The Real Truth About Salaries in the USA: A Waiter Earns 2 Liters of Milk Per Hour

Hourly rates can vary greatly depending on which state you are in, so some minimums in Illinois are $13 an hour

by Sededin Dedovic
The Real Truth About Salaries in the USA: A Waiter Earns 2 Liters of Milk Per Hour
© Matt Cardy / Getty Images

For those contemplating a move abroad for employment, the paramount consideration often revolves around potential earnings. A resident of Illinois recently took to social media to demystify the reality of living and earning in the state, shedding light on the diverse compensation landscape.

Hourly wages exhibit considerable fluctuations depending on the sector and geographical location. The minimum hourly wage in Illinois stands at $13, a figure that was vividly contextualized by the disclosure that it equates to the cost of two bottles of milk.

In specific industries, waitstaff typically earns $13 per hour, while store cashiers command between $13 and $17 hourly, contingent upon the nature of the retail outlet. Contrastingly, managerial roles in restaurants or grocery stores command higher compensation, ranging from $20 to $30 an hour.

Specialized trades such as electricians and welders can garner $30 per hour, with experienced professionals in these fields potentially earning up to $40 an hour. The woman, sharing insights from her own professional experience in the banking sector, revealed that those skilled in a trade and affiliated with labor unions can enjoy substantial hourly rates, reaching an impressive $50 to $80.

Working in a real estate loan bank, she detailed her own hourly wage at $24, augmented by bonuses tied to successful loan transactions with clients. The average monthly salary in Illinois hovers around $4,000, translating to an approximate hourly rate of $24 to $25.

However, financial realities come into sharper focus when considering deductions. Approximately 30% of one's income is allocated to taxes and health insurance, resulting in a net income of around $1,500 every fortnight for a bi-weekly paycheck of $2,000.

The woman underscored the financial challenges faced by individuals living and earning independently, emphasizing the relative ease with which those in communal living arrangements can navigate these economic waters. Her candid perspective led to various reactions on social media, with some expressing skepticism, while others found parallels in their own global experiences.

Ultimately, the consensus echoed a universal truth – the delicate equilibrium of income and expenditure, transcending geographic boundaries.