10 low-paying jobs that need a raise
Many of us are feeling the effects of the economic downturn and rising inflation rates. But as the cost of living also continues to rise, minimum wage workers fear they will no longer be able to afford the bare necessities. And with 125 million or 61% of Americans already living paycheck to paycheck, there is cause for concern. However, some positions have been notoriously underpaid for decades, barely offering a living wage. Here are 10 low-paying jobs that desperately need a raise to keep up with rising inflation.
10 low-paying jobs that need a raise
Based on earnings reported to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and statistics from 2021, the following list includes low-paying jobs requiring a raise. Keep in mind that this list is not for every position, but rather groups several low-paying positions by industry. If you want to see the breakdown by job, you can view the full report here.
1. Fast food workers
The fast food industry has been one of the hardest hit by labor shortages. But after learning how much they earn, it leaves no doubt as to why.
Fast food remains one of the lowest paying industries. Most positions are below the poverty line to support a household of 4. Cooks are the lowest paid with an average annual salary of $25,490. Counter workers come next with $26,060, and dining room staff earn a little more at $27,690 per year.
2. Restaurant Staff
The restaurant industry in general has been struggling since the start of the pandemic. Although more people returned to eat in restaurants, some never recovered and were forced to close.
When the restaurant isn’t making a lot of money, it can’t afford to pay its staff. Unfortunately, employees who relied on tips didn’t even earn minimum wage at times. When you see how many restaurant jobs take home before taxes, some salaries are barely enough to live on, let alone savings.
- Host/Hostess $26,000
- Dishwasher $27,350
- Servers $27,520
- Bussers and Barbacks $27,690
- Food preparation and service $28,810
- Bartenders $30,340
3. Entertainment and recreation attendants
People need entertainment to escape the demands of their jobs and the stresses of everyday life. Attending events, going to amusement parks, and watching a movie can help you slow down and enjoy life.
However, those who provide these services may experience their own financial difficulties. This category includes different types of positions ranging from ticket takers to ushers and attendants. Either way, they only earn an average annual salary of between $26,110 and $27,170, depending on the position.
Any business that sells products or services will need cashiers to handle transactions. Although this is an entry-level position, they foresee an important role in the structure of the company. But a cashier job usually means working long hours for low pay. Most companies hire people for an average salary of $26,770 per year.
5. Child care workers
You would think that the people we trust to take care of our children would be higher on the pay scale. Unfortunately, child care positions are low-paying jobs that need a raise. Educators have a very busy and demanding job. Moreover, the well-being of many children directly depends on them. However, they only earn an average salary of $27,680.
6. Reception staff
When you travel, it’s easy to forget the importance of each position within the hotel. From check-in and catering to special requests, the front desk staff makes it a point to take care of you when you’re away from home.
Unfortunately, they don’t earn much for their efforts. An office worker earns around $28,040, while chambermaids and housekeepers earn slightly more at $29,580. Baggage porters and porters can expect around $30,040 per year.
Health professionals have proven themselves over the past few years. The harsh conditions caused many to retire or leave the field. The resulting staff shortages have made health care all the more difficult.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities are trying to promote and train doctors, nurses and new medical staff to meet the demand. Many employers even offer more financial incentives to fill these positions.
But, there has been little financial gain for caregivers who have an important function in daily care. Health care aides take home about $33,440, while health care aides and home health aides earn slightly less at $29,260 per year.
8. Agricultural workers
Farmers across the country are responsible for growing the food that feeds our country. However, agricultural workers have a very thankless job. This includes long hours, hard work and minimal pay. Although farm workers can earn more depending on their skills and training, the average farm worker makes about $32,450 a year.
9. Security Officers
Security guards play an important role in assisting the local police. They often provide manpower to patrol buildings, monitor commercial areas, and investigate suspicious activity. Many even carry a weapon. However, they are not well compensated for the level of danger involved in the work. A security guard earns an average salary of $35,830 per year.
In other cultures, teachers hold revered positions. But this is not the case in the United States
It’s no secret that teachers don’t get into it for the money. A preschool teacher is the lowest paid position requiring a degree. They earn an annual salary of $36,460 while other teachers earn between $10,000 and $20,000 more. But even that pay raise is very small considering how important they are in shaping young minds.
While acquiring new skills, certifications, or degrees can help boost your income, it doesn’t change the fact that some jobs are severely underpaid. Having held many of the positions on this list over the years, I understand why people burn themselves out working long hours for low pay. However, the nation could face a serious jobs crisis if people decide they are burnt out and are no longer willing to perform those jobs at the same level of pay.
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