Understanding Types of Job Wages
From a salary to an hourly wage to commission, students learn the various types of wages and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- Grades: 6–8
- Unit Plan:
Students determine advantages and disadvantages of jobs with regard to types of payment, e.g., salary, hourly wage, commission, piecework. They will learn to calculate weekly gross wages of the above types of payments.
Through the different types of payment that workers receive, students will gain understanding and facility in calculating five different methods of payment.
- Learn the advantages and disadvantages of different types of payment
- Calculate weekly gross wages for the different types of payments
- Payment Types Worksheet (PDF), one per group
- Calculating Wages Worksheet (PDF), one per student
- Job-searching websites, such as Monster or CareerBuilder — or the job listings section from various newspapers
- Access to computers, if using job-searching websites instead of newspapers
Set Up and Prepare
- Divide students into groups of two or three.
- Secure time in the computer lab, if necessary, or access to one computer per group.
Step 1: Tell students that today, they will learn how different jobs offer various methods of payment. Ask the class if they have worked (babysitting, shoveling snow, cutting grass, or a type of part-time job), how have they been paid?
Step 2: Now explain what each of the following payments mean: a salaried job, an hourly wage, straight commission, a salary plus commission, an hourly wage plus commission, or piece work. (These are listed on the Types of Payment Worksheet.) Explain that most part-time jobs, ones that students would likely have, pay an hourly wage.
Step 3: On the board, list the different types of payment and under each, calculate a sample gross weekly wage.
Step 4: Now divide the class into your pre-selected groups and hand each group a copy of the Types of Payment Worksheet (PDF). Ask them to use the job-searching websites you've pulled up on the computers to complete the worksheet. (Or, if you're using newspapers instead, distribute the job listings sections to the groups.) Tell the groups they will need to find examples of jobs for each type of payment, then they will brainstorm advantages and disadvantages for each.
Step 5: Give the groups time to complete the worksheet and offer help as needed. If using Monster or CareerBuilder, suggest that they search for jobs in their area by inputting their zip code into the location field on the homepage.
Step 6: When they are done, hand each student a Calculating Wages Worksheet (PDF). Ask them to each complete the worksheet separately and then compare answers with their group members. Have each group submit one copy to represent the group.
Supporting All Learners
Assist students with math calculations as needed.
Conduct an informal survey (interview 10-12 people) on the most common way people get paid. Graph the results.
Ask family members how they get paid and calculate their monthly earnings. Research how much a sports star makes and calculate their monthly earnings.
Complete the lesson worksheets.
- Observe students work in groups
- Review students' completed worksheets
- Grade group work product
Students should demonstrate they understand the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of payments studied.