20 Jobs that Earn $20 an Hour

Watch the news for 30 minutes and you'll quickly lose perspective of the value of a dollar. That idea might seem paradoxical in this recession where every dollar counts, but think about the figures we're hearing about: trillion dollar deficit, $800 billion stimulus, 7,000 point drop in the Dow. That's a lot of zeros.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess your bank account doesn't have that many digits in it. In fact, if it does, you're probably paying someone to read this article to you.

Search Job Openings

In Partnership With

For the rest of us who don't have a billion dollars in the bank and are just happy to have more money coming in than going out (even if barely), we need to reevaluate the value of a dollar. Or, in this instance, the value of $20.

In the age of astronomical governmental spending and foreclosures, our salaries can seem like insignificant sums in the grand scheme of things. So to give you an idea of what occupations us "regular people" earn, here are 20 jobs that pay a median hourly wage of $20, which works out to $41,600 annually based on a 40-hour workweek.

Here are 20 jobs that earn $20 per hour:


1. Carpet Installers

What they do: As their name implies, carpet installers prepare surfaces for carpet and then cut the pieces into the appropriate size for the room and ensure it's properly installed.

Hourly median earning: $20.00*


2. Massage Therapists

What they do: Massage therapists use their training in massage to help patients with pain, tension or other physical ailments.

Hourly median earning: $20.00


3. Outside Collector

What they do: Outside collectors work on behalf of an organization to contact customers and clients who are delinquent in paying their bills.

Hourly median earning: $20.00


4. Vocational Training Instructor

What they do: Vocational training instructors educate students in vocational fields, often in vocational schools or other postsecondary institutions.

Hourly median earning: $20.02


5. Truck Mechanic

What they do: Truck mechanics service large diesel trucks (think big rigs, not pick-up) and ensure they're working properly.

Hourly median earning: $20.04


6. Tax Examiners, Collectors and Revenue Agents

What they do: Tax examiners, collectors and revenue agents each have specific duties, but all include ensuring that the government collects all the money it is owed and that people are handling their taxes properly.

Hourly median earning: $20.05


7. Disc Jockeys

What they do: At your wedding, class reunion or bar- and bat-mitzvah, disc jockeys play music that keeps everyone dancing and having a good time.

Hourly median earning: $20.11


8. Funeral Directors

What they do: When families are arranging funerals, the director sees that their wishes are carried out and oversees all tasks related to preparing the services.

Hourly median earning: $20.10


9. Religious Activities and Education Directors

What they do: Religious activities and education directors are responsible for a church or religious group's membership drives, outings and other interactive events.

Hourly median earning: $20.11


10. Counselors

What they do: Counselors can work in a variety of specializations to address problems in marriages, families, school, at work or with mental health issues.

Hourly median earning: $20.19


11. Paralegals and Legal Assistants

What they do: Paralegals and legal assistants help attorneys prepare for trials and legal proceedings through research and by carrying out tasks.

Hourly median earning: $20.19


12. Advertising Sales Agents

What they do: Advertising sales agents work for various media outlets to secure advertising, whether it's in the form of commercials or print ads.

Hourly median earning: $20.19


13. Construction Equipment Operator

What they do: At construction and mining sites, these operators use equipment to move large objects, dig into soil and other tasks that are too laborious for manual labor.

Hourly median earning: $20.36


14. Machinists

What they do: Machinists are responsible for creating precision metal components, which can be done on a large scale or in small batches.

Hourly median earning: $20.40


15. Television, Video and Motion Picture Camera Operators and Editors

What they do: They film footage for a variety of outlets and decide what helps the director achieve his or her vision for that specific project.

Hourly median earning: $20.48


16. First-line Supervisors/Managers
of office and administrative support workers of office and administrative support workers

What they do: In order for office and administrative support workers to do their jobs, their supervisors and managers ensure that they have the equipment and guidance they need.

Hourly median earning: $20.60


17. Mechanical Engineering Technicians

What they do: Mechanical engineering technicians use their education and research to create and test all types of machinery.

Hourly median earning: $20.64


18. Electricians

What they do: Electricians are responsible for installing and maintaining the electrical wirings in homes, buildings and offices.

Hourly median earning: $20.83


19. Insurances Sales Agents

What they do: When you're trying to select the most appropriate insurance plan for your needs, insurance sales agents explain the differences between policies and help you make the right choice.

Hourly median earning: $20.87


20. Septic Tank Service and Sewer Pipe Cleaners

What they do: These cleaners treat and repair septic tanks and sewer pipes that are experiencing problems or need to be replaced.

Hourly median earning: $20.87


*Salary information based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and from CBSalary.com.


Filed under: Hot Jobs, Salaries

Anthony Balderrama

Editor

Anthony Balderrama is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job seeker and workplace blog, TheWorkBuzz.com. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/abalderrama and view his blog posts on TheWorkBuzz.com.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

189 Comments

Filter by:
rv

geter done

December 22 2009 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Stuart

YOU ARE AN UNCOUTH NO GOOD BUM. WHY DON'T YOU WRITE A DECENT LINE AND SHOW RESPECT INSTEAD OF FILTH. YOU ONLD DISPLAY THE WORST OF YOUR THOUGHTS. WAKE UP AND BE THE STAR THAT YOU CAN BE.

November 01 2009 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
susie

I am a self employed hair stylist who has worked hard to build a large clientele over many years. I am booked ahead for 6-8 months. I make on average of $150.00 to $400.00 per hour. It's just a matter of knowing your craft, being good at it and responsible. It's easy to attain if you really want it.

October 19 2009 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DocWho

Hey Wake up - time to go to Work ! Just think about this - William" Dollar Bill" McGuire CEO of United Health Group , was given a golden parachute of 1.1 billion dollars on top of his $500,000,000 in salaries.Not bad for a company CEO whose company supposedly denied health claims by its customers .
Yes, the many must suffer, struggle and labor so that the few can lead lives of luxury !!!!!Feel privilaged that you can be one of those on whose backs the great stand

August 21 2009 at 7:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DocWho

Hey Wake up - time to go to Work ! Just think about this - William" Dollar Bill" McGuire CEO of United Health Group , was given a golden parachute of 1.1 billion dollars on top of his $500,000,000 in salaries.Not bad for a company CEO whose company supposedly denied health claims by its customers .
Yes, the many must suffer, struggle and labor so that the few can lead lives of luxury !!!!!Feel privilaged that you can be one of those on whose backs the great stand !

August 21 2009 at 7:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Angie

i work for a big company a very big company and my job shld pay $20.00@hr. I am the one behind the phone that gets there butt chewed oout because there credit card gets shut off due to fraud or get called obscene names just cuz I am doing my job. find me a company that will pay me for what I am worth and I will gladly apply.. I love catching fraud but hate the atmosphere at work all dog eat dog and back stabbbing enviroment..I work there cuz i need the money. with shift differential i make $14.81 @hr my base is $13 something @hr.. and if I get caught clocking in too early I get wrote up go figure!!!

June 15 2009 at 4:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DingDongshesgone, BooHoo!

Not to sound nasty, but do you know how hard it is to get a job with
the postal service? It takes an act of congress just to get an
interview! Where I live you have to know somebody who works there and
wait for someone to retire or pass away to get a job. I tried years
ago, as well as the government too, scored very very high on the
test, but could never get hired because someone who was either in the
military or was already in before me always got the job, and most of
them knew somebody too! So I don't think I'll be holding my breath
for me or anyone else trying to get a job at the post office unless
their uncle works there and they been in the waiting line for 3-5
years. Honestly, $20.00 an hour to stand in one spot all day doing
the same thing for 30 years is not enough money for me. I know some
people can do it, but I can not stand in one spot all day without
losing my mind after a week or so....guess thats why I always did
better at jobs where I could move around and more or less be my own
boss. So maybe it was a blessing I never got hired because I would
have probably stayed for the benefits and right now would probably be
going postal! I am glad your happy with your job though and got the
opportunity,I hope everyone can be happy at what they do,
unfortunately thats not always the case...we have to eat! I do know
alot of drivers who are somewhat happy with their jobs, or even the
part-time Sat. drivers make pretty good money. Usually that's were
you start, driving a Sat. route in your own car, then eventually you
might get a route?? Have a good night :)

June 14 2009 at 11:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DingDongshesgone, BooHoo!

Not to sound nasty, but do you know how hard it is to get a job with
the postal service? It takes an act of congress just to get an
interview! Where I live you have to know somebody who works there and
wait for someone to retire or pass away to get a job. I tried years
ago, as well as the government too, scored very very high on the
test, but could never get hired because someone who was either in the
military or was already in before me always got the job, and most of
them knew somebody too! So I don't think I'll be holding my breath
for me or anyone else trying to get a job at the post office unless
their uncle works there and they been in the waiting line for 3-5
years. Honestly, $20.00 an hour to stand in one spot all day doing
the same thing for 30 years is not enough money for me. I know some
people can do it, but I can not stand in one spot all day without
losing my mind after a week or so....guess thats why I always did
better at jobs where I could move around and more or less be my own
boss. So maybe it was a blessing I never got hired because I would
have probably stayed for the benefits and right now would probably be
going postal! I am glad your happy with your job though and got the
opportunity,I hope everyone can be happy at what they do,
unfortunately thats not always the case...we have to eat! I do know
alot of drivers who are somewhat happy with their jobs, or even the
part-time Sat. drivers make pretty good money. Usually that's were
you start, driving a Sat. route in your own car, then eventually you
might get a route?? Have a good night :)

June 14 2009 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rich

People should consider a Nursing Career. There are may levels, and a 2 year degree ca start you at 50,000 a year in most places. The jobs are also so bountiful!

June 10 2009 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RICH

You are right Brian. I am one of those $20 an hour machinists that got layed off and I wish I could get a $10 an hour job. It also depends on what state youlive in and what the standard of living is.

June 10 2009 at 4:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Jobs

In Partnership With
Keywords:
Location:

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

July 20 - July 27

Looking for work? See what companies added new openings this week.

×

Check out our new Map Search

Locate your next job using the new AOL Jobs Map Search!

Pin down your next great opportunity today.