20 Jobs People Think Should Pay a Lot More Than They Actually Do

We’ve all got that one job on our minds that we reckon should be raking in the big bucks, but for some cosmic reason, they’re stuck with pocket change. So, let’s take a stroll through the land of underpaid legends and jobs that deserve a serious pay upgrade.

One Redditor asked, “What jobs do you think should pay a LOT more than they do?” Now, this thread has received thousands of comments, and we have listed the top ones for you!

1. Emergency Medical Technicians 

Black African American Paramedic Looking into Camera in an Ambulance Vehicle Going for Emergency.
Image Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.

First up, let’s give it up for the EMTs – the real-life heroes who swoop in when things go haywire.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “EMTs. You might be shocked to learn these folks, literally saving lives and dealing with the most traumatic scenarios possible, are often making just above minimum wage. It’s insane.”

Another replied, “I never understood how they get paid so little, but a 15-minute ambulance ride is $1,500. They deserve more.”

2. Disabled Care

Nurses assisting elderly people at retirement home
Image Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.

Someone commented, “Caregivers for people with disabilities.”

Another added, “My mom is 60; she has done this for over twenty years and has never made more than $11/hr.”

But guess what? Their paycheck is probably smaller than the stack of paperwork they deal with.

3. Chefs

smiling chef tossing up frying bell peppers with frying pan.
Image Credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.

One said, “To say one, cooks/chefs. If you’ve worked in professional kitchens, you know.”

Someone else added, “Ridiculous hours; you’re working when 90% of people are off, so you’re basically trading in any type of social life; it’s demanding physical work, standing in front of a variety of heat sources all day, no actual break and worst of all you work twice as long as the servers and they walk out with twice as much money.”

We’re paying for a taste explosion; maybe it’s time we throw in some extra dough for the chef behind the flavor magic.

4. Garbage Collectors

Partial view of cleaner with trash bin isolated on grey
Image Credit: AntonMatyukha via DepositPhotos.com.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Garbage men, pretty much anybody that works on the upkeep of the city.”

Another replied, “My husband is a garbage man, and his job is getting ready to cut hours. We barely make it on his pay as it is as a family of 5.”

You toss it, they collect it, and yet, their paycheck is probably hiding in the trash bin somewhere.

5. Janitors

Man in apron holding kitchen cloth and detergent spray feeling overwhelmed
Image Credit: TheVisualsYouNeed via DepositPhotos.com.

Someone commented, “Janitors for sure, but I think a lot of people underestimate how much people make in “dirty” jobs.”

Someone else added, “Sounds more tiring, tbh, but also not something that gets too boring.”

It’s time to appreciate the janitors – maybe a little extra cash can help them dust off their dreams, too.

6. Teachers

Portrait of black teacher giving math lesson on chalkboard.
Image Credit: Rocketclips, Inc./Shutterstock.

First off, let’s give a massive shoutout to teachers. They are practically shaping the future, turning clueless kids into smart adults.

One said, “Teachers, absolutely.”

Another replied, “Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don’t need little changes; we need gigantic, monumental changes. Schools should be palaces. The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be making six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense.”

7. Manual Workers

Mature farmer posing.
Image Credit: ljsphotography via DepositPhotos.com.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “I personally think manual workers are underappreciated.”

Another added, “I was thinking forklift jobs, but this covers it more. It’s never just one thing with a manual labor job; you literally gotta sacrifice your body to do the work.”

These guys deserve more than just a pat on the back; they deserve a wallet workout.

8. School Bus Drivers

happy teen african american schoolboy looking at camera with blurred school bus on background.
Image Credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.

Someone commented, “School bus drivers. They were striking for, I think, another dollar in my district, meaning they wanted 13 per hour. They have to get up early to make their schedule. They are driving a huge machine around congested traffic, all while kids are acting up in the back. They have little to no recourse in terms of discipline. All for 13 an hour.”

Another replied, “Plus, the lives of our children are in their hands every day.”

School bus drivers, can we get a round of applause?

9. Paramedics

ambulance on emergency car in motion blur
Image Credit: blurAZ/Shutterstock.

One said, “American Paramedics were making less money up here in Ontario, Canada, but I couldn’t imagine doing our job for less than minimum wage.”

Someone else added, “Paramedics in the US make under minimum wage. They’re not paid amazingly for what they do given what doctors make, but they make a lot more than minimum wage.”

It’s time we start compensating them for being the emergency MVPs they are.

10. Hotel Housekeepers

Smiling middle aged woman with suitcase opening electronic lock in hotel
Image Credit: NatashaFedorova via DepositPhotos.com.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Hotel housekeepers. I used to work at a hotel and the horror stories I would hear from housekeepers… More people die in hotels than you think, including dying by themselves, knowing the housekeeper would find them. They come into contact with strangers’ blood, vomit, and feces every day, typically for minimum wage. Not to mention bad people.”

Another replied, “Absolutely. To add to this, you should always tip housekeeping. Especially if you’re going to trash the room.”

It’s time to acknowledge the dusting and scrubbing with more than just a fresh set of towels.

11. Elder Care

Nurses assisting elderly people at retirement home
Image Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.

First up, give it up for the caregivers of the elderly.

Someone commented, “Caregivers for the elderly, especially for memory-related care. The job takes endless patience, lots of physical exertion, and even some medical knowledge to recognize certain medical issues as the caregivers are the ones that actually deal with the elderly on a daily basis and can catch issues others can’t.”

Another added, “The quality of life of residents at these caregiving facilities depends GREATLY on the quality of caregiver, so it’s kinda wild to me that we treat caregivers like minimum wage, super replaceable lackeys.”

12. Firefighters

Portrait of young woman firefighter standing near fire truck.
Image Credit: VAKS-Stock Agency/Shutterstock.

Now, let’s talk about firefighters. These fearless warriors run into burning buildings while the rest of us are busy running away for our lives!

One said, “Firefighters for sure. They risk their lives to save others.”

Someone else added, “Firefighters are really out there running into burning buildings that can collapse at any minute to save people’s lives. I respect that too and think they deserve more if they’re willing to put their lives on the line for the sake of ensuring our safety and well-being.”

13. Farm Workers

Portrait of smiling, pretty, caucasian, female chef carrying fresh picked vegetables walking towards camera on a farm for farm to table at sunrise sunset.
Image Credit: Chiarascura/Shutterstock.

Farm workers – the heroes of our dinner plates.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Farmworkers. I completely believe in this. I think by 2050, we need to have farming changed in loads of ways like just making it better for the environment, better for the animals, cheaper for the economy, and easier to do.”

Another replied, “I don’t know how this is not higher up on the list. This should be the #1 response. But it just goes to show how overlooked and underappreciated they really are.”

14. Veterinarian

Two veterinary doctors with dog during the examination in veterinary clinic.
Image Credit: ZoranOrcik/Shutterstock.

Someone commented, “I get that people feel like Vet care is extortionate in the UK due to the health care being free for humans. But it’s actually wild how much money is spent just in the upkeep of these facilities.”

Another added, “Totally agree with the veterinarian. No one in that field is compensated enough for the toll it takes; it’s a difficult industry to work in.”

These pet lifesavers are pulling all-nighters, dealing with claws and teeth, and what do they get?

15. Social Workers

Tablet, happy and portrait of business black woman online for research, internet or website in office.
Image Credit: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

One said, “Surprised no one has said social workers yet.”

Someone else added, “I have met several people who think the pay social workers get is adequate because they produce “no value” and are paid by taxes, in my country at least. Some even told me to be grateful, lol. Is one reason why I don’t push harder to find a job in my field despite my degree.”

It’s time to turn up the volume on their paychecks and give credit where credit is due. After all, they’re not just doing their jobs; they’re making the world a better place.

16. Nurse

Young adult doctor woman wearing medical uniform Beckoning come here gesture with hand inviting happy and smiling.
Image Credit: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock.

These angels in scrubs are dealing with blood, guts, and probably more bodily fluids than they signed up for.

A Reddit user wrote, “Nurse. They care and save lives. See people at their worst and get no respect and paid peanuts.”

Another replied, “There are so many of us nurses who also have vital roles in the hospital but get overlooked and harshly underpaid.”

17. Ironworker

Asian Construction Workers Wearing Safety Gear go Through the Installation of a Structural link in an Industrial Factory.
Image Credit: S.Phoophinyo/Shutterstock.

Now, shift gears to the ironworkers – the people building our cities, piece by beam by piece.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Ironworker. Besides the fact that I am an ironworker, I have been in some crazy, dangerous situations at work.”

Another added, “Besides the heights, there are many parts of the job where you could get seriously injured or killed if something goes wrong.”

18. Mental Health Workers

people, emotions, stress and health care concept - unhappy african american young woman touching her head and suffering from headache.
Image Credit: Ground Picture/Shutterstock.

Someone commented, “Anything in mental health, especially front-line workers: crisis, case workers, counselors. They make peanuts compared to the hazard and tension they can face.”

Another replied, “A huge majority of mental health workers are good and trustworthy people who just want to keep you safe. They deserve our respect and better pay.”

It’s time to show these mental health warriors that their impact is worth more than just couch change.

19. Police

A friendly looking female officer standing behind crime scene tape with her arms crossed.
Image Credit: John Roman Images/Shutterstock.

Now, let’s talk about the police.

One said, “Police Officers.”

Someone else added, “I respect those who’d run straight into danger without any concern for their own safety just to protect the lives and property of others. Thanks to all police officers for their service!”

20. Military

Cheerful military man in uniform and cap smiling near american flag
Image Credit: VitalikRadko via DepositPhotos.com.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Being a military officer. Definitely, I think it’s quite disgusting that in the UK, footballers get paid more than the Military – who are essential to ALL of society! Footballers, I personally can live without them. Nobody, however, can live without the military. That’s my rant. Increase pay for them!”

Another replied, “Military personnel. They’re working harder than illegal immigrants who cross the border, but the illegals get paid tax-free under the table, LOL.”

It’s time to honor their sacrifice with a payday salute.

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