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The rise of “Wealth Work” and the industry of serving the rich

Wealth work” is a new term regarding the industry being created that is serving the wealthy such as:

  • Personal Trainers
  • Yoga trainers
  • Private chefs
  • Maids and housekeepers
  • Massage therapists
  • Spa workers
  • Manicurists & pedicurists
  • Personal stylists
  • Organizers – home, closet, etc
  • Dog walkers and groomers
  • Financial advisors
  • Landscape architects
  • Dieticians and nutritionists
  • Therapists
  • Skincare specialists
  • Fridge buyer and organizer <— No this is not a joke, read the article!

Wealth workers are usually self-employed, freelancers, and are earning an average of $36,000 or $15,00 below the industry average of $51,000 of these occupations.

In 2010 there were 2.8 million wealth workers, and then in 2017, 3.2 million wealth workers, which is a 14.2% increase.

Their jobs are based on how well the economy is doing

Wealth occupations are 1½ times more likely to exist in the 20 richest metro areas than in other large cities. Obviously, where the rich people are, the wealth work has increased.

They are the first to feel the effects of a recession because people don’t need any of the above.

I can look at the above list and tell you I that I at least use these following wealth workers:

  • Massage therapists
  • Spa workers
  • Manicurists & pedicurists
  • Skincare specialists

I pay $95 for a 45-minute massage (all-in), and have started getting one monthly because my shoulders are tight and in pain.

I also go to spas once in a while, along with skincare specialists, and get a pedicure monthly to bi-monthly because it is luxurious.

If I needed to save money? All of this goes. I don’t need any of it.

What I will say however, is that even during a ‘bad’ time, as I do have a lot of money saved and want to still live comfortably, I may not do a massage and pedicure monthly, but bi-monthly instead.

I may cut back, but I may not cut it out 100%.

Or I may decide to take a 30-minute not a 1-hour massage.

It helps those without a degree, make money, flexibly

All this talk about ‘side hustles’? This is it. Training people on the side, massages,  dogwalking etc. All of it is to make money without needing a major degree.

You can decide how many clients to take on as well and open up your schedule to accommodate them.

As a fellow freelancer I can tell you it is harder being away from a company in many ways, but it is far more satisfying to set your own hours and clients, not be beholden to the whims of a manager, not have to fill in project reviews, etc. You may be working longer/harder, but you are investing in your own company which feels good, and you have that flexibility that you may not otherwise get with a company.

It is an industry immune to outsourcing

These are all hands-on jobs. You can’t walk a dog from another country, you need to be available locally.

Being in a richer neighbourhood, I see a lot of these wealth workers, and they are usually swamped. I have seen guys walking with 9 dogs strapped around their bodies!!! Can you imagine if they do that, and then drop the dogs off and pick up another set of dogs right afterwards?

At about $50 a dog, you’re looking at hundreds in a day potentially if you get up early, organize your day, and gain clients (very easy to do apparently as they seem to always be in demand).

But they’re all suffering right now due to the virus

Hands-on being the key, they’re all suffering right now with the virus unexpectedly making everyone stay at home.

People are now doing what these wealth workers were doing before – walking their own dogs, getting their own groceries, as everyone is working from home, or sitting at home, unable to work or go out.

Many of these people such as cleaning ladies who rely on having houses to clean to make an income are suffering badly.

Even golf caddies, as no one is allowed out to play golf, are unable to work.

In an instant, their livelihood is taken away from them. Only certain jobs in this unprecedented time, like delivery people, are still operating to bring in income.

60% of wealth workers are women

Service industry workers tend to be women because men are more reluctant to take them. Think about it – nursing, teaching, spas .. all of that requires social interaction, but on a deep and personal level in many cases.

These are also low paying jobs, which women tend to take, and men tend to avoid.

It may not seem like these jobs are low paying but many of them are not exactly paying what you think they might need for their bills.

Even if I pay $95 for a massage, you have to consider the downtime to get there, to leave, that 45-minute massage is actually more like an hour and a half by the time I get there and leave.

$95 for 1.5 hours, plus having to make sure you always schedule in people in a timely manner, and having a fully booked schedule to pay your bills can be stressful.

Plus they have to pay taxes, association fees, etc.

Or, if you’re a wealth worker, your job basically depends on the WEALTH of others to be able to pay / afford you as interim, or temporary staff for their household. O_o

Even though I am also a fellow freelancer, I am not a client-by-client basis, I go to one client and bill 40 hours a week, which is very steady work, in the world of freelancing, but as with everything — once the virus hit, I was cut from the payroll immediately.

I live in fear/risk of my job disappearing each time I take a contract, and this uncertainty is why I save so much money when I can, while trying to maintain a balance of also enjoying it.



  • Catherine

    The wealth workers I use are:
    – massage therapist
    – yoga instructors
    – dog walker (these are hugely in demand in the City – I had to call 5 different ones when I moved cuz they all had FULL client lists)
    – facialist
    – hairstylist
    – dog groomers (my dogs get a mani and I do my own)
    – pedicure (at the beginning to summer and special events only)
    – cleaning service

    This article made me think twice about how I treat paying a wealth worker who is their own entrepreneur (like my dog walkers) in a more respectful way than say I pay my pedicurist when they work at a company for someone else.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Roberta

    This was really fascinating, thank you! It strikes me that all of these jobs would be “good” jobs if we had national health insurance (I’m in the US), even just major medical and one thorough physical a year. Your point about them being immune to outsourcing is especially important. You could make a tolerable living or supplement another income IF YOU HAD PAID HEALTH INSURANCE.

    My wealth workers are a caregiver for my Mom (who lives with me) and my stylist, who runs an individual salon as a young (28) entrepreneur. I would consider wine stewards and high end restaurant waiters in this category also. I was just at a restaurant that had a bagpiper!

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