Although it is generally considered better to have a salaried job than to work for an hourly wage, it may not be so in your case. Knowing the precise definitions of the words "salary" and "wage" as well as the good and bad sides to them will help you determine which type of position is better for you.


Wages are paid to employees on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Examples of jobs that typically pay wages are house painters, grocery store clerks, substitute teachers and factory employees who work on the assembly line.


Salary is a set amount of money paid to an employee each month or year, no matter how many hours he works. You can use the term to refer to a monthly amount of money an employee receives or to the yearly amount an employee gets for doing her job. A salary is paid at a set time on a recurring basis, and it is always the same amount of money. Some manager jobs and social service positions are salaried positions.

Pros of Each

The good things about working a job for wages are that you get paid for the work that you do. If you work 50 hours, you are paid for 50 hours. If you work overtime, you usually get paid more per hour than you do if you work 40 hours or less in a week.

Jobs that pay a salary are more dependable; you know what you are going to get paid every month. You also can have more free time from work if you can get your work done in less than 40 hours per week.

Cons of Each

If you work at a job where you are paid wages, you only get paid for the hours you work. Therefore, if you are sick and do not have sick leave benefits, you will not be paid for the time you miss from work. You also are not guaranteed to work the same number of hours each week. If things are slow for the business, your hours may be cut, and your paycheck that week will suffer as a result.

Salaried jobs are often jobs that take more than 40 hours of work each week to get the work done that needs to be completed. That translates into less free time for many salaried workers. You also do not get paid for overtime, so you cannot make more than your allotted monthly check.