Lowest-paying jobs in Charleston

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

Stacker collected information on the lowest-paying jobs in Charleston, WV, 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 Charleston, the annual mean wage is $48,480 or 13.9% lower than national mean of $56,310, while the lowest-paying occupation makes $20,820. Read on to see which jobs make the list.

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#50. Refuse and recyclable material collectors

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $29,850
- #30 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $42,620
- Employment: 120,850
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Morristown, TN ($24,150)
--- Rocky Mount, NC ($24,650)
--- Gainesville, GA ($25,500)
- Job description: Collect and dump refuse or recyclable materials from containers into truck. May drive truck.

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#49. Crossing guards and flaggers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $29,430
- #67 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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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Giulio_Fornasar // Shutterstock

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

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $29,040
- #42 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,700
- Employment: 79,310
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Tallahassee, FL ($21,310)
--- Abilene, TX ($21,420)
--- Laredo, TX ($22,130)
- Job description: Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Time-stamp, open, read, sort, and route incoming mail; and address, seal, stamp, fold, stuff, and affix postage to outgoing mail or packages. Duties may also include keeping necessary records and completed forms.

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New Africa // Shutterstock

#47. Receptionists and information clerks

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $28,960
- #140 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 850

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,410
- Employment: 968,420
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Gadsden, AL ($22,570)
--- Killeen-Temple, TX ($22,770)
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($22,880)
- Job description: Answer inquiries and provide information to the general public, customers, visitors, and other interested parties regarding activities conducted at establishment and location of departments, offices, and employees within the organization.

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Paul.J.West // Shutterstock

#46. Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $28,900
- #230 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 550

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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Undrey // Shutterstock

#45. Data entry keyers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $28,620
- #21 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

National
- Annual mean salary: $35,850
- Employment: 151,520
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- El Paso, TX ($22,580)
--- Laredo, TX ($23,940)
--- Las Cruces, NM ($24,280)
- Job description: Operate data entry device, such as keyboard or photo composing perforator. Duties may include verifying data and preparing materials for printing.

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#44. Tire repairers and changers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $28,330
- #72 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,790
- Employment: 98,560
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Monroe, LA ($20,890)
--- Terre Haute, IN ($21,540)
--- Champaign-Urbana, IL ($22,830)
- Job description: Repair and replace tires.

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JOHANNES EISELE // Getty Images

#43. Passenger vehicle drivers, except bus drivers, transit and intercity

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $28,320
- #92 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 370

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,360
- Employment: 599,980
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Decatur, AL ($17,980)
--- Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL ($18,250)
--- Dothan, AL ($18,260)
- Job description: Drive a motor vehicle to transport passengers on a planned or scheduled basis. May collect a fare.

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#42. Helpers--production workers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $28,260
- #56 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,000
- Employment: 239,340
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Auburn-Opelika, AL ($21,100)
--- Topeka, KS ($21,280)
--- Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL ($21,360)
- Job description: Help production workers by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

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ProfDEH // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Couriers and messengers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $28,160
- #67 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,010
- Employment: 70,700
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Tuscaloosa, AL ($19,770)
--- Monroe, LA ($21,160)
--- Lawton, OK ($21,380)
- Job description: Pick up and deliver messages, documents, packages, and other items between offices or departments within an establishment or directly to other business concerns, traveling by foot, bicycle, motorcycle, automobile, or public conveyance.

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#40. Ophthalmic medical technicians

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $28,050
- #4 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $40,010
- Employment: 59,960
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Cape Girardeau, MO-IL ($25,430)
--- Morgantown, WV ($25,850)
--- Clarksville, TN-KY ($27,360)
- Job description: Assist ophthalmologists by performing ophthalmic clinical functions. May administer eye exams, administer eye medications, and instruct the patient in care and use of corrective lenses.

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ESB Basic // Shutterstock

#39. Switchboard operators, including answering service

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $28,020
- #42 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,980
- Employment: 59,270
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Alexandria, LA ($20,580)
--- Lawton, OK ($21,710)
--- Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL ($22,090)
- Job description: Operate telephone business systems equipment or switchboards to relay incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls. May supply information to callers and record messages.

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GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#38. Nursing assistants

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $27,980
- #98 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,010

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,050
- Employment: 1,371,050
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Monroe, LA ($21,840)
--- Brunswick, GA ($22,370)
--- Columbus, GA-AL ($22,540)
- Job description: Provide or assist with basic care or support under the direction of onsite licensed nursing staff. Perform duties such as monitoring of health status, feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, or ambulation of patients in a health or nursing facility. May include medication administration and other health-related tasks. Includes nursing care attendants, nursing aides, and nursing attendants.

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#37. Cooks, institution and cafeteria

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $27,690
- #148 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 630

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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Crew // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Bartenders

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $27,190
- #233 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

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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Sean Rayford // Getty Images

#35. Security guards

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $27,090
- #34 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,340

National
- Annual mean salary: $34,360
- Employment: 1,054,400
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Columbus, IN ($22,600)
--- Hammond, LA ($22,690)
--- Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL ($22,760)
- Job description: Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules. May operate x-ray and metal detector equipment.

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The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#34. Stockers and order fillers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $27,050
- #60 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,030

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,010
- Employment: 2,210,960
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Fond du Lac, WI ($23,990)
--- Monroe, LA ($24,240)
--- Florence, SC ($24,420)
- Job description: Receive, store, and issue merchandise, materials, equipment, and other items from stockroom, warehouse, or storage yard to fill shelves, racks, tables, or customers' orders. May operate power equipment to fill orders. May mark prices on merchandise and set up sales displays.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#33. Waiters and waitresses

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $27,020
- #266 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 900

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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#32. Retail salespersons

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $26,550
- #43 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,090

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

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $26,430
- #103 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,530

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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create jobs 51 // Shutterstock

#30. Legislators

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $26,370
- #25 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,560
- Employment: 51,290
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Florence, SC ($18,230)
--- Warner Robins, GA ($19,630)
--- Birmingham-Hoover, AL ($19,690)
- Job description: Develop, introduce, or enact laws and statutes at the local, tribal, state, or federal level. Includes only workers in elected positions.

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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#29. Animal caretakers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $26,340
- #198 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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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LuckView // Shutterstock

#28. Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $25,910
- #2 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $38,650
- Employment: 179,300
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX ($25,840)
--- Charleston, WV ($25,910)
--- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL ($27,000)
- Job description: Set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic material.

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#27. Floral designers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $25,870
- #26 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

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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Martin Smith // Shutterstock

#26. Parking attendants

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $25,420
- #78 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

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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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#25. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $25,400
- #212 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 680

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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aboutsung // Shutterstock

#24. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $25,260
- #239 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

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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Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#23. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $25,010
- #173 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

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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Nejron Photo // Shutterstock

#22. Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $24,850
- #68 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 200

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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Ryan Everton // Unsplash

#21. Dishwashers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $24,600
- #254 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

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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Canva

#20. Automotive and watercraft service attendants

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $24,560
- #29 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

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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Goldsithney // Shutterstock

#19. Psychiatric technicians

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $24,170
- #2 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $38,080
- Employment: 85,330
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Houma-Thibodaux, LA ($23,760)
--- Charleston, WV ($24,170)
--- Lake Charles, LA ($24,750)
- Job description: Care for individuals with mental or emotional conditions or disabilities, following the instructions of physicians or other health practitioners. Monitor patients' physical and emotional well-being and report to medical staff. May participate in rehabilitation and treatment programs, help with personal hygiene, and administer oral or injectable medications.

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#18. Food preparation workers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $23,710
- #116 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 260

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

#17. Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $23,500
- #3 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 520

National
- Annual mean salary: $33,800
- Employment: 872,370
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX ($22,780)
--- El Paso, TX ($23,330)
--- Charleston, WV ($23,500)
- Job description: Landscape or maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment. Workers typically perform a variety of tasks, which may include any combination of the following: sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting, watering, fertilizing, digging, raking, sprinkler installation, and installation of mortarless segmental concrete masonry wall units.

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John Leung // Shutterstock

#16. Brickmasons and blockmasons

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $23,420
- #1 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,420
- Employment: 59,940
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Charleston, WV ($23,420)
--- Panama City, FL ($32,330)
--- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($32,470)
- Job description: Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, concrete block, cinder block, glass block, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances, to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers, and other structures.

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Jorge Royan // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Cooks, restaurant

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $23,390
- #28 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 640

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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Don LaVange // Flickr

#14. Funeral attendants

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $23,280
- #5 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $31,130
- Employment: 32,300
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with lowest average pay:
--- Ogden-Clearfield, UT ($20,980)
--- Shreveport-Bossier City, LA ($21,320)
--- Lima, OH ($21,500)
- Job description: Perform a variety of tasks during funeral, such as placing casket in parlor or chapel prior to service, arranging floral offerings or lights around casket, directing or escorting mourners, closing casket, and issuing and storing funeral equipment.

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UfaBizPhoto // Shutterstock

#13. Sewing machine operators

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $23,150
- #7 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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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Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock

#12. Childcare workers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $23,120
- #136 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 280

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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Gabriel Georgescu // Shutterstock

#11. Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $23,090
- #113 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

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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Dean Drobot // Shutterstock

#10. Cashiers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $23,020
- #117 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,190

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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David Corby // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $22,770
- #9 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

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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Daniel Lee // Flickr

#8. Cooks, fast food

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $22,720
- #162 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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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Pearl PhotoPix // Shutterstock

#7. Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $22,690
- #21 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

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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Pixabay

#6. Psychiatric aides

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $22,320
- #2 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 190

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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Unsplash

#5. Amusement and recreation attendants

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $21,970
- #114 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

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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Dragon Images // Shutterstock

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

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $21,160
- #115 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 260

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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viviandnguyen_ // Flickr

#3. Packers and packagers, hand

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $20,990
- #12 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

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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Pexels

#2. Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $20,960
- #32 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

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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Pxhere

#1. Fast food and counter workers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $20,820
- #91 lowest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,270

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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