10 Jobs That Nobody Respects (and What Careers to Consider Instead)

From multi-level marketing to car sales, here are 10 careers people are often quick to judge.
Updated April 11, 2024
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All jobs have their difficult days but dealing with disrespect from customers can make a tough day all the more challenging. Sadly, there are some professions that tend to garner more disrespect than others.

If you’re looking to make some changes to your career or considering picking up a side hustle, it might be helpful to know how people in that line of work are usually treated.

Here are 10 jobs that are generally not respected and what to consider instead.

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Atstock Productions/Adobe woman working in call center with diverse team

This job is high on the list of jobs no one respects. People generally don’t like or respect anyone whose job it is to call and bother them. Especially when they are trying to get them to spend money.

What’s more, telemarketers don’t make great annual salaries. Even in the state that pays telemarketers the most (Hawaii, according to ZipRecruiter), these employees still make just over $35,000 a year on average.

What to do instead: Those who are comfortable chatting on the phone may want to consider a job in customer service, billing, or a similar field to avoid the disrespect — and many hang-ups.

Multi-level marketing manager

Татьяна Волкова/Adobe smiling elderly women sitting at wooden desk

People involved in multi-level marketing companies — also known as pyramid schemes — tend to be disrespected no matter what their role is. Especially if they spend a lot of time trying to recruit people they know.

The people who make money in this business get paid for the number of new people they recruit. The big names in these companies may rake in some of the cash they promise to new recruits, but as they run out of people to recruit, these companies tend to collapse.

What to do instead: If you’re interested in recruiting people, you may want to consider a career in human resources instead.


Konstantin Yuganov/Adobe paparazzi

We’ve all heard stories about scandalous paparazzi photos that were bought for astronomical sums of money. But photographing famous people is generally not a very respected job, especially when paparazzi go to extremes to get those photos.

What to do instead: Still, working as a photographer on the side is one of many ways to make extra money in this day and age. If you’re considering this, understand that being a full-time photographer is not the worst-paying gig.

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DJ for a radio station

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe dj girl with blonde hair using dj mixer in nightclub

Being a DJ for a radio station may seem like a great job, but it pays below the national annual salary of $54,132. If you spin in a club, you also may have to deal with intoxicated people from time to time.

What to do instead: People who pick up DJing gigs as a side hustle may be able to turn a decent profit, especially if they’re willing to adopt different roles — like MCing a wedding.

Debt collector

JackF/Adobe serious man and housewife at the door

There are few calls less welcome in American homes than those from debt collectors.

Whatever tactic a collector uses to try to get people to pay up debts is likely going to be both unwanted and uncomfortable. It’s also not a particularly high-paying job.

What to do instead: There are many other sales or customer service jobs you can do that will draw much less anger than working for a debt collection agency.

Corrections officer

Anna Kosolapova/Adobe prison guards stand with batons in the background of cells with prisoner

Working as a corrections officer is considered a dangerous job due to the risk of injury and illness. As the prison population declines in the U.S., the need for corrections officers has also decreased.

In March 2024, the median salary for these officers was $49,610 a year.

What to do instead: Given the risk and the disrespect, these officers may deal with for working within the prison system, those mulling over a job in corrections may want to consider another path in security.


Monkey Business/Adobe waiter serving food to customers in busy bar restaurant

Working in the food service industry can be incredibly difficult, and because so many things in a restaurant are beyond the server's control, these employees will occasionally have to deal with customers’ ire — even if the server isn’t responsible for the problem.

Since servers also depend on tips, the median annual wage of $29,120, according to the BLS, may be higher. However, picking up some shifts at a local restaurant or bar could be a good way to earn cash on the side as well.

What to do instead: Instead of being a server you may want to switch to being a cook in the industry since they typically don't have to deal with the customer side of things. 

Retail salesperson

BGStock72/Adobe woman customer paying with credit card in fashion showroom

Working in a customer-facing retail job is difficult for many reasons. These employees tend to deal with disrespect often, especially if they are working during a busy season when customers are in a hurry or more frustrated than usual.

It also tends to be a lower-paying job, with average wages of around $25,250 annually in 2024.

What to do instead: Due to the popularity of online retailers these days, it may be a smarter money move to get involved with one of those rather than working at a brick-and-mortar store.


Svitlana/Adobe TV reporter presenting the news outdoors

Public distrust of the media has led many people to begin disrespecting the work of reporters.

A pivot to online publications has also caused the traditional path many reporters would have taken in the past — such as working at a local newspaper — to become more difficult and less lucrative. An average newspaper reporter’s salary in 2024 is $55,960 annually.

What to do instead: These employees may be able to avoid some of the disrespect directed toward reporters by covering more niche topics, like music, sports, or finance. Or you could start your own blog.

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Car salesperson

Friends Stock/Adobe car rental

People who sell cars have a reputation for being swindlers — and you would be hard-pressed to find many Americans who say they truly enjoyed their time shopping for a new car.

Car salespeople can make an annual salary of $47,770 in the U.S., according to Glassdoor, and many work on commission.

What to do instead: If you really love cars and have great sales skills, consider working in the auto racing industry instead.

Bottom line

calcassa/Adobe employee in urgency and deadline concept with alarm

While several of the jobs on this list may seem like a good idea for those looking for ways to make extra cash, the stress of potential new gigs or side hustles should also be considered before trying out a new career path.

If you’re looking to move beyond living paycheck to paycheck, you might want to consider a job that is viewed a bit more favorably than those on this list.

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Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.

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