The Lowest Paying Jobs in America And Why It’s Problematic

The Lowest Paying Jobs in America And Why It’s Problematic

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When it comes to the lowest-paying jobs in America, there are plenty of contenders. From dishwashers to cashiers to taxi drivers, these positions offer some of the lowest wages in the country. And while many people might not think this is a big deal, it poses a significant problem for our economy.

For one, low-wage jobs are often the only option for many workers. Nearly half of all Americans earn less than $15 per hour. That means they barely make enough to cover their basic needs like housing, food, and transportation. And as the cost of living continues to rise, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for these workers to make ends meet.

Instability Of Low Paying Jobs in America

What’s more, low-wage jobs tend to be very unstable. They often don’t offer benefits like paid time off or health insurance. And because they tend to be in sectors like retail and hospitality, they’re also among the first to be cut when the economy takes a turn. This can leave workers struggling to make ends meet and at risk of falling into poverty.

Why We Can Do Better

The US is the wealthiest nation on Earth. Despite COVID’s decline, GDP was $21.93 trillion in 2020. However, this wealth doesn’t necessarily help everyone. Wealth inequality is an ongoing issue. The gap between more affluent Americans and the poor seems similar to that in Russia and China than it does in France and other advanced democracies.

The difficulty with living off this lower wage is immense. Few things can get more complicated than earning an unsatisfactory paycheck. Some Americans with the hardest-working jobs are locked into low-paying jobs that often do not provide much income for them. When your earnings have exceeded minimum wages, you may want to supplement your full-time job with a few small-time jobs. In this sense, examining which type of employment economics places the lowest value is vital.

The Lowest Paying Careers

Compared to high earners, lower-income workers suffer the most from job losses. The median employee salary amounted to $984 weekly or $51168 for 2019. In a few thousand jobs, however, most people earn under $33,000 annually. The current Census Bureau database compiled a survey to find the lowest-paying employment jobs. The services industry employs the lowest-paid workers in the US.

Landscaping and groundskeeping

A year’s average wage is 33800 (42.7% above the year’s average wage). A median hourly wage is $15.35. The workforce includes 871.770 Landscapists and groundskeepers. They enhance outdoor landscapes, like golf courses, cities, and parks. Most new hires usually acquire on-the-job skills by taking onsite training, though they could be required to pass exams and obtain a license for pesticide and fertilizer. Due to the seasonal nature, many workers can provide extra services such as snow removal and decoration for holidays during the winter months.

Woodworking machine setters

The annual median annual salary was $33,540 (44% below the national average for each occupation), the median hourly wage was $15 an hour, and the number of employees: was 75,000. Members of this occupation perform woodwork tasks like operating drills, press, nailers, and scythes. This can be dangerous as many people who work in this position have developed carpal tunnel syndrome or other injuries.

Food cooking machine operators

Average monthly wage: $44,180 (34.3 % below the average salary for all professions) Average hourly wages: $19. – Total employed 26530 workers run the machinery for making foods in the aisle in grocery stores. – These jobs are challenging, as the workforce must work all day in noisy factories and suffer severe injuries in cuts and falls. In reality, food processing workers’ related employments are highly susceptible and often cause workers’ injuries.

Passenger vehicle drivers

Average monthly wage: 34.60 (40.7% below average in the most critical occupations) – Median hour-to-hour salary: $14.95 – Number of employees: 5599980. Drivers of passenger buses travel people to the destinations that are best for them. Valid licenses can be obtained at all times for the position, and these jobs are ideal if one desires flexible hours and a non-traditional work schedule.

Laborers and freight

The yearly average salary of the employee is $33,710. (40,11% lower compared to all occupations) – Median hourly earnings of $15. A few work in a warehouse where they load trucks, transport goods to storing areas, track packages, and organize. Just weeks of training on the job can be enough to train new hires.

Motion picture projectionists

Annual median wages: 33,380 (389% below the minimum for the whole occupation ). Median hourly salaries: $12. It may take 12 weeks to complete training with more experienced staff to complete these duties. Film projectors will face an increased threat of loss of jobs as digitization will overtake many of the functions previously performed manually.

Agricultural workers

Annual mean salary: $34 330 (38.0% less than the median wage in every occupation). Median hour wages: $14. However, they provide the important job of educating people. Many of those who work for this company are paid according to the quantity of bags or baskets they take and sometimes pay less than minimum wages.

Occupational therapy aides

The average annual wage is $34,160 (33.93% below the median salary for every occupation). The average hourly wage is $14.5. Occupational Therapists help clients recuperate and enhance their ability in daily life. It requires a college diploma or equivalent. This market is expected to grow by 32% from 2019 to 2025.

Maintenance and repair workers

Annual mean wage: 33960 (38.7% lower than the median for every occupation) Median salary: 15.9 / hour. Workers repair equipment, and daily activities may change depending on the task. The market will grow between 2019 and 2030 but may also arise because of the bustling housing market.

Residential advisors

The average college student’s weekly salary is $354,430 (39.6% below average for every job). Median wage: $15.0 – $9.0. This includes coordinating activities, ordering goods, determining furniture, assigning room assignments, and referring residents to counseling resources.

Forest and conservation workers

Annual average wage: $33,520 (40.5% under the average salary in most occupations) This job involves cleaning up dead leaves and clearing the debris from trails. Forest workers wishing to advance in their careers may need further education in forestry or other related fields.

Painters, paperhangers, plasterers

The annual salary is $333.50 (40.0% below average for all jobs). Hourly average wage: 15.6. This helper usually carries out various tasks, including storing tools and cleaning the environment and machinery. In these fields, employment prospects are below average.

Mail clerks and mail machine operators

This occupation’s primary job is handling all the mail and packages received in the mail sector. This position is declining. Automated delivery and machine operations will reduce work opportunities and industry productivity by around 7% between 2019-2029.

Agricultural equipment operators

Average annual wage: 33,070 (33.9 % below average for every occupation) – Median hourly wage: $15.8 – Employment: 29220 – Operator of farming equipment is responsible for the maintenance and production of soils. The Bureau estimates an 11% growth rate in 2019.

Switchboard operators, including answering services

The median annual salary is 34,990 – 59270 Switchboards manage calls from callers and record the messages. Switchboard manufacturers face a 96% probability of automation in the coming decade. It might also be helpful in industries where work injury rates are highest.

Child care workers

One other critical job many may be concerned about landing on that list is childcare, and they’re not putting their money behind them. They are probably struggling to keep their earnings under $25,000.

Crossing guards and flaggers

The average annual wage is 33 220 – (39.1% above average in all occupations). In specialized jobs, specific hours may be necessary with limited hours. While they protect many communities, they often earn low pay.

Security guards

The monthly average salary is $44,360 (37.9% below average across all employment categories). Its entry barrier is relatively low, considering its crucial role. Some people do require no college degree to apply to security jobs.

Hosts and Hostesses

The host of restaurants is often the first face people look upon in a restaurant. There is also a good chance the employees are among the lowest paid — their median hour’s wage averages at $10.65.

Gaming dealers

Even though vast sums of money might be passed around blackjack tables, nothing is going around the dealer. The average hourly wage for casinos is less than $10 an hour.


So why does this matter? When workers struggle to get by, it ripples the entire economy. People who can’t afford necessities are less likely to spend money on other things. This can lead to decreased consumer spending, job losses, and economic decline.

Low-wage jobs are a problem for our economy. And while raising the minimum wage is one possible solution, it’s not the only answer. We need to create more good-paying jobs so that workers can earn a livable wage and support themselves and their families. Only then will we be able to create a thriving economy that works for everyone.

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