People Are Sharing How Much They Get Paid For Their Jobs And, Wow, There Is So Much To Unpack

Anyone who is employed likely has a lot to say about whether their income is reasonable given the nature of their work. And when employees are transparent about pay and job satisfaction, it's both refreshing and insightful for others to hear.

Marlon from "marlon" says "it's time we get paid"
Marlon from "marlon" says "it's time we get paid"


I recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share what their occupation is, how much they get paid, and if they think the job is worthwhile overall. Here are some of the eye-opening comments I got in response.

1."Dental assistant, 17 years in the field. I make $28,000 a year. I love the field, but there are issues with getting paid fairly. I love working with private offices versus the corporate office. The issue is dental is expensive, and dental insurance doesn't cover jack. And a lot of people, which I understand because I'm the same, cannot afford the procedure."

"I was a single momma for the first 15 years of my babe's life, and I never had enough to further my career in this field – my only regret." —exnxl13

2."Self-employed hairstylist. I bring home between $70K–$90K a year as of now. It has its drawbacks: long hours, never-ending workload, exhaustion — both mental and physical, no provided health insurance, no PTO, taxes, etc., but the pros outweigh the cons."

a hair stylist cuts a customer's hair

3."I am a leasing agent for one of the country’s largest rental manager companies. I truly care for the residents in my complex but my management does not. I bear the brunt of resident issues and complaints. I have been screamed at and cussed out over minor issues, and for things I have no control over, like people paying their rent late. I am also in charge of sensitive information for residents and applicants. Last year I made about $45,000, which includes about $9,000 in commission."

"The standard income requirement for getting an apartment is three times the monthly rent. As an employee of the company, I would not qualify for the cheapest apartment in my area based on my income. And these are not luxury apartments! I get the benefit of rent discount, but the increases in rent are more than the cost of living raises. I can barely afford my rent with the discount, and I am stuck until I find something that will pay more to cover the rent without the discount." —izrakel2

4."I’m a doctor of physical therapy — seven years in the field. I’ll make about $120K this year, only because I work PRN or part-time status for multiple companies as a supervising PT at nursing homes and treating in outpatient. You have to grind to make above $80K in most areas, so unless you love it, it’s not worth the student loans."

A physical therapist helps a patient lift a weight

5."I’m a veterinary technician. I make around $40,000 a year. I work long hours (12-hour shifts). I do everything! I am a nurse, anesthesiologist, an X-ray technician, a maid, a surgery assistant, a teacher, a mortician, a midwife, a dental hygienist, phlebotomist, a pharmacy technician, and an advocate for those who can’t speak. I deal with emotional people on a daily basis. I get yelled at when an owner can’t pay for a service and am told I don’t love animals. I can go from sitting in a room crying with a client that just lost their beloved pet to laughing with a new pet owner in the next room. I love what I do, but the pay is not worth it some days. The veterinary medicine field has some of the highest suicide rates. Be kind."


6."I’m a marriage and family therapist. At this point in my life, after MANY years, I make six figures. But it’s a low-paying career. Before I make what I make now, it was $50,000, and I lived at home with family because it’s California. You have to keep switching jobs to get a higher salary. Only get into this profession if it’s a passion. Otherwise, it’s gonna suck."

A therapist speaks with a couple who is holding hands
Fiordaliso / Getty Images

7."NHS nurse. My salary is £33,000, but this year I earned £60,000 and the year before £70,000. The reason being I do just bank shifts and earn more depending on how desperate the hospital is. I really enjoy my job and am always learning things, the most recent being 'hot potato voice.' I get a lot of good feedback and often have matrons fighting over me to staff their areas, as I have critical care skills."

A nurse assists a hospital patient

8."I’m a nurse in the UK and earn £27,000 a year, before tax. I work in the ICU and adore my job, but it’s exhausting and progression is slow. The NHS is struggling, and staff shortages are worsening. Nearly everybody I went to school with is earning more than me and seems happier."


9."I’m an elementary teacher. I make $67,000 and am on year four. Pay seems good, but where I work homes start at $700K … Sometimes the money doesn’t seem worth it. I’m disrespected, abused, exhausted, and worst of all NO support! This is why there’s a teacher shortage."

A teacher grows tired as he grades papers at his desk
Mango Productions / Getty Images

10."I make about $48,000 a year as a nanny, not counting bonuses. If you make a career of it and find good families, you can support yourself decently well. The downside is there is no HR or anyone higher up, so you really have to advocate for yourself, and sometimes the parents can be a pain. It’s amazing and rewarding to raise little humans, though, and to feel like you’re making a positive difference in a kid’s life."

A woman dances with a young child at home

11."I’m a four-time James Beard-nominated chef and co-own a restaurant with my pastry chef wife. We make $47K each."

A chef prepares a meal at a restaurant
Andresr / Getty Images

12."Medical science liaison, essentially an expert within a therapeutic area for a pharmaceutical company. It’s a non-commercial role on the medical/research team. A doctorate degree is required for the role (M.D., PharmD or PA/NP with a doctorate). I make ~$250,000 a year. I love it!"

"The flexibility is amazing, and I get to spend each day talking science and research with practitioners. I was in clinical practice for 10 years prior, and it has become so difficult to be a clinician. It’s great to still be in medicine without being required to see a patient every 15 minutes while also being buried in notes, lab results, and phone calls." —cardiacpa

13."I’m a bartender, and I make roughly $38K–$40K a year depending on busy seasons and which bar I’m working at. It’s been worth it for a while because I love talking to people and creating drinks. Also mostly because I can make a good amount of money in a shorter amount of time. But bartending five days a week has given me sciatica, nerve damage in my feet, plantar fasciitis, back pain, and emotional exhaustion at the end of the day that ensures that I can’t get anything done on my days off without massaging my feet into being functional again, and I don’t go a day without experiencing immense pain in my body from just standing up or walking due to the constant pressure on my feet."

A bartender prepares a drink

14."I work in the dining department of a local college. My job is to cook and serve the food that the college students eat in the dining halls. It's not an Ivy League school by far, but it's still one of the better schools in the state. I love my job and love talking to the students as I serve them food each day. I have some say in what food is available to them, and being able to watch the joy on their faces when they get to eat some of their favorite foods because of me is honestly one of my favorite parts of my job. But the students show me much more appreciation than I've ever gotten from my supervisors."

"There are restaurants in the area that are now hiring at the same pay that we are. Plus since it's a college, we have all the same breaks as the students, so I don't work all summer, which means no paycheck. I make $17 per hour, and I would have quit already if it wasn't for the students." —jazzylovely714

15."Executive assistant. $80K. Not fulfilling in any way and the work-life balance sucks, but I’m kinda stuck. My gut says, 'not worth it,' but I guess being housed, clothed, and fed counts for something."


16."I'm an insurance authorization specialist. I submit authorizations so patients can get visits for home health services. I make $22 per hour. My job is easy and I work from home, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't dull."

A man looks bored as he works on his laptop at home
Johner Images / Getty Images/Johner RF

17."I manage the scoring for paper state standardized tests (picture SATs, but for states). I also manage my own team to do a variety of tasks. I like the job, but other people have left for competitors and make quite a bit more. I currently make $65K a year."


18."In 2021 I started a business making meals for disability group homes. Within a year I had a corporate contract yielding six figures in revenue and was paying myself more than I’d ever made at a job. This month I took a risk and expanded into a larger space which will allow me to take more clients and accept EBT. It means that my salary is now zero until I get that next contract and I’m basically breaking even, but I’m confident in my idea. I pay my bills working part time at a university."


19."I’m a supervisor of programs for a large nonprofit in Southern California and make $80K plus performance bonus. I have my B.A. and a master's degree with seven years of related experience. I supervise a small team and manage local, state, and federal grants. The work-life balance is great — I’m hybrid, so it gives me a lot of flexibility with other personal priorities that come up. We’re mostly evaluated on metrics, and I’ve been a high performer which gives me a lot more independence in my work. I’m a new supervisor as well, so the pay range will be higher as I gain more experience and/or consider higher positions within or outside of my organization."

a dad works from home with his daughter on his lap

20."Community college English instructor in North Carolina. I make ~$50K for working nine months out of the year (summer classes are optional for extra income). Absolutely no opportunities for merit-based raises, though — only if the state legislature decides we deserve a measly raise, which has only happened 3 out of the 10 years I've been teaching (and is usually no more than 2–3%, which is not enough to keep up with inflation or the cost of living!). I absolutely LOVE my job!"

"I love working with students, teaching a variety of classes, and having a slightly different schedule every year. I need novelty to stay engaged, so being able to start fresh each semester with a new group of students really helps! But the worst part about my job is the administration. A bunch of career bureaucrats who have no teaching experience making stupid decisions about curriculum and policies that pile more and more work on faculty ... " —prolixitie

21."Compliance specialist for retirement plans. I have a B.A. and 15 years of experience, and I make $90K plus bonuses (and retirement benefits). In my experience, the retirement industry has changed a lot since the early 2000s. It used to be much slower, and change came over decades. Even in my 20s, I was treated respectfully by my clients. But with so many people recognizing the federal retirement system can’t be relied upon, and the US government’s recent push to make retirement the burden of employers, change is happening way faster than the industry can handle, and integrity is crashing through the floor."

A woman talks with two coworkers in her office
Violetastoimenova / Getty Images

22."I’m a master’s-level board-certified music therapist with multiple advanced trainings and certifications in trauma treatment, and years of specialized clinical experience. I work full-time with victims of child abuse. I do things required of child therapists, including designing treatment plans, co-treat with other providers, advocate in IEP meetings, provide trauma in services in the community, provide psychoeducation to families, etc., AND the music therapy requirements, including creating individualized music experiences to meet treatment goals, practice (piano, guitar, voice) to keep my musicianship sharp, keep up with new repertoire by constantly learning client-requested music, etc. People really underestimate the work that goes into being an MT-BC."

"The kicker: I work at a nonprofit, which I love because families get services for free. But this means I make less than $45K a year. MTs in bigger facilities make twice what I do. I love what I do, but I really struggle financially." —stephso

23."I work as a senior level 'advisor' for an energy company and make around $160K. It’s not particularly fulfilling work a lot of the time, but I do like my work and think the company is on the right track. The pay helps me feel that way."


24."I’m a finance and HR specialist for a well-off school district making $52K a year. I’m contracted for eight-hour days, but I work all hours of every day and am split between two locations. On paper I’m very lucky, especially considering I’m still able to work from home some days and have decent health benefits (albeit expensive). However, I wear so many hats, and the school’s culture is so so toxic. If you’re not a teacher, you’re not treated well."

A woman puts her hand to her forehead in frustration during the work day

Three cheers for transparency! If you also feel like sharing what your job is, your salary, and if you believe the work is worth it, post it in the comments below!

Editor's Note: Responses have been lightly edited for length and/or clarity.