37 under $12 per hour: the lowest paying jobs in Denver

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professions earn, on average, less than $12 an hour.

Denver on an autumn day. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)skyline; cityscape; denver; colorado; weather; cowx; autumn; kevinjbeaty; denverite;
Denver on an autumn day. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) skyline; cityscape; denver; colorado; weather; cowx; autumn; kevinjbeaty; denverite;
Denver on an autumn day. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver’s economy is booming. And there are roughly 60 professions earning on average more than $100,000 per year.

While there may be some Coloradans out there rolling in dough, for many, making a sweet six figures is a foreign concept.

Based on May 2015 data provided by employers in Denver, Aurora and Lakewood, the Bureau of Labor Statistics determined the average wage or salary of close to 700 professions.

According to that data, 37 common metro-Denver professions currently earn, on average, less than $12 per hour. The recent passage of Amendment 70 means the minimum wage will gradually increase to $12 per hour by 2020, with an annual adjustment for inflation after that.

Some of the professions listed here — like waiters and waitresses — earn tips. Their minimum wage will increase to $8.97 an hour by 2020 with tips bringing them higher. The annual salaries listed here assume 40 hours a week, which many workers in these professions won’t get.

Here are the lowest paying professions in Denver, by mean hourly and annual wages:
  • Crossing Guards, $11.99 per hour, $24,930 annually
  • Etchers and Engravers, $11.78 per hour, $24,500 annually
  • Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch and Aqua-cultural Animals, $11.73 per hour, $24,390 annually
  • Sewing Machine Operators, $11.71 per hour, $24,350 annually
  • Manicurists and Pedicurists, $11.68 per hour, $24,290 annually
  • Cooks, Restaurant, $11.65 per hour, $24,230 annually
  • Animal Trainers, $11.54 per hour, $24,000 annually
  • Locker Room, Coatroom and Dressing Room Attendants, $11.54 per hour, $24,000 annually
  • Personal Care and Service Workers, $11.51 per hour, $23,940 annually
  • Packers and Packagers, $11.42 per hour, $23,750 annually
  • Cooks, Short Order, $11.41 per hour, $23,720 annually
  • Parking Lot Attendants, $11.38 per hour, $23,680 annually
  • Hotel, Motel and Resort Desk Clerks, $11.37 per hour, $23,660 annually
  • Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations, $11.13 per hour, $23,160 annually
  • Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession and Coffee Shop, $11.10 per hour, $23,080 annually
  • Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers, $11.10 per hour, $23,080 annually
  • Food Servers, Non-restaurant, $10.95 per hour, $22,770 annually
  • Motor Vehicle Operators, $10.84 per hour, $22,550 annually
  • Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment, $10.81 pre hour, $22,480 annually
  • Non-farm Animal Caretakers, $10.68 per hour, $22,210 annually
  • Graders and Sorters, Agricultural Products, $10.61 per hour, $22,060 annually
  • Waiters and Waitresses, $10.53 per hour, $21,900 annually
  • Food Preparation Workers, $10.50 per hour, $21,840 annually
  • Cashiers, $10.49 per hour, $21,820 annually
  • Personal Care Aides, $10.48 per hour, $21,790 annually
  • Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop, $10.44 per hour, $21,710 annually
  • Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners, $10.39 per hour, $21,600 annually
  • Cooks, Fast Food, $10.17 per hour, $21,140 annually
  • Food Preparation and Serving Related Workers, $10.16 per hour, $21,130 annually
  • Dishwashers, $10.02 per hour, $20,850 annually
  • Baggage Porters and Bellhops, $9.96 per hour, $20,720 annually
  • Lifeguards, Ski Patrol and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers, $9.89 per hour, $20,570 annually
  • Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bar backs, $9.85 per hour, $20,480 annually
  • Amusement and Recreation Attendants, $9.79 per hour, $20,360 annually
  • Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, including fast food, $9.78 per hour, $20,350 annually
  • Motion Picture Projectionists, $9.69 per hour, $20,150 annually
  • Gaming Dealers, $9.05 per hour, $18,810 annually

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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