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Fast food strike: 5 tough jobs that pay less than $15 an hour

There’s been a ton of talk this year about the fast food industry. No, not about the lackluster foodstuffs (except for Braum’s and Whataburger, they are always delicious), but about the pay many fast food workers receive for the jobs they do.

Whether they’re taking orders, flipping burgers or cleaning up messes, fast food workers typically start at the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour. Some establishments pay more, depending on local laws and such. Either way, many fast food workers aren’t happy with the pay they receive.

They’re so unhappy, there are currently worker strikes happening in 150 cities across the nation.

What do the workers want? About $15 an hour to start.

This write up wants to illustrate what other jobs out there pay less than $15 an hour (which comes out to about $31,200 a year when considering 40-hour work weeks), so the fast food strikes can be put into perspective.


Nurse’s assistant

They’re kind of vital, since they help out entire medical teams with caring for sick folk, handling records and fielding phone calls. They are also subjected to some pretty emotional things at times, such as terminally ill children, disabled people and heartbroken family members.

They get paid about $11.73 an hour ($24,400 annual).


Teacher’s aide

As class sizes increase, so does the need for teacher aides. These assistants help teachers instruct the future of America.

Yet they have an median salary of $23,640 a year (just above $11 an hour).



You know what they do.

But did you know the bottom 10 percent earn less than $23,000 a year (about $11 an hour)?


Bus drivers

They get you, your kids, your neighbors and tons of other people from point A to point B.

Median pay is just shy of $30,000 ($14.21 an hour).


Assemblers and fabricators

The scale you stand on in the doctor’s office was put together by a fabricator. The desk your child sits in at school was, too. And that bus your kid takes to school has an engine in it that was assembled by a fabricator. When you call 911 for support from the fire department, they arrive on vehicles put together by assemblers.

These people make about $13.74 an hour, or about $28,580 a year.

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Richard Hall

Richard Hall is an award-winning newsroom developer, editor and blogger for NewsOK. He was born in Austin, Texas, spent his childhood in southern California and has lived in Norman since 1999. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2008. Read more ›