Lowest-paying jobs in Columbus

Written by:
March 25, 2022
aboutsung // Shutterstock

Lowest-paying jobs in Columbus

Stacker collected information on the lowest-paying jobs in Columbus, GA-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 2020. Job descriptions are from O*NET.

In Columbus, the annual mean wage is $44,370 or 21.2% lower than national mean of $56,310, while the lowest-paying occupation makes $17,970. Read on to see which jobs make the list.

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Pixabay

#50. Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $28,200
- #32 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,160

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,710
- Employment: 2,805,200
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX ($23,980)
--- Homosassa Springs, FL ($24,680)
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($25,350)
- Job description: Manually move freight, stock, luggage, or other materials, or perform other general labor. Includes all manual laborers not elsewhere classified.

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Canva

#49. Medical equipment preparers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $27,990
- #1 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $41,070
- Employment: 56,870
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Columbus, GA-AL ($27,990)
--- Knoxville, TN ($28,440)
--- Cape Girardeau, MO-IL ($28,770)
- Job description: Prepare, sterilize, install, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.

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Canva

#48. Helpers--installation, maintenance, and repair workers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $27,840
- #34 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,960
- Employment: 91,430
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Wichita Falls, TX ($23,230)
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($23,580)
--- Racine, WI ($24,240)
- Job description: Help installation, maintenance, and repair workers in maintenance, parts replacement, and repair of vehicles, industrial machinery, and electrical and electronic equipment. Perform duties such as furnishing tools, materials, and supplies to other workers; cleaning work area, machines, and tools; and holding materials or tools for other workers.

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Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos // Flickr

#47. Counter and rental clerks

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $27,820
- #61 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,700
- Employment: 368,300
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Carbondale-Marion, IL ($21,980)
--- Lawton, OK ($22,200)
--- Parkersburg-Vienna, WV ($22,360)
- Job description: Receive orders, generally in person, for repairs, rentals, and services. May describe available options, compute cost, and accept payment.

5 / 50
The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#46. Stockers and order fillers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $27,320
- #73 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,000

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,010
- Employment: 2,210,960
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Fond du Lac, WI ($23,990)
--- Monroe, LA ($24,240)
--- Florence, SC ($24,420)
- Job description: Receive, store, and issue merchandise, materials, equipment, and other items from stockroom, warehouse, or storage yard to fill shelves, racks, tables, or customers' orders. May operate power equipment to fill orders. May mark prices on merchandise and set up sales displays.

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UfaBizPhoto // Shutterstock

#45. Sewing machine operators

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $26,580
- #54 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,420
- Employment: 116,520
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- El Paso, TX ($18,940)
--- McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX ($21,950)
--- Wichita Falls, TX ($22,070)
- Job description: Operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate, or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or nongarment products.

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Canva

#44. Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $26,560
- #27 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 520

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,800
- Employment: 872,370
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($22,780)
--- El Paso, TX ($23,330)
--- Charleston, WV ($23,500)
- Job description: Landscape or maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment. Workers typically perform a variety of tasks, which may include any combination of the following: sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting, watering, fertilizing, digging, raking, sprinkler installation, and installation of mortarless segmental concrete masonry wall units.

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Marcin Wichary // Wikicommons

#43. Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $26,390
- #1 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $38,800
- Employment: 69,570
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Columbus, GA-AL ($26,390)
--- Boise City, ID ($28,830)
--- Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL ($29,020)
- Job description: Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.

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ESB Basic // Shutterstock

#42. Switchboard operators, including answering service

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $26,200
- #19 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,980
- Employment: 59,270
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Alexandria, LA ($20,580)
--- Lawton, OK ($21,710)
--- Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL ($22,090)
- Job description: Operate telephone business systems equipment or switchboards to relay incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls. May supply information to callers and record messages.

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New Africa // Shutterstock

#41. Receptionists and information clerks

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $26,160
- #24 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 930

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,410
- Employment: 968,420
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Gadsden, AL ($22,570)
--- Killeen-Temple, TX ($22,770)
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($22,880)
- Job description: Answer inquiries and provide information to the general public, customers, visitors, and other interested parties regarding activities conducted at establishment and location of departments, offices, and employees within the organization.

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Daniel Lee // Flickr

#40. Cooks, fast food

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $26,120
- #229 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 540

National
- Annual mean salary: $24,300
- Employment: 544,420
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Altoona, PA ($17,660)
--- Johnson City, TN ($17,700)
--- Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL ($17,900)
- Job description: Prepare and cook food in a fast food restaurant with a limited menu. Duties of these cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.

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Jorge Royan // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Cooks, restaurant

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $26,090
- #123 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 810

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,530
- Employment: 1,109,650
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($20,590)
--- Laredo, TX ($21,000)
--- Gadsden, AL ($21,540)
- Job description: Prepare, season, and cook dishes such as soups, meats, vegetables, or desserts in restaurants. May order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.

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Vasin Lee // Shutterstock

#38. Residential advisors

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,710
- #28 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,430
- Employment: 102,450
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Gadsden, AL ($20,950)
--- Jonesboro, AR ($20,980)
--- Amarillo, TX ($21,360)
- Job description: Coordinate activities in resident facilities in secondary school and college dormitories, group homes, or similar establishments. Order supplies and determine need for maintenance, repairs, and furnishings. May maintain household records and assign rooms. May assist residents with problem solving or refer them to counseling resources.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#37. Retail salespersons

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,280
- #16 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,730

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,940
- Employment: 3,659,670
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Albany, GA ($22,740)
--- Hinesville, GA ($23,640)
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($23,660)
- Job description: Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#36. Driver/sales workers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,150
- #49 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,870
- Employment: 420,890
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY ($19,230)
--- Sumter, SC ($19,740)
--- Dalton, GA ($21,020)
- Job description: Drive truck or other vehicle over established routes or within an established territory and sell or deliver goods, such as food products, including restaurant take-out items, or pick up or deliver items such as commercial laundry. May also take orders, collect payment, or stock merchandise at point of delivery.

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Canva

#35. Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $25,140
- #2 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $37,370
- Employment: 41,660
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($24,740)
--- Columbus, GA-AL ($25,140)
--- Medford, OR ($26,260)
- Job description: Mold, shape, form, cast, or carve products such as food products, figurines, tile, pipes, and candles consisting of clay, glass, plaster, concrete, stone, or combinations of materials.

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Canva

#34. Cooks, institution and cafeteria

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $24,940
- #62 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,940
- Employment: 387,300
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Montgomery, AL ($19,990)
--- Dothan, AL ($20,340)
--- Decatur, AL ($20,520)
- Job description: Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

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Pixabay

#33. Psychiatric aides

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $24,770
- #10 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 260

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,300
- Employment: 51,550
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Jackson, TN ($21,440)
--- Charleston, WV ($22,320)
--- Jackson, MS ($22,620)
- Job description: Assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff. May assist with daily living activities, lead patients in educational and recreational activities, or accompany patients to and from examinations and treatments. May restrain violent patients. Includes psychiatric orderlies.

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Oksana Shufrych // Shutterstock

#31 (tie). Recreation workers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $24,000
- #36 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 620

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,960
- Employment: 325,640
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Rocky Mount, NC ($20,040)
--- Lake Charles, LA ($20,300)
--- Monroe, LA ($21,000)
- Job description: Conduct recreation activities with groups in public, private, or volunteer agencies or recreation facilities. Organize and promote activities, such as arts and crafts, sports, games, music, dramatics, social recreation, camping, and hobbies, taking into account the needs and interests of individual members.

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Canva

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $24,000
- #20 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,140
- Employment: 293,910
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Rocky Mount, NC ($19,550)
--- Shreveport-Bossier City, LA ($20,610)
--- Las Cruces, NM ($21,540)
- Job description: Manually plant, cultivate, and harvest vegetables, fruits, nuts, horticultural specialties, and field crops. Use hand tools, such as shovels, trowels, hoes, tampers, pruning hooks, shears, and knives. Duties may include tilling soil and applying fertilizers; transplanting, weeding, thinning, or pruning crops; applying pesticides; or cleaning, grading, sorting, packing, and loading harvested products. May construct trellises, repair fences and farm buildings, or participate in irrigation activities.

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David Corby // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $23,970
- #18 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,980
- Employment: 98,810
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Johnstown, PA ($19,580)
--- Tyler, TX ($20,460)
--- Cleveland, TN ($20,690)
- Job description: Feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. Clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment. May provide routine postoperative care, administer medication orally or topically, or prepare samples for laboratory examination under the supervision of veterinary or laboratory animal technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or scientists.

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Unsplash

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $23,790
- #25 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,490

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,410
- Employment: 1,990,510
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Monroe, LA ($21,200)
--- Sumter, SC ($21,400)
--- Dothan, AL ($21,670)
- Job description: Keep buildings in clean and orderly condition. Perform heavy cleaning duties, such as cleaning floors, shampooing rugs, washing walls and glass, and removing rubbish. Duties may include tending furnace and boiler, performing routine maintenance activities, notifying management of need for repairs, and cleaning snow or debris from sidewalk.

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Finist4 // Shutterstock

#28. Manicurists and pedicurists

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $23,410
- #20 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,010
- Employment: 73,010
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- York-Hanover, PA ($18,440)
--- Fort Wayne, IN ($18,880)
--- Akron, OH ($19,540)
- Job description: Clean and shape customers' fingernails and toenails. May polish or decorate nails.

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ProfDEH // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Couriers and messengers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $23,300
- #7 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,010
- Employment: 70,700
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Tuscaloosa, AL ($19,770)
--- Monroe, LA ($21,160)
--- Lawton, OK ($21,380)
- Job description: Pick up and deliver messages, documents, packages, and other items between offices or departments within an establishment or directly to other business concerns, traveling by foot, bicycle, motorcycle, automobile, or public conveyance.

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Unsplash

#26. Floral designers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $23,230
- #7 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,670
- Employment: 36,810
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Oshkosh-Neenah, WI ($19,290)
--- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($21,560)
--- Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA ($22,530)
- Job description: Design, cut, and arrange live, dried, or artificial flowers and foliage.

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Nejron Photo // Shutterstock

#25. Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $22,630
- #14 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,400
- Employment: 341,660
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL ($20,280)
--- Albany, GA ($20,850)
--- Dalton, GA ($20,890)
- Job description: Wash or otherwise clean vehicles, machinery, and other equipment. Use such materials as water, cleaning agents, brushes, cloths, and hoses.

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viviandnguyen_ // Flickr

#24. Packers and packagers, hand

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $22,610
- #30 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 450

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,270
- Employment: 599,270
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Wichita Falls, TX ($18,740)
--- Casper, WY ($19,850)
--- Johnstown, PA ($19,920)
- Job description: Pack or package by hand a wide variety of products and materials.

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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#23. Animal caretakers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $22,600
- #31 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 220

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,380
- Employment: 193,660
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Morristown, TN ($18,810)
--- Greenville, NC ($20,320)
--- Twin Falls, ID ($20,580)
- Job description: Feed, water, groom, bathe, exercise, or otherwise provide care to promote and maintain the well-being of pets and other animals that are not raised for consumption, such as dogs, cats, race horses, ornamental fish or birds, zoo animals, and mice. Work in settings such as kennels, animal shelters, zoos, circuses, and aquariums. May keep records of feedings, treatments, and animals received or discharged. May clean, disinfect, and repair cages, pens, or fish tanks.

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Pexels

#22. Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $22,550
- #53 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,390
- Employment: 95,600
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Tulsa, OK ($18,650)
--- Appleton, WI ($18,760)
--- Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC ($18,930)
- Job description: Assist patrons at entertainment events by performing duties, such as collecting admission tickets and passes from patrons, assisting in finding seats, searching for lost articles, and helping patrons locate such facilities as restrooms and telephones.

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GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#21. Nursing assistants

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $22,540
- #3 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,190

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,050
- Employment: 1,371,050
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Monroe, LA ($21,840)
--- Brunswick, GA ($22,370)
--- Columbus, GA-AL ($22,540)
- Job description: Provide or assist with basic care or support under the direction of onsite licensed nursing staff. Perform duties such as monitoring of health status, feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, or ambulation of patients in a health or nursing facility. May include medication administration and other health-related tasks. Includes nursing care attendants, nursing aides, and nursing attendants.

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Dean Drobot // Shutterstock

#20. Cashiers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $22,500
- #85 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,040

National
- Annual mean salary: $25,710
- Employment: 3,333,100
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Hattiesburg, MS ($19,530)
--- Monroe, LA ($19,780)
--- Albany, GA ($20,320)
- Job description: Receive and disburse money in establishments other than financial institutions. May use electronic scanners, cash registers, or related equipment. May process credit or debit card transactions and validate checks.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#19. Waiters and waitresses

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $22,320
- #129 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,270

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,470
- Employment: 1,944,240
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($17,980)
--- Decatur, AL ($17,980)
--- Shreveport-Bossier City, LA ($18,060)
- Job description: Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

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Paul.J.West // Shutterstock

#18. Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $22,230
- #42 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,060

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,630
- Employment: 1,272,840
- Entry level education requirements: Some college, no degree
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Alexandria, LA ($17,810)
--- Gadsden, AL ($18,110)
--- Hammond, LA ($18,740)
- Job description: Assist a preschool, elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher with instructional duties. Serve in a position for which a teacher has primary responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

34 / 50
VGstockstudio // Shutterstock

#17. Food servers, nonrestaurant

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,880
- #43 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,460
- Employment: 254,650
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Decatur, AL ($18,460)
--- Enid, OK ($18,780)
--- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($18,960)
- Job description: Serve food to individuals outside of a restaurant environment, such as in hotel rooms, hospital rooms, residential care facilities, or cars.

35 / 50
Jason Person // Shutterstock

#16. Cooks, short order

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,830
- #25 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,030
- Employment: 123,350
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Laredo, TX ($18,660)
--- Gainesville, GA ($18,740)
--- Mobile, AL ($18,820)
- Job description: Prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time. May take orders from customers and serve patrons at counters or tables.

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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#15. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,420
- #45 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 790

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,010
- Employment: 795,590
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Monroe, LA ($18,460)
--- Valdosta, GA ($18,730)
--- Alexandria, LA ($19,070)
- Job description: Perform any combination of light cleaning duties to maintain private households or commercial establishments, such as hotels and hospitals, in a clean and orderly manner. Duties may include making beds, replenishing linens, cleaning rooms and halls, and vacuuming.

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Canva

#14. Food preparation workers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,390
- #38 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 850

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,820
- Employment: 793,590
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Hammond, LA ($18,290)
--- Morristown, TN ($18,550)
--- Monroe, LA ($19,010)
- Job description: Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.

38 / 50
Dragon Images // Shutterstock

#12 (tie). Broadcast technicians

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,290
- #1 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,250
- Employment: 25,960
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Columbus, GA-AL ($21,290)
--- El Paso, TX ($23,640)
--- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL ($25,500)
- Job description: Set up, operate, and maintain the electronic equipment used to acquire, edit, and transmit audio and video for radio or television programs. Control and adjust incoming and outgoing broadcast signals to regulate sound volume, signal strength, and signal clarity. Operate satellite, microwave, or other transmitter equipment to broadcast radio or television programs.

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Gabriel Georgescu // Shutterstock

#12 (tie). Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,290
- #47 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 320

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,900
- Employment: 222,550
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Decatur, AL ($18,020)
--- Dalton, GA ($18,450)
--- Monroe, LA ($18,500)
- Job description: Accommodate hotel, motel, and resort patrons by registering and assigning rooms to guests, issuing room keys or cards, transmitting and receiving messages, keeping records of occupied rooms and guests' accounts, making and confirming reservations, and presenting statements to and collecting payments from departing guests.

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Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#11. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $21,090
- #23 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,600
- Employment: 179,890
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Hattiesburg, MS ($18,060)
--- Warner Robins, GA ($18,580)
--- Rome, GA ($19,050)
- Job description: Operate or tend washing or dry-cleaning machines to wash or dry-clean industrial or household articles, such as cloth garments, suede, leather, furs, blankets, draperies, linens, rugs, and carpets. Includes spotters and dyers of these articles.

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Pxhere

#10. Fast food and counter workers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $20,250
- #57 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,190

National
- Annual mean salary: $24,540
- Employment: 3,450,120
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Dothan, AL ($18,690)
--- Mobile, AL ($18,750)
--- Montgomery, AL ($18,780)
- Job description: Perform duties such as taking orders and serving food and beverages. Serve customers at counter or from a steam table. May take payment. May prepare food and beverages.

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Dragon Images // Shutterstock

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $20,190
- #59 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $24,800
- Employment: 316,700
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Decatur, AL ($17,940)
--- Gadsden, AL ($18,150)
--- New Bern, NC ($18,190)
- Job description: Welcome patrons, seat them at tables or in lounge, and help ensure quality of facilities and service.

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Education Images // Getty Images

#8. Substitute teachers, short-term

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $19,960
- #10 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $36,090
- Employment: 512,030
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL ($17,360)
--- Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL ($17,470)
--- Huntsville, AL ($17,470)
- Job description: Teach students on a short-term basis as a temporary replacement for a regular classroom teacher, typically using the regular teacher's lesson plan.

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Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock

#7. Childcare workers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $19,800
- #30 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,790
- Employment: 494,360
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Rome, GA ($17,330)
--- Dothan, AL ($18,370)
--- Warner Robins, GA ($18,440)
- Job description: Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and childcare institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play.

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Ryan Everton // Unsplash

#6. Dishwashers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $19,720
- #21 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 310

National
- Annual mean salary: $25,600
- Employment: 395,660
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL ($17,490)
--- Fond du Lac, WI ($18,400)
--- Muncie, IN ($18,550)
- Job description: Clean dishes, kitchen, food preparation equipment, or utensils.

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aboutsung // Shutterstock

#4 (tie). Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $19,380
- #25 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,300
- Employment: 374,940
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Monroe, LA ($18,090)
--- Houma-Thibodaux, LA ($18,100)
--- McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX ($18,240)
- Job description: Facilitate food service. Clean tables; remove dirty dishes; replace soiled table linens; set tables; replenish supply of clean linens, silverware, glassware, and dishes; supply service bar with food; and serve items such as water, condiments, and coffee to patrons.

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Crew // Wikimedia Commons

#4 (tie). Bartenders

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $19,380
- #13 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,910
- Employment: 486,720
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Gadsden, AL ($17,930)
--- Decatur, AL ($17,950)
--- Warner Robins, GA ($18,150)
- Job description: Mix and serve drinks to patrons, directly or through waitstaff.

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Unsplash

#3. Amusement and recreation attendants

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $19,250
- #9 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $25,610
- Employment: 248,190
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Houma-Thibodaux, LA ($18,040)
--- Lynchburg, VA ($18,600)
--- Auburn-Opelika, AL ($18,650)
- Job description: Perform a variety of attending duties at amusement or recreation facility. May schedule use of recreation facilities, maintain and provide equipment to participants of sporting events or recreational pursuits, or operate amusement concessions and rides.

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JOHANNES EISELE // Getty Images

#2. Passenger vehicle drivers, except bus drivers, transit and intercity

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $19,020
- #7 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 450

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,360
- Employment: 599,980
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Decatur, AL ($17,980)
--- Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL ($18,250)
--- Dothan, AL ($18,260)
- Job description: Drive a motor vehicle to transport passengers on a planned or scheduled basis. May collect a fare.

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ITisha // Shutterstock

#1. Bailiffs

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $17,970
- #1 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,730
- Employment: 18,120
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Columbus, GA-AL ($17,970)
--- Charleston-North Charleston, SC ($28,000)
--- Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN ($28,550)
- Job description: Maintain order in courts of law.

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