Lowest-paying jobs in Ames

Written by:
June 20, 2022
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

Lowest-paying jobs in Ames

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 Ames, IA, 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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Dispossessed1974 // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $37,540
- #122 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

National
- Annual mean salary: $40,830
- Employment: 134,880
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Mankato-North Mankato, MN ($54,510)
--- Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC ($52,470)
--- Lafayette, LA ($52,280)
2 / 50
Brian S. Hagberg // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Self-enrichment teachers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $37,210
- #243 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,230
- Employment: 216,910
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($70,350)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($66,650)
--- Utica-Rome, NY ($63,470)
3 / 50
Canva

#48. Agricultural equipment operators

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $37,190
- #27 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $36,280
- Employment: 26,180
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Dubuque, IA ($45,450)
--- Wichita, KS ($45,340)
--- Kansas City, MO-KS ($45,240)
4 / 50
Milkovasa // Shutterstock

#47. Medical assistants

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $36,830
- #147 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $38,190
- Employment: 727,760
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($58,670)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($54,930)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($53,870)
5 / 50
Pixabay

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

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $36,560
- #75 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 480

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)

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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#45. Animal caretakers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $36,440
- #7 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

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)
7 / 50
Rido // Shutterstock

#44. Opticians, dispensing

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $36,400
- #207 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $43,060
- Employment: 73,270
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($70,300)
--- New Haven, CT ($69,460)
--- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($65,010)
8 / 50
Dragana Gordic // Shutterstock

#43. Pharmacy technicians

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $35,490
- #193 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

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)
9 / 50
ALPA PROD // Shutterstock

#42. Medical secretaries and administrative assistants

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $35,040
- #268 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 230

National
- Annual mean salary: $39,740
- Employment: 656,640
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($56,010)
--- Napa, CA ($52,630)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($52,300)
10 / 50
Canva

#41. Helpers--production workers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $34,970
- #98 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

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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Tyler Olson // Shutterstock

#40. Phlebotomists

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $34,540
- #194 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $38,450
- Employment: 132,750
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($56,940)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($55,050)
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($53,880)
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Vasin Lee // Shutterstock

#39. Residential advisors

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $34,520
- #114 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)
13 / 50
Sabel Blanco // Pexels

#38. Exercise trainers and group fitness instructors

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $34,500
- #282 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $45,870
- Employment: 221,600
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($69,160)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($68,140)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($64,980)
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Canva

#37. Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $34,280
- #144 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 340

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,240
- Employment: 892,450
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($47,650)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($47,240)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($44,830)
15 / 50
Pearl PhotoPix // Shutterstock

#36. Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $33,950
- #138 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,990
- Employment: 285,980
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kalamazoo-Portage, MI ($53,630)
--- Lansing-East Lansing, MI ($53,470)
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($52,630)

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#35. Interviewers, except eligibility and loan

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $33,140
- #240 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $38,840
- Employment: 169,840
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($57,820)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($53,920)
--- Salinas, CA ($52,980)
17 / 50
viviandnguyen_ // Flickr

#34. Packers and packagers, hand

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $33,060
- #52 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 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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giocalde // Shutterstock

#33. Print binding and finishing workers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $32,540
- #112 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

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)
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Unsplash

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

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $32,370
- #109 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 720

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)
20 / 50
zhu difeng // Shutterstock

#31. Merchandise displayers and window trimmers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $32,310
- #268 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

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)

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GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#30. Nursing assistants

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $32,290
- #172 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 420

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

#29. Cooks, institution and cafeteria

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $31,680
- #147 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 250

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)
23 / 50
Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#28. Tellers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $31,670
- #286 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

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)
24 / 50
The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#27. Stockers and order fillers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $30,990
- #193 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 510

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)
25 / 50
aboutsung // Shutterstock

#26. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $30,720
- #67 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#25. Retail salespersons

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $30,620
- #177 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,230

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)
27 / 50
Canva

#24. Butchers and meat cutters

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $29,890
- #317 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)
28 / 50
Canva

#23. Bakers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $29,700
- #202 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)
29 / 50
VGstockstudio // Shutterstock

#22. Food servers, nonrestaurant

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $29,600
- #97 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

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)
30 / 50
Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos // Flickr

#21. Counter and rental clerks

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $29,530
- #328 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

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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Oksana Shufrych // Shutterstock

#20. Recreation workers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $29,440
- #219 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

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)
32 / 50
New Africa // Shutterstock

#19. Receptionists and information clerks

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $29,300
- #277 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

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)
33 / 50
Canva

#18. Farmworkers, farm, ranch, and aquacultural animals

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $28,890
- #96 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,150
- Employment: 34,140
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($42,780)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($42,120)
--- Provo-Orem, UT ($41,660)
34 / 50
CHRISTOF STACHE // Getty Images

#16 (tie). Preschool teachers, except special education

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $28,640
- #320 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 190

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
Jorge Royan // Wikimedia Commons

#16 (tie). Cooks, restaurant

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $28,640
- #217 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 370

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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Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#15. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $27,070
- #158 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

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

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $26,940
- #186 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 220

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
Paul.J.West // Shutterstock

#13. Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $26,590
- #255 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 460

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)
39 / 50
Dean Drobot // Shutterstock

#12. Cashiers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $25,640
- #151 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,250

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)
40 / 50
Gabriel Georgescu // Shutterstock

#11. Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $25,200
- #205 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

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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Pxhere

#10. Fast food and counter workers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $24,130
- #167 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,120

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)
42 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#9. Waiters and waitresses

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $24,080
- #258 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 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)
43 / 50
Canva

#8. Food preparation workers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $24,030
- #324 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 260

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)
44 / 50
Daniel Lee // Flickr

#7. Cooks, fast food

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $23,730
- #166 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

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)
45 / 50
Crew // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Bartenders

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $23,110
- #338 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 270

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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#5. Driver/sales workers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $22,820
- #374 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 200

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)
47 / 50
Dragon Images // Shutterstock

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

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $22,540
- #237 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

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)
48 / 50
Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock

#3. Childcare workers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $21,800
- #328 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 190

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)
49 / 50
Unsplash

#2. Amusement and recreation attendants

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $21,630
- #276 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

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)
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#1. Dishwashers

Ames, IA
- Annual mean salary: $21,260
- #356 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

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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