Office Rat-A-Tat: America's 10 Worst-Paying Jobs


In my last Office Rat-A-Tat, I looked at America's most dangerous jobs. Today, we're discussing low-paying gigs of the worst kind because my lowest-paying job was also my dullest:

Yes, I was the geek reshelving VHS and BETA boxes at your local, pre-Blockbuster mom-and-pop operation. (Did he say BETA? Anyone else remember that dinosaur?) It paid less than minimum wage, but the owners knew my parents and it was one of the few after-school jobs I could bike to. True, I got to take home movies on the weekends for free. True, there was ample downtime, freeing my mind to work on song lyrics about what an ass of a job I had. And true, the video store abutted a pizza parlor named Roccos that had a Space Invaders machine (what could be better?).

But the job was mindless work, better suited for farm animals or perhaps the responsibility-challenged. That it paid anything at all was a mystery to me.

Below I've posted Forbes' 10 lowest-paying jobs from a list of 25 (#25 is gas station attendants, who make a mean annual wage of $19,150). I'd love to hear a story about YOUR lowest-paying job ever (hopefully it isn't the one you're doing now"¦)

  1. Cooks, fast food: Mean Annual Wage: $15,960
  2. Dishwashers: Mean Annual Wage: $16,190
  3. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers: Mean Annual Wage: $16,320
  4. Hosts and hostesses, restaurant, lounge, and coffee shop: Mean Annual Wage: $16,860
  5. Counter attendants, cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop: Mean Annual Wage: $16,950
  6. Gaming dealers: Mean Annual Wage: $17,010
  7. Shampooers: Mean Annual Wage: $17,050
  8. Waiters and waitresses: Mean Annual Wage: $17,190
  9. Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers: Mean Annual Wage: $17,500
  10. Amusement and recreation attendants: Mean Annual Wage: $17,530