These Are the 20 Lowest-Paying Jobs in 2020 America

National wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has revealed the lowest-paid jobs in the nation. Among the jobs with the lowest average annual salaries are numerous positions considered “essential” during the early days of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.



a person standing in front of a curtain: A maid cleans a table in this photo illustration.


© Ilya Ginzburg/Getty
A maid cleans a table in this photo illustration.

The lowest-paid job belongs to people who shampoo people’s hair, earning about $22,910 a year. The second-lowest are restaurant hosts and hostesses, earning an average of $24,010 a year.

In the number three spot are cashiers of all sorts ($24,400), followed by gambling dealers who run casino games and gambling service workers who help with support operations ($24,495).

The fifth-lowest paid positions belong to amusement and recreation attendants—those who schedule the use of recreation facilities, maintain and provide equipment to participants of sporting events or recreational pursuits, or operate amusement concessions and rides. Collectively, these workers earn $24,695 a year.

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The next lowest-paid jobs include people who press or shape textile or garment pieces by hand or machine ($24,820) and people who work as lifeguards, ski patrol and those who help protect people who use pools, beaches or ski slopes ($25,380).

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The eighth-lowest paid jobs include a wide swath of people who work in fast-food places, cafeterias including counter workers, short-order cooks, cashiers, dishwashers, barbacks, bussers, food preparation workers and other non-waiter jobs ($25,409).

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers come in at number nine, earning an average of $25,420 a year, and number ten belongs to childcare workers, including people who assist with the dressing, feeding, bathing and overseeing play of children but not educators or teaching assistants ($25,510).

The next ten positions include a variety of blue-collar jobs. Here is a list detailing the 20 lowest-paid jobs in the U.S. and their average annual salaries.

1. Shampooers – $22,910

2. Restaurant hosts and hostesses – $24,010

3. Cashiers (broadly speaking) – $24,400

4. Gambling dealers and gambling service workers – $24,495

5. Amusement and recreation attendants – $24,695

6. Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials – $24,820

7. Lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers – $25,380

8. Fast-food, cafeteria, dining room workers, servers, fast-food and short-order cooks, cashiers, dishwashers, and other food preparation and serving related workers – $25,409

9. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers – $25,420

10. Childcare workers – $25,510

11. Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks – $25,950

12. Home health and personal care aides – $26,440

13. Parking attendants – $26,450

14. Maids and housekeeping cleaners – $26,810

15. Automotive and watercraft service attendants – $26,860

16. Animal caretakers – $27,060

17. Manicurists and pedicurists – $27,390

18. Graders and sorters or agricultural products – $27,570

19. Retail sales workers – $27,600

20. Manual packers and packagers – $27,680

It’s worth pointing out that, while the BLS’s listing of annual salaries represent each job’s average salary, each of the above jobs can also be paid significantly less or more depending on the individual position or its geographic position.

For example, while a lifeguard in Ohio makes about $20,760 a year, the same position in California can make $35,660 annually.

The BLS compiled its data using information from “employers in all industry sectors in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas in every state and the District of Columbia,” according to its website.

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