America is known as the land of opportunity. This being said, while it might be easy for you to find a job in America, it does not necessarily mean you will be swimming in a pool of money by the end of your working life. Even though the population is ever rising, job opportunities? Not so much.
There are a few jobs where you will find yourself being handed out the short end of the stick. These are sometimes compared to dead end jobs- where you can put in more working hours than the average American, yet you would be coming home with minimum wage.
Lowest Paying Jobs in America:
1. Gaming dealers:
Working in a casino seems like the perfect job for you. Why not? You get to play your favourite games, as well as make some money off of it. But being a gaming dealer isn’t all about games and hard cash. Did you know you are required to go through a rigorous training school before you can become a gaming dealer? You are also required to stand throughout your entire shift. It is an extremely physically demanding job. You may have thought it was all play and no work, but this job will get you a salary of $22,410 a year. Doesn’t seem so tempting now, does it?
2. Animal Caretakers or Animal Trainers:
For those who love animals more than themselves, this job is a match made in heaven. An animal caretaker works for taking care of non farm animals or domestic animals such as dogs, cats, etc. You might even find yourself working in a zoo, an animal shelter, pet stores kennels or circuses. The main job of an animal caretaker is feed them, give them water, groom them, clean them as well as their shelters. The upside of this job- you get to work with wonderful, loveable animals all day long. The downside- you will only earn a mean salary of $22,370. But some people who are really into the job often find shelter in being able to care for animals, and do not really let the salaries affect them. Are you one of them?
3. Cooks (Fast Food Chains):
While most of these jobs require minimum education, they also require long working hours, especially on holidays. While most of your family and friends might be enjoying a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, you would find yourself on the other side of the menu, serving them or even helping to prepare the dishes for them. Many people working in food preparation find themselves working in real time 40 hour a week jobs. However, if you have plans of working in the Hospitality department in the near future, it is a good idea to start by working in this job. Food preparation and serving workers find themselves coming home with a $22,260 annual salary, while fast food cooks only come home with an average of $18,780. Household cooks, on the other hand, earn the most, coming home with $27,840.
4. Hotel/Motel/Resort Desk Clerks:
Your main job as a hotel/motel/resort desk clerk will be to serve patrons. You will be in charge of assigning rooms to guests and ensuring they are over all happy with their stay. You will also perform actions such as computing bills, being in charge of transactions, balancing accounts and collecting payments. On an average, a desk clerk earns about $21,960 annually. So next time, don’t think twice before tipping your desk clerk. They don’t make much anyway.
It has been noted that there are about half a million dishwashers in the United States. While training required for this job is minimum to nil, many people in this job see it as a stepping stone to their career in the restaurant business or hospitality business. Dishwashers in America earn an average of $27,928 yearly.
6. Parking Lot Attendants:
Hollywood movies might give us the impression that parking lot attendants get to drive the fanciest cars, get hefty tips and have a cushy job. But in reality, it is far from that. There is definitely a difference in driving someone else’s Ferrari to owning your own; a dream which often remains just that- a dream. This job doesn’t pay much, and can be very demanding. On an average, parking lot attendants earn about $28,000. It is a fine job if you are looking to work part time to supplement your salary, but as a full time job, not so much.
7. Personal Care Aids:
Personal care or health care workers mainly work with elderly or disabled people in health care facilities. Even if their work is not deemed as very demanding physically, it can have an emotional toll on the workers. Personal care aids job ranges from taking care of sick, injured or disabled people, changing their bandages, taking care of them, feeding them, cleaning them and even bathing and dressing patients. They are required to monitor the patients’ health status and report back periodically. Some amount of medical knowledge is required in this field of work. There have even been cases of occupational hazards, where workers have had to deal with particularly disturbed, violent or mentally unstable patients, and have ended up injuring themselves. It should be mentioned that even though personal care aids are responsible of administering health care to patients, they themselves have no medical facilities or health care benefits. The mean salary of a personal care aid is $21,830.
8. Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners:
Your job as a maid or housekeeping cleaner will vary from making the bed, to cleaning the toilet, kitchen, in fact, the entire house! Once again, many entering this job see it as a stepping stone into the hospitality business. But this is not an easy job, mind you. It is physically challenging and requires a certain amount of perfectionism. An average housekeeper or maid earns a salary of $21,820.
This is one of the most commonly found jobs anywhere in the world. A cashier is required in almost every place you go- from a supermarket, to a gas station, to clothing stores, etc. While most of the training is given to you on the job, you will require a basic understanding. Ironically, even though this may seem like a low profile job, most crimes and violence are seen to have been shown on cashiers during robberies or crimes. That being said, a cashiers job will only get you an average of $19,000 annually.
10. Hosts and Hostesses:
While you almost always remember to tip your busboy or your waiter, many people ever remember to tip the Host or Hostess. The job of a Host or Hostess in a restaurant will require you to greet guests, help them in finding a table, and sometimes even do the job of a cashier if required. It should be noted that a Host or Hostess earns lesser than your average waiter. The mean salary of a host or hostess is $19,000.
This is another one of your sought after, all play and no work jobs. The reality behind this job is very different. Some bars require you to attend training on how to mix drinks and how to deal with customers. Even though you might think your main job is to just make some cocktails, a bartender often has to deal with the weepy, unstable, sometimes even violent customers. Bartenders can easily get into brawls, as most of the customers will be, as you guessed it, drunk out of their minds. A job as a bartender will get you an average annual salary of $21,630. And no, you are NOT allowed to drink while on the job!
12. Amusement Park and Recreation Attendants:
Who wouldn’t want to work at an amusement park! You are just sitting on rides all day and enjoying all the treats around you, right? Wrong. Turns out, amusement park and recreation attendants have far more important jobs to do than sit around the rides all day. Occupational hazards at this job are extremely high. Not only that, you are also responsible for cleaning up after guests who have gotten sick after some ride. Your average salary as an amusement park or recreation attendant will be $20,000.
13. Movie theatre ushers, ticket takers:
As a movie theatre usher or ticket taker, you get to watch all the free movies you want. But keep in mind, you will be constantly interrupted in between your favourite scenes to clean up the mess someone made, or help the late comers find their seats. Also, you would have to be okay with watching the same movie over and over again for a week. But for a movie fanatic, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Movie theatre ushers and ticket takers usually earn an average annual salary of $21,000. But hey, free movies for life!
14. Motion picture projectionist:
A motion picture projectionist is required to operate film projections, as well as inspect the quality of films. Motion picture projectionists can earn a salary of $21,600 annually.
15. Laundry and Dry Cleaning Workers:
A laundry and dry cleaning workers main job is to tend to the dry cleaning and washing machines. For this you will be required to have adequate knowledge on the operations and machinery of the dry cleaning machines of the place you are working at. You might be employed at laundromats, or larger institutions that provide laundry and dry cleaning services like hotels and hospitals. As a laundry and dry cleaning worker, you will come home with an average annual salary of $21,540.
16. Manicurist and Pedicurist:
Working in the beauty industry is a dream for many women. While some women have a natural talent or knack for beauty, others need more training to work in this industry. Dolling up your customer and making them look pretty might seem like an easy and high paying job, but this is not the case sadly. As a manicurist or pedicurist, you will be working exclusively with nails- all sorts of nail jobs including cutting, cleaning, shaping, filing, nail art, nail extensions, and the works. You may work in a salon or spa or even work independently. But inclusive of your salary and tips, you will be earning an average of $21,440 annually. Seems like a low price to pay for helping someone look beautiful.
17. Child Care Workers:
In order to become a child care worker, two qualities are of utmost importance; patience and love for children. A child care worker is responsible for looking after children, feeding, bathing, playing with them, keeping them safe, and even helping them with their school work. A child care worker may be appointed in school, hospitals, nursing homes, or even hired privately. But for the heavy duty job of taking care of a child, you are not paid your worth. As a child care worker, you would be earning on an average a salary of $21,310.
18. Waiters and Waitresses:
A waiter or waitress is asked to wait on tables, look after patrons, take and bring orders to tables, and even take care of guests issues and problems. Often, people are rude to waiters and waitresses, but it will be part of your job to just smile, and let it go. Any wrong conduct on your part will just get you fired from the job. While this job requires a lot of physical labour, often you will not get time to sit or even have a glass of water during particularly busy days, you are also required to work on holidays. You will rely mostly on tips, and you are even required to go the extra mile sometimes for those tips. Most waiters and waitresses are paid in order of the shifts they take, earning a mean salary of $20,410 annually.