While most people who work are glad just to be employed these days, there are some jobs out there that pay so little it’s almost criminal. A common thread among these jobs is that they are all physically demanding, and if you are one of the people working in any of these industries, you deserve to be compensated fairly. In a truly fair world, you would be making the big money while the Kardashians toil away at minimum-wage jobs for the rest of their lives.
1. Fast Food Cook
To the surprise of pretty much no one, fast food workers routinely rank among the lowest paying positions in the United States. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the single worst-paying job you could have in America is as a fast food cook. Without full-time hours, most cooks live just above the poverty line. Despite the hard work and limited wages, cooks and their fellow fast food workers represent the fourth-largest occupation in the nation.
2. Farm Laborer
Although they are employed in an industry you literally couldn’t live without, farm laborers are paid a pittance in exchange for hours of backbreaking work in fields across America. Much of the money finds its way into the pockets of large agriculture companies while working conditions remain appallingly hazardous. If you have suffered from a dangerous workplace, consult an employment law attorney.
3. Garment Worker
Speaking of dangerous workplaces, you may be familiar with the garment industry’s infamous history of extremely unsafe working conditions. At least things now aren’t as bad as they were in 1911, when the Triangle Shirtwaist factory went up in flames and caused the deaths of 146 employees because the company had blocked the emergency exits to prevent workers from going to the washroom too often. Many of these jobs are staffed by undocumented immigrants, but rough conditions and low wages still go hand-in-hand if you’re an American garment worker.
4. Personal Care Aide
As the population ages, the demand for personal care aides will skyrocket over the next decade. Unsung heroes of the health care industry, these hard-working men and women are responsible for a wide range of daily-living activities that allow elderly and disabled people to live comfortably in their own homes. As a personal care aide, you’re definitely not in it for the money, but rather the feeling that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.
5. Child Care Worker
You would expect that if you’re entrusting the safety and security of your most prized possession to someone for several hours a day, they should be rewarded handsomely for their efforts in helping to raise your child. Unfortunately, child care workers are some of the most underpaid employees in the United States despite a list of duties that can include feeding and bathing children, dealing with temper tantrums, and assisting with schoolwork.
There’s nothing quite like going out to a restaurant and eating off of a sparkling clean plate that you didn’t have to wash yourself. Sadly, the dishwasher who cleaned that plate isn’t taking home much at all in the paycheck department. Being a dishwasher requires a lot of work for little money, but it’s an opportunity to get your foot in the door if you’re interested in breaking into the food-service industry.
It’s easy to take cashiers for granted because you see them everywhere, from convenience stores and supermarkets to gas stations and major department chains. If you’ve ever worked as a cashier, you know the stress and strain placed on you physically and mentally during a typical shift, especially when the holiday season arrives. In addition to low wages, cashiers are more likely to be victims of robbery and homicide than almost any other line of employment.