Thankless Jobs [Infographic]

Matthew Gates 3m 715 #thanklessjob

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It seems that almost everyone who has ever worked a day in their lives has held a thankless job. These jobs make everyone who has ever worked them work towards something better. They dread going to these jobs and having to do them. These jobs are needed and required, yet everyone takes for granted that if these jobs did not exist, everything else would suffer. Such jobs include janitorial services, sanitation workers, “Johnny on the Spot” cleaners, office and house cleaners, fast food workers, gasoline tankers, merchandise truck drivers, hospital transports, social workers, teachers, garbage collectors, military personnel, and many more occupations.

The majority of the workers in many of these thankless jobs are severely underpaid, highly stressed out, overworked, receive no vacation time, and have no special benefits. They may or may not have health benefits, and may live paycheck to paycheck. They are considered highly dispensable and replaceable with no hope of ever receiving any type of compensation package or pay raise. The workers in these jobs may have a passion to do these particular jobs, may have taken the job in order to ensure a paycheck, or simply had no other choice.

Everyone has a dream job. No one ever grows up wishing, “I wish I could work a thankless job for the rest of my life.” No one in the world aspires for a thankless job. Unfortunately, many people are forced to take thankless jobs for a living. Some thankless jobs are better than others, while others are just jobs that many people would not ever think about working.

Here is an infographic of the many thankless jobs including their salaries.

Thankless Jobs Infographic

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Underpaid? Overworked? Thank you are in a thankless job? Take a look below to see which service workers deserve some TLC and which are doing just fine.

Starting Score: Percentage of difference between the job’s median yearly salary and the median yearly salary of all jobs at the same education level.


Public Opinion: The positive or negative amount of public esteem and respect that exists for a job.


Stress: The amount of stress caused by factors like deadlines, risks to life, and working with the public.


Environment: The jobs’ work environment and physical factors like frequent overtime, outdoors, noise, and physical exertion.


OccupationEducationSalaryStarting ScoreEnding ScoreComments
DentistDoctorate$142,870+60+56A Dentist’s median average salary of $142,870 is over 60% more than other people that earned a doctorate degree at $88,867

Sorry Dentists, no guilt from wishing I never had to visit you.


OccupationEducationSalaryStarting ScoreEnding ScoreComments
Garbage CollectorDiploma/GED$31,200-8-73
IRS AgentBachelors$51,660-9-30
Social WorkerBachelors$39,350-30-34Social Workers make 30% less than the average Bachelors degree salary of $57,026 with a median yearly salary of just $39,350.

The Garbage Man and Tax Man get no respect.

Annual earnings by education level

  • Doctorate $88,867
  • Bachelors $57,026
  • Associates $44,066
  • Diploma/GED $34,197

A good reason to continue your education beyond high school.

The frequent praise for the military, fire, and police is well deserved, but lets not forget the all hard-working folks that serve, teach, heal, feed, and keep our cities clean.

Jobs we think are thankless, but just didn’t have the data to size them up with the others.

Bus Drivers: Lets all give a nod, hello, or good morning to the hard-working folks getting us, and the rest of the grumpy public, to and from the places we go.

Waiter/Bussers: Please leave a tip when you’ve received a good service. It is part of their pay and they’ve earned it, because hungry people are cranky people.Referees: Here is a job that, when done 99% perfect, you’re still yelled at by thousands of strangers.

Parents: This is not so much a job, but a responsibility. High fives to all the parents out there doing their best.

Volunteers: To the armies of people willing to roll up their sleeves and work when they see something needs doing and not just complaining about it.

Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.



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