Worst 25 Lowest Paying Jobs in America
What are the lowest paying jobs in America? While your compensation can vary greatly depending on your geographic location, your experience level, the company you work for, and the minimum wage in your city or state, many businesses consistently earn low wages.
These jobs are diverse in industries ranging from entertainment to transportation to healthcare. However, despite being in different industries, they have many similarities.
These jobs usually pay by the hour. Many service jobs require tipping the employee to get a decent salary.
25 of the lowest paying jobs
Here are the top 25 worst-paying jobs in America, according to an employment survey by the US Department of Labor in May 2021.
Remember that this list doesn’t include certain occupations that typically don’t work year- or full-time, such as actors or musicians.
Shampooers massage, condition, and rinse clients’ hair before cutting or styling. Some shampoos also offer training to become a hairstylist or cosmetologist. The average annual income of shampooers is $25,160.
Cooks work in institutions ranging from cafeterias to fast-food chains to high-end restaurants. They prepare, season, and cook the dishes and can help with menu planning with the head chef.
At the bottom are chefs working in fast-food restaurants, who earned a median annual income of $25,490, while short-order chefs earned a median annual income of $28,110.
Overall, restaurant cooks earn an average of $31,630 annually. However, private home cooks and cooks can earn $43,260 or more annually.
Host and hostess
Hosts and hostesses work in restaurants, lounges, and coffee shops. They are responsible for welcoming customers, making them sit, and ensuring quality service.
They may also be responsible for receiving and recording reservations and answering other calls. Hosts earn an average annual income of $26,000.
Fast-food and counter workers
Fast-food and counter workers are involved in preparing and serving a variety of food in fast-food restaurants, cafeterias, food concession stands, and coffee shops. The average annual compensation for these positions is $26,060.
Entertainment and entertainment attendants
Recreation and recreation attendants may work in recreational facilities, amusement parks, ski resorts, sports complexes, or community centers. They perform a variety of duties related to the use of the facility.
They may operate amusement rides or concession stands, schedule use of the facility, and maintain and provide equipment to participants (especially at amusement facilities). While salaries vary based on the type of facility, attendants earn a median annual income of $26,110.
Usher, Lobby Attendant, and Ticket Taker
Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers work in entertainment establishments such as cinemas, concert halls, and theaters.
They perform duties such as collecting entry tickets, helping patrons find their seats, and guiding patrons to facilities such as restrooms. The median annual income for these positions is $26,390.
Cashiers receive and distribute money to customers who purchase goods and services. They usually work in retail stores.
Most use equipment such as scanners and cash registers and process payments. Cashiers can work part-time or full-time, but full-time cashiers earn an average annual income of $26,770.
Recreational security services (e.g., lifeguards and ski patrol)
Recreational Security Service personnel are responsible for monitoring recreational areas to provide security and support to attendants.
They may provide safety precaution information, supervise recreation areas, and may be responsible for providing first aid to injured people.
Recreational protective services personnel may be deployed as lifeguards at pools or beaches, as ski patrols on ski slopes, or in any other recreational area that requires protective services.
Some positions require special certifications, such as first aid or CPR training. Recreational protective service workers earn a median annual income of $27,320.
Dishwashers are responsible for cleaning utensils, utensils, and food preparation equipment. They can work in various food service establishments, such as restaurants, coffee shops, and cafeterias. The average annual income of a dishwasher is $27,350.
Childcare workers are responsible for the well-being of children. They may be responsible for feeding, bathing, overseeing play, and even helping older children with schoolwork.
Childcare workers may be employed in schools (as after-school or childcare workers), in childcare centers, in their own homes, or in the children they care for.
They can work full-time or part-time. The average full-time annual income of a childcare worker is $27,680.
Dining Room & Cafeteria Attendant & Bartender Assistant
Attendants and bartender assistants keep the dining room, restaurant, cafe, and bar stocked with fresh linens and supplies such as clean glasses, silverware, and dishes.
They also clean dirty dishes and can serve water or coffee. The average annual salary for this job is $27,690.
Laundry and dry-cleaning workers
Laundry and dry-cleaning workers operate or operate washing and dry-cleaning machines. Workers may be employed at laundromats, dry-cleaning stores, or industrial laundry sites that provide laundry services to large institutions such as hotels and hospitals. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers earn an average annual income of $27,830.
Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerk
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks serve patrons by registering and allocating rooms for guests. They perform many transactions, such as calculating custodian bills, balancing accounts, and collecting payments.
Clerks also accommodate patrons by addressing any questions and concerns regarding their stay. On average, they earn $28,040 annually.
Pressers of Textiles, Garments, and Related Materials
Pressers press or shape articles of clothing to remove wrinkles or patch items on the fabric. They may use hand irons or other steam or hydraulic machines. Pressers can also hang, fold and package items ready for delivery.
They may work in laundromats, dry-cleaning stores, or extensive industrial facilities. Pressers earn a median income of $28,110.
Food preparation worker
The cooking staff do everything but cook the food. Depending on their job, they may slice meat, make coffee, or even peel vegetables.
They also clean work areas; whatever they do, they must follow food-safety standards. Meal preparation workers earn a median annual income of $29,450. (Lowest Paying Jobs in America)
Gambling dealers operate table games at casinos, card rooms, and other gaming locations. They can deal cards or blocks to players, win-wins, or collect players’ money or chips. Dealers earn an average annual income of $28,960. (Lowest Paying Jobs in America)
Waiter and waitress
Waiters and waitresses, also known as “servers,” take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons. They may work in restaurants, bars, hotels, or other food service establishments.
Waiters and waitresses can work part-time or full-time. A waiter’s income varies greatly depending on the type of establishment; Most rely on tips to increase their salary. The average annual salary of a full-time waiter or waitress is $29,010.
Food servers in non-restaurant environments, such as coffee shops, average $29,500 annually. (Lowest Paying Jobs in America)
Gambling and Sports Book Writer and Runner
Gambling and sports book authors and runners share information for people to bet on various sporting events or races.
They can record the bets of the patron and be responsible for settling any payouts. They can also serve as operators for games such as bingo.
The median income for those in this type of position is $29,110. (Lowest Paying Jobs in America)
Gambling Change Persons and Booth Cashiers
These are some of the people who handle money in a casino or other gambling establishment. They sell tokens and chips and can pay customers while receiving their signatures on receipts.
Booth cashiers may operate a booth in the slot machine area, present other workers with cash banks at the beginning of a shift, or count and audit money in drawers. For this, they earn an average of $29,130 annually. (Lowest Paying Jobs in America)
Parking lot attendant
Parking lot attendants park and deliver vehicles to customers in parking lots or garages. They may also be responsible for patrolling the garage to prevent property damage and theft. Attendants earn a median annual income of $27,210. (Lowest Paying Jobs in America)
Home health and personal care aides
Home health and personal care aides assist older adults, convalescents, or persons with disabilities with activities of their daily living. These activities may include general housekeeping, food preparation, and running errands.
Aides can also assist patients with tasks such as exercising, eating, and bathing. Some aides advise patients and their families about nutrition and household activities. These workers may be employed in a care facility or at an individual’s home.
While there are many similarities between a home health aide and a personal care aide, personal care aides typically provide less specified medical care. Home health and personal care aides earn a median annual income of $29,260. (Lowest Paying Jobs in America)
Non-farm animal caregiver
These animal caretakers go for non-farm animals, including domestic animals such as dogs, cats, fish, or in some cases, zoo animals. They may work in pet stores, animal shelters, kennels, aquariums, zoos, or circuses.
Animal caretakers may feed, water, groom, or medicate animals and clean animal quarters. These caretakers earn an average of $29,520 annually. (Lowest Paying Jobs in America)
Maids and housekeepers
Maids and sweepers perform various cleaning duties, such as making bedding, dusting, vacuuming, disinfecting counter spaces, and emptying trash and recycling baskets.
They may work in private or public establishments, such as hotels or nursing homes. The median annual income for maids and cleaners is $29,580. (Lowest Paying Jobs in America)
Recreational attendants and related workers
This group includes workers who provide service at locations other than those already listed, such as spectator sporting events or fitness or entertainment centers. They earn a median annual income of $29,680. (Lowest Paying Jobs in America)
Shoe Machine Operators & Tenders
Shoe machine operators and tenders use a variety of machines to join, decorate, reinforce, or dismantle shoes and shoe parts.
They may work in footwear manufacturing or for shoe wholesalers. These shoe industry workers earn an average of $29,920 per year. (Lowest Paying Jobs in America)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the lowest salary per month in America?
According to information gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the minimum average wage for any full-time job in the US is $25,160 per year, which is $2,097 per month.
This is a shampooer’s salary in 2021. Many people earn less than this, which is based on a nationwide average wage. (Lowest Paying Jobs in America)
What is the lowest-paying job with a degree?
While you may have a college degree and work in low-paying jobs, a preschool teacher is a lowest-paying job that requires at least an associate’s degree. Preschool teachers earn an average of $36,460 annually.
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