Special Report

The 10 Lowest-Paying Jobs for College Graduates

7. Rehabilitation Counselors
> Median income: $34,230
> Bottom decile income: $21,170
> Number employed: 103,840

Rehabilitation counselors help people with emotional and physical disabilities cope with everyday life. Becoming a rehabilitation counselor often requires a master’s degree and a state license that calls for between 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. Additionally, candidates must pass a written exam and complete continuing education credits each year. Becoming a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, a designation some employers require, involves further education and clinical experience. Even after receiving a master’s degree and gaining the necessary experience, rehabilitation counselors earned a median income of $34,230 in 2013, just below the national median income of $35,080.

6. Proofreaders and Copy Markers
> Median income: $33,130
> Bottom decile income: $19,430
> Number employed: 11,260

Proofreaders and copy markers mostly work in the newspaper and book publishing industries. Their jobs require them to identify and correct grammatical, typographical or compositional errors. There were roughly 11,000 proofreaders and copy markers employed in the country in 2013, not counting those who were self-employed. In the same year, median incomes of proofreaders and copy markers were slightly more than $33,000, below the national median earnings for all occupations. The top 10% of earners in this field fared slightly better, making at least $54,620.

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5. Graduate Teaching Assistants
> Median income: $29,950
> Bottom decile income: $17,730
> Number employed: 118,820

Graduate teaching assistants help college and university faculty by teaching lower-level classes as well as by preparing and grading exams. Teaching assistants are typically not paid exceptionally well. The median pay for a teaching assistant was just less than $30,000 in 2013. However, as the BLS’ Kohli told 24/7 Wall St., graduate students do not generally make a career out of being a teaching assistant. Kohli noted that graduates typically find other jobs after they complete their graduate program.