Difference between salary and wages in India

Organizations require huge human activities to achieve their and for the development of the organization. The management of an organization uses the term ‘compensation’ to denote the cost of using the human resources in the organization. There are many types of compensation according to their functions like wages, salaries, incentives, monetary benefits, etc. The compensation policy of an organization depends on various factors like government policies, skills of the employees, job conditions, risks associated with the job, etc. This article concentrates on communicating the differences between Wages and Salaries.


‘Wage’ is the term which specifies the compensation paid to the person in return to the job he had done in the organization. The wages are given daily, weekly or fortnightly and the compensation to be paid is determined by considering the hours worked by the person. Wages are paid to the blue-collar workers who involve in technical, manual and more of a physical work.

The government prescribes a certain wage rate to the workers in every industry and the companies must follow the policies of the government in deciding the pay of the workers who are working in their companies. The wage rate is fixed based on the skill of the worker, cost of living in the locality, the scarcity of the workers with required skill, the risks involved in the job, etc.


Salary is the term which specifies the compensation paid to the employees of the organization in return for the contribution of an employee towards the organization. Salaries are paid to the white-collar employees, managers, professional, etc. The salaries are paid monthly or annual basis to the employees. The salary is fixed according to the qualifications, the ability of an employee to perform the job, experience, etc.

There are many benefits which the salaried employees enjoy like salary increments, incentives, promotions, bonuses, etc. which will motivate the employee to perform better and helps in developing a sense of belongingness among the employees towards the organization. Some organizations pay huge salaries to their employees to attract highly talented employees to join in their organization and also for retaining the existing talent.


The wages are paid to the workers in an organization. The salaries are paid to the employees in an organization.
The wages are given to the people who are involved in manufacturing activities, technical, manual and physical activities. The salaries are given to the people who are involved in administrative work like office jobs, etc.
The wages are paid daily or weekly or fortnightly based on the hours worked. The salaries are paid monthly or annually based on the performance of an employee.
The wages are the remuneration to the 'Blue-Collar' workers. The salaries are the remuneration to the 'White-Collar' workes.
The wage based workers can get extra payment if they work for additional hours. The salary based employees cannot get extra payments for extra hours.
The wage rate is not fixed throughout the period and usually, keeps on changing. The salary is fixed at the time of joining of an employee and it won't change unless the employee gets increment.


The wage based workers have to work daily to earn money for their livelihood and there is no paid leaves concept for daily wage earners. whereas, the salaried employees can avail paid leaves, sick leaves, perks, etc. which is a huge benefit to the salaried employees. From the above discussion, it is evident that the wages and salaries are different and cater different needs of different people.

Hi there! I want to know that what is the difference between Salary and Wages? what would be the exact definitions of these terms according to law?

Why these are differ from each other?

A salary is a fixed amount paid to an employee over a 12-month period. An employee usually receives their salary on a monthly basis or any other period agreed in the employment agreement. So, if your salary were $72,000 after tax per annum, every month you would receive $6,000.

The number of hours you work has no impact on your salary. This means that if you had to work well over 40 hours per week one month and got to leave work early a few days the next, there would be no difference to your pay. This is obviously subject to you meeting your monthly goals and satisfying your work requirements.


Wages are paid on an hourly rate and depend on how many hours the employee works in a given pay period. The pay period is usually one or two weeks and there is no fixed amount per annum. This means if you worked overtime one week and missed a shift the next week your pay will reflect the changes. If you were paid $20 an hour and you worked 25 hours one week and 30 the next, your pay for the first week would be $500 and $600 the next. You would still have to fulfill the requirements of your role, but your pay is dependant on the number of hours you work.

The Difference Between Salary and Wages

The most obvious difference between salaries and wages is that with a salary you know how much you will receive per year. Whereas with wages, it all depends on how much you work. The other major difference is that employees receiving wages can earn wages for overtime, at a special overtime rate. Under a salary, the number of overtime hours you put in is irrelevant to your pay.

The pay period for a salary includes the date of payment. This is because paying a salary is very simple. All the employer has to do is ensure the employee receives the correct salary after tax and other deductions.

With wages, the pay period does not include the date of payment. It will cover the number of hours the employee has worked in the previous week or weeks. This is because the employer has to calculate the number of hours the employee has worked in the week(s) and any overtime hours and calculate the pay accordingly for each pay period.

Is One Better Than The Other?


A salary is more secure and predictable. You know beforehand how much you will receive and it is easy to plan your financial commitments for the month beforehand. A salary also comes with benefits like superannuation, sick leave, paid leave, bonuses and fringe benefits. It is also easier to negotiate your salary with your employer and there is potential for pay raises and promotions.

The main disadvantage of a salary is that there no pay for overtime; your performance at work is more important. This means that the long hours an employee puts in could go unrecognised, especially if they did not reach their goal. This could then lead to some extra pressure and stress at work.


Wages offer more flexibility for an employee. They have the option to work overtime and receive pay at the overtime rate. Arguably, this is a more stress-free environment for employees because they know their time is being valued.

The disadvantage of receiving wages is that they do not come with the security and benefits of a salary. There is no guarantee you will make the same amount every pay period. You could lose shifts or be called in for shorter hours if the business is struggling. Therefore, you may not always be able to work overtime and earn extra income.

Final Thoughts

One is not better than the other simply because they both offer something different. Getting paid wages might be more attractive to a young adult looking to make some money while still studying. Whereas a graduate would really appreciate a job with a good salary and the benefits it comes with.  

If you, however, have any questions about your receiving pay or other employment matters, you should speak with an employment lawyer who will be able to give you personalised advice.

Don’t know where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace.

People frequently mistake and confuse the words salary and wages. However, the reality is that these two phrases are not interchangeable and have distinct meanings. Wages and salary differ primarily as salaries are constant, meaning the company and employee determine and agree on a fixed amount before starting the job. Still, wages vary on the number of hours an employee spends working.

Did you know? Salary is typically paid at regular periods, such as once each month. In contrast, wages are paid daily according to the number of hours worked. Salary is given based on an individual's performance. While wages are paid hourly or according to the number of hours worked. 

The Definition of Salary

Let us first understand the definition of salary. The amount on which both the company and the employee agree, paid to the employee on a regular interval depending on the person's performance, is referred to as salary. Salary is usually a fixed sum of money that the company determines annually. 

Difference between salary and wages in India

The sum which the company has to distribute monthly is calculated by dividing it by the period of months. The employee receives the same depending on his performance. The employee needs to work for a specific number of hours each day. However, if the person cannot complete the task within the time given, the person may have to work longer hours without earning extra money. 

The employees are eligible for vacation, rewards, and perks, meaning that if they take a leave of absence, the company still pays them their payment for that day. Salaried people are typically described as working in "white-collar office jobs," which suggests that they are well-educated, competent, hired by a company, and occupy a respectable social standing.

Also Read: Salary Revision in Jobs and Recovery of Arrears

The Definition of Wages

Now, let us learn the definition of wages. Wage is the amount an employer pays to an individual depending on the work they have completed and the total hours spent on that job. Wages are flexible and do change depending on how individual functions daily. Workers hired by the production industries receive wages and daily remuneration. 

A worker is compensated according to the number of hours they work for. It means working for more hours will result in a higher wage. An employer pays the worker for their attendance but not for their absence. Therefore if they don't show up for work on any day, then they will not be getting any wage for that specific day. When someone is getting wages, they are referred to as working a "blue-collar labour job," which suggests that they do an unsophisticated or semi-skilled task and receive daily pay.

Difference Between Wages And Salary 

Below is the comparative table for wages and salary:




Skills Required

Strong professional skills, Licenced white-collar workers, which include experts like teachers and doctors.

Labourers with low or intermediate skill levels are also referred to as blue-collar workers.

Cost Structure

They receive salaries at a fixed rate.

The wage rate is erratic

Occurrence of Payment

They receive a fixed amount every month, which is equally divided between all the twelve months.

According to the job, they receive wages daily or hourly.

Basis of Payment:

They receive a fixed amount already agreed upon, while the variable component is dependent on the output.

The supervisor decides the hourly amount in accordance with market trends.


Employees are salaried personnel.

Labour is the term used to describe waged workers.

Nature\ Type of job

Positions in the office and administration.

Work involving a procedure or manufacturing.

Performance Review

The majority of employees who are getting payment undergo frequent performance reviews, determining whether they will receive a pay raise.

There is no quality evaluation system in place here. Labourers will be getting the hourly payment as usual.


Once a company decides, salary remains constant year-round.

The wage rates may vary at whatever time and bring effect in accordance with the going rate.


An employee must give a written notice of resignation and serve their notice period. This gives the employer to recruit a replacement.   

Since a labourer is easy to replace, there's really no such thing as a period of notice in this situation.


An employer expects that employees must directly or indirectly boost the company's income in return for a salary.

Wage-earners only have to complete their tasks. They do not need to create any income for the employer.


A full-time employee has a fixed timetable for paid vacation days.

Such a timetable is not available to wage workers, and each day off results in a loss of pay.

Examples of professions

Engineers, doctors, teachers and bankers.

Construction personnel,  taxi drivers, plumber, painter, blacksmiths, and courier servicemen. 

Also Read: Salary Calculator 2022-23 - Take Home Salary Calculator India

The Advantages of Salary

The following are some benefits of paying salaries that apply to both the management and employees:

Employees are at an advantage as they will receive fair compensation for their job. The accounting divisions will also profit from this uniformity because they can grant all cheques at about the same time monthly for similar amounts. This clears up any confusion and guarantees stability for financial requirements.

Salaried employees have more responsibilities than hourly workers. They occasionally need to work extra on weekends and non-standard hours. They frequently receive more compensation as a result. Both the employee and the company profit from the higher salary and the increased competition for employment.

Salaried employees can negotiate with companies for vacation time and payment or flexibility in work schedules. They occasionally receive benefits like working remotely, bonus pay, and medical coverage. Additionally, some firms could offer their employees housing subsidies, vacation packages, and company-owned vehicles.

 Also Read: Basic Salary in India - Explained with Calculation

The Disadvantages of Salary

The following are the disadvantages of salary:

Fixed Pay

Salaried jobs allow employees to work only for a fixed number of hours. A salaried employee has little to no opportunities to earn additional income, as the fixed working hours leave no scope for longer working hours. Therefore, the scope to work and earn more is rather non-existent for salaried employees. 

Some workers work odd hours or are available for lengthy periods. Employees may feel anxious as a result. Irrespective of their pay, employers only select workers who can handle the needs of the company. Employers may not necessarily pay additional money or other compensation for working at odd hours. Besides, employees may not be able to choose their work hours. Employers may also have issues if poor work-life balancing results in employee attrition or ill health.

The Advantages of Wages

Below are some benefits of wages for both people and businesses:

Employees get wages for their working time since hourly earnings are closely correlated to the number of working hours. This is vital for firms that have a sizable part-time staff since it helps both workers and the management. Overtime compensation is a way of rewarding those who invest more time than is necessary for full-time employment; this may later enable workers to work flexibly.

Fewer work duties and obligations are advantageous for workers who get paid on an hourly basis. Usually, employers think that hourly workers can fulfil their tasks at an hourly rate. This works effectively for firms that might need a sizable part-time or intermediate-skill staff.

Contracts don’t bind hourly workers to remain with a firm at all times. When they choose to, individuals can change jobs. Workers who work in risky industries greatly benefit from this flexibility.

The Disadvantages of Wages

The major disadvantages of wages are mentioned below:

Waged employees’ pay depends on the number of hours they work. This could be advantageous in certain ways, but it could also work against you when you are not in a condition to work as many hours to earn a living. Because hourly workers typically don't work regular hours. Organisations may decide to reduce their hourly workforce. The opportunity to reduce hours is really advantageous for failing businesses. The ideal situation for a company with waged employees is to compensate for the hours necessary to meet minimal operating needs.

The perks that salary employees receive may not be applicable for workers who work on daily wages. This comprises paid time off, vacation pay, pension schemes, insurance plans, and travel reimbursements. The employees may suffer as a result of this. This is one of the reasons why some businesse favour employing workers on an hourly wage.


It is clear that, while wages are variable cash payments to individuals depending on the number of working hours, salaries are a constant sum of money that companies pay to individuals regularly for the job they perform. We hope you understand the salary and wage difference now.
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