Special Report

The 10 Lowest-Paying Jobs for College Graduates

4. Coaches and Scouts
> Median income: $29,150
> Bottom decile income: $17,340
> Number employed: 206,080

Not only are coaches and scouts required to reach a high level of educational attainment, but they also often work long and irregular hours. Many coaches have often played their sport at a high level, such as in college or professionally. A coach or scout will typically work well over 40 hours a week, especially during the sports season. Additionally, coaches also work evenings, weekends and holidays. And yet, coaches earned a median salary of just $29,150 last year. The BLS estimates that more 200,000 people were employed in this field as of 2013, the majority of whom worked for educational institutions.

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3. Radio and Television Announcers
> Median income: $29,020
> Bottom decile income: $17,450
> Number employed: 30,530

Radio and television announcers typically hold a bachelor’s degree in journalism, broadcasting or communications and must have significant work experience to develop their on-air personalities. Despite the necessary experience, radio and television announcers earned a median income of a little more than $29,000 in 2013, below the national median of $35,080. Income figures may be skewed by the fact that many announcers work part time, and by the fact that nearly one-fourth were self-employed as of 2012.

2. Recreation Workers
> Median income: $22,390
> Bottom decile income: $16,990
> Number employed: 317,310

Recreation workers lead leisure activities for groups in playgrounds, parks, camps and senior centers. The roughly 317,000 recreation workers in the United States earned a median salary of $22,390 in 2013. Only half of all recreation workers were employed full time as of 2012. And while many employers require that recreation workers have a bachelor’s degree, they may also require additional certification for lifeguarding, CPR or first aid. Camp counselors, a subset of recreation workers, oftentimes work irregular hours or are only seasonally employed.

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1. Legislators
> Median income: $20,620
> Bottom decile income: $16,620
> Number employed: 55,800

Legislators include all elected officials who develop and pass laws at local, tribal, state and federal levels. Typically, legislators have at least a bachelor’s degree and gain experience on the job. The median salary of a legislator in 2013 was $20,620. The range of pay for legislators varies considerably, with members of Congress earning $174,000 per year, while legislators in New Hampshire earn just $100 each year. There were roughly 56,000 legislators employed in the country as of 2013.