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Surprisingly Low-Paying Jobs

Surprisingly Low-Paying Jobs

By Catherine Conlan,
Monster Contributing Writer

There are many jobs out there that, at first glance, seem like they would be your dream job -- until you realize how low the pay is. Compensation experts PayScale identified some of the worst offenders.

Graduate Teaching Assistant
Graduate teaching assistants are active graduate students who help professors by teaching classes, helping with exams and grading, and pitching in wherever the professors need help. There have been many discussions about how to fairly compensate TAs. In the meantime, they’re earning some of the lowest wages around for their labor. According to PayScale, the average median hourly wage for graduate TAs was $9.24.

College Support Staff
Graduate teaching assistants aren’t the only low-paid workers on campus. Coaches at post-secondary levels had a median hourly wage of $11.66, with a median of two years of experience. In addition to coaching a team, coaches may also be expected to recruit. Graduate research assistants, who assist with research programs while they pursue their graduate degrees, have an average median hourly wage of $11.81. Residence hall directors, who oversee the administration of residence halls and may be expected to coordinate volunteers or activities, came in at $14.20.

Marine Corps Corporal
A Marine Corp corporal who sees ground combat duty ends up with $11.88 as a median hourly wage. A corporal is expected to serve as a go-between for enlisted men and noncommissioned officers, and may be involved in training, supervision, and leading other soldiers.

● Motel Managers
Motel Managers had a median hourly wage of $12.54. Duties include managing the day-to-day operations of a motel, including scheduling employees and filling in when one is absent. The manager of a mobile home park reported $13.77 with five years of experience. These managers buy, sell and lease spaces in the park, and manage maintenance and disputes.

Sales Positions
Sales jobs often come with low median hourly wages, but they may be supplemented by commissions or other rewards systems. Advertising sales agents, for example, had a median hourly wage of $12.60, and financial sales consultant was at $14.64, with four years of experience.

● Community Support Specialist
A Community Support Specialist role can mean different things in different nonprofits, but the pay doesn’t. It had a median hourly wage of $13.48. Job duties may include connecting clients with service providers who can help them with addiction, mental illness, integrating into society and other services.

● Editorial Assistant
Editorial Assistants earn a median wage of $14.95 an hour with a year of experience. Editorial assistants may be expected to proofread or rewrite copy, correspond with authors, work with writers on articles, assist with design as well as help with general office duties.

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