Difference Between Wage and Income

Wage and Income are two words that often give people the idea of being the same. They are often used interchangeably, too, but in reality, wage and income are very different from each other. In order to use the two words correctly, one needs to know about each of them specifically to set them apart clearly and concisely.

Wage vs Income

The main difference between Wage and Income is that Wage is only paid in exchange for work. On the other hand, Income can be acquired even without working. There are a few more specific things that make these two different from each other depending on work, duration, etc.

Wage and Income

Wage is usually related to the amount of money paid for a prefixed work done in a specific amount of time. It does not include any rights or duties to be performed related to the place or source of work. It can be received on a daily basis, weekly, monthly, or sometimes even yearly.

Income is regarded as the complete amount of payment given out to a worker in a year. It is usually the sum of payment given to a permanent employee who holds official rights and duties in the company where he or she works. It is quite different from wages.

Comparison Table Between Wage and Income

Parameters of ComparisonWageIncome
MeaningIt is a fixed payment received for a particular amount of work.It is payment received for a particular time of work regularly.
GainIt can’t be acquired without working. It can sometimes be acquired without working.
IntervalIt may or may not be acquired at regular intervals.It is acquired at regular intervals.
VariationIt may or may not increase with time.It increases with work and experience.
WorkIt is paid particularly for work.It is paid according to work, time, and experience.

What is Wage?

The term is widely used around the world and is mostly related to payments and the form of money. An interesting thing about this term is that it can be used as a singular form that is waves and also the plural form that is wages. This is certainly not the same in the case of the word income. The term was usually used in order to indicate a payment that is given to a person who works on an hourly basis. But with time, a lot of changes have been introduced in the system, and in today’s time, the term wages can be used to indicate payment for hourly based work, daily work, or even weekly and monthly. 

Wage is the word that is mostly used to indicate a short-term payment, just like benefits, profits, and salaries. This particular reason is why it is a lot different from income. Wage doesn’t even need to be very formal and official and can be earned by doing a small amount of work over a period of time and getting paid for it at the end of it or how it was decided at the time of recruitment. The people who work in such situations and get paid as wages do not have any formal rights under the company for which they are working for.

What is Income?

The term income is a very formal word and is particularly used in terms of jobs related to a career that pays off. Internal regarded as the overall sum of money that a person earns in a year. This includes all the monthly, daily weekly payments as well as incentives, bonuses, and profits. An interesting thing about income is that it can sometimes even be acquired without working. This case comes into action when the employer provides paid leaves. This means that even if the employee is on holiday or leave, we still get paid, and it is added to their income.

The paid leave privilege is not provided in many companies but is slowly gaining interest. An income is a very official term, and it is usually considered that the person who is getting a formal letter of income at the end of the year also has privileges of the company employee and even has to abide by some official rules which in terms of a wage worker can be avoided. The income of a person also has a criterion of increasing over a certain period of time. It can even be different for different employees who are performing the same tasks and doing the same work. This variation depends upon the experience of an employee and how long they have been working with the company.

Main Differences Between Wage and Income

  1. Wage is a fixed payment that is received depending upon work or duration, whereas Income is regarded as the complete earning of a person in a year.
  2. Wage cannot be gained without working. On the other hand, Income can sometimes be acquired without providing work.
  3. Wage can be paid either daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly, whereas Income is the overall earning in a year.
  4. The wages for work may or may not increase with time. On the other hand, Income is usually increased after regular intervals of time.
  5. Wages are given for a particular work, while Income is provided for a series of work completed over a duration of time.


There is no denying the fact that it is easy to get confused between the use of the two terms that are mentioned above. But after going through the differences and understanding each term in particular, it can be clearly seen that Wages and income are two very different terms that need to be used on specific occasions only. Using the two terms interchangeably can create a sense of confusion and also deliver a wrong message.

Wages can be simply termed as the amount paid for hourly work, or that has no permanent duration. On the other hand, income is very professional and is the sum of all the payments made to the worker in a year for which they might have worked or sometimes not.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1924549
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2938322
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