Janitors and Building Cleaners are amongst the lowest earners in 2023, with an average salary of $31,990 per year, in maintenance and cleaning roles. They are closely followed by Forest and Conservation Workers, earning around $32,270 annually.
1. Assemblers and Fabricators
National average salary: $37,930 per year
Primary duties: Assemblers and fabricators assemble finished products and the parts that go into them. They use tools, machines, and their hands to make engines, computers, aircraft, toys, electronic devices, and more. They may also be responsible for quality assurance, testing products to ensure they are working as intended.
Requirements: A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required, though some positions may require specialized training or certification, depending on the complexity of the projects. On-the-job training is common.
National average salary: $37,590 per year
Primary duties: Woodworkers manufacture a variety of products such as cabinets and furniture, using wood, veneers, and laminates. They often combine and incorporate different materials into wood.
Requirements: Although some entry-level jobs can be learned in less than 1 year, becoming fully proficient generally takes several years of on-the-job training. The ability to use computer-controlled machinery is becoming increasingly important.
National average salary: $36,930 per year
Primary duties: Butchers cut, trim, and package meat for retail sale. They are responsible for ensuring the meat is stored and handled properly to maintain quality.
Requirements: On-the-job training is common, and some butchers attend a formal butcher training program. Knowledge of safety and sanitation regulations and standards is crucial.
4. Food Processing Equipment Workers
National average salary: $36,190 per year
Primary duties: These workers operate equipment used in the processing and production of food. They ensure the machines are working efficiently and are well-maintained and clean.
Requirements: A high school diploma or equivalent is often required, and on-the-job training is typically provided.
5. Grounds Maintenance Workers
National average salary: $36,160 per year
Primary duties: Grounds maintenance workers ensure that the landscapes of houses, businesses, and parks are attractive, orderly, and healthy.
Requirements: There are no formal education requirements. The majority of training is done on the job, and can be learned in a short period of time.
6. Hand Laborers and Material Movers
National average salary: $34,960 per year
Primary duties: These laborers manually move freight, stock, or other materials or perform other unskilled general labor. They are involved in the transportation and distribution of goods.
Requirements: There are generally no specific educational requirements, though a high school diploma or equivalent can be beneficial. On-the-job training is commonly provided.
7. Agricultural Workers
National average salary: $33,290 per year
Primary duties: Agricultural workers maintain crops and tend to livestock. They operate farm equipment and perform tasks such as planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops.
Requirements: Most agricultural workers do not need a formal education and are trained on the job. Some positions may require a high school diploma or equivalent.
National average salary: $32,780 per year
Primary duties: Bakers prepare breads, cakes, pastries, and other baked goods by mixing ingredients and following recipes. They also oversee the baking process and may be responsible for purchasing baking supplies.
Requirements: Formal education is not typically required, though some bakers may attend a technical or culinary school. Most training is done on the job.
9. Forest and Conservation Workers
National average salary: $32,270 per year
Primary duties: These workers measure and improve the quality of forests, under the supervision of foresters and forest and conservation technicians. They may plant seedlings, fight insect infestation, and assist with controlled burns.
Requirements: A high school diploma is typically required, and workers receive moderate-term on-the-job training.
10. Janitors and Building Cleaners
National average salary: $31,990 per year
Primary duties: Janitors and building cleaners keep many types of buildings clean, orderly, and in good condition. They ensure that buildings are safe, clean, and presentable.
Requirements: There are no formal education requirements, and on-the-job training is typical. Some positions may require specific certifications depending on the type of cleaning and maintenance being done.
Please note that these are generic descriptions and requirements for these jobs, and specific roles may vary depending on the employer and location. Make sure to tailor these as per your specific needs and additional information that you might have for each role.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Occupational Outlook Handbook." n.d., https://www.bls.gov/ooh/.