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 3, 2023
furious client couple get mad about cafe bad service

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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.


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.

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. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average annual mean wage for a photographer as of May 2021 was $48,210. If you can find a way to market your photography in your spare time, it might be a great side gig.


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 $27,520, 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.


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. 

On average, radio DJs make around $40,373 a year, according to Salary.com. DJs who work club nights, weddings, or corporate events earn a median hourly wage of only $21.82, however. 

How much they make per gig depends on the event and how popular the DJ is. Some big-time club DJs can make more than $10,000 a night.

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.

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. 

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

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.

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 May 2021, the median salary for these officers was $63,290 a year. 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.

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 $30,060 annually in 2021.

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 2021 was $63,230 annually.

These employees may be able to avoid some of the disrespect directed toward reporters by covering more niche topics, like music, sports, or finance.

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 just under $67,000 in the U.S., according to Indeed, and many work on commission. 

If you really love cars and have great sales skills, this can be a lucrative career, but a certain amount of customer suspicion does seem to come with the job.


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

This job is probably 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. 

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 less than $35,000 a year on average.

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.

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 in the market for a new gig, check out our breakdown of the best side hustles.

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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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