6 Reasons Why Hard Workers Get Paid Less at Work

Reasons Why Hard Workers Get Paid Less at Work
Share This Post

Hardworking employees frequently don’t get paid what they’re worth. We need to understand why this keeps happening.

Pay in many businesses is based on performance instead than seniority or length of service. This implies that new workers who perform well are rewarded with better compensation even before they’ve proven themselves.

However, many hardworking employees need more skills to negotiate their salaries and seek pay increases effectively. In addition, they frequently work without rest breaks for long periods.

Many businesses believe that employees who put in extra effort should be compensated financially. Despite this, studies reveal that such workers are paid less than their less-dedicated counterparts.

Although it’s often the case, there needs to be an assurance that those who put in the extra effort will be rewarded with greater financial success. They may miss promotions and pay increases, even if they’re the best candidate for the job.

This article explains six reasons hardworking employees get paid less.

Land More Interviews With A Professional Resume

Get a professional resume review from a certified career expert

1. They Don’t Have a Degree

Hardworking employees get paid less because they don’t have a degree. Many employers believe that people with degrees are more qualified than others.

Some employers think that having a college degree makes you more intelligent. However, research shows that this isn’t true.

A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that individuals with higher levels of education earn significantly more money than those with lower levels of education. The researchers also discovered that people with high school diplomas made $2,000 more yearly than those with only a high school diploma.

People with bachelor’s degrees made an average of $3,500 more per year than those who had just graduated from high school. Those who held master’s degrees earned an additional $4,200 annually.

People with doctoral degrees were paid $5,700 more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Individuals with professional degrees received an additional $7,800 per year.

Employers assume that people with higher levels of education are smarter than those with lesser education. As a result, they tend to pay them less.

2. Their Skills Are Not Valued

Another reason why hardworking employees are paid less at work is that their skills aren’t valued.

Some companies believe that highly skilled employees are worth more than those who are not as talented. For example, one company was so impressed with the skills of its sales representatives that it decided to pay them a commission rather than base their salary on how much business they brought in.

The company reasoned that these salespeople were worth more than other employees because they generated more revenue for the firm.

Unfortunately, this approach only sometimes works. Some highly skilled employees still earn less than their less-skilled colleagues.

For instance, a recent survey revealed that sales managers earn about $10,000 less than their non-managerial peers. These managers supervise their subordinates and ensure that they perform well.

However, many sales managers feel undervalued because they need more authority to hire or fire their team members. This means they must rely on their subordinates to do their job properly.

As a result, they receive little recognition for their contributions. In addition, they cannot make significant changes to improve their teams’ performance.

As a result, they often earn less than their less experienced counterparts.

3. They Lack Experience

Yet another reason why hardworking employees earn less at work is that they lack experience.

Many employers prefer to hire new graduates over seasoned professionals. They believe that fresh talent will be easier to train and motivate. This may seem like a good idea, but it’s detrimental to your career.

New hires typically start out making less than their older colleagues. This is because they need time to learn the ropes before they’re able to contribute effectively. In addition, they may need help finding opportunities to grow within their current position.

To advance at work, you’ll need to prove yourself first. You should try to get promoted to positions where you can gain valuable experience.

You might even consider starting your own business if you can succeed without help.

4. Unfair Compensation Practices

Some employers use unfair compensation practices to keep their workers from advancing.

One common practice is to give raises based on merit instead of seniority. You don’t deserve a raise if you’ve worked for a long period.

Instead, you should focus on improving your skills. This way, you’ll be able to demonstrate that you’re worthy of a promotion.

Another common practice is to offer bonuses to high performers. However, some people are reluctant to accept such offers because they fear losing their jobs if they fail to meet expectations.

This is especially true when layoffs are looming. As a result, they may choose to stay put rather than risk being laid off.

To avoid this problem, ask your boss what he expects from you. He should also explain how his bonus system works so that you know whether you qualify for one.

You should then decide whether you’d like to participate in the program. If you do, you should strive to exceed your manager’s expectations.

Your boss will likely reward you with a higher salary once you’ve proven that you can perform better.

5. They Do Not Ask for More Money

Hardworking employees sometimes find themselves stuck in dead-end jobs.

They may need to realize that they could make more money by asking for a pay increase.

Even though they’re already earning a lot, they may still be willing to negotiate. After all, they’re only human.

However, most companies will budge if you threaten to quit.

The best thing you can do is to look around for other job opportunities. If you feel underpaid, you should speak with your supervisor about it.

They may be willing to listen to your concerns. You should still ask for a pay raise even if they aren’t.

If you do, you should emphasize the value you bring to the company. For example, you should highlight your ability to complete projects quickly.

You should also point out how much you enjoy your current role. Showing them that you’re happy will make it easier for them to grant your request.

If you’re lucky enough to land a raise, you should thank your employer for allowing you to improve your situation.

It’s important to remember that you should expect to receive a pay increase only a few times a year.

It takes time and effort to earn a raise. Many hardworking employees never see a raise during their entire careers.

As a result, they make less money than they would have otherwise.

Land More Interviews With A Professional Resume

Get a professional resume review from a certified career expert

6. Bad Bosses

Sometimes, bosses who lack respect for their employees cause problems. For instance, they might treat their subordinates poorly. They may even yell at them or belittle them.

Such behavior is unacceptable. It’s also illegal. Unfortunately, some managers think that yelling at their employees is acceptable.

They believe that it helps motivate them. However, it has the opposite effect. By treating their workers badly, bad bosses communicate that they don’t care about their employees’ well-being.

When this happens, employees become stressed and unhappy. This leads to low productivity levels. Furthermore, they often leave their positions before they reach retirement age. To prevent this from happening, you should always try to work with a good boss.

If you notice that your boss treats you unfairly, you should talk to them about it. You should also let your boss know that you want to be treated fairly. You should also tell them why you think that they are being unfair.

If you can convince your boss that you deserve a raise, you should get one.


There are several causes why employees that put in the necessary effort are not compensated fairly. One key to success is developing the ability to adapt in the face of adversity. Regardless of how challenging your situation may be, there is always a way to win.

Keep going if you’re a hard worker who believes you deserve a raise. Continue making progress and strive for success. And if you need help selling yourself to prospective employers through your resume, feel free to contact us. We are well-versed in showcasing one’s qualifications and achievements to garner the respect and remuneration one deserves.

Is Your Resume Working?

Get a professional resume review from a certified career expert

Is your resume getting ignored?

Land more interviews and get hired faster with a professional resume written by career experts.


Resume + Cover Letter

$ 199
  • Professionally written resume - By experts that know your industry
  • Formatted for success - Formatting that will get an employer's attention.
  • Keyword optimized - Your resume will be optimized to pass through Applicant Tracking Systems.
  • Collaborate with writer - Work directly with your resume writer for a personalized experience
  • Cover Letter - Employers are 40% more likely to read a resume with a cover letter.

Contact Us

Contact us if you have any questions

Monday - Friday, (9am - 5pm EST)


Priority Support


(786) 474 - 6976