This Is What the Average Small Business Employee Earns Per

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Think small businesses don’t pay? Think again!


Key points

  • Although small businesses lack the resources that large companies have, they often pay workers generously.
  • Recent data reveals that small business wages are up 5.1% over the past 12 months.
  • Small businesses may be able to provide more benefits and flexibility than a larger company can.

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

But that doesn’t mean small businesses don’t pay generously. In fact, recent data from Paychex shows that the average small business employee earns $30.42 an hour. Assuming a 40-hour workweek and 52 weeks of work per year, that’s an annual wage 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 might 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’re able to spend on benefits. Small businesses might do a better job of keeping their overhead low, leaving them with more room to offer perks 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 might throw in nice 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 climb the ranks. The upside of working for a small company is that you may be only one of 20 people who help keep the business running. That means 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 accommodate your specific needs. But small businesses tend to have more flexibility in that regard, so working for one could lend to a better work-life balance for you.

Imagine you have children who need to be dropped off at 9:00 and picked up at 3:00 during the school year. A small business might allow you to work your last couple of hours of the day from home so you don’t have to scramble for childcare. A larger company may have a harder time allowing you that flexibility.

Should you work for a small business?

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

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

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