If you think about how much you’re paid an hour, you could be upset or happy with your wages. Everyone earns a different amount, but many of us only look at the surface of our average wage per hour. When your employer gives you a set wage of $10.00 an hour, $20.00 an hour, or $50.00 an hour, that may not necessarily mean that you’re being compensated for that much! Why?
Average Wage Per Hour: The Basics
Most of us understand that when we work at a job, the employer agrees to pay us a specified amount of money for working a given amount of time. We’re hired and the employer states that we’re going to make X dollars per hour or Y dollars per year, but we rarely account for the extra time we spend doing other things involved in our daily work activities.
Average Wage Per Hour: Digging Deeper
While we may agree on a certain wage or salary, it’s important to take a look at the other outlying circumstances that affect our average wage per hour. While it isn’t a complete list because many people have different circumstances, these are in my opinion the two most important things that people should be aware of when evaluating their compensation for their time.
- Time to get to work – how long do you spend driving to and from your workplace
- Time spent doing work activities outside of the workplace
Average Wage Per Hour: The Analysis
*Because this is an example, these numbers are fictional, but they are the case for a large amount of the working population.*
Let’s assume that someone is paid $10.00 an hour for their time and they work an 8 hour day. On an average day, they drive to work for 30 minutes, work for 8 hours, then drive back to their house for 30 minutes. Finally, they do an hour of catching up on work projects at home, as well as preparing for the next day. In total, they spent 2 hours doing work activities that required their time outside of the workplace.
With all of that in mind, they really put in a 10 hour day instead of 8. Therefore, they made $80.00 working 10 hours, rather than 80 dollars working 8 hours. Because of this extra time spent working and driving outside of the workplace, their average wage was reduced to $8.00 an hour.
*This article does not account for taxes which are a very important part of earnings. While this article doesn’t account for them, it’s very crucial to think about your taxes to understand your own specific situation.*
While you cant always control what you’re paid, you can control what you do, where you work, and how much time you spend outside of the workplace working. Some of the things you can do include the following:
- Figure out a way to make your commute more useful – complete important phone calls on your commute to and from work, or listen to an informational podcast so that you can build skills to increase your value per hour!
- Train yourself to be more efficient and complete your work quicker at home, that way you spend less time doing things at home while still accomplishing the same amount
- Increase your average wage per hour by negotiating for a raise
- Work somewhere with a higher pay – you’re not obligated to stay at your job unless you signed a contract!
- Become more educated so that you can earn more – this could include formal or informal education
There are obviously many more things you could do to increase your average wage per hour, but these are a few great ways to do so!