Those who are looking for the "perfect" job may be put off by the idea of working overtime. Jobs that traditionally pay by the hour, as compared to a set annual salary, are most likely to be free of overtime and will pay time and a half for those hours that do creep above 40. There are few industries in today's market that almost always require some, if not a large number, of overtime hours, however. Here are those that more commonly demand it, as identified by online salary database PayScale.com. (Does a job as a financial sleuth sound interesting to you? Dig in to learn more. Check out Uncovering A Career In Forensic Accounting.)
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1. EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)
The exciting job of emergency medicine has its downsides. For some, that can include a harrowing work week that goes beyond the typical 40 hours. According to PayScale, EMTs can average eight hours of overtime a week, at a rate of $21.30 per overtime hour. Compared to the median overtime hours of an RN (Registered Nurse), which is just two hours, it can be a considerably more demanding job in regards to scheduling.
Those in the medical field who want to stick close to a traditional work schedule may find a job in the ultrasound technician or medical assistant field to be a better fit. Both boast just one hour of overtime, on average, per week.
2. Construction Workers
Even though the home building industry has seen a lag, those that are gainfully employed can almost always look forward to a few extra hours in their work week. The experts at PayScale calculated that around five hours of weekly overtime can be expected for construction foremen, construction laborers, welders, cutters, solderers and brazers. On average, HVAC service technicians clock a 45-hour week, as well.
While the season can have much to do with the amount of required overtime for workers in the construction field, some jobs tend to see less work than others. Carpenters and electrician journeymen have slightly fewer overtime hours in their median work weeks; two is the common number for both job niches. (Find out if spreading your wings to try a new career will make you soar or fall flat. See Financial Career Options For Professionals.)
3. Information Technology (IT) Professionals
While IT workers can sometimes keep odd hours, the total rarely goes above two-to-three hours of overtime a week for any one career within the industry. While almost all can possibly work overtime, network technicians, tech support specialists, help desk reps and repair technicians all have a median overtime total of no more than three hours per week. The overtime has the potential to bring the hourly earning from $13.70 - $19.70 per hour to $20.90 - $28.80 per hour for the extra time worked.
4. Warehouse Employees
This is a career field that consistently asks a small amount of overtime of many of its workers, which can be welcoming to those looking to raise their earning power. Fork lift operators tend to work more overtime than other job descriptions, for example, granting them an average of five hours per workweek. The others in the field can look forward to a few long hours, as well, however. Warehouse supervisors and their workers usually work an average of three hours per week of those tracked by PayScale.com.
5. Investment Bankers
The final job category that typically sees 40+ hours in a week is the high-stress, high-demand investment banker. Hours are unusually long for this position, although no formal overtime pay is granted for the salaried career. High-performers are rewarded with generous bonuses, however, providing incentive for motivated players to keep working well into the night. Due to the expected nature of the position, the extra hours are rarely even tracked, and so the actual number above forty is largely unknown. (Moving to one of these financial hot-spot destinations could set your career in motion. Check out Top 10 Cities For A Career In Finance.)
The Bottom Line
These are just five niches that regularly see a longer week than the norm, but they are by no means the complete list. Company size, the geographical location, and the employee's own wishes can largely determine just how much overtime a particular position may offer. It is best to do your own research on any potential new position, preferably by asking a current employee, before taking on the demands of a taxing career change.
Salary data is provided by PayScale.com. Hourly rates listed are for workers with five-to-eight years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit-sharing.