Special Report

25 Lowest Paying Jobs in America

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15. Personal care aides
> 2018 median annual earnings: $26,000
> Total workers: 786,000

Similar to home health aides, personal care aides are projected to be in high demand because of the ageing population, with the BLS projecting a greater than 38% job growth. An unskilled job, personal care aides are not paid highly. The median weekly wage for a personal care aide is $500, one of the lowest wages in the country.

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14. Childcare workers
> 2018 median annual earnings: $26,000
> Total workers: 437,000

For working parents, childcare is a necessity and childcare workers are essential. These workers help children with dressing and feeding and supervise them throughout the day. The median earnings of a childcare worker is $26,000 per year, well below the overall U.S. median of $46,800.

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13. Sewing machine operators
> 2018 median annual earnings: $25,896
> Total workers: 131,000

Sewing machine operators are some of the lowest paid workers in the United States, earning a median of less than $26,000 annually. Still, these jobs are disappearing in the U.S. apparel industry as companies automate production and are able to find less expensive labor sources in other countries. In 2014, the BLS projected sewing machine operating jobs would decline 16.7% by 2024.

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12. Waiters and waitresses
> 2018 median annual earnings: $25,792
> Total workers: 932,000

The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is less than a third of the minimum wage for all other workers. While some states require employers to pay servers higher wages, in most states, servers must rely on tips to make up the difference. This, coupled with the fact that servers are often younger and professionally inexperienced, are some of the reasons for the profession’s low wage.

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11. Hand packers and packagers
> 2018 median annual earnings: $25,740
> Total workers: 490,000

More and more Americans are shopping online, but the growth rate of people who hand package items in warehouses is slowing. Hand packaging jobs are projected to grow 1.8% by 2024, whereas the average job is projected to grow 7.4% over the same time frame. This slow job growth is attributable to the increased automation in the field. As unskilled workers, packers are not well compensated, with most earning less than $26,000 per year.

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