For many Americans, the ability to work overtime is a huge financial advantage. The Fair Labor Standards Act states that you must be paid one and a half times your standard pay rate for any work done in excess of forty hours during a workweek. This increased rate provides hard workers with a valuable incentive to continue to put in the long hours.
While there are a chunk of professions that are considered exempt from overtime benefits, there are still a number of career paths that you can choose that are eligible for overtime pay. Below are a handful of those careers that not only are eligible for overtime, but also offer a lot of potential overtime opportunities.
EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)
An EMT, or Emergency Medical Technician, is a fast-paced job with a lot of perks. The first perk is that it is an adrenaline-filled job that gets you out from behind a desk. EMT’s respond to emergency medical situations. Obviously, this career path is not for the faint of heart, but can be an extremely rewarding for those that have the fearlessness to take it on.
If you are looking for overtime pay, this also happens to be a great job to receive it. EMT’s usually average about eight hours of overtime per week. That means you are earning a full days work of pay at the overtime rate during each week. That can go a long way towards helping you out financially.
To break this down financially, let’s say you earn $20 per hour as an EMT. You will work forty hours at that rate and then an additional eight hours at $30 per hour. That is a grand total of $1,040 per week gross pay.
For starters, there are a lot of different types of truck drivers out there. The one type that has a lot of overtime is a refuse truck driver. You may also know this type of driver as a sanitation laborer, rubbish collector, and waste collector. The low educational requirements to land this job coupled with the relatively solid pay make it a dirty, albeit sought after job. An middle of the road salary for a waste collector is just under $40,000. This is already a decent salary on top of the fact that almost 55 percent of those drivers also work overtime.
Manufacturing Production Lead
Production leads for manufacturing earn similar wages to the previous mentioned truck drivers, coming it at $37,000. This median pay is equivalent to about $17 per hour. If you aren’t quite sure what a production lead does it may be because they can also be referred to as a product line manager, production supervisor, or production scheduler.
About 60 percent of production leads have reported working overtime, giving you a good shot at earning overtime pay. Generally this role will oversee production workers to ensure safety, quality, and cost goals. The interesting part of this role is that not only do you earn overtime, but you also have the ability to allocate overtime to employees under your supervision.
You will find millwrights in factories, power plants, and construction sites. Their job is to install, assemble, and disassemble machinery for these facilities. The educational requirements of a millwright is typically a four year apprenticeship in which you would learn the trade. With a middle of the road compensation of just over $50,000. 55 percent of millwrights reported working overtime, proving that this profession has adequate opportunities to earn extra money.
Finally, another profession that provides ample overtime opportunities is construction. Overall construction foreman, laborers, welders, cutters, brazers, and solderers can expect to have five potential overtime hours thrown their way each week. This holds true for HVAC technicians as well.
Unfortunately, a lot of this work is seasonal depending on the location of the work. So while construction workers may have more year-round stability in temperate climates such as Southern California, they can expect to have much more disparate schedules in the Midwest and East Coast.
While you shouldn’t base your future career based on what job can earn you the most overtime, it certainly doesn’t hurt to know when making your decision. One thing to keep in mind is that it is important to track all of your hours worked, especially your overtime hours. While not common, there are numbers of cases in which an employer mistakenly or purposefully withheld overtime pay from employees. In these situations you would need to first approach your employer. If the issue is not resolved, your next step would be to get in touch with an overtime lawyer or a labor relations official in your state.