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Hourly or salary? How do I want to be paid? - 2/3/2023

There is more difference to hourly and salary payroll than just punching a clock. The choice probably isn't yours to make. But whether it is your choice or the nature of the job or employer, it's good to understand what it means to be paid salary or hourly.

A salary employee is usually an 'exempt' employee. This means that while you don't have to punch a clock, you also don't typically get paid for overtime.

An hourly, or 'non-exempt' employee, will have to record their time in some manner since they are paid based on the number of hours that they work. Whether this is a punch clock, timecard, phone app, or any other manner is irrelevant and based on the job situation. Since an hourly employee is paid per the hours they work, they are paid for overtime that is worked.

Either salary or hourly employees can be part-time or full-time and have a wide variety of benefits depending on what the employer is required or chooses to offer to that classification of employee.

The biggest determinant, and most likely to be outside of your control, is that the Department of Labor has rules regarding who can be a salaried employee. These include a minimum salary, position classification, and some job duties. For more specific information on the classifications check out the Department of Labor website.

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