Lowest-paying jobs in Columbia

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

Lowest-paying jobs in Columbia

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 Columbia, SC, 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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GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#50. Nursing assistants

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $29,650
- #261 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,040

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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New Africa // Shutterstock

#49. Receptionists and information clerks

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $29,600
- #262 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,140

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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Unsplash

#48. Floral designers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $29,480
- #138 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,100
- Employment: 36,000
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New Haven, CT ($44,600)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($43,780)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($43,120)
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The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#47. Stockers and order fillers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $29,310
- #291 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,310

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)
5 / 50
Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos // Flickr

#46. Counter and rental clerks

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $29,170
- #339 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,080

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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LightField Studios // Shutterstock

#45. Bus drivers, school

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $29,080
- #293 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 780

National
- Annual mean salary: $38,750
- Employment: 361,420
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Elkhart-Goshen, IN ($55,400)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($55,150)
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($53,770)
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Smash the Iron Cage // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Slaughterers and meat packers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $29,060
- #49 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 470

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,010
- Employment: 86,450
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI ($40,850)
--- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($39,300)
--- Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA ($39,050)
8 / 50
CHRISTOF STACHE // Getty Images

#43. Preschool teachers, except special education

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $29,020
- #313 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 630

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)
9 / 50
UfaBizPhoto // Shutterstock

#42. Sewing machine operators

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $28,580
- #169 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 240

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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PxHere

#41. Library assistants, clerical

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $28,510
- #142 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 220

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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viviandnguyen_ // Flickr

#40. Packers and packagers, hand

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $28,480
- #214 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,070

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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Sean Rayford // Getty Images

#39. Security guards

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $28,440
- #347 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,870

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)
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Canva

#38. Orderlies

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $28,420
- #84 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

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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Jorge Royan // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Cooks, restaurant

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $28,330
- #234 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,970

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

#36. Machine feeders and offbearers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $27,630
- #132 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

National
- Annual mean salary: $36,660
- Employment: 60,880
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Cedar Rapids, IA ($60,610)
--- Lincoln, NE ($48,580)
--- Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN ($47,560)

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Don LaVange // Flickr

#35. Funeral attendants

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $27,580
- #106 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

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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Canva

#34. Dietetic technicians

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $27,560
- #87 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

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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Jason Person // Shutterstock

#33. Cooks, short order

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $27,140
- #113 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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)
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Canva

#32. Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $27,050
- #117 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,240

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,680
- Employment: 132,100
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($40,580)
--- Anchorage, AK ($40,540)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($38,730)
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#31. Retail salespersons

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $26,730
- #356 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 10,480

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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ProfDEH // Wikimedia Commons

#29 (tie). Couriers and messengers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $26,560
- #206 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 200

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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VGstockstudio // Shutterstock

#29 (tie). Food servers, nonrestaurant

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $26,560
- #181 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 290

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)
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Canva

#28. Ambulance drivers and attendants, except emergency medical technicians

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $26,520
- #39 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,060
- Employment: 11,710
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($42,590)
--- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($41,380)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($41,090)
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Pixabay

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

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $26,470
- #84 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 200

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)
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Canva

#26. Cooks, institution and cafeteria

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $26,420
- #320 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,230

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

#25. Automotive and watercraft service attendants

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $26,350
- #304 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

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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Paul.J.West // Shutterstock

#24. Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $26,040
- #277 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,480

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)
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Canva

#23. Physical therapist aides

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $25,780
- #143 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,370
- Employment: 42,390
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($45,060)
--- Jackson, MS ($42,210)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($40,510)
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Africa Studio // Shutterstock

#21 (tie). Shuttle drivers and chauffeurs

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $25,490
- #312 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 250

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)
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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#21 (tie). Animal caretakers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $25,490
- #275 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 860

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)

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Unsplash

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

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $25,180
- #349 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,320

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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Nejron Photo // Shutterstock

#19. Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $25,120
- #340 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 850

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)
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Canva

#18. Food preparation workers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $24,660
- #297 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,280

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)
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Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#17. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $24,290
- #278 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 400

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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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#15 (tie). Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $23,970
- #312 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,510

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)

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Crew // Wikimedia Commons

#15 (tie). Bartenders

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $23,970
- #303 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 900

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)
37 / 50
aboutsung // Shutterstock

#14. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $23,820
- #209 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 690

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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Canva

#13. Crossing guards and flaggers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $23,720
- #173 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,670
- Employment: 82,690
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($56,540)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($55,860)
--- Bellingham, WA ($54,870)
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Canva

#12. Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $23,630
- #92 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,110
- Employment: 26,910
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($39,040)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($37,370)
--- Springfield, MA-CT ($36,530)
40 / 50
Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock

#11. Childcare workers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $23,180
- #292 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 740

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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Ryan Everton // Unsplash

#10. Dishwashers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $22,740
- #292 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,110

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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Gabriel Georgescu // Shutterstock

#9. Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $22,660
- #315 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 540

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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Dean Drobot // Shutterstock

#8. Cashiers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $22,370
- #337 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 8,950

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
Dragon Images // Shutterstock

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

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $22,280
- #247 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 950

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)
45 / 50
Martin Smith // Shutterstock

#6. Parking attendants

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $21,860
- #168 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#5. Waiters and waitresses

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $21,780
- #323 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,580

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)
47 / 50
Unsplash

#4. Amusement and recreation attendants

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $21,520
- #281 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 520

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)
48 / 50
Daniel Lee // Flickr

#3. Cooks, fast food

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $20,990
- #269 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,490

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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Pxhere

#2. Fast food and counter workers

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $20,920
- #337 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 7,760

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)
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#1. Legislators

Columbia, SC
- Annual mean salary: $19,520
- #153 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,110
- Employment: 44,590
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Yakima, WA ($139,690)
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($136,400)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($132,460)

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