Salary refers to wages which are received on a regular basis for work rendered. One’s salary also usually includes other benefits, such as social security, health insurance, and allowances.
The origin of this term is said to be the Latin word for salt, which was distributed to Roman soldiers in return for their services. Around 500 B.C., the higher classes maintained control of salt production and distribution. This is why receiving salt from someone usually translated into being in that person’s service.
Employees salaries are computed and recorded in the company’s payroll. It is considered fixed pay and is agreed upon in a contract between the employee and employer. This is in contrast to the piece or hourly wage, which is money paid for every hour of work.
For blue-collar and contract workers, it is quite common to speak more in terms of hourly or daily wages, depending on the type of work done. Such workers are usually paid minimum wage. Whether minimum wage is to be considered a “just” wage is debatable, and depends on the computation of the cost of living in a specific locale, ideally taking into consideration factors such as inflation or the rising prices of commodities.
For high-level executives, the salary is usually much higher than regular employees will ever receive, even with annual increases and incentives. Compensation for top management may include, aside from the fixed salary amount, bonuses, benefits, long-term incentives, and share returns. This may also depend on whether a stock option is made available and other arrangements and incentives provided by the company, as approved by its Executive Board.