Posted by Jason Sheehan on November 9th, 2011
Think your job sucks? Well, if you’re working at the low end of the food industry in this day and age, then you’re probably right.
Yesterday, someone from the Huffington Post was apparently cruising around the Bureau of Labor Statistics website (‘cuz that’s how they roll) and stumbled across a a 6-month-old report on “Occupational Employment and Wages” which found that the fastest route to selling your blood for rent money in the United States of America is to work with food. And we’re not just talking fast food here (though fast food is certainly a big part of the Top 10), but at all kinds of restaurants.
Of the 10 lowest paying jobs in the country, 7 of them were food-related. If you don’t count farming, then 6 of them were specifically restaurant-related. And that just blows–especially in an industry where being at the top of the food chain (figuratively speaking) has a good chance of buying you a nice summer house in Martha’s Vineyard, and maybe a vineyard to go with it.
Here’s how the list of shitty ways to make a buck shook out.
10 Farmworkers–yearly mean wages $20,040
9 Cashiers–yearly mean wages $19,810
8 Amusement and Recreation Attendants (read: Carnies)–yearly mean wages $19,750
7 Hosts and Hostesses–yearly mean wages $19, 600
6 Dining Room Attendants and Bartender helpers (read: Barbacks, busboys, etc.)–yearly mean wages $19,320
5 Counter Attendants (read: The dude who serves up your pizza slices at lunch)–yearly mean wage $19,280
4 Shampooers–yearly mean wage $19,140
3 Dishwashers–yearly mean wage $18,680
2 Combined Food Preparation Workers (read: cooks)–yearly mean wage $18,610
1 Cooks, fast food–yearly mean wage $18,540
So yes, kids, it really is better to be a migrant peach picker than a young line cook, making his bones and learning speed while slinging hash at the Waffle House. People wonder what happened to all the good, hard-working cooks who came up the hard way with no cooking school and no fancy stages on their resume? I’ll give you one guess.
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