Lowest-paying jobs in Wilmington

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June 20, 2022
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Lowest-paying jobs in Wilmington

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 Wilmington, NC, 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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Skeeze // pixabay

#50. Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $31,110
- #129 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,280
- Employment: 45,350
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($48,810)
--- Lewiston, ID-WA ($46,520)
--- Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA ($45,140)
2 / 50
Canva

#49. Tire repairers and changers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $30,970
- #186 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

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)
3 / 50
evgenii mitroshin // Shutterstock

#48. Electrical, electronic, and electromechanical assemblers, except coil winders, tapers, and finishers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $30,800
- #246 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $39,630
- Employment: 271,920
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- California-Lexington Park, MD ($57,040)
--- Lima, OH ($56,660)
--- Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD ($50,510)
4 / 50
Creative Tools // Flickr

#47. Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $30,420
- #212 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $37,530
- Employment: 163,210
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Portsmouth, NH-ME ($51,870)
--- Cedar Rapids, IA ($51,490)
--- New Bern, NC ($48,430)
5 / 50
Vasin Lee // Shutterstock

#46. Residential advisors

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $30,260
- #200 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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New Africa // Shutterstock

#45. Receptionists and information clerks

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $30,180
- #230 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,700

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)
7 / 50
Paul Sableman // Flickr

#44. Bus drivers, transit and intercity

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $29,990
- #163 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,310
- Employment: 145,720
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($69,940)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($69,310)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($67,370)
8 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#43. Retail salespersons

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $29,870
- #217 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,630

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)
9 / 50
PxHere

#42. Library assistants, clerical

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $29,780
- #123 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

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)
10 / 50
viviandnguyen_ // Flickr

#41. Packers and packagers, hand

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $29,420
- #183 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 430

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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The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#40. Stockers and order fillers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $29,370
- #284 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,470

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)
12 / 50
ESB Basic // Shutterstock

#39. Switchboard operators, including answering service

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $29,350
- #154 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)
13 / 50
ProfDEH // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Couriers and messengers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $29,330
- #155 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

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
CHRISTOF STACHE // Getty Images

#37. Preschool teachers, except special education

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $29,210
- #305 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 480

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)
15 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#36. Driver/sales workers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $29,190
- #246 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 450

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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Richard Thornton // Shutterstock

#35. School bus monitors

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $28,760
- #56 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,220
- Employment: 55,310
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA ($49,850)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($48,610)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($47,750)
17 / 50
Stokkete // Shutterstock

#34. File clerks

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $28,570
- #240 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $36,820
- Employment: 85,460
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($50,210)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($49,450)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($48,780)
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GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#33. Nursing assistants

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $28,390
- #306 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,670

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)
19 / 50
UfaBizPhoto // Shutterstock

#31 (tie). Sewing machine operators

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $28,300
- #178 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

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)
20 / 50
Jorge Royan // Wikimedia Commons

#31 (tie). Cooks, restaurant

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $28,300
- #235 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,300

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

#29 (tie). Cooks, institution and cafeteria

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $28,100
- #272 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 230

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

#29 (tie). Bakers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $28,100
- #256 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

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

#28. Recreation workers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $27,770
- #288 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 190

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)
24 / 50
Unsplash

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

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $27,600
- #270 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,270

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
Martin Smith // Shutterstock

#26. Parking attendants

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $27,240
- #92 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

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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VGstockstudio // Shutterstock

#25. Food servers, nonrestaurant

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $26,970
- #164 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

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)
27 / 50
Canva

#24. Helpers--production workers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $26,880
- #318 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

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)
28 / 50
Africa Studio // Shutterstock

#23. Shuttle drivers and chauffeurs

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $26,470
- #282 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

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
Crew // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Bartenders

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $26,340
- #207 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 820

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)
30 / 50
Don LaVange // Flickr

#21. Funeral attendants

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $26,210
- #125 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,630
- Employment: 32,490
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($45,440)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($45,270)
--- Trenton, NJ ($43,730)

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Paul.J.West // Shutterstock

#20. Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $26,170
- #271 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 900

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. Automotive and watercraft service attendants

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $26,070
- #318 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

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)
33 / 50
Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock

#18. Childcare workers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $25,900
- #158 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 280

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)
34 / 50
Nejron Photo // Shutterstock

#17. Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $25,460
- #331 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 360

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)
35 / 50
Education Images // Getty Images

#16. Substitute teachers, short-term

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $25,050
- #255 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 420

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

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Canva

#15. Food preparation workers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $25,010
- #281 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 740

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)
37 / 50
Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#14. Animal caretakers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $24,910
- #306 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 430

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)
38 / 50
Gabriel Georgescu // Shutterstock

#13. Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $24,680
- #223 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 340

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)
39 / 50
Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#12. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $24,280
- #293 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 920

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
Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#11. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $23,800
- #292 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

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

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41 / 50
Dean Drobot // Shutterstock

#10. Cashiers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $22,900
- #305 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,980

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)
42 / 50
Ryan Everton // Unsplash

#9. Dishwashers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $22,860
- #281 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 440

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)
43 / 50
Pixabay

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

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $22,650
- #172 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

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)
44 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#7. Waiters and waitresses

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $22,320
- #310 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,120

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)
45 / 50
Unsplash

#6. Amusement and recreation attendants

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $22,250
- #244 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 420

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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Pexels

#5. Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $21,710
- #107 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,390
- Employment: 54,970
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Charlottesville, VA ($48,540)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($39,670)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($37,140)
47 / 50
Pxhere

#4. Fast food and counter workers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $21,590
- #305 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,970

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)
48 / 50
aboutsung // Shutterstock

#3. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $21,150
- #333 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 230

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)
49 / 50
Dragon Images // Shutterstock

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

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $20,850
- #315 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 570

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)
50 / 50
Daniel Lee // Flickr

#1. Cooks, fast food

Wilmington, NC
- Annual mean salary: $20,750
- #280 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,350

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)

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