"Unskilled jobs" is a term often used to describe professional roles that don't require a degree, certification or any specialized skills for entering into the workforce. Instead, the required skills are performed while doing the job itself. Many of these positions are in high demand but also have high turnover depending on the industry. Likewise, these jobs serve as work opportunities for a large segment of the population who may or may not been accredited with any specialized training or education.
What exactly is an unskilled job?
Given that an unskilled job doesn't require specialized expertise to complete its typical daily tasks, many of these positions are considered entry level, with training being done on the job. While a certain experience level may give you an advantage in acquiring and excelling in a role, it is not necessary for being able to do the job itself. There are unskilled jobs in a variety of industries, particularly those related to hospitality, maintenance and retail. These positions allow you to develop your skills through hands-on experience.
Related: What Is Unskilled Labor?
High-paying unskilled jobs
The following list includes common unskilled job titles along with average salary information linked from Indeed Salaries where average salary date is frequently updated:
National average salary: $12.01 per hour
Primary duties: Servers help to provide an excellent dining service to restaurant patrons. They take orders, offer meal suggestions based on their customer preferences, communicate orders to kitchen and bartending staff and deliver food to the diners. Servers may help with food preparation, seating customers and taking payments.
Related: Learn About Being a Food Server
National average salary: $12.09 per hour
Primary duties: Janitors are responsible for cleaning buildings such as schools, offices, hospitals and libraries. Some of their job duties include cleaning windows, dusting, emptying trash bins, sweeping and mopping floors and tidying up bathrooms. Janitors often work before or after operating hours, so they may be responsible for securing and locking the premises. Some janitors also perform minor repairs and maintain stocks of cleaning supplies.
Related: Learn About Being A Janitor
National average salary: $12.52 per hour
Primary duties: Transport drivers deliver clients to various destinations. They may work for a taxi or limousine company, a ridesharing company or other transport services. Transport drivers are responsible for maintaining a clean vehicle and determining the best route to drive based on road conditions, weather and traffic patterns. They may be responsible for taking payments, loading and unloading luggage and answering questions about the local area.
National average salary: $12.60 per hour
Primary duties: Stocking associates are responsible for organizing, receiving and maintaining inventory for retail businesses. They may work in a warehouse or a retail location. Stocking associates often use inventory maintenance software to manage stock, perform inventory checks and order new supplies. They may operate forklifts to move and organize bulk shipments. Stocking associates who work in retail locations may be responsible for answering customer questions, filling stock on the sales floor and arranging displays.
Related: Learn About Being a Stocker
National average salary: $12.92 per hour
Primary duties: Care associates are medical support staff who help patients in a hospital with basic medical care and residents in long-term care facilities with daily activities. They may be responsible for helping patients turn in their beds, exercise, bathing, feeding, obtaining specimens, inserting catheters and checking vital signs. Care associates are often the medical staff that sees patients most often, so they are usually expected to report changes in their patients' emotional, physical and mental conditions. Care associates should be able to perform CPR and other types of first aid.
National average salary: $13.13 per hour
Primary duties: Food production workers help kitchen staff prepare and assemble meals. They may work in a variety of settings that serve food, including restaurants, schools, assisted living facilities, hotels, coffee shops and hospitals. Food production workers are responsible for making sure that food is properly stored and of good quality, ingredients are adequately prepared and all surfaces in the kitchen are clean and sanitized. They are usually expected to mix, prepare and plate meals to the kitchen's standards.
National average salary: $13.25 per hour
Primary duties: Security guards are responsible for maintaining the safety of an organization's property and personnel. They often patrol buildings and premises, use surveillance equipment to monitor buildings, receive deliveries and grant entry to visitors and staff. Security guards regularly maintain logs and reports to show who was on the property, ensure that all equipment is working correctly and have records of any incidents that occur.
Related: Learn About Being a Security Guard
8. Farm worker
National average salary: $13.25 per hour
Primary duties: Farmworkers tend to livestock and maintain crops. They often use heavy farm equipment to clear land, sow seeds and lay irrigation pipes. They may also inspect and harvest crops by hand. Farmworkers often work with pesticides to manage fungi, weeds and insects. They feed, clean and inspect livestock, as well as clean their pens, administer medicines and mark them with brands or tags.
National average salary: $13.48 per hour
Primary duties: Receptionists are often the first person clients, vendors and visitors speak to when they visit a business. Receptionists greet visitors to the office and direct them to the correct office. They usually answer phones and emails to redirect them to the appropriate person or take a message, and they may also receive, sort and disperse mail. Receptionists often maintain files, schedule meetings, update calendars and perform similar administrative tasks.
Related: Learn About Being a Receptionist
National average salary: $13.60 per hour
Primary duties: Grounds maintenance workers are responsible for the upkeep and cultivation of a building or property grounds. They often plant flowers, perform repairs, mow grass, pull weeds and maintain the general appearance of the grounds. They may apply fertilizer and pesticides, clear pathways and trim tree limbs and shrubs. Grounds maintenance workers may also install outdoor furniture and manage irrigation systems.
National average salary: $13.43 per hour
Primary duties: Veterinary assistants help veterinarians and veterinary technicians care for animals in their care. They often bathe, exercise, feed and administer medication to the animals. Veterinary assistants may also collect samples for testing and restrain animals while they are being examined. Veterinary assistants often clean and sanitize kennels, operating rooms, surgical equipment and examination rooms. Some veterinary assistants also help with office administration, greet pet owners and perform first aid on animals until a veterinarian or veterinary technician can reach them.
National average salary: $13.59 per hour
Primary duties: Sanitation workers collect and transport garbage from residences and businesses to disposal facilities. They usually drive and perform routine maintenance and cleaning of their trucks. Sanitation workers may be required to do heavy some lifting in addition to operating heavy machinery.
13. Mail processor
National average salary: $14.07 per hour
Primary duties: Mail processors are responsible for receiving, sorting and routing mail. They usually work in the post office, but might work with third-party shipping companies or in business mailrooms. Mail processors often use, calibrate and repair mail sorting and labeling equipment. They may use tracking software and other logs to record incoming and outgoing shipments.
National average salary: $14.67 per hour
Primary duties: Sales representatives sell goods and services to clients. They use communication and customer service skills, as well as a detailed understanding of their products, to help customers buy a product that matches their needs. Sales representatives may work face-to-face, over the phone or online. They may be responsible for increasing their client base through merchandising, advertising and following sales leads. Sales representatives usually maintain records of sales, submit orders and analyze sales trends.
National average salary: $15.68 per hour
Primary duties: Administrative assistants provide support to make sure a workplace runs efficiently. They often write reports, do research, maintain filing systems, enter data into various software programs and distribute mail. Administrative assistants may also schedule appointments and book travel arrangements. They should be familiar with office equipment, like copiers, fax machines and telephones, and software suites, including word processors, spreadsheets, databases and ordering software.
16. Delivery driver
National averages salary: $16.20 per hour
Primary duties: Delivery drivers transport goods to clients using a car, van or truck. They ensure that the products are delivered without any damage, load and unload inventory, enter data to help track shipments and provide customer service to the recipient of the package. Delivery drivers often set and adjust their delivery routes based on weather, traffic patterns and construction.
Related: Learn About Being a Delivery Driver
National average salary: $16.18 per hour
Primary duties: Construction workers work as a team to complete construction projects such as buildings and infrastructure. They often use heavy machinery to clear debris, dig and pave. Construction workers often load and unload materials, direct traffic around work sites and help contractors with various tasks. They may set up and remove temporary structures, such as scaffolding and barriers.
18. Tax preparer
National average salary: $16.82 per hour
Primary duties: Tax preparers use tax preparation software to help clients fill out and submit tax forms. Tax preparers usually work for a certified public accountant (CPA) or tax filing service. They usually collect financial documents and perform interviews with clients so that all tax documents are accurate.
Related: Learn About Being a Tax Preparer
19. Property manager
National average salary: $17.31 per hour
Primary duties: Property managers oversee rental properties and provide services to renters. They often advertise vacancies, set rental rates, write and enforce leasing terms and submit maintenance requests. Property managers work with vendors, contractors and government agencies to ensure that properties are maintained up to code. Property managers also maintain property files, including tenet evictions, applications, background and credit checks, payments and other documents.
Related: Learn About Being a Property Manager
20. Flight attendant
National average salary: $25.13 per hour
Primary duties: Flight attendants are responsible for the safety of passengers and the flight crew. They monitor safety equipment, provide an overview of emergency procedures, ensure that aisles are unobstructed and respond to onboard medical emergencies. Flight attendants also provide customer service by serving beverages, meals and snacks.
Related: Learn About Being a Flight Attendant
21. Claims adjuster
National average salary: $31.01 per hour
Primary duties: Claims adjusters manage insurance claims that are filed by their clients. They investigate the claims, including interviewing witnesses, ensure the claim is covered by the insurance policy, examine statements and photographs and evaluate damage costs. They may issue payments and negotiate settlements.
Other unskilled jobs
There are many positions available that do not require a degree. Here are some others you can explore, separated by industry.
Unskilled transportation jobs include:
- Railroad switch operators
- Rail car repairers
- Subway operators
- Commercial truck drivers
- Logistics specialists
- Transit police
- Railroad conductors
Some positions in manufacturing are:
- Production supervisors
- Chemical plant operators
- Extraction workers
- Oil refinery operators
- Mill workers
Some unskilled jobs in construction are:
- Floor installers
- Hazmat removal workers
- Elevator repairers
- Electronics installers
- Building inspectors
- Wood patternmakers
- Pest control workers
- Maintenance workers
Service and hospitality
The service and hospitality industry has many unskilled jobs to get you started. They include:
- Service clerks
- Hotel night auditors
- Retail management
- Warehouse workers
- Food preparation workers
- Catering staff
- Technical support