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Nine Jobs Most Likely to Offer Overtime Pay

Nine Jobs Most Likely to Offer Overtime Pay

For hourly workers, overtime can boost their annual income significantly. Online salary database PayScale surveyed workers in hundreds of professions and found the ones most likely to be paid for overtime work.  

Perhaps not surprisingly, these jobs are in manufacturing, where tight production schedules often mandate overtime as deadlines loom. Educational requirements are generally a high school diploma or GED; however, attending trade school or serving an apprenticeship are becoming requirements for many of these jobs as competition increases.

Here’s a look at the salaries (including overtime) of nine of these occupations:

Production Lead, Manufacturing

Percent reported working overtime: 60 percent
Median annual salary: $37,000
Median hourly rate: $17

Whether the job is called production lead, product line manager, production supervisor or production scheduler, this job generally involves overseeing production workers to meet safety, quality, customer service and cost objectives. Not only do these workers put in overtime when production schedules warrant, but they also grant overtime to the people they supervise.

Find production jobs.

Machinery Mechanic

Percent working overtime: 58.9 percent
Median annual salary: $45,200
Median hourly rate: $21

Employers look for workers with some training in industrial technology or who have taken courses in mechanical drawing, mathematics, blueprint reading, computer programming or electronics.

Find machinery mechanic jobs.

Instrumentation and Controls Technician

Percent working overtime: 58.3 percent
Median annual salary: $61,900
Median hourly rate: $29

Instrumentation and controls technician jobs can be found in public utilities, nuclear and chemical plants, and pulp and paper facilities. A few trade schools now offer associate’s degrees in this field.

Find instrumentation and controls technician jobs.

Computer Numerically Controlled Operator

Percent working overtime: 56.3 percent
Median annual salary: $33,800
Median hourly rate: $15

Computer numerically controlled (CNC) operators use CNC machines such as lathes, laser cutters, roll forms, press brakes and printing presses. Overtime is common for CNC operators in peak production periods.

Find CNC operator jobs.

Forklift Operator

Percent working overtime: 56.3 percent
Median annual salary: $28,200
Median hourly rate: $13

No specific degree is required for forklift operator jobs; however, as with most positions, any additional training (such as OSHA courses leading to certification in forklift operation) can give applicants a leg up.

Find forklift operator jobs.


Percent working overtime: 55 percent
Median annual salary: $50,700
Median hourly rate: $22

Millwrights install, assemble and dismantle machinery in factories, power plants and construction sites. Most millwrights take four-year apprenticeship programs, which may be sponsored by local union chapters, employers or state labor departments.

Find millwright jobs.


Percent working overtime: 54.8 percent
Median annual salary: $37,000
Median hourly rate: $17

Welders work in a wide variety of industries, from car racing to manufacturing. About 20 percent of welders belong to a labor union.

Find welder jobs.

Truck Driver, Refuse

Percent working overtime: 54.7 percent
Median annual salary: $39,300
Median hourly rate: $17

This job can go by many titles -- sanitation laborer, rubbish collector, refuse driver and waste collector, to name a few -- and generally has a low educational requirement. However, many states require a Class B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) certification.

Find truck driver jobs.

Assembly Line Worker

Percent working overtime: 54.6 percent
Median annual salary: $28,700
Median hourly rate: $13

Educational requirements depend on the specific assembly job; many require only a high school diploma while others require additional training and certificates to operate machinery. In addition to overtime, some companies offer profit sharing and bonuses for meeting quotas.

Find assembly line jobs.

All of the jobs listed above are generally hourly, not salary, so overtime pay at straight time or time-and-a-half can really add up. If you’re classified as an exempt employee but think you should be getting overtime, check the federal overtime rules to see if you’re in the right category.

All salary information provided by PayScale. Median salaries are for workers with five to eight years of experience. Additional information from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition.

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