GOBankingRates

20 Surprisingly Low-Paying Jobs

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In a perfect world, the amount of education or effort a particular job requires should be reflected in the compensation. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Take for instance the job of an emergency medical technician. EMTs respond to emergency calls, perform medical services and transport patients to hospitals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their work can involve life-or-death situations and be physically demanding and stressful. However, the annual median pay for this job is only $35,400.

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GOBankingRates used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook to identify 20 jobs that are surprisingly low-paying – -and ranked them from highest to lowest pay. All jobs featured require some form of postsecondary education and yet typically pay less than $80,000 per year.

GOBankingRates also looked at each job’s typical on-the-job training required, projected growth between 2019-2029 and the 2019 median annual wage.

After you check out the pay for these jobs, you may reconsider your career goals.

Last updated: Feb. 19, 2021

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20. Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists

  • Entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree
  • On-the-job training: Internship/residency
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 3%
  • Annual median Wage: $78,200
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19. Audiologists

  • Entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 13%
  • Annual median wage: $77,600
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18. Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary

  • Entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 9%
  • Annual median wage: $74,600
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17. Chiropractors

  • Entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 4%
  • Annual median wage: $70,300
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16. Historians

  • Entry-level education: Master’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 3%
  • Annual median wage: $63,680
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15. Forensic Science Technicians

  • Entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: Moderate
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 14%
  • Annual median wage: $59,150

Read More: 20 Ways To Improve Your Changes of Getting a Job

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14. Property Appraisers and Assessors

  • Entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: Long term
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 3%
  • Annual median wage: $57,010

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13. Curators

  • Entry-level education: Master’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 11%
  • Median wage: $54,570
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12. Judicial Law Clerks

  • Entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth: 3%
  • Annual median wage: $54,010

Read: Surprising Ways Gen X and Boomers Are Worlds Apart Financially

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11. Wind Turbine Service Technicians

  • Entry-level education: Postsecondary nondegree award
  • On-the-job training: Long term
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 61%
  • Annual median wage: $52,910
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10. Music Directors and Composers

  • Entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 2%
  • Median wage: $51,670
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9. Marriage and Family Therapist

  • Entry-level education: Master’s degree
  • On-the-job training: Internship/residency
  • Projected growth (2019-2020): 22%
  • Annual median wage: $49,610

Find Out: Best and Worst Cities To Score Your Dream Job

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8. Surgical Technologists

  • Entry-level education: Postsecondary nondegree award
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth: 7%
  • Annual median wage: $48,300
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7. Mental Health Substance Abuse Social Workers

  • Entry-level education: Master’s degree
  • On-the-job training: Internship/residency
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 13%
  • Annual median wage: $46,650

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6. News Analysts, Reporters and Journalists

  • Entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth: -11%
  • Annual median wage: $46,270

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5. Museum Technicians and Conservators

  • Entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 11%
  • Annual median wage: $44,430

 

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4. Rehabilitation Counselors

  • Entry-level education: Master’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 10%
  • Annual median wage: $35,950
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3. Phlebotomists

  • Entry-level education: Postsecondary nondegree award
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 17%
  • Annual median wage: $35,510

Helpful: 22 Tips for Landing a Job During the Health Crisis

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2. Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

  • Entry-level education: Postsecondary nondegree award
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 6%
  • Annual median wage: $35,400
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1. Legislators

  • Entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected growth (2019-2029): 6%
  • Annual median wage: $29,270

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Methodology: GOBankingRates used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook to identify 20 jobs that are surprisingly low-paying. All jobs featured require some form of postsecondary education and yet typically pay less than $80,000 per year. GOBankingRates provided information on each job’s (1) minimum entry-level education requirement, (2) typical amount of on-the-job training required, (3) projected growth between 2019 and 2029, and (4) 2019 median annual wage. All data was collected on and up to date as of Nov. 5, 2020.