It's not difficult to find somebody who believes that he or she is underpaid for all of the time and energy that he or she puts into his or her job. The salary of most careers is determined by a complex equation of variables that very few people actually understand. However, given the effort and stress that some jobs demand, you could easily list a number of careers that should have higher salaries than they currently do. Here are just a few.
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Starting Salary: $15,000
How does minimum wage sound? That's where you can plan to start at if you take a job as a dishwasher. Dishwashers often work in a hot kitchen, picking through people's half-eaten food or scraping dirty pans. Once that's done, the backbreaking job of lifting stacks of plates and other pans begins.
Starting Salary: $15,000
Although the official work hours are often listed as less than full-time, when taking into account after-missions trips, conferences, hospital visits and on-call duties, some pastors can work well beyond full-time hours. Lead pastors of larger churches with more in-depth management responsibilities make significantly more, but often don't earn as much as a CEO of a similarly sized business.
Starting Salary: $16,000
Garbage collection might not be glamorous but it's necessary. In New York City, garbage collectors pick up more than 10,000 tons of garbage daily, and when they went on strike, city officials were concerned with the possible health hazards that would result from garbage piling up on the streets. Although years of experience can result in salaries of more than $60,000, that is of little help to the employee working full-time for less than $20,000.
Funeral Home Attendant
Starting Salary: $17,200
You might label your job as depressing on some of your worst days, but there isn't a job much more depressing than dealing with death every day. If the handling of deceased bodies isn't bad enough, providing comfort to grieving family and friends would wear on the psyche of anybody. For those who have a calling for this line of work, they may find enjoyment, but a majority of people probably wouldn't want a job in a funeral home or morgue.
Starting Salary: $17,892
Set aside for a moment the fact that they're willing to give up their life to defend their country, soldiers are often away from home a majority of the year, watch their children grow up through pictures and videos and live in less-than-ideal conditions. At any time, a soldier could be called into a situation where death is a real possibility.
SEE: 6 Careers You Can Do From Home
Emergency Medical Technicians
Starting Salary: $21,000
Emergency Medical Technicians are on the front lines of medical emergencies. Before receiving treatment from higher paid doctors, EMTs, who often put their safety at risk to witness horrific scenes, have to provide life support in the back of a speeding ambulance. EMTs may move on to other jobs related to their field or gain seniority resulting in higher salaries but for those who have received care from one of these professionals, $21,000 doesn't seem like enough. Not to mention that it is also one of the most stressful jobs with low pay.
Special Education Teacher
Starting Salary: $29,150
There's a reason why special education teachers leave the profession at twice the rate of other teachers. Teaching children with a lower capacity to learn and sometimes-uncooperative personalities feels like an uphill battle, leaving these teachers burnt out often in less than a decade. In addition, teachers that can transform these kids into productive members of society, even if it's in the most basic capacity, save the economy a lot of money.
The Bottom Line
Most of us think we're underpaid, but many others can probably make a better argument that they are paid less than they deserve - especially those who perform a vital service, such as a soldier or EMT.