Special Report

25 Lowest Paying Jobs in America

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

10. Cooks
> 2018 median annual earnings: $25,272
> Total workers: 1,325,000

Though many cooks attend culinary school before they begin working, most cooks learn their trade through on-the-job training. Cooking can be a difficult job as it requires long periods of standing and non-traditional working hours. Demand for cooks is projected to increase about 6% by 2026, roughly equivalent to average growth across all jobs.

Source: Orbon Alija / Getty Images

9. Food servers, non-restaurant
> 2018 median annual earnings: $25,168
> Total workers: 106,000

Nonrestaurant food servers, such as those in hospital cafeterias and hotels, earn a median of $484 per week, or just over $25,000 per year. Many in the profession are part-time workers, and demand for these workers is projected to grow slightly faster than average. There is a high turnover rate for non-restaurant food servers, meaning there are likely always a high number of jobs available in the field.

Source: andresr / Getty Images

8. Hosts and hostesses, restaurant, lounge, and coffee shop
> 2018 median annual earnings: $24,492
> Total workers: 102,000

Hosts and hostesses are one of several food service jobs to rank among the 10 lowest paying professions in America. It is a position overwhelmingly held by women, particlularly those age 25 and younger. Like many other positions in the food service industry, hosting does not require any formal education and typically pays relatively low wages.

Source: STEFANOLUNARDI / Getty Images

7. Maids and housekeeping cleaners
> 2018 median annual earnings: $24,284
> Total workers: 825,000

Maids and housekeeping cleaners are most often employed by hotels and other accommodation services. These workers are more concentrated in tourist destinations such as Hawaii and Las Vegas. As the job that is part of the tourism industry, growth for this position depends heavily on a strong economy.

Source: sturti / Getty Images

6. Cashiers
> 2018 median annual earnings: $24,180
> Total workers: 1,390,000

Americans working as cashiers are especially susceptible to job loss due to automation. Fast food restaurants have already begun replacing cashiers with computer kiosks that can take orders and payment from customers. Though the BLS projects 7% average job growth nationwide by 2026, the number of cashiers is projected to decrease by 1% in the same time frame.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.