Lowest-paying jobs in Birmingham

Written by:
May 10, 2022
Daniel Lee // Flickr

Lowest-paying jobs in Birmingham

The U.S. may be one of the wealthiest countries in the world but there’s a growing trend of financial inequality, with middle-class households feeling the most impact. In fact, the number of adults who live in middle-class households dropped from 61% in 1971 to 50% in 2021, according to an April 2022 analysis from Pew Research Center. On the other hand, the upper-income level rose from 14% to 21%. The declining middle class in the U.S. can be attributed to various factors including a decrease in unions and manufacturing jobs and an increased need for college-educated, tech-savvy employees.

The COVID-19 pandemic also played a major role in exposing the harsh financial gap as those who fell under the middle- and upper-income brackets were able to keep their jobs and/or work remotely. At the start of the pandemic in the U.S., workers who fell under the lower-income tier found themselves unemployed or having to be out of work, even if temporarily, as their place of employment was closed.

Those who worked in the leisure and hospitality industries were hit the hardest financially. In December 2020, employment in the hospitality industry was down by 23% compared to pre-pandemic levels in February 2020, an unemployment rate that surpassed other industries. Service employees such as housekeepers, food preparation workers, kitchen cooks, automobile glass installers, and animal caretakers were some of the lowest-paying jobs in the nation.

Stacker compiled a list of the lowest-paying jobs in Birmingham-Hoover, AL, using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by average annual salary with information up to date as of May 2021.

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Canva

#50. Cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators and tenders

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $29,080
- #60 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,820
- Employment: 13,580
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Albany, OR ($50,430)
--- Pittsburgh, PA ($49,010)
--- Richmond, VA ($46,530)
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ESB Basic // Shutterstock

#49. Switchboard operators, including answering service

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $28,650
- #162 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 220

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,590
- Employment: 48,190
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($51,610)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($51,250)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($47,440)
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Oksana Shufrych // Shutterstock

#48. Recreation workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $28,200
- #269 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 780

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,020
- Employment: 264,020
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($50,710)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($45,730)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($44,200)
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Canva

#46 (tie). Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $28,100
- #166 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,440
- Employment: 277,200
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($42,490)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($40,560)
--- Ithaca, NY ($39,570)
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#46 (tie). Retail salespersons

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $28,100
- #309 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 15,030

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,920
- Employment: 3,693,490
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($41,150)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($41,150)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($38,790)

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Africa Studio // Shutterstock

#45. Shuttle drivers and chauffeurs

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $27,970
- #217 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 390

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,570
- Employment: 175,660
- Entry level education requirements: not available
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($43,740)
--- Napa, CA ($42,730)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($42,000)
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Finist4 // Shutterstock

#44. Manicurists and pedicurists

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $27,930
- #103 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,480
- Employment: 120,540
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Provo-Orem, UT ($45,320)
--- Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI ($42,170)
--- Olympia-Tumwater, WA ($40,030)
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GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#43. Nursing assistants

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $27,870
- #320 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,940

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,250
- Employment: 1,314,830
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($47,690)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($47,500)
--- Salinas, CA ($44,210)
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#42. Driver/sales workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $27,520
- #295 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,970
- Employment: 477,020
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bismarck, ND ($48,560)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($46,390)
--- Fargo, ND-MN ($46,360)
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Canva

#41. Helpers--production workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $27,290
- #315 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,550

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,910
- Employment: 202,860
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN ($48,190)
--- Pittsfield, MA ($43,910)
--- Reno, NV ($41,940)

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Pixabay

#39 (tie). Psychiatric aides

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $27,140
- #67 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,640
- Employment: 39,140
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL ($54,830)
--- Stockton-Lodi, CA ($54,000)
--- Utica-Rome, NY ($51,960)
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Jorge Royan // Wikimedia Commons

#39 (tie). Cooks, restaurant

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $27,140
- #286 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,970

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,630
- Employment: 1,193,860
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($43,900)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($43,380)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($41,690)
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Vasin Lee // Shutterstock

#38. Residential advisors

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $27,040
- #247 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 670

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,950
- Employment: 92,500
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Trenton, NJ ($50,560)
--- Napa, CA ($48,390)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($46,210)
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Sean Rayford // Getty Images

#37. Security guards

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $26,790
- #365 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,430

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,830
- Employment: 1,057,100
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Idaho Falls, ID ($70,350)
--- San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA ($58,440)
--- Kennewick-Richland, WA ($55,500)
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Canva

#36. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $26,420
- #246 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 430

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,780
- Employment: 98,970
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Ames, IA ($44,000)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($43,680)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($41,920)

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Canva

#35. Physical therapist aides

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $26,180
- #137 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 250

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,370
- Employment: 42,390
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($45,060)
--- Jackson, MS ($42,210)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($40,510)
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Paul.J.West // Shutterstock

#34. Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $26,100
- #272 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,450

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,760
- Employment: 1,187,270
- Entry level education requirements: Some college, no degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($46,390)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($45,080)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($42,820)
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Canva

#33. Bakers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,800
- #307 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 560

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,300
- Employment: 181,800
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($41,850)
--- Chattanooga, TN-GA ($41,660)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($41,160)
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Canva

#32. Cooks, institution and cafeteria

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,720
- #343 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,970

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,520
- Employment: 392,860
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($48,130)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($47,400)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($47,000)
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Canva

#31. Crossing guards and flaggers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,690
- #164 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,670
- Employment: 82,690
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($56,540)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($55,860)
--- Bellingham, WA ($54,870)

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UfaBizPhoto // Shutterstock

#30. Sewing machine operators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,610
- #218 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 310

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,880
- Employment: 116,220
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Appleton, WI ($43,060)
--- Glens Falls, NY ($42,270)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($40,660)
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PxHere

#29. Library assistants, clerical

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,580
- #205 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 320

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,490
- Employment: 78,470
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($53,770)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($52,500)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($49,030)
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Nejron Photo // Shutterstock

#28. Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,540
- #327 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,400

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,550
- Employment: 351,960
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($40,840)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($38,980)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($38,780)
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Unsplash

#27. Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,430
- #339 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 6,080

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,860
- Employment: 2,036,680
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($42,030)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($41,240)
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($41,150)
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Canva

#26. Orderlies

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,360
- #105 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,440
- Employment: 45,160
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($55,820)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($51,370)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($49,740)

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Jason Person // Shutterstock

#25. Cooks, short order

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,200
- #156 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 370

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,110
- Employment: 124,800
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($39,670)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($38,060)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($37,940)
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viviandnguyen_ // Flickr

#24. Packers and packagers, hand

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,050
- #313 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,130

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,950
- Employment: 585,270
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($38,960)
--- Rome, GA ($38,830)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($38,460)
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Canva

#23. Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $24,490
- #88 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,110
- Employment: 26,910
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($39,040)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($37,370)
--- Springfield, MA-CT ($36,530)
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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#22. Animal caretakers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $24,480
- #334 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,080

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,520
- Employment: 225,680
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($40,460)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($39,720)
--- Salinas, CA ($37,420)
30 / 50
VGstockstudio // Shutterstock

#21. Food servers, nonrestaurant

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $24,390
- #264 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 600

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,500
- Employment: 243,030
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Napa, CA ($46,270)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($43,930)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($43,400)

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Ryan Everton // Unsplash

#20. Dishwashers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $24,110
- #205 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 860

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,350
- Employment: 377,040
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($37,560)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($37,200)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($36,440)
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Martin Smith // Shutterstock

#19. Parking attendants

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $24,010
- #146 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,210
- Employment: 91,160
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($38,920)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($37,670)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($35,420)
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Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#18. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $23,580
- #301 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 650

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,830
- Employment: 157,400
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($38,740)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($38,290)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($35,690)
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CHRISTOF STACHE // Getty Images

#17. Preschool teachers, except special education

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $23,460
- #370 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,130

National
- Annual mean salary: $36,460
- Employment: 391,670
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($49,990)
--- Ocean City, NJ ($49,720)
--- Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ ($49,560)
35 / 50
Dean Drobot // Shutterstock

#16. Cashiers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $23,260
- #281 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 11,080

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,780
- Employment: 3,335,170
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($37,860)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($36,910)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($35,400)

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Crew // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Bartenders

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $23,190
- #331 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 790

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,340
- Employment: 485,330
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($50,180)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($47,820)
--- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ ($47,440)
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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#14. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $22,870
- #344 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,140

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,580
- Employment: 723,430
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($45,430)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($44,940)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($44,580)
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Gabriel Georgescu // Shutterstock

#13. Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $22,840
- #307 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 780

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,040
- Employment: 220,380
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($52,150)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($48,900)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($39,910)
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Pixabay

#12. Lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $22,240
- #183 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 190

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,320
- Employment: 114,320
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($43,930)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($38,420)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($37,930)
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Canva

#11. Food preparation workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $22,140
- #369 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 6,100

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,810
- Employment: 783,350
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($39,950)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($39,230)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($38,340)

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Unsplash

#10. Amusement and recreation attendants

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,840
- #268 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,220

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,110
- Employment: 262,170
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($37,560)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($36,800)
--- Anchorage, AK ($36,020)
42 / 50
aboutsung // Shutterstock

#9. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,620
- #312 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 730

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,690
- Employment: 336,970
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($38,490)
--- Ithaca, NY ($38,170)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($37,910)
43 / 50
Dragon Images // Shutterstock

#8. Hosts and hostesses, restaurant, lounge, and coffee shop

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,560
- #280 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 870

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,000
- Employment: 324,690
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($37,560)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($37,060)
--- Madera, CA ($36,490)
44 / 50
Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock

#7. Childcare workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,540
- #337 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,100

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,680
- Employment: 438,520
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($39,390)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($39,120)
--- Napa, CA ($36,850)
45 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#6. Waiters and waitresses

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,450
- #339 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,940

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,010
- Employment: 1,804,030
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Glens Falls, NY ($47,570)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($47,080)
--- Ithaca, NY ($44,970)

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Daniel Lee // Flickr

#5. Cooks, fast food

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,360
- #255 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $25,490
- Employment: 768,130
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($36,820)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($36,640)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($35,040)
47 / 50
create jobs 51 // Shutterstock

#4. Legislators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,300
- #150 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 190

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,110
- Employment: 44,590
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Yakima, WA ($139,690)
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($136,400)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($132,460)
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Pxhere

#3. Fast food and counter workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $20,790
- #342 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 8,210

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,060
- Employment: 3,095,120
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($37,090)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($36,360)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($34,240)
49 / 50
LightField Studios // Shutterstock

#2. Bus drivers, school

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $19,790
- #332 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,680

National
- Annual mean salary: $38,750
- Employment: 361,420
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Elkhart-Goshen, IN ($55,400)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($55,150)
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($53,770)
50 / 50
Education Images // Getty Images

#1. Substitute teachers, short-term

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $18,240
- #300 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,390

National
- Annual mean salary: $38,410
- Employment: 374,620
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Prescott, AZ ($64,310)
--- Appleton, WI ($63,310)
--- Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL ($58,770)

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