List of Lowest Paying Jobs

Written by bonnie conrad
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Not all jobs are created equal, and it is important for workers at all levels to understand which occupations in the lowest tiers of the income strata, as those jobs often do not pay enough to support one person, let alone a worker with a family. Many of those jobs offer very little in terms of benefits, such as company-provided health insurance, retirement benefits, sick leave, or even paid vacation time.

Restaurant workers show up on the list of poorly paid workers several times, making food service and restaurant jobs in general among the lowest-paying jobs in the U.S.

Food Services

According to the 2007 statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest paying jobs in the country are among food-services. Those workers ended up on the lowest rang of the income ladder, with a median inncome of just £5.2 per hour. That works out to an annual salary of just £10,856.5, if the work is full-time.

According to the BLS, there were some 2.6 million workers toiling in those low-paying jobs. While some of those workers are no doubt teenagers and college students working part-time for spending cash, others are fully entrenched in those low-paying, dead-end jobs, with little or no means for advancement.

Fast Food Cooks

While those behind the counter at your local fast-food outlet fare the worst, those manning the grills make only a little bit more. The 2007 statistics provided by the BLS found that fast-food cooks earned on average only £5.2 an hour, or an average annual full-time wage of £10,964.7. Those workers come in second on the list of worst-paying jobs in the country.


Those who clean up dishes also are among the lowest-paid workers. Dining-room attendants, cafeteria attendants and bartender helper, according to the BLS, earn an average hourly wage of £5.40 per hour; full-time, that would add up to only £11,302.7 per year.


The salon worker who shampoos hair before a stylist takes over also make the list of low-wage earners, with an average hourly wage of £5.40, or £11,370.3 a year for full-time employment. While those workers may also can earn some tips, their annual salary puts them on the list of the lowest paid occupations in the country.

Hosts and Hostesses

Hosts and hostesses make this dubious list as well, with an average hourly wage of just £5.50 an hour, for an annual full-time salary of £11,546.0.

Counter Attendants

Counter attendants fare poorly as well, with an average hourly wage of only £5.50 per hour ($17,825.60 per year full-time). This employee classification includes all types of counter attendants, including cafeteria workers, food concession personnel and coffee-shop employees.


Ushers, ticket-takers and lobby attendants come in at No. 7 on the list of poorly paid employees, with an annual hourly wage of only £5.50 ($17,888 a year full-time).

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