Jobs That Pay Minimum Wage


As of July 2010, state-mandated minimum wages range from $5.15 to $8.55 per hour. The Fair Labor Standards Act, which went into effect July 24, 2009, established a federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for workers in the private sector and local, state and federal governments. Workers subject to both federal and state minimum wages can receive the higher of the two hourly rates. Jobs that pay minimum wage range from farm workers to day care center employees, found in locations throughout the country.

Farm Worker

  • Farm workers perform general tasks on farms and ranches, including applying pesticides and fertilizers to crops, repairing fences and buildings, feeding livestock, operating farm equipment and harvesting crops. Farm worker jobs do not typically have educational requirements, but require knowledge of food production, mechanical aptitude, building construction methods and machinery operation. Farm worker positions can vary widely, from machine operators to manual laborers. Farms and ranches hire full-time, part-time and seasonal farm workers, who assist during planting and harvesting seasons. According to PayScale, farm workers can earn an hourly wage of $7.75 to $11.77. Workers on dairy farms can earn the highest wages, $8.58 to $12.43 per hour, while workers employed by beef producers can earn $7.61 to $10.91 per hour. Farm worker jobs are available in agricultural areas throughout the United States.

Food Service Worker

  • Food service workers can include waiters, line cooks, dishwashers and hostesses. Food worker positions vary, depending on job description, and can include preparing food, taking orders and delivering meals to customers, washing dishes and general cleaning of kitchens and dining rooms. Positions typically do not have educational requirements. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one out of five food service workers earn $5.15 per hour or less. Select food worker positions include hourly wages from the employer and tips from customers. Select employers can take advantage of a tip credit statute in federal minimum wage law, which allows them to pay an hourly rate as low as $2.13 if hourly pay and tips equal at least $5.15 per hour. Food service jobs are available in most areas, with higher wages typically available in large cities and higher-end restaurants.

Child Care Worker

  • Child care workers assist children with dressing, bathroom functions, bathing, feeding, play activities and learning. According to PayScale, the average child care worker earns between $7.76 and $10.19 per hour. Fitness club child care workers earn the lowest wage, $7.53 to $10.03 per hour, while workers at private schools can earn $8.41 to $11.36 per hour. Employers include schools, day care centers, businesses, government organizations and private households. Child care workers in private households, also known as nannies, can often earn higher salaries. Select child care positions do not include education requirements, while others can require special training, such as CPR and first aid knowledge. Job duties can vary widely and can require household cleaning duties, on-site living arrangements, 24-hour per day working conditions and physical exertion.

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