hr to fill out tons of paperwork that only someone with a master’s degree can fill out. It sucks. I also only get paid hourly. If I only have 3 clients that day, I get paid for those three hours only. If someone cancels on me, no pay for that time wasted, even though I structured my whole day around seeing them."

"I thank my higher power every day that I have no student debt because my paychecks wouldn’t be paying back crap. At this point I’m basically working for dirt cheap so I can get licensed and go about my own business. I didn’t get into this field for the money, but it’d be nice if I could at least live off my paycheck, ya know."


On the phone...

"911 dispatchers. We literally have to listen to people die on our phone lines, and in some states, are still classified as secretarial personnel. Over ten years of experience, certifications coming out my ears, and I don't break 40k a year unless I pull massive amounts of overtime."

"We lost three of our people to COVID last year and are running at less than half capacity for the whole place, can't hire anyone to stay because they see what we have to deal with and nope tf out, or they're just ill-suited for the position so they're cut from training and sent packing. I love my job, I love what I do. I wish I could say I loved my paychecks."


The Brilliant!

High Five Jimmy Fallon GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonGiphy

"Scientists, imagine studying 10 plus years, holding the highest academic title possible and earning less than most common 9 to 5s that require little to no education. But hey, its honorable right."


For the fur babies...

"Veterinary professionals."


"Why did I have to scroll so far for this?! 8 yrs of schooling, six figures of debt that the salary will never help bring down, incredibly draining and emotional job."

"All for people to say you’re heartless for charging for medical care… it's a no wonder there’s shortages for veterinarians AND veterinary nurses in sooo many countries. The corporations that own vet clinics are getting the cash, not all the staff just trying to do their best in a constantly understaffed scenario."


Heavy Burnout

"Any caretaking position. From personal experience, I can loudly say that mental health and behavioral techs are VERY underpaid. Working in a job that regularly sends people to the hospital due to assault by clients, has a very high burnout rate, and very high secondary trauma is HARD."

"Not to mention, people in these roles are caring for individuals that their family/parents cannot handle and they are supervising 4-10 of these individuals at once. It takes a HUGE toll on your mental health, and it barely pays the bills. Being in charge of safety for those that do not have an interest in keeping themselves safe is rough. I’m sorry, but $15-$17/hour is not enough."

"Also, these jobs don’t require a college degree most of the time. From what I’ve found, however, you are not paid enough nor do you have the mental energy or time to finish your degree due to working very hectic (often short staffed) hours. This keeps people stuck in the same workplace forever. HR (who is meant to be your advocate) has often never been on the floor and has no idea what the job often entails."



Sorry Home Alone GIF by filmeditorGiphy

"All professions listed in this thread seem to provide tangible real world value to make our lives better. It sucks that they are underpaid while some hedge fund douche is raking in 6 figures while providing literally zero value to anyone."



"Teacher's aid. I get headbutt, kicked, scratched, bitten, spit, kick, thrown up on, and peed on for less than 700 every 15 days. The parents are worse."


"Amen. This is the one I came here to write. I am a teacher, and I absolutely could not get through my days without my amazing aides. They make instruction possible."


Chairs Up

"Cps or prison work. I worked at a group home with just don't care kids at a direct care facility. We made $10/h. I make more at Walmart now and I get hit with way less chairs now."



"Librarians and library support staff. It's not uncommon that the wage on paper is decent, but the institution cuts costs by keeping jobs part-time or temporary to avoid providing benefits. The education required is high, and the job requires continual education once in the field. With the exception of smaller institutions or institutions with unique bylaws."

"It's increasingly difficult to take the journeyman path through libraries. One really can't advance past a certain point without the master's degree. Pitiful pay for the level of education required and for the level of customer service labor involved. This can be extended to museum workers and archival and public history workers, as well."



"Good teachers."


"Every good teacher I knew in high school has had to dip into their personal savings to help enrich the classroom. Whoever is in charge of providing so little disposable funding for educators to use while also paying them pennies for their work should be locked up. It truly is criminal :("


Flight Time

"Pilots. Yes, older pilots do well but new pilots have to take on so much debt, only to make maybe $600/week. What many people don’t realize is they get paid for flight time, not actual time. And they are limited to something like 100-120hrs a month of flying, if they are given it. That, and regional pilots are often away from home for days on end due to their routes. There is a lot of “paying your dues” for decades in that profession."


After Hours

Grim Reaper Death GIF by Lance FordGiphy

"Grave shift fast food and food service in general. Anything grave shift. Almost no one does that shift because they have better options and it is always an adult doing it, not some kid working for fun money due to labor laws. Any care that requires wiping human butts."


Behind the Line

"Cooks and chefs."


"I make 60k as a kitchen manager. But I’ve been doing this over 20 years and still cook on the line at my current job. I made around the same for the past 10 years give or take a few grand. I was offered a regional manager position for a pizza chain for the same money. F**k that. I’m a glorified prep cook and can walk to work in 5 minutes. And we are only open breakfast and lunch."


So now we know better. How do we get these people what they're worth?

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