Ten Lowest Paying Jobs (and better alternatives)

by on September 30, 2012

Millions of Americans are stuck in low-wage jobs, their career ambitions crushed under the weight of the need for a paycheck, any paycheck. However, Americans are known for resilience, and many will find at least one aspect of the job enjoyable. Here are the ten lowest-paying jobs in the US and alternatives that use the same skill-set but actually bring home the bacon:

10. Farmworkers (Crop, Nursery, Greenhouse) Hourly mean wages: $9.64
At least you’re outside getting exercise and enjoying the fresh air and sun, right? Better alternative for those who enjoy being active outdoors rather than chained to a desk: Construction worker $18.39

9. Cashiers Hourly mean wages: $9.52
You see each customer come through the line, chatting with the regulars and the visitors alike. Maybe for you, the social interaction is the best part of the job – because the paycheck sure isn’t. Better alternative for the people person: Human resource assistant, $18.43

8. Amusement And Recreation Attendants Hourly mean wages: $9.50
You’re in a workplace where fun is the business model, but your particular duties are probably monotonous and repetitive. Better alternative for those who love a good time: event planner: $23.96

7. Hosts And Hostesses Hourly mean wages: $9.43
You are the first face the customer sees, so people skills are a must. You coordinate with bussers and waitstaff and handle little snags that pop up. Better alternative for those who keep business running smoothly with a friendly face and calm demeanor: executive secretary $23.13

6. Dining Room Attendants And Bartender Helpers Hourly mean wages: $9.29
You’re the side show, the assistant to the ringmaster, but sometimes the restaurant feels like a circus and you’re being paid peanuts. Better alternative for the magician’s helper: Dental assistants: $16.70

5. Counter Attendants Hourly mean wages: $9.27
The jack of all trades for the business, you show and explain a product, answer question from customers, and follow directions as well as improvise when the situation calls for it. For those who can communicate, display and sell a product: Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products $30.54

4. Shampooers Hourly mean wages: $9.20
You make people look good, but your job isn’t doing the same for your bank account. For those who truly enjoy helping others look and feel their best: Skincare Specialists: $15.42

3. Dishwashers Hourly mean wages: $8.98
You share a job title with the machine you use. To move up and be a superior force to the machine instead of its prisoner: Home appliance repairers: $17.97

2. Combined Food Preparation Workers Hourly mean wages: $8.95
low paying jobsYou take the ingredients from start to finish to make the meal. Get out of the kitchen and see the source where it all begins: Agricultural Inspector: $20.25

1. Cooks (Fast Food) Hourly mean wages: $8.91
Food, industrialized, assembly line style. Instead, get paid to cook like you do at home and impress others with your skills as if you were hosting a dinner party: Private household cooks $14.94

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

wedding chair covers October 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm

its a shame- but we need these lower level jobs otherwise everything become incredibly more expensive. Maybe it is good for students and younger people to gain experience in lower level jobs- but you would not expect older people to survive on such a wage- so it is a good temporary job for the younger people without much costs.
The minimum wage is still quite high though


Care Homes Fife October 18, 2012 at 4:45 am

I have to agree, I would not expect older people to be in lower level jobs as such. But it’s not really an age factor – it’s more of an experience factor and if those ‘older’ people don’t have the experience to do anything else, then the lower paying jobs are the only option they really have. Nice post 🙂


Jimmy Lings April 5, 2013 at 5:14 am

I agreed with your post. Very nice valuable post. All the above mentioned jobs are very low paying jobs. I never got this much of good information at all.
Jimmy Lings recently posted..Get Personalized Toiletry Bags for Your Next Advertising CampaignMy Profile


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