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15 Low-Paying Jobs
Check out the lowest paying jobs based on the BLS National Compensation Survey.

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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.

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LIFEGUARD

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.

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WAITERS & WAITRESSES

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.

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BARTENDERS

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.

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GAMING DEALERS

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.

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CAFETERIA ATTENDANTS

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.

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AMUSEMENT & RECREATION ATTENDANTS

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.

Reuters

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COOKS, FAST FOODS

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.

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PARKING LOT ATTENDANTS

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.

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BAGGAGE PORTERS & BELLHOPS

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.

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DISHWASHERS

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.

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COUNTER ATTENDANTS, CAFETERIA, FOOD CONCESSION, & COFFEE SHOP

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.

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FOOD SERVERS (NONRESTAURANT)

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.

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PRESSERS, TEXTILE, GARMENT, & RELATED MATERIALS

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.

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FARM WORKERS

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.

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CHILD CARE WORKERS

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.

15 Low-Paying Jobs

Check out the lowest paying jobs based on the BLS National Compensation Survey.

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