Lowest-paying jobs in Champaign

Written by:
June 20, 2022
Crew // Wikimedia Commons

Lowest-paying jobs in Champaign

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 Champaign-Urbana, IL, 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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Dragana Gordic // Shutterstock

#50. Pharmacy technicians

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $35,330
- #207 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 370

National
- Annual mean salary: $37,970
- Employment: 436,630
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($59,340)
--- Napa, CA ($58,620)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($58,390)
2 / 50
Dragon Images // Shutterstock

#49. Broadcast technicians

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $35,060
- #100 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,280
- Employment: 25,270
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($75,430)
--- Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY ($70,990)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($69,950)
3 / 50
zhu difeng // Shutterstock

#47 (tie). Merchandise displayers and window trimmers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $34,880
- #137 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,520
- Employment: 159,790
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($45,950)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($45,550)
--- Portland-South Portland, ME ($44,840)
4 / 50
Pixabay

#47 (tie). Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $34,880
- #153 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,730

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,950
- Employment: 2,729,010
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($44,210)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($43,230)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($42,590)
5 / 50
Dragana Gordic // Shutterstock

#46. Community health workers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $34,850
- #204 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $47,780
- Employment: 61,010
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($66,110)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($65,530)
--- Bend-Redmond, OR ($61,820)

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giocalde // Shutterstock

#45. Print binding and finishing workers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $34,140
- #101 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $37,060
- Employment: 40,810
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS ($68,840)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($50,000)
--- Spartanburg, SC ($46,850)
7 / 50
Sean Rayford // Getty Images

#44. Security guards

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $33,370
- #197 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 320

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)
8 / 50
Canva

#43. Helpers--production workers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $33,050
- #170 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

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)
9 / 50
Canva

#42. Cooks, institution and cafeteria

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $33,040
- #121 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 590

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)
10 / 50
CHRISTOF STACHE // Getty Images

#41. Preschool teachers, except special education

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $32,930
- #193 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 540

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)

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Martin Smith // Shutterstock

#40. Parking attendants

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $32,890
- #14 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

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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Canva

#39. Butchers and meat cutters

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $32,760
- #238 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,670
- Employment: 145,930
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($50,570)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($50,510)
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($48,490)
13 / 50
GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#38. Nursing assistants

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $32,370
- #164 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 980

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)
14 / 50
viviandnguyen_ // Flickr

#37. Packers and packagers, hand

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $32,360
- #82 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

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)
15 / 50
ProfDEH // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Couriers and messengers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $32,340
- #82 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,270
- Employment: 68,310
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($43,430)
--- Modesto, CA ($42,550)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($42,220)

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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#35. Tellers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $32,310
- #255 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 450

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,930
- Employment: 364,210
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($45,040)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($43,490)
--- Napa, CA ($42,000)
17 / 50
Undrey // Shutterstock

#34. Data entry keyers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $32,120
- #230 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,940
- Employment: 147,170
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($48,170)
--- Olympia-Tumwater, WA ($46,500)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($45,530)
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Oksana Shufrych // Shutterstock

#33. Recreation workers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $31,950
- #129 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

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)
19 / 50
DuxX // Shutterstock

#32. Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $31,780
- #265 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 670

National
- Annual mean salary: $36,750
- Employment: 358,640
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Battle Creek, MI ($60,150)
--- Albany, GA ($53,570)
--- Fort Collins, CO ($50,590)
20 / 50
LightField Studios // Shutterstock

#31. Emergency medical technicians

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $31,650
- #197 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $36,690
- Employment: 161,400
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($63,500)
--- Coeur d'Alene, ID ($59,020)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($58,770)

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Canva

#30. Tire repairers and changers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $31,360
- #169 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,520
- Employment: 93,180
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($44,520)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($43,520)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($43,370)
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Canva

#29. Bakers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $31,050
- #154 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 240

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)
23 / 50
Africa Studio // Shutterstock

#28. Shuttle drivers and chauffeurs

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $30,570
- #122 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

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)
24 / 50
Unsplash

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

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $30,540
- #164 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,750

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)
25 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#26. Retail salespersons

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $30,060
- #206 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,100

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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New Africa // Shutterstock

#25. Receptionists and information clerks

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $29,910
- #246 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 740

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,910
- Employment: 983,150
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($45,080)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($44,680)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($41,290)
27 / 50
Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos // Flickr

#24. Counter and rental clerks

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $29,870
- #321 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $36,170
- Employment: 371,620
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($48,760)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($47,080)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($45,760)
28 / 50
The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#23. Stockers and order fillers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $29,330
- #289 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,300

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,020
- Employment: 2,451,430
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($42,240)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($41,960)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($40,620)
29 / 50
Paul.J.West // Shutterstock

#22. Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $29,320
- #180 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 920

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)
30 / 50
Jorge Royan // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Cooks, restaurant

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $29,270
- #192 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 820

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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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#20. Animal caretakers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $29,190
- #122 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

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)
32 / 50
Nejron Photo // Shutterstock

#19. Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $28,680
- #201 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

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)
33 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#18. Driver/sales workers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $28,390
- #274 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 390

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)
34 / 50
Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#17. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $28,180
- #118 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

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)
35 / 50
PxHere

#16. Library assistants, clerical

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $28,130
- #152 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

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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36 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#15. Tutors

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $27,980
- #239 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 240

National
- Annual mean salary: $41,780
- Employment: 147,100
- Entry level education requirements: nan
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Pittsfield, MA ($82,910)
--- Santa Fe, NM ($68,440)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($60,110)
37 / 50
VGstockstudio // Shutterstock

#14. Food servers, nonrestaurant

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $27,860
- #138 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

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)
38 / 50
Canva

#13. Automotive and watercraft service attendants

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $27,780
- #246 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,960
- Employment: 111,480
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($50,340)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($41,840)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($39,120)
39 / 50
Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#12. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $27,740
- #150 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 450

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)
40 / 50
Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock

#10 (tie). Childcare workers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $26,980
- #125 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 370

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)

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41 / 50
Canva

#10 (tie). Food preparation workers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $26,980
- #190 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 670

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)
42 / 50
Jason Person // Shutterstock

#9. Cooks, short order

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $26,630
- #122 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

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)
43 / 50
Dean Drobot // Shutterstock

#8. Cashiers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $26,220
- #127 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,350

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)
44 / 50
Unsplash

#7. Amusement and recreation attendants

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $26,040
- #96 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

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)
45 / 50
aboutsung // Shutterstock

#6. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $25,990
- #130 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

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)

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46 / 50
Crew // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Bartenders

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $25,740
- #237 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 520

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)
47 / 50
Daniel Lee // Flickr

#4. Cooks, fast food

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $25,690
- #104 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 700

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)
48 / 50
Pxhere

#3. Fast food and counter workers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $25,170
- #127 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,090

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
Ryan Everton // Unsplash

#2. Dishwashers

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $24,960
- #163 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 320

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)
50 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#1. Waiters and waitresses

Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Annual mean salary: $24,400
- #247 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,280

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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