It’s a tough job market out there, but these days it seems any job could be a good one. Check out this list from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the bottom 15 professions by average annual wages.
It’s not all Baywatch. The seasonality and part time nature of these jobs brings them in at the bottom of the survey at $6,174 just below 14% of the average worker surveyed.
Food services makes up about 7% of all national employment and 21% of that is wait staff. Attractive because of the number of jobs and entry requirements, waiters and waitresses make on average $9,436 or about 21% of the mean survey wage. Customer tips can increase this.
Bartending as a whole tends to have decent prospects due in large to the high rate of turnover in the food services industry. The average wage of $14,062 can be supplemented from customer tips.
Dealers make up about 51% of jobs in the gaming services industry, and that number is expected to grow substantially over the next decade. The mean dealer salary of $14,283 is 31.8% of the survey average but tips from players can increase that.
People making a living setting and clearing tables, topping off water glasses and making sure there is clean silverware at the buffet will net an average of $15,978, or 36% of the survey mean.
People who operate or maintain amusement rides or concessions and schedule the use of recreational facilities make on average about 39.5% of the survey mean wage or $17,425.
While job opportunities as fast-food cooks are expected to increase at a slower than average rate, high turnover will maintain an ample supply of positions. The limited menus and equipment at these establishments lead to an average wage that is only 40% of the survey average at $17,760.
There were 136,200 parking lot attendant positions in 2008, but jobs are expected to grow at a slower than average rate and pay is 40% of the survey mean at $17,876.
The average wage for people who help move baggage at airports, hotels, and other locales comes in at $17,960 a year, just over 40% of the survey average.
Unlike the rest of the industry, dishwasher positions are expected to decline as fewer hotels maintain full-service restaurants. Dishwashers’ average wage is $18,434 is just shy of 42% of the survey average.
Workers who serve diners from a table or counter can expect to make on average $18,454, or 41.7% of the mean survey wage.
Non-restaurant food servers bring food in hotels, hospitals, or to your car. The average wage of $18,953 is 42.9% of the survey’s mean.
Often employed by dry cleaners to steam, starch, and iron clothing, these jobs are expected to decline by 8% over the next decade. Pressers on average make $18,969, about 43% of the average.
While the overall number of jobs is expected to decrease in this industry, there is a high turnover rate providing job openings. The average wage of $19,199 is 43.4% of the average.
Responsible for tending to young children after school, these workers pull in an average wage of $19,206--43.4% of the survey average. One advantage is that 33% of the industry is self employed and provide services from home.
Check out the lowest paying jobs based on the BLS National Compensation Survey.