GOBankingRates

These Hourly Workers Benefit the Most From Overtime

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The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the professional lives of nearly every American. Many workers, for instance, work their jobs remotely. Data from a Gallup Panel noted that 62% of employed Americans currently work from home. But while working from home is becoming increasingly common, it also comes with its own set of challenges: homeschooling kids, barking dogs and spouses who wander willy-nilly in and out of frame during Zoom meetings.

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Of course, these challenges pale in comparison to those who are out of jobs entirely. And although unemployment has since dropped down below 10%, it's still much higher than it was before the pandemic.

One could argue that it's the nation's essential workers who have it the worst. These workers have been forced into situations that compromise their health and that of their loved ones with little additional compensation. If they haven't lost their jobs entirely, many have to endure gruelingly long hours for wages well below the national average. Some hourly workers need overtime to make ends meet, while others, such as nursing assistants, may have no choice in the matter.

Read: How the Coronavirus Outbreak Is Devastating the Livelihood of Hourly Workers

So, now the guy who stocks shelves at the grocery store and just wants to pay his bills is risking death while keeping society from devolving into complete chaos -- all for $13 an hour. And that's not even $20 an hour pretax for overtime. It begs the question: does working overtime really pay off?

GOBankingRates looked at the median annual and hourly wage of 50 nonexempt occupations, meaning those eligible for overtime pay. Each job's overtime wage was calculated as 1.5 times their regular wage. Of course, if you have a higher-paying job, your overtime will be correlatively higher, and vice versa. However, when you consider which jobs are essential, which can be done remotely and which are likely out of work right now, it puts the devastation of hourly workers into a whole new light.

Last updated: Sept. 27, 2021

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Stockers and Order Fillers

  • Median annual wage: $27,380
  • Median hourly wage: $13.16
  • Median overtime wage: $19.74
  • Essential status: Generally essential

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Library Assistants, Clerical

  • Median annual wage: $27,490
  • Median hourly wage: $13.22
  • Median overtime wage: $19.83
  • Essential status: Generally not essential

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Tour and Travel Guides

  • Median annual wage: $27,600
  • Median hourly wage: $13.27
  • Median overtime wage: $19.91
  • Essential status: Generally not essential

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Pharmacy Aides

  • Median annual wage: $27,850
  • Median hourly wage: $13.39
  • Median overtime wage: $20.09
  • Essential status: Generally essential

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Slaughterers and Meat Packers

  • Median annual wage: $29,230
  • Median hourly wage: $14.05
  • Median overtime wage: $21.08
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Food Processing Workers

  • Median annual wage: $29,320
  • Median hourly wage: $14.09
  • Median overtime wage: $21.14
  • Essential status: Generally essential

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Nursing Assistants

  • Median annual wage: $29,660
  • Median hourly wage: $14.26
  • Median overtime wage: $21.39
  • Essential status: Generally essential

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Security Guards

  • Median annual wage: $29,680
  • Median hourly wage: $14.27
  • Median overtime wage: $21.41
  • Essential status: Essential in certain states and situations
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Couriers and Messengers

  • Median annual wage: $29,690
  • Median hourly wage: $14.28
  • Median overtime wage: $21.42
  • Essential status: Generally not essential
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Crossing Guards and Flaggers

  • Median annual wage: $29,760
  • Median hourly wage: $14.31
  • Median overtime wage: $21.47
  • Essential status: Essential in some states and situations
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Receptionists and Information Clerks

  • Median annual wage: $30,050
  • Median hourly wage: $14.45
  • Median overtime wage: $21.68
  • Essential status: Essential in some states and situations

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Grounds Maintenance Workers

  • Median annual wage: $30,890
  • Median hourly wage: $14.85
  • Median overtime wage: $22.28
  • Essential status: Essential in some states and situations
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Tellers

  • Median annual wage: $31,230
  • Median hourly wage: $15.02
  • Median overtime wage: $22.53
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Concierges

  • Median annual wage: $31,390
  • Median hourly wage: $15.09
  • Median overtime wage: $22.64
  • Essential status: Generally not essential
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Data Entry Keyers

  • Median annual wage: $33,490
  • Median hourly wage: $16.10
  • Median overtime wage: $24.15
  • Essential status: Work can often be done remotely

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Assemblers and Fabricators

  • Median annual wage: $33,710
  • Median hourly wage: $16.21
  • Median overtime wage: $24.32
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Shipping, Receiving and Inventory Clerks

  • Median annual wage: $34,190
  • Median hourly wage: $16.44
  • Median overtime wage: $24.66
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Customer Service Representatives

  • Median annual wage: $34,710
  • Median hourly wage: $16.69
  • Median overtime wage: $25.04
  • Essential status: Essential in some states and situations

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Light Truck Drivers

  • Median annual wage: $34,730
  • Median hourly wage: $16.70
  • Median overtime wage: $25.05
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Medical Assistants

  • Median annual wage: $34,800
  • Median hourly wage: $16.73
  • Median overtime wage: $25.10
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Phlebotomists

  • Median annual wage: $35,510
  • Median hourly wage: $17.07
  • Median overtime wage: $25.61
  • Essential status: Generally essential

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Construction Laborers

  • Median annual wage: $36,860
  • Median hourly wage: $17.72
  • Median overtime wage: $26.58
  • Essential status: Essential in some states and situations
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Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors

  • Median annual wage: $37,840
  • Median hourly wage: $18.19
  • Median overtime wage: $27.29
  • Essential status: Generally essential

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Financial Clerks

  • Median annual wage: $38,510
  • Median hourly wage: $18.52
  • Median overtime wage: $27.78
  • Essential status: Work can often be done remotely
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Court, Municipal and License Clerks

  • Median annual wage: $39,380
  • Median hourly wage: $18.93
  • Median overtime wage: $28.40
  • Essential status: Essential in some states and situations
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Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

  • Median annual wage: $39,850
  • Median hourly wage: $19.16
  • Median overtime wage: $28.74
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Tree Trimmers and Pruners

  • Median annual wage: $39,980
  • Median hourly wage: $19.22
  • Median overtime wage: $28.83
  • Essential status: Essential in some states and situations
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Dental Assisstants

  • Median annual wage: $40,080
  • Median hourly wage: $19.27
  • Median overtime wage: $28.91
  • Essential status: Essential in some states and situations
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Painters and Paperhangers

  • Median annual wage: $40,280
  • Median hourly wage: $19.37
  • Median overtime wage: $29.06
  • Essential status: Generally not essential
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Word Processors and Typists

  • Median annual wage: $40,340
  • Median hourly wage: $19.39
  • Median overtime wage: $29.09
  • Essential status: Essential in some states and situations

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Proofreaders and Copy Markers

  • Median annual wage: $40,630
  • Median hourly wage: $19.54
  • Median overtime wage: $29.31
  • Essential status: Work can often be done remotely

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Highway Maintenance Workers

  • Median annual wage: $40,730
  • Median hourly wage: $19.58
  • Median overtime wage: $29.37
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks

  • Median annual wage: $41,230
  • Median hourly wage: $19.82
  • Median overtime wage: $29.73
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Carpet, Floor and Tile Installers and Finishers

  • Median annual wage: $42,050
  • Median hourly wage: $20.22
  • Median overtime wage: $30.33
  • Essential status: Generally not essential
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Roofers

  • Median annual wage: $42,100
  • Median hourly wage: $20.24
  • Median overtime wage: $30.36
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Automotive Technicians and Repairers

  • Median annual wage: $42,150
  • Median hourly wage: $20.26
  • Median overtime wage: $30.39
  • Essential status: Generally essential

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Farm Equipment Mechanics and Service Technicians

  • Median annual wage: $42,200
  • Median hourly wage: $20.29
  • Median overtime wage: $30.44
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers

  • Median annual wage: $42,490
  • Median hourly wage: $20.43
  • Median overtime wage: $30.65
  • Essential status: Essential in some states and situations
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Hazardous Materials Removal Workers

  • Median annual wage: $43,900
  • Median hourly wage: $21.11
  • Median overtime wage: $31.67
  • Essential status: Generally essential

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Engine and Other Machine Assemblers

  • Median annual wage: $45,660
  • Median hourly wage: $21.95
  • Median overtime wage: $32.93
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Social Science Research Assistants

  • Median annual wage: $47,510
  • Median hourly wage: $22.84
  • Median overtime wage: $34.26
  • Essential status: Work can often be done remotely
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Construction Equipment Operators

  • Median annual wage: $48,160
  • Median hourly wage: $23.16
  • Median overtime wage: $34.74
  • Essential status: Essential in some states and situations

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Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

  • Median annual wage: $48,730
  • Median hourly wage: $23.43
  • Median overtime wage: $35.15
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Statistical Assistants

  • Median annual wage: $49,870
  • Median hourly wage: $23.97
  • Median overtime wage: $35.96
  • Essential status: Work can often be done remotely
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Meeting, Convention and Event Planners

  • Median annual wage: $50,600
  • Median hourly wage: $24.33
  • Median overtime wage: $36.50
  • Essential status: Generally not essential
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Paralegals and Legal Assistants

  • Median annual wage: $51,740
  • Median hourly wage: $24.87
  • Median overtime wage: $37.31
  • Essential status: Essential in some states and situations

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Graphic Designers

  • Median annual wage: $52,110
  • Median hourly wage: $25.05
  • Median overtime wage: $37.58
  • Essential status: Work can often be done remotely
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Electrical and Electronic Equipment Mechanics, Installers and Repairers

  • Median annual wage: $52,570
  • Median hourly wage: $25.28
  • Median overtime wage: $37.92
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters

  • Median annual wage: $55,160
  • Median hourly wage: $26.52
  • Median overtime wage: $39.78
  • Essential status: Generally essential
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Millwrights

  • Median annual wage: $55,560
  • Median hourly wage: $26.71
  • Median overtime wage: $40.07
  • Essential status: Generally essential

More From GOBankingRates

    Methodology: In order to find which hourly workers benefit the most from overtime, GOBankingRates selected a sample of 75 occupations identified in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' occupational wage and employment data which are commonly associated with hourly compensation and the possibility of overtime pay. GOBankingRates pulled BLS data on the May 2019 (1) median annual wage and (2) median hourly wage of each occupation. Then, assuming that overtime compensation would be 1.5x the regular hourly pay rate for each occupation, GOBankingRates provided estimates of the (3) median hourly overtime pay rate for each occupation. The 50 occupations with the highest estimated overtime rate were then ranked on factor No. 3, with No. 1 being the occupation with the highest overtime rate and No. 50 being the occupation with the lowest. All data was collected on and up to date as of May 6, 2020.