My feed

to access all these features


To not agree that anyone can do lower paid jobs and top jobs have to pay well as few people can do them?

206 replies

CheekboneMagazine · 07/02/2024 00:45

Following on from the 6 figure thread and a comment about justifying these wages.
I get annoyed by hearing this over and over.
I'm a social worker on 28K. I don't think everyone could do my job. Or do it well. Today my day has consisted of getting a small child to trust me enough in a half hour visit in order to talk to me about their feelings, speaking to an unaccompanied asylum seeker about benefits with no translator available, writing a report for court, being sworn at repeatedly by a teenager who was under the influence and chairing a multidisciplinary meeting with police, school, local authorities, NHS etc. I have to be able to talk to parents about their drug screening results without them feeling judged and disengaging, yet be able to turn around and hold my own with solicitors and judges.
I have to be relatable to people who are in the midst of a mental health crisis or addiction, but also professional and articulate. I have to be flexible and adapt to the many urgent referrals which come in but I cannot let any of my regular contact or statutory visits breach timeframes.

I'm certain that not people many could be teachers or nurses or air hostesses either. I'm certain I would make a terrible barista or bank clerk! Many doctors I know say that they wouldn't have the skills to be their own secretaries or P.A's.

These jobs are not poorly paid because they are unskilled or because anyone could do them. They are poorly paid because they are traditionally done by women and/or because they don't make anyone else substantially richer. In fact I really struggle to think of a female dominated profession which pays well. Maybe accountancy?

OP posts:
Ginmonkeyagain · 07/02/2024 07:41

CEOs often get paid for it to be their fault if something goes wrong. Also the company own you. We are not massively high powered as an org, but our CEOs diary makes me shudder - every week there is UK or foreign travel, evening dinners and meetings, v early morning starts (think 4am).

AIstolemylunch · 07/02/2024 07:42

YANBU. I work with a load of men on way more than 100K in IT management and most of them are absolute fuckwits, I promise you. They do nothing to justify that salary and spend their time waffling and slopey shouldering things onto the minions below (who to be fair earn around 100K and do work hard for it). Their only skill is to be full of self confidence and bluster and have a penis. Boris Johnson types.

Alcyoneus · 07/02/2024 07:43

Why is it surprising that jobs generating wealth and money are paid well? They are paid well because fewer can and will do them. None of this is new news.

Jellycatspyjamas · 07/02/2024 07:44

On a lower level my experience of head teachers is they are the most incompetent person in the building, hated the job and therefore put all their energy into doing courses so they could get promoted out of the classroom.

Thats a pretty cynical view, I can’t praise my kids HT highly enough. She has a positive, well motivated team, is involved with the kids day by day, knows all of them by name. She makes herself available to parents and works wonders with very limited resources. She is an excellent leader and educator - I’d clone her if I could.

rickershocker · 07/02/2024 07:52

I earn what a speciality registrar near the end of their training earns. I didn't study beyond A levels, no other accreditations. I went to work for a professional services firm and have worked in a number of departments there over the years. I needed some specialist knowledge in some areas that I gleaned on the job and my lack of university degree or other never held me back.

Now I'm paid what I'm paid because of my character. I'm approachable, practical and I deliver consistently. Those skills are recognised by the exec as contributing to the success of the business. They're paying for my experience and personality, not for specialist skills,

It's down to how much money you help your employer make

MrsJellybee · 07/02/2024 07:54

Jobs that largely require soft skills which are difficult to measure and are ‘nonprofit’ pay less. It’s not fair, but it has always been thus.

As a teacher, I was the only class a boy bullied for being gay would attend as he said my classroom was the only ‘safe’ classroom in the school… I was the teacher asked for to wait for the police with her 15-year-old girl who had just been raped in the park on her way to school. She asked for me by name. I didn’t even teach her… I was the first person in which a girl confided her pregnancy. She refused to leave my classroom for two days and we had to have work sent in from other subjects… The first person a boy confided in that his father had died the night before. Sent to school as usual by mum as parents estranged. I (gladly)spent lunchtime trying to find elusive SLT to trigger safeguarding

How do you measure this? Should I have received a ‘bonus’? These events are beyond money.

I was never management material. I tried and failed at that. Not ruthless enough. Never climbed the ladder in teaching. Stayed on teacher pay-scale.

PurpleBugz · 07/02/2024 07:54

Alcyoneus · 07/02/2024 07:43

Why is it surprising that jobs generating wealth and money are paid well? They are paid well because fewer can and will do them. None of this is new news.


But teachers and childcare and social workers do jobs that create money. It's just not valued. Teachers teach all the CEOs etc of the next generation without education how are all these well paid people getting the job? Childcare enables these same high paid workers to go to work and do their jobs. Childcare started education so again helps build the skills the future earners will need. Social workers try keep families together, a good one will save untold money for the tax payer by getting families and children help and support before they are at crisis and needing expensive emergency interventions. Caters for the elderly or disabled enable family members to keep working. Without HCA all the 'non skilled' drudgery would take away time from nurses and doctors.

I hate this attitude the lowest paid don't create wealth. And don't forget the unpaid work of many women caring responsibilities and house worke enabling their men to earn these obscene salaries. Without us the country couldn't function and no one would be generating wealth.

Tumbleweed101 · 07/02/2024 07:55

Childcare works are starting to vote with their feet. It is very hard to recruit qualified staff now because the pay is so low. Even management only get a few pence more than min wage and unqualified staff. It’s a professional role without professional wages and people are finding more money in other jobs or at least less stressful jobs for the same money.

The government really needs to address this as childcare spaces are reducing even more with the new funding that is being offered this year.

MooseAndSquirrelLoveFlannel · 07/02/2024 07:55

I do a job where I have to deal with similar issues to you OP, really tough conversations and I take verbal abuse and threats daily. I'm "well paid" for my role, compared to other providers but it feels underpaid for what I deal with and certainly isn't high paid. I earn just a bit more than you do.

The problem will always be, more salary costs means more expense for services or products. People want the service and products, but to not pay the cost for them if they're too high.

Merrymouse · 07/02/2024 07:55

Alcyoneus · 07/02/2024 07:43

Why is it surprising that jobs generating wealth and money are paid well? They are paid well because fewer can and will do them. None of this is new news.


They are often paid well because there is more money sloshing around in a particular field, or because an imbalance of power.

The Post Office scandal is a good example of imbalance of power. The people at the top were monumentally incompetent and will cost the country well over a billion pounds. But there if you can get

Merrymouse · 07/02/2024 07:59


the merry-go-round of board room jobs you will be well rewarded. They even gave themselves bonuses for just turning up at the enquiry, which was their legal duty.

DinnaeFashYersel · 07/02/2024 07:59

I earn 6 figures. I'm at the top end of my career. I didn't earn that for many years.

Could you do my job? Yes if you trained for it and worked your way up.

Could I do your job or the job of a teacher, nurse, etc? yes absolutely if trained for those jobs.

I don't want to. And you don't want my career or you would have chosen my path.

If you are in £28k you are not at the top of your career. If you chose the promotion path then you will in time and with experience be able to earn a lot more.

In general should professionals like teaching, social work and nursing be paid more - yes.

Validus · 07/02/2024 08:00

CheekboneMagazine · 07/02/2024 00:58

@MiaGee but plenty of men I know do the job they like and are good at, and are paid well. It's not impossible. Why does society not value these professions? After all we all pay for it? If your child needs an EHCP or a doctors appointment or an NHS autism assessment you will need the skills of a low paid public sector worker.

Men tend to pick high prestige jobs that are valued by capitalists. So they get the money.

rickershocker · 07/02/2024 08:04

It's indirect wealth creation though @PurpleBugz and you could say it about absolute anything. A mechanic fixes my car enabling me to get to work to help generate wealth etc.

I'm not saying it's right, but it's basic economics.

Spendonsend · 07/02/2024 08:05

I agree with you OP.

I think as a society we are very poor a valuing certain skills that arent examable easily too.

I think a lot of these high paid jobs are high because they create money, not because they are unusually skilled /technical that so very few people could do the work. There are plenty of people who do jobs that are equally skilled, qualified, technical that are paid far less. So i think its the industry thats the main factor not the individual.

transformandriseup · 07/02/2024 08:10

I agree, accounts assistant here and payroll. Trying to explain things to staff is a nightmare but yet poorly paid.

Noicant · 07/02/2024 08:11

Yeah I’d agree that not just anyone can do some lower paid jobs well but I don’t necessarily agree that well paid jobs can be done by most people either, a few may duds may sneak through ofcourse.

nappyvalley2024 · 07/02/2024 08:13

The problem is, if social/care work paid massive salaries it would attract the wrong kind of people. Would you really want someone caring for your child/elderly relative just because it paid well.

MorningSunshineSparkles · 07/02/2024 08:15

I could not stock shelves, care for the elderly, be a teaching assistant. I cannot work in a shop or factory, I cannot pick up litter or do any manual labour.

I can do your taxes, I can do your bookkeeping, I can write you reports on why you’re making loses instead of profit. I can sit and help you manage your finances and I can advise you on which investments are safe and which are wildly unsafe but would make you a ridiculous amount of profit if the market was in your favour.

There is no reason that the jobs listed in the first paragraph should be lower paid than an accountant or bookkeeper. I cannot do the first set of jobs because of physical disability, the difficulties of those are insurmountable for me. No, not everyone could do them and they should be recognised as much much more valuable than they are.

Merrymouse · 07/02/2024 08:15

I hate this attitude the lowest paid don't create wealth. And don't forget the unpaid work of many women caring responsibilities and house worke enabling their men to earn these obscene salaries. Without us the country couldn't function and no one would be generating wealth.

Yes. I particularly hate the simplistic idea idea that higher tax payers are paying for all public services. We all depend on public services and many are in effect subsidised by low paid workers.

Bagpuss16 · 07/02/2024 08:17

Could not agree more - I work as one to one support with children who have SEN, the job is both physically and emotionally demanding. I have over 20 years experience and a relevant degree and yet I am paid minimum wage.

PrincessCharlette · 07/02/2024 08:18

Depends on the job. There are shed loads of basic jobs that literally anybody can do and then there are skilled or even professional jobs with lower pay, usually but no exclusively, in the public sector. The issue with public sector pay is that it comes from public purse, which is tax payers money. So you either take it from somewhere else or increase taxation.

VAT on private schools raises virtually nothing and hitting NonDoms is a one hit wonder before they move everything, including their focus and investments, off shore.

But there are benefits to public sector jobs. My husband has been made redundant 4 times and has had to start from scratch every time, only as you get older that gets more and more difficult. Pensions are another benefit and sickness. Time off to over illness, in many commercial operations, just moves you to the top of the redundancy list. Seen it happen.


Don’t want to miss threads like this?


Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

Catza · 07/02/2024 08:18

CheekboneMagazine · 07/02/2024 01:17

@Jellycatspyjamas but I'll never get anywhere near six figures. Neither will any nurses, teachers (maybe some??) or OTs.

No but we can and should get more than band 5 pay. My advice is to agressively apply for promotions. I moved to band 7 within 18 months of qualifying. 9 months at band 5, 9 months at band 6. As soon as I saw an opportunity, I would go for an interview to “see what it’s like to apply for a higher band when I am ready”. Both times I got the post.
Its not amazing money, it never will be. But at least I am getting something which approaches decent salary for my level of skill.

ichundich · 07/02/2024 08:18

Yes, it's all about the revenue that you can (potentially) make. Hence why public sector workers get paid rather poorly.

3WildOnes · 07/02/2024 08:20

In my team at work there are a number of SWs. I think they are all paid between 40k-60k. You are right at the beginning of you SW career, there will be opportunities to progress and earn more.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.