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What Are Unskilled/Semi-skilled Wages Where You Live?

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Where I grew up in a small town in Utah there were always plenty of jobs for teenagers, but they paid poorly. I got my first job at 14, washing dishes six hours a week at a Chinese restaurant. The pay was $2.00 an hour. I later moved up a taco shop at 2.55 an hour and then, when I was a senior in high school, got hired to do telemarketing at 4.25 an hour. I hated telemarketing, but the pay was a lot higher. Most jobs were fast food or retail of some kind and paid very little, but they were easy to find. This was 20-25 years ago, so double the numbers to get an accurate wage. It still sounds very low.


There are also a fair number of jobs where I live now, but they are usually seasonal or part-time. A lot of people around here work multiple jobs to make ends meet, but the jobs pay pretty well for unskilled or semi-skilled labor. Also, the job opportunities for kids seem a lot more interesting.


As an example, my 15 year old son recently spent three hours helping someone move. He got the call from a Realtor friend of ours and had never met the people before. After three hours of hauling boxes, they handed him $45. His regular job is filming town council meetings and other local events and he gets $40 for something that takes him 2-3 hours. I'm amazed that a 15 year old so easily found a job with such a high rate of pay and so interesting. It's only about twice a month, though.


One of the local ski resorts hires teens to mow down their trails at the end of the summer. The job only lasts a week, but they get $10/hour and a free ski pass for the season (worth another $10/hour, but free for the resort to give away).


We own a small hotel. We pay our housekeeper $14.50 an hour, plus tips, which amount to another $2-5 an hour, depending on the time of the year. But again, she only works 12-25 hours per week, as the work goes up and down with the seasons, so, like most other people, she needs multiple jobs to get by.

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I'm not sure what semi-skilled jobs are--

Ds makes under $3 an hour, plus tips, working as a waiter in a sports-themed restaurant (where I'd say an average dinner bill for two probably amts to about $25, and people park in their seats for games, so he doesn't make much in tips).

Nanny jobs here, full time, live-out, pay about $400-700 a week.


I don't know what minimum wage is--isn't it up to about $7.25 now? Wouldn't most non-tip jobs run about that much an hour? I do remember when $10 an hour seemed like a lot--not so much, now.

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Aussie $ is on par with the U.S. at the moment.


Unskilled adult wages are around $20 an hour.

13-15 yo wages- $6 -$10 an hour.

My 15yo son earns $13 an hour working for a reticulation company owned by friends. They pay him more than they need to but they put his wages up when they saw how well he worked.

Dd16 works for the same company doing bookwork, and gets $20 an hour- has done since she was 14. Again, the business belongs to friends and they value my kids.

McDonalds for both of them might pay them $12 an hour at most if they worked there for quite a while.


Still...it seems a lot more than what is earned over there. Tipping is not so common here though.

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When I was a kid in Michigan it was easy to find jobs. I had a paper route from the time I was 10. Now you have to be 18 (at least in Florida) and it doesn't even pay as well. Most of the kids around me (including myself) detasseled corn every summer from the time we were 14 and would make around $2000 for six weeks work - over 20 years ago. I don't think that pays anywhere near as well any more. My starting pay as a 15 year old in the hospitality industry was more than anyone would make now here in Florida even with experience. Most waiter/waitress jobs in Florida start around $4.00 an hour plus tips - and raises are rare. The farm work around here pays so little, I honestly don't know how people survive even putting extended families in one house. And I babysat off and on through high school but we are uncomfortable with the idea of our girls babysitting anyone outside the family these days. I've found the entire workforce atmosphere is very different today. But maybe it is just the difference between the two states. Of course, both Michigan and Florida are really suffering right now. I don't see any way our kids can hope to save thousands of dollars while in high school the way I and the kids I knew were able to - and it has nothing to do with work ethic, just opportunity. I suppose if it is important to them they will simply have to become more creative than I needed to be. :)

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DD has a job working the front desk at her dance studio for minimum wage ($7.25). She answers phones, accepts payments and cleans up at the end of the night (vacuuming and emptying garbage). She could probably get a retail job making more but she has some strange hours that she's available because of dance, cheer and school.


She has a friend who waitresses for $7.25/hour plus tips at a diner type restaurant (Johnny Rockets). She makes very good money since it is located inside a very upscale mall. A lot of food service workers around here start with a base of minimum wage and get tips as well.


I could get a job doing stockwork for $10/hour pretty easily. Pizza delivery pays $10-12/hour plus tips (although it is considered hazard pay to an extent - can be a dangerous job).


I used to delivery newspapers and made about $400/week. This involved working 2 hours a day Monday to Saturday (at 3am) and 3-4 hours on Sunday morning (starting around 2am). The bad part was it was every single day of the year, no holidays off. If you couldn't delivery you had to hire someone to cover for you and they usually took at least 2 days worth of your pay and even more if it was Sunday or a holiday. Unskilled but you had to be able to drive.


There's a lot of retail and restaurant places looking for help around here. Even before the holiday rush started.

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My friend's son loads truck for UPS and makes ~$9/hour. Daughter's friend works for a local farmer making $8.25/hour (the minimum wage in CT.) My kids babysit and petsit and earn between $6-10/hour. Our friend owns a masonry company and pays his laborers ~$15/hour.


I earned $3/hour at my first job back in... oh, never mind. ;)

Edited by Mejane
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Min wage around here I *think* is $7.10/hour. Even in the jobs I have had that involved me getting a college certificate/diploma and had experience in I only made around $10-11/hour. If there wasn't gov't top ups right now for daycare workers at me skill/experience level I would be only getting $11/hour and that is with a college certificate and 20 years experience.

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It really depends on the job and especially the English skills required. If it's something that doesn't require English proficiency, then minimum wage (or even below if they're getting paid cash under the table). If it's something that requires good English, then $15-$20/hr. seems the norm.

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