Lowest-paying jobs in Roanoke

Written by:
June 20, 2022
aboutsung // Shutterstock

Lowest-paying jobs in Roanoke

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 Roanoke, VA, 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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Joseph Sohm // Shutterstock

#50. Umpires, referees, and other sports officials

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $30,660
- #35 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,710
- Employment: 9,620
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL ($73,600)
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($63,500)
--- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL ($62,260)
2 / 50
ProfDEH // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Couriers and messengers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $30,060
- #133 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

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)
3 / 50
Vasin Lee // Shutterstock

#48. Residential advisors

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $30,030
- #206 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

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)
4 / 50
Canva

#47. Refuse and recyclable material collectors

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $29,970
- #267 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $42,780
- Employment: 126,050
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($70,740)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($69,470)
--- Napa, CA ($60,830)
5 / 50
CHRISTOF STACHE // Getty Images

#46. Preschool teachers, except special education

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $29,880
- #291 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 310

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)

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Canva

#45. Upholsterers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $29,680
- #71 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $38,220
- Employment: 28,020
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($61,810)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($54,790)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($51,300)
7 / 50
The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#44. Stockers and order fillers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $29,510
- #280 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,250

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)
8 / 50
Canva

#43. Crossing guards and flaggers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $29,400
- #133 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

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)
9 / 50
Canva

#42. Machine feeders and offbearers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $29,340
- #127 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

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)
10 / 50
Africa Studio // Shutterstock

#41. Shuttle drivers and chauffeurs

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $29,300
- #164 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 240

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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Canva

#40. Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $29,290
- #338 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 820

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)
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Canva

#39. Cooks, institution and cafeteria

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $28,790
- #252 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 410

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)
13 / 50
GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#38. Nursing assistants

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $28,660
- #297 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,530

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)
14 / 50
Finist4 // Shutterstock

#37. Manicurists and pedicurists

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $28,610
- #89 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,480
- Employment: 120,540
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Provo-Orem, UT ($45,320)
--- Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI ($42,170)
--- Olympia-Tumwater, WA ($40,030)
15 / 50
Flamingo Images // Shutterstock

#36. Concierges

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $28,590
- #84 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $37,520
- Employment: 33,560
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($47,700)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($43,690)
--- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY ($42,870)

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16 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#35. Retail salespersons

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $28,420
- #293 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,800

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)
17 / 50
New Africa // Shutterstock

#34. Receptionists and information clerks

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $28,410
- #312 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,200

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)
18 / 50
Canva

#33. Tire repairers and changers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $28,320
- #281 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

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)
19 / 50
Oksana Shufrych // Shutterstock

#32. Recreation workers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $27,780
- #287 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 360

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)
20 / 50
Canva

#31. Helpers--production workers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $27,670
- #310 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 310

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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21 / 50
Stokkete // Shutterstock

#30. File clerks

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $27,640
- #244 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

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)
22 / 50
Don LaVange // Flickr

#29. Funeral attendants

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $27,590
- #105 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

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)
23 / 50
PxHere

#28. Library assistants, clerical

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $27,500
- #164 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

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)
24 / 50
Nejron Photo // Shutterstock

#27. Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $27,400
- #248 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 300

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,550
- Employment: 351,960
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($40,840)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($38,980)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($38,780)
25 / 50
Unsplash

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

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $27,100
- #283 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,090

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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26 / 50
Canva

#25. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $27,050
- #234 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 190

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,780
- Employment: 98,970
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Ames, IA ($44,000)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($43,680)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($41,920)
27 / 50
Giulio_Fornasar // Shutterstock

#24. Mail clerks and mail machine operators, except postal service

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $26,920
- #191 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,390
- Employment: 69,400
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($43,730)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($43,210)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($42,390)
28 / 50
viviandnguyen_ // Flickr

#23. Packers and packagers, hand

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $26,610
- #271 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 200

National
- Annual mean salary: $30,950
- Employment: 585,270
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($38,960)
--- Rome, GA ($38,830)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($38,460)
29 / 50
Jorge Royan // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Cooks, restaurant

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $26,580
- #313 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,070

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)
30 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#21. Waiters and waitresses

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $26,210
- #193 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,860

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,010
- Employment: 1,804,030
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Glens Falls, NY ($47,570)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($47,080)
--- Ithaca, NY ($44,970)

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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#20. Animal caretakers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $26,050
- #246 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 250

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)
32 / 50
Richard Thornton // Shutterstock

#19. School bus monitors

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $25,770
- #90 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

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)
33 / 50
Canva

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

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $25,760
- #69 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

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)
34 / 50
Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#17. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $25,580
- #218 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 200

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)
35 / 50
Canva

#16. Automotive and watercraft service attendants

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $25,500
- #332 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,960
- Employment: 111,480
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($50,340)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($41,840)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($39,120)

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VGstockstudio // Shutterstock

#15. Food servers, nonrestaurant

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $25,120
- #246 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 340

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)
37 / 50
Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#14. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $24,540
- #284 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,010

National
- Annual mean salary: $29,580
- Employment: 723,430
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($45,430)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($44,940)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($44,580)
38 / 50
Jason Person // Shutterstock

#13. Cooks, short order

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $24,510
- #177 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,110
- Employment: 124,800
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($39,670)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($38,060)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($37,940)
39 / 50
Canva

#12. Food preparation workers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $24,380
- #307 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 570

National
- Annual mean salary: $28,810
- Employment: 783,350
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($39,950)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($39,230)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($38,340)
40 / 50
Unsplash

#11. Amusement and recreation attendants

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $24,290
- #151 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

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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41 / 50
Martin Smith // Shutterstock

#10. Parking attendants

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $24,240
- #142 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

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)
42 / 50
Ryan Everton // Unsplash

#9. Dishwashers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $23,870
- #220 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 330

National
- Annual mean salary: $27,350
- Employment: 377,040
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($37,560)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($37,200)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($36,440)
43 / 50
Daniel Lee // Flickr

#8. Cooks, fast food

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $23,390
- #182 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 420

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)
44 / 50
Dean Drobot // Shutterstock

#7. Cashiers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $23,340
- #278 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,560

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)
45 / 50
Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock

#6. Childcare workers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $23,200
- #290 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 380

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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46 / 50
aboutsung // Shutterstock

#5. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $23,170
- #243 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 340

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)
47 / 50
Dragon Images // Shutterstock

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

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $23,130
- #202 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 390

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
Gabriel Georgescu // Shutterstock

#3. Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $22,990
- #297 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 250

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)
49 / 50
Pxhere

#2. Fast food and counter workers

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $22,510
- #263 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,500

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)
50 / 50
Pixabay

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

Roanoke, VA
- Annual mean salary: $21,980
- #188 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 250

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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