Lowest-paying jobs in Houston

Written by:
March 25, 2022
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Lowest-paying jobs in Houston

Stacker collected information on the lowest-paying jobs in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX, 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 2020. Job descriptions are from O*NET.

In Houston, the annual mean wage is $55,950 or 0.6% lower than national mean of $56,310, while the lowest-paying occupation makes $21,530. Read on to see which jobs make the list.

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Canva

#50. Orderlies

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $28,220
- #35 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 950

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,780
- Employment: 43,570
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC ($22,440)
--- Birmingham-Hoover, AL ($22,810)
--- Jackson, MS ($22,850)
- Job description: Transport patients to areas such as operating rooms or x-ray rooms using wheelchairs, stretchers, or moveable beds. May maintain stocks of supplies or clean and transport equipment. Psychiatric orderlies are included in Psychiatric Aides.

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Oksana Shufrych // Shutterstock

#49. Recreation workers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $28,130
- #150 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,130

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,960
- Employment: 325,640
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Rocky Mount, NC ($20,040)
--- Lake Charles, LA ($20,300)
--- Monroe, LA ($21,000)
- Job description: Conduct recreation activities with groups in public, private, or volunteer agencies or recreation facilities. Organize and promote activities, such as arts and crafts, sports, games, music, dramatics, social recreation, camping, and hobbies, taking into account the needs and interests of individual members.

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Canva

#48. Butchers and meat cutters

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $28,090
- #31 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,060

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,630
- Employment: 142,220
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Lake Charles, LA ($20,930)
--- Tulsa, OK ($23,910)
--- El Paso, TX ($23,940)
- Job description: Cut, trim, or prepare consumer-sized portions of meat for use or sale in retail establishments.

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Pixabay

#47. Psychiatric aides

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $28,070
- #20 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 450

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,300
- Employment: 51,550
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Jackson, TN ($21,440)
--- Charleston, WV ($22,320)
--- Jackson, MS ($22,620)
- Job description: Assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff. May assist with daily living activities, lead patients in educational and recreational activities, or accompany patients to and from examinations and treatments. May restrain violent patients. Includes psychiatric orderlies.

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Canva

#46. Conveyor operators and tenders

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $28,060
- #4 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $37,540
- Employment: 23,160
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Lubbock, TX ($23,450)
--- Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO ($26,510)
--- San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX ($27,400)
- Job description: Control or tend conveyors or conveyor systems that move materials or products to and from stockpiles, processing stations, departments, or vehicles. May control speed and routing of materials or products.

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Canva

#45. Furniture finishers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $27,490
- #1 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,040
- Employment: 15,590
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($27,490)
--- Winston-Salem, NC ($28,710)
--- Fort Wayne, IN ($28,880)
- Job description: Shape, finish, and refinish damaged, worn, or used furniture or new high-grade furniture to specified color or finish.

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David Corby // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $27,360
- #74 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,410

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,980
- Employment: 98,810
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Johnstown, PA ($19,580)
--- Tyler, TX ($20,460)
--- Cleveland, TN ($20,690)
- Job description: Feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. Clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment. May provide routine postoperative care, administer medication orally or topically, or prepare samples for laboratory examination under the supervision of veterinary or laboratory animal technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or scientists.

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Picsfive // Shutterstock

#43. Food cooking machine operators and tenders

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $27,250
- #7 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 270

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,180
- Employment: 26,530
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- El Paso, TX ($20,140)
--- Florence, SC ($23,290)
--- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL ($24,380)
- Job description: Operate or tend cooking equipment, such as steam cooking vats, deep fry cookers, pressure cookers, kettles, and boilers, to prepare food products.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#42. Retail salespersons

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $27,170
- #69 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 75,650

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,940
- Employment: 3,659,670
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Albany, GA ($22,740)
--- Hinesville, GA ($23,640)
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($23,660)
- Job description: Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers.

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Dolly442 // Wikimedia Commons

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $26,990
- #8 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 470

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,540
- Employment: 75,160
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Tuscaloosa, AL ($23,690)
--- Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO ($24,070)
--- Morristown, TN ($24,940)
- Job description: Set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood nailing machines. May operate computer numerically controlled (CNC) equipment.

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Nejron Photo // Shutterstock

#40. Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $26,850
- #143 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 8,910

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,400
- Employment: 341,660
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL ($20,280)
--- Albany, GA ($20,850)
--- Dalton, GA ($20,890)
- Job description: Wash or otherwise clean vehicles, machinery, and other equipment. Use such materials as water, cleaning agents, brushes, cloths, and hoses.

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Canva

#39. Automotive and watercraft service attendants

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $26,170
- #91 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,170

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,150
- Employment: 112,750
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Valdosta, GA ($21,570)
--- Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA ($21,740)
--- La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN ($21,950)
- Job description: Service automobiles, buses, trucks, boats, and other automotive or marine vehicles with fuel, lubricants, and accessories. Collect payment for services and supplies. May lubricate vehicle, change motor oil, refill antifreeze, or replace lights or other accessories, such as windshield wiper blades or fan belts. May repair or replace tires.

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UfaBizPhoto // Shutterstock

#38. Sewing machine operators

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $26,130
- #43 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,330

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,420
- Employment: 116,520
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- El Paso, TX ($18,940)
--- McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX ($21,950)
--- Wichita Falls, TX ($22,070)
- Job description: Operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate, or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or nongarment products.

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Canva

#37. Bakers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $26,110
- #55 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,720

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,060
- Employment: 168,890
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Sherman-Denison, TX ($21,310)
--- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($21,560)
--- St. George, UT ($22,110)
- Job description: Mix and bake ingredients to produce breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, pies, pastries, or other baked goods.

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Unsplash

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $26,030
- #93 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 42,130

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,410
- Employment: 1,990,510
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Monroe, LA ($21,200)
--- Sumter, SC ($21,400)
--- Dothan, AL ($21,670)
- Job description: Keep buildings in clean and orderly condition. Perform heavy cleaning duties, such as cleaning floors, shampooing rugs, washing walls and glass, and removing rubbish. Duties may include tending furnace and boiler, performing routine maintenance activities, notifying management of need for repairs, and cleaning snow or debris from sidewalk.

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Canva

#35. Cooks, institution and cafeteria

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $25,920
- #91 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,640

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,940
- Employment: 387,300
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Montgomery, AL ($19,990)
--- Dothan, AL ($20,340)
--- Decatur, AL ($20,520)
- Job description: Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

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Martin Smith // Shutterstock

#34. Parking attendants

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $25,860
- #88 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,560

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,910
- Employment: 123,790
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Lake Charles, LA ($19,840)
--- Huntsville, AL ($19,910)
--- Auburn-Opelika, AL ($20,000)
- Job description: Park vehicles or issue tickets for customers in a parking lot or garage. May park or tend vehicles in environments such as a car dealership or rental car facility. May collect fee.

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Canva

#33. Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $25,850
- #43 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,140
- Employment: 293,910
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Rocky Mount, NC ($19,550)
--- Shreveport-Bossier City, LA ($20,610)
--- Las Cruces, NM ($21,540)
- Job description: Manually plant, cultivate, and harvest vegetables, fruits, nuts, horticultural specialties, and field crops. Use hand tools, such as shovels, trowels, hoes, tampers, pruning hooks, shears, and knives. Duties may include tilling soil and applying fertilizers; transplanting, weeding, thinning, or pruning crops; applying pesticides; or cleaning, grading, sorting, packing, and loading harvested products. May construct trellises, repair fences and farm buildings, or participate in irrigation activities.

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Unsplash

#31 (tie). Floral designers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $25,650
- #18 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 460

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,670
- Employment: 36,810
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Oshkosh-Neenah, WI ($19,290)
--- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($21,560)
--- Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA ($22,530)
- Job description: Design, cut, and arrange live, dried, or artificial flowers and foliage.

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Skeeze // pixabay

#31 (tie). Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $25,650
- #6 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 240

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,290
- Employment: 48,400
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- El Paso, TX ($17,700)
--- Dothan, AL ($22,000)
--- Austin-Round Rock, TX ($22,360)
- Job description: Set up, operate, or tend wood sawing machines. May operate computer numerically controlled (CNC) equipment. Includes lead sawyers.

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Canva

#30. Crossing guards and flaggers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $25,430
- #20 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,320

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,220
- Employment: 85,050
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Killeen-Temple, TX ($20,210)
--- Jackson, MS ($20,610)
--- El Paso, TX ($21,020)
- Job description: Guide or control vehicular or pedestrian traffic at such places as streets, schools, railroad crossings, or construction sites.

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viviandnguyen_ // Flickr

#29. Packers and packagers, hand

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $25,240
- #99 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 6,460

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,270
- Employment: 599,270
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Wichita Falls, TX ($18,740)
--- Casper, WY ($19,850)
--- Johnstown, PA ($19,920)
- Job description: Pack or package by hand a wide variety of products and materials.

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Canva

#28. Food and tobacco roasting, baking, and drying machine operators and tenders

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $25,140
- #4 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 270

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,370
- Employment: 19,010
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Oshkosh-Neenah, WI ($21,680)
--- Green Bay, WI ($22,120)
--- Oklahoma City, OK ($22,550)
- Job description: Operate or tend food or tobacco roasting, baking, or drying equipment, including hearth ovens, kiln driers, roasters, char kilns, and vacuum drying equipment.

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Jorge Royan // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Cooks, restaurant

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $25,010
- #86 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 26,710

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,530
- Employment: 1,109,650
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($20,590)
--- Laredo, TX ($21,000)
--- Gadsden, AL ($21,540)
- Job description: Prepare, season, and cook dishes such as soups, meats, vegetables, or desserts in restaurants. May order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.

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Pexels

#26. Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $24,900
- #83 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,690

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,390
- Employment: 95,600
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Tulsa, OK ($18,650)
--- Appleton, WI ($18,760)
--- Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC ($18,930)
- Job description: Assist patrons at entertainment events by performing duties, such as collecting admission tickets and passes from patrons, assisting in finding seats, searching for lost articles, and helping patrons locate such facilities as restrooms and telephones.

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Finist4 // Shutterstock

#25. Manicurists and pedicurists

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $24,840
- #34 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 330

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,010
- Employment: 73,010
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- York-Hanover, PA ($18,440)
--- Fort Wayne, IN ($18,880)
--- Akron, OH ($19,540)
- Job description: Clean and shape customers' fingernails and toenails. May polish or decorate nails.

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Crew // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Bartenders

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $24,770
- #183 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 8,910

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,910
- Employment: 486,720
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Gadsden, AL ($17,930)
--- Decatur, AL ($17,950)
--- Warner Robins, GA ($18,150)
- Job description: Mix and serve drinks to patrons, directly or through waitstaff.

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Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#23. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $24,720
- #160 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,310

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,600
- Employment: 179,890
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Hattiesburg, MS ($18,060)
--- Warner Robins, GA ($18,580)
--- Rome, GA ($19,050)
- Job description: Operate or tend washing or dry-cleaning machines to wash or dry-clean industrial or household articles, such as cloth garments, suede, leather, furs, blankets, draperies, linens, rugs, and carpets. Includes spotters and dyers of these articles.

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Pearl PhotoPix // Shutterstock

#22. Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $24,640
- #44 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 8,310

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,740
- Employment: 302,410
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- San Angelo, TX ($18,370)
--- Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL ($19,280)
--- Bowling Green, KY ($19,460)
- Job description: Provide beauty services, such as cutting, coloring, and styling hair, and massaging and treating scalp. May shampoo hair, apply makeup, dress wigs, remove hair, and provide nail and skincare services.

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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#21. Animal caretakers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $24,340
- #103 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,690

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,380
- Employment: 193,660
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Morristown, TN ($18,810)
--- Greenville, NC ($20,320)
--- Twin Falls, ID ($20,580)
- Job description: Feed, water, groom, bathe, exercise, or otherwise provide care to promote and maintain the well-being of pets and other animals that are not raised for consumption, such as dogs, cats, race horses, ornamental fish or birds, zoo animals, and mice. Work in settings such as kennels, animal shelters, zoos, circuses, and aquariums. May keep records of feedings, treatments, and animals received or discharged. May clean, disinfect, and repair cages, pens, or fish tanks.

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Dean Drobot // Shutterstock

#20. Cashiers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $24,160
- #201 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 64,130

National
- Annual mean salary: $25,710
- Employment: 3,333,100
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Hattiesburg, MS ($19,530)
--- Monroe, LA ($19,780)
--- Albany, GA ($20,320)
- Job description: Receive and disburse money in establishments other than financial institutions. May use electronic scanners, cash registers, or related equipment. May process credit or debit card transactions and validate checks.

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Gabriel Georgescu // Shutterstock

#19. Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $24,150
- #173 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,090

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,900
- Employment: 222,550
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Decatur, AL ($18,020)
--- Dalton, GA ($18,450)
--- Monroe, LA ($18,500)
- Job description: Accommodate hotel, motel, and resort patrons by registering and assigning rooms to guests, issuing room keys or cards, transmitting and receiving messages, keeping records of occupied rooms and guests' accounts, making and confirming reservations, and presenting statements to and collecting payments from departing guests.

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VGstockstudio // Shutterstock

#18. Food servers, nonrestaurant

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $24,130
- #123 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,220

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,460
- Employment: 254,650
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Decatur, AL ($18,460)
--- Enid, OK ($18,780)
--- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($18,960)
- Job description: Serve food to individuals outside of a restaurant environment, such as in hotel rooms, hospital rooms, residential care facilities, or cars.

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Canva

#17. Food preparation workers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $23,950
- #125 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 18,750

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,820
- Employment: 793,590
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Hammond, LA ($18,290)
--- Morristown, TN ($18,550)
--- Monroe, LA ($19,010)
- Job description: Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.

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Canva

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $23,830
- #33 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 920

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,050
- Employment: 31,980
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Raleigh, NC ($18,320)
--- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($19,670)
--- Memphis, TN-MS-AR ($19,930)
- Job description: Press or shape articles by hand or machine.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#14 (tie). Waiters and waitresses

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $23,790
- #173 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 44,810

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,470
- Employment: 1,944,240
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($17,980)
--- Decatur, AL ($17,980)
--- Shreveport-Bossier City, LA ($18,060)
- Job description: Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#14 (tie). Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $23,790
- #140 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 16,670

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,010
- Employment: 795,590
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Monroe, LA ($18,460)
--- Valdosta, GA ($18,730)
--- Alexandria, LA ($19,070)
- Job description: Perform any combination of light cleaning duties to maintain private households or commercial establishments, such as hotels and hospitals, in a clean and orderly manner. Duties may include making beds, replenishing linens, cleaning rooms and halls, and vacuuming.

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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#13. Baggage porters and bellhops

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $23,650
- #23 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,060
- Employment: 28,440
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Greensboro-High Point, NC ($19,580)
--- Charleston-North Charleston, SC ($19,920)
--- Baton Rouge, LA ($19,940)
- Job description: Handle baggage for travelers at transportation terminals or for guests at hotels or similar establishments.

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Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock

#12. Childcare workers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $23,370
- #151 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 12,150

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,790
- Employment: 494,360
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Rome, GA ($17,330)
--- Dothan, AL ($18,370)
--- Warner Robins, GA ($18,440)
- Job description: Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and childcare institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play.

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Canva

#11. Shampooers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $22,830
- #9 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $24,320
- Employment: 8,310
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Reading, PA ($18,650)
--- Pittsburgh, PA ($19,650)
--- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL ($19,650)
- Job description: Shampoo and rinse customers' hair.

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Canva

#10. Agricultural equipment operators

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $22,780
- #2 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,070
- Employment: 29,220
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Las Cruces, NM ($22,520)
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($22,780)
--- Jackson, MS ($23,540)
- Job description: Drive and control equipment to support agricultural activities such as tilling soil; planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops; feeding and herding livestock; or removing animal waste. May perform tasks such as crop baling or hay bucking. May operate stationary equipment to perform post-harvest tasks such as husking, shelling, threshing, and ginning.

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Paul.J.West // Shutterstock

#9. Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $22,710
- #53 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 19,930

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,630
- Employment: 1,272,840
- Entry level education requirements: Some college, no degree
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Alexandria, LA ($17,810)
--- Gadsden, AL ($18,110)
--- Hammond, LA ($18,740)
- Job description: Assist a preschool, elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher with instructional duties. Serve in a position for which a teacher has primary responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

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Daniel Lee // Flickr

#7 (tie). Cooks, fast food

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $22,550
- #152 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 10,560

National
- Annual mean salary: $24,300
- Employment: 544,420
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Altoona, PA ($17,660)
--- Johnson City, TN ($17,700)
--- Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL ($17,900)
- Job description: Prepare and cook food in a fast food restaurant with a limited menu. Duties of these cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.

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Pixabay

#7 (tie). Lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $22,550
- #74 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,120

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,050
- Employment: 113,150
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Montgomery, AL ($17,440)
--- Athens-Clarke County, GA ($17,790)
--- Sheboygan, WI ($17,940)
- Job description: Monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes, to provide assistance and protection to participants.

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Dragon Images // Shutterstock

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $22,130
- #173 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,940

National
- Annual mean salary: $24,800
- Employment: 316,700
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Decatur, AL ($17,940)
--- Gadsden, AL ($18,150)
--- New Bern, NC ($18,190)
- Job description: Welcome patrons, seat them at tables or in lounge, and help ensure quality of facilities and service.

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Unsplash

#5. Amusement and recreation attendants

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $21,940
- #111 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,240

National
- Annual mean salary: $25,610
- Employment: 248,190
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Houma-Thibodaux, LA ($18,040)
--- Lynchburg, VA ($18,600)
--- Auburn-Opelika, AL ($18,650)
- Job description: Perform a variety of attending duties at amusement or recreation facility. May schedule use of recreation facilities, maintain and provide equipment to participants of sporting events or recreational pursuits, or operate amusement concessions and rides.

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Jason Person // Shutterstock

#4. Cooks, short order

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $21,830
- #25 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,030

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,030
- Employment: 123,350
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Laredo, TX ($18,660)
--- Gainesville, GA ($18,740)
--- Mobile, AL ($18,820)
- Job description: Prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time. May take orders from customers and serve patrons at counters or tables.

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Ryan Everton // Unsplash

#3. Dishwashers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $21,730
- #108 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 8,070

National
- Annual mean salary: $25,600
- Employment: 395,660
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL ($17,490)
--- Fond du Lac, WI ($18,400)
--- Muncie, IN ($18,550)
- Job description: Clean dishes, kitchen, food preparation equipment, or utensils.

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Pxhere

#2. Fast food and counter workers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $21,680
- #146 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 84,410

National
- Annual mean salary: $24,540
- Employment: 3,450,120
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Dothan, AL ($18,690)
--- Mobile, AL ($18,750)
--- Montgomery, AL ($18,780)
- Job description: Perform duties such as taking orders and serving food and beverages. Serve customers at counter or from a steam table. May take payment. May prepare food and beverages.

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aboutsung // Shutterstock

#1. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $21,530
- #119 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 11,060

National
- Annual mean salary: $26,300
- Employment: 374,940
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Monroe, LA ($18,090)
--- Houma-Thibodaux, LA ($18,100)
--- McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX ($18,240)
- Job description: Facilitate food service. Clean tables; remove dirty dishes; replace soiled table linens; set tables; replenish supply of clean linens, silverware, glassware, and dishes; supply service bar with food; and serve items such as water, condiments, and coffee to patrons.

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