America's Low-Paying Jobs - Need Workers

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blue collarJobs at the low end of the pay scale are often overlooked. Understandably, everyone wants to earn a lot of money -- it makes life easier when you're not counting pennies between paychecks. The problem is that, unless you're on the receiving end of nepotism, your first job isn't going to earn you six figures.

Many low-paying jobs are perfect fits for students who wants to earn a little cash or for anyone who wants a second job. Often, these jobs have flexible or unconventional hours, so you're not stuck in a cubicle from 8:00 to 5:00 every day. Perhaps more importantly, these jobs allow you to get a taste of a company or industry so that you can begin building your career.

Paul Facella's book, "Everything I Know About Business I Learned at McDonald's," is a perfect example of how jobs that don't pay big bucks can form a strong foundation for career growth. Facella began working on the other side of the counter at McDonald's when he was 16 years old. He went from serving fries to serving as a regional vice president with the company. And now he has a book, which is more than most people can say.

With that in mind, take a look at these 20 jobs with modest incomes, according to CBsalary.com, and consider how they might factor into your professional goals.


1. Amusement and recreation attendants

Mean* hourly earnings: $8.76

Mean annual earnings: $18,220


2. Bartenders

Mean hourly earnings: $9.49

Mean annual earnings: $19,740


3. Cafeteria, food concession and coffee shop counter attendants

Mean hourly earnings: $8.57

Mean annual earnings: $17,820


4. Cashiers

Mean hourly earnings: $8.84

Mean annual earnings: $18,380


5. Child-care workers

Mean hourly earnings: $9.46

Mean annual earnings: $19,670


6. Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food

Mean hourly earnings: $8.03

Mean annual earnings: $16,700


7. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

Mean hourly earnings: $8.36

Mean annual earnings: $17,380


8. Dishwashers

Mean hourly earnings: $8.20

Mean annual earnings: $17,060


9. Farm workers and laborers, crop, nursery and greenhouse

Mean hourly earnings: $8.82

Mean annual earnings: $18,350


10. Fast food cooks

Mean hourly earnings: $8.11

Mean annual earnings: $16,860


11. Food preparation workers

Mean hourly earnings: $9.30

Mean annual earnings: $19,350


12. Graders and sorters of agricultural products

Mean hourly earnings: $9.42

Mean annual earnings: $19,590


13. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Mean hourly earnings: $9.40

Mean annual earnings: $19,550


14. Manicurists and pedicurists

Mean hourly earnings: $10.59

Mean annual earnings: $22,020


15. Nonrestaurant food servers

Mean hourly earnings: $9.93

Mean annual earnings: $20,660


16. Parking lot attendants

Mean hourly earnings: $9.29

Mean annual earnings: $19,320


17. Restaurant, lounge and coffee shop hosts and hostesses

Mean hourly earnings: $8.54

Mean annual earnings: $17,770


18. Short-order cooks

Mean hourly earnings: $9.41

Mean annual earnings: $19,580


19. Textile, garment and related materials pressers

Mean hourly earnings: $9.27

Mean annual earnings: $19,280


20. Waiters and waitresses

Mean hourly earnings: $8.93

Mean annual earnings: $18,570


* Mean wages are calculated by taking all salaries in an occupation and dividing by the number of workers to find the overall average. Hourly earnings are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

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