Lowest-paying jobs in Rockford

Written by:
June 20, 2022
Daniel Lee // Flickr

Lowest-paying jobs in Rockford

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 Rockford, 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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Unsplash

#50. Library technicians

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $33,760
- #178 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $39,070
- Employment: 73,000
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Olympia-Tumwater, WA ($61,740)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($59,950)
--- Napa, CA ($57,890)
2 / 50
Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#49. Tellers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $33,420
- #202 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 380

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)
3 / 50
Dolly442 // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $33,380
- #122 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,560
- Employment: 67,210
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($48,050)
--- Rochester, MN ($47,190)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($47,060)
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Needpix

#47. Food batchmakers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $33,190
- #163 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 250

National
- Annual mean salary: $36,190
- Employment: 155,240
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Battle Creek, MI ($65,310)
--- Cedar Rapids, IA ($56,900)
--- Binghamton, NY ($50,910)
5 / 50
Dragon Images // Shutterstock

#46. Broadcast technicians

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $32,850
- #104 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

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)

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#45. Driver/sales workers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $32,470
- #123 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 440

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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New Africa // Shutterstock

#44. Receptionists and information clerks

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $32,120
- #132 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 880

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)
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Canva

#43. Tire repairers and changers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $32,000
- #139 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

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)
9 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#42. Insurance claims and policy processing clerks

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $31,830
- #277 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 320

National
- Annual mean salary: $45,790
- Employment: 218,300
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($60,830)
--- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($59,120)
--- Portsmouth, NH-ME ($58,380)
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Canva

#41. Butchers and meat cutters

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $31,670
- #268 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

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)

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GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#40. Nursing assistants

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $31,330
- #199 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,650

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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Canva

#39. Orderlies

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $31,200
- #50 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

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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ProfDEH // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Couriers and messengers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $31,040
- #108 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

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)
14 / 50
The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#37. Stockers and order fillers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $30,940
- #195 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,950

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)
15 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#36. Retail salespersons

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $30,430
- #188 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,190

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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ESB Basic // Shutterstock

#35. Switchboard operators, including answering service

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $30,390
- #135 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

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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Vasin Lee // Shutterstock

#34. Residential advisors

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $30,380
- #195 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

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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Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos // Flickr

#33. Counter and rental clerks

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $30,360
- #305 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

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)
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Canva

#32. Cooks, institution and cafeteria

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $30,300
- #199 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 490

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. Automotive and watercraft service attendants

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $30,160
- #128 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

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)

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UfaBizPhoto // Shutterstock

#30. Sewing machine operators

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $30,120
- #134 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

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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Unsplash

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

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $29,810
- #194 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,970

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

#28. Bakers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $29,560
- #210 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

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)
24 / 50
Jorge Royan // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Cooks, restaurant

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $29,170
- #199 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 850

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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Canva

#26. Helpers--production workers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $29,100
- #280 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 370

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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viviandnguyen_ // Flickr

#25. Packers and packagers, hand

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $28,880
- #198 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,200

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)
27 / 50
Oksana Shufrych // Shutterstock

#24. Recreation workers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $28,810
- #240 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 240

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)
28 / 50
Africa Studio // Shutterstock

#23. Shuttle drivers and chauffeurs

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $28,710
- #183 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

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)
29 / 50
Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#22. Animal caretakers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $28,500
- #141 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

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
Canva

#21. Dietetic technicians

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $28,480
- #83 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,160
- Employment: 21,610
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($55,550)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($52,700)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($48,370)

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Paul.J.West // Shutterstock

#20. Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $28,390
- #210 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,060

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)
32 / 50
Canva

#19. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $28,380
- #190 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

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)
33 / 50
Canva

#18. Pharmacy aides

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $27,860
- #122 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,560
- Employment: 43,560
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($59,160)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($57,630)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($56,450)
34 / 50
VGstockstudio // Shutterstock

#17. Food servers, nonrestaurant

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $27,840
- #140 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 310

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)
35 / 50
Nejron Photo // Shutterstock

#16. Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $27,690
- #237 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 300

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)

You may also like: Highest-rated restaurants in Rockford, according to Tripadvisor

36 / 50
Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#15. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $27,620
- #135 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

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)
37 / 50
Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#14. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $27,590
- #156 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 500

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)
38 / 50
Jason Person // Shutterstock

#13. Cooks, short order

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $26,630
- #122 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

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)
39 / 50
Canva

#12. Food preparation workers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $26,570
- #210 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,020

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)
40 / 50
Dean Drobot // Shutterstock

#11. Cashiers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $25,980
- #133 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,470

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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41 / 50
aboutsung // Shutterstock

#10. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $25,740
- #138 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

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)
42 / 50
Gabriel Georgescu // Shutterstock

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

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $25,490
- #192 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

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)
43 / 50
Unsplash

#8 (tie). Amusement and recreation attendants

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $25,490
- #111 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

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)
44 / 50
Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock

#7. Childcare workers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $25,460
- #175 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 300

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
Crew // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Bartenders

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $25,150
- #268 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 590

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)

You may also like: Highest-rated brunch restaurants in Rockford, according to Tripadvisor

46 / 50
Daniel Lee // Flickr

#5. Cooks, fast food

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $25,100
- #114 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 770

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
Ryan Everton // Unsplash

#4. Dishwashers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $24,840
- #168 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 330

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)
48 / 50
Pxhere

#3. Fast food and counter workers

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $24,780
- #140 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,740

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
Pixabay

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

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $24,670
- #114 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

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)
50 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#1. Waiters and waitresses

Rockford, IL
- Annual mean salary: $24,450
- #244 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,490

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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