Minimum Wage Jobs, Maximum Skills Required

I’ve heard it over and over again, “Minimum skills, minimum wage.” This line has been repeated to explain why minimum wage shouldn’t be raised further. But what is bothering me is the fact that they seem to think that fast food is the only minimum wage job there is.

NEWS FLASH: It’s not.

I have worked a few jobs in my life (none of them fast food), and they have all been minimum wage (or less). I have been a counter girl at a pizza place, a cashier, a cook, a library assistant, a bartender and a butcher block attendant. All of these jobs have paid minimum wage (or less).

Now I am not here to argue the fact about whether or not minimum wage should go up or not, that isn’t the point of the article. My point is to show people that fast food isn’t the only minimum wage job out there.

In fact, these jobs require more than “minimum skill,” and according to the mantra, should get more than “minimum wage.”

1. Emergency Medical Technician
Yeah, these are the people who come running out of the ambulance to try and save your life when you royally mess up. These people are Godsends, and if they aren’t volunteers, they start at the bare minimum.

2. Certified Nurse Assistant
Another health care profession, that, according to, makes an average of $10 an hour. That means that there are people in the profession who do in fact make that minimum wage. These are the people taking care of the elderly and the sick, but that can’t take more than minimum skill, right?

3. Pharmacy Technician
These people figure out how many pills should go in your bottle, and then they make sure that you get the right amount of pills, and the right kind of pills. (Viagra, Vicodin, whats the difference?) But anyone could do that, right?

4. Automobile Mechanic
This is for all you folks who don’t have the talented father that I do (shout out to you, Dad!) to help you when your car breaks down. You have to be able to take it to a mechanic and get it fixed as soon as possible. Now I am assuming since you don’t know how to fix your car, we can agree that this isn’t a minimum skill job? Well, on average an auto mechanic makes $10.95 an hour, but the bottom 10 percent only make $7.78 (Psst. That’s less than minimum wage, at least in New York).

These are just a few of the many examples that show even if you are willing to put in a long day of hard work, you most certainly can still end up well below the poverty line. But if that sounds like a good idea, then please keep fighting for minimum wage to stay the way it is. Meanwhile, I will be fighting for those who are the basis of our blue-collar working class to have a chance at a decent life.

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