A lot of people are confused as to what makes an employee exempt or non-exempt. Its an important issue for both the employers and the employees. Exempt workers are the ones that dont receive overtime and non-exempt workers have to be paid for every hour they work overtime.
Exempt workers are usually highly paid professional or highly skilled employees in your company. They are also high ranking and their jobs and responsibilities are more than everyone put together at work. They are usually the chief executive officers, vice presidents, heads of operations, etc. Their responsibilities are usually spread out as they include the operation of the company. Also people like doctors, engineers, and architects are also exempt. They are highly skilled individuals whose responsibilities are tremendous at work compared to others around them.
Workers with limited independence at work like receptionists and secretaries, and whose responsibilities are usually limited to one or two things are non-exempt employees. They must be paid overtime according to the local and state laws. The fewer responsibilities an individual has at work, the higher the chances of them being non-exempt, especially if they get paid hourly.