This is what the average small business employee earns per hour. How do you compare?

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Think small businesses don’t pay? Think again!


Main points

  • Although small businesses lack the resources that large companies have, they often pay workers handsomely.
  • The latest data shows that small business wages have increased by 5.1% over the past 12 months.
  • Small businesses may be able to offer more benefits and flexibility than a larger company.

There’s a reason some people prefer to work for larger companies over smaller ones. Large corporations often have a lot of resources at their disposal, which means they can usually offer great benefits packages and higher salaries.

But that doesn’t mean small businesses don’t pay handsomely. In fact, recent data from Paychex shows that the average small business employee earns $30.42 an hour. Assuming a 40-hour work week and 52 work weeks per year, that’s an annual salary of over $63,000.

But respectable wages aren’t the only reason to consider working for a small business. Here are some other benefits you can reap if you decide to take a job at a smaller company.

1. Generous benefits

Large corporations often invest in expensive office space and equipment, which can limit the amount of money they can spend on benefits. Small businesses can do a better job of keeping their costs down, leaving them more room to offer benefits like paid health insurance and time off.

Plus, small businesses tend to want to invest in individuals who will grow with the company. As such, they can bring good benefits in an effort to retain workers.

2. Career growth

When you work for a company that employs thousands of people, it can be difficult to move up the ranks. The good thing about working for a small company is that you can be just one of 20 people helping to run the business. This means that you may have more learning opportunities and more growth potential early on.

3. More flexibility

When you work for a company that employs 2,000 people, it can be difficult for your manager to make exceptions to meet your specific needs. But small businesses tend to have more flexibility in this regard, so working for one can lead to a better work-life balance for you.

Imagine you have children that you have to drop off at 9:00 and pick up at 3:00 during the school year. A small business can allow you to work the last two hours of the day from home so you don’t have to struggle with childcare. A larger company may find it more difficult to allow you this flexibility.

Should you work for a small business?

It may be that a larger company in your field is able to offer higher wages than a small business. If that’s the case, and you need those higher paychecks to pay bills, build savings, and meet your other personal goals, then you may need to follow the money — at least until you’ve built up a cushion good.

But don’t assume that a large company will pay you more than a small business. Instead, do your research and see what offers come your way. You may find that taking a job at a small business leaves you with a salary you’re more than happy with, plus the aforementioned benefits that are essential to being happy at work.

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