If you work in a company or organization and your income is less than Ksh50, 000, then you are on a low-paying job. Kenya is one of the countries with the fastest-developing economies in East Africa. Due to this meaningful level of economic growth coupled with other favourable factors, one can substantiate that there are a number of good jobs in Kenya.

In Kenya, the typical starting wage for top-paying jobs is Ksh 75,000 per month, equating to a median salary of Ksh 800,000 per year. However, the worst paying jobs in Kenya have an average monthly salary of Ksh25,000.

However as poor circumstances are meant to surface, Kenya still has a number of worst-paying jobs and many of the professionals in these jobs claim they get peanuts in return for their vigorous efforts.

Top 10 worst paying jobs in Kenya 

1. House Maid

Nairobi is the only town where a maid can earn more than Ksh7,000 per month. House girls in all other towns earn less than Ksh6,000 per month. In Kenya, maids are the lowest-paid workers and they are ironically the most overworked Kenyans.

Housekeepers and maids are in charge of keeping homes and businesses clean and neat. Mopping, vacuuming, sweeping floors, washing carpets, replacing soiled linen, and wiping off kitchen surfaces are just a few of the cleaning duties they accomplish.

2. Messenger

People working as a messenger in Kenya earn less than Ksh10,000. This is not the type of work you can do to support your family.

The work includes; delivering packages, documents, written and verbal messages, and other items securely and on time to the designated place or receiver. They also manage incoming mail, ensuring that it is properly opened, sorted, and distributed in a timely and professional manner. 

3. Waiters

Waiters are also among Kenya’s lowest-paid workers. The majority of hotels pay between Ksh10,000 and Ksh20,000 a month. Waiters in 5-star hotels are the only ones who make more than Ksh50,000. Small hotel employees make between Ksh7,000 and Ksh20,000 per month.

Their duties include taking orders from guests, keeping an eye on the needs of guests in the dining room, taking food from the kitchen and delivering it to the visitors, assuring that the meal order is prepared accurately by the kitchen staff and that it appears presentable to the guests.

4. Security Watchman

The work of a watchman, also known as night security guards, is to go on patrol or use a closed-circuit television system to monitor the surroundings where they work.

They may also answer phones, take messages, and reply to requests and queries, depending on where you work.

Night watchmen frequently keep records of who comes in and leave the premises, check a person’s identity before granting them entry or exit and also keep track of what happens throughout the midnight shift.

Generally, watchmen are people who did not finish high school and are paid a pittance. Security companies hire people from the hamlet for as little as Ksh6,000 per month. Unless someone is a supervisor or manager, even the most established security firms like G4S and KK Security do not pay more than Ksh20,000.

Be prepared to earn less than Ksh20,000 per month if you wish to work as a watchman.

Everyone values being protected and that is why people are frequently employed to serve as security guards. Without any doubt, working as a security guard is one of the most dangerous professions people take on in Kenya. In spite of the risks associated with their profession, some security guards are rewarded with as low as Ksh 10,000 on a monthly basis. The only interesting thing about security jobs is that they are always available because big companies can’t afford to be unprotected. If you don’t mind the poor remuneration and the dangers involved, it is very easy to secure employment as a security guard in Kenya.

5. Secretaries

Despite the fact that they are important members of an organization, front office and secretary professionals are also suffering from low pay.  Several Kenyan offices pay less than Ksh 20,000.

6. Cashiers and supermarket employees

Supermarket employees work from Saturday to Saturday (7 days a week) and are paid Ksh 15,000 each week.

Some of these individuals have degrees, but the company seems unconcerned since that’s the best they seem to offer. Cashiers, on the other hand, make an average of Ksh30,000 every month.

Most of the cashiers in our supermarkets have a degree, and some even have a CPA K.

Salespersons usually have a lot of work to do in order to bring in profit for a company. However, this personnel gets peanuts as a reward for their vigorous effort of maximizing sales. In Kenya, sales personnel don’t have a fixed salary structure and at times, their salaries may depend on the sales level of their company. In another case, the earnings of some salespersons are based on commission. This could mean that such salespersons wouldn’t be paid if they failed to sell the items or commodities given to them.

In Kenya, the job of a salesperson is regarded with low esteem and the salary it attracts can be as low as Ksh 10,000. Irrespective of that, we still have many people doing the job due to limited employment opportunities. Speaking generally, sales personnel are remunerated poorly in Kenya but this still doesn’t mean there are no companies that pay sales personnel beautifully in the country.

7. Customer care 

Customer service is another worst-paying job in Kenya. The job is tough, demanding, and involves at least 8 hours of work every day for just poor pay. Customer service employees assist customers with complaints and inquiries, provide product and service information, accept purchases, and process returns. They are sometimes considered as playing a sales role because they assist customers in understanding the goods and answering inquiries regarding their reservations.

In Kenya, a customer service professional earns an average of Ksh35,000 per year. Companies recruit people who are meant to receive customers’ complaints and handle them effectively. This job is very tedious because customers maintain certain rights even when they seem annoying.

8. Hospitality, Hotel & Tourism

Hospitality staff members get underpaid in Kenya but many people barely realize this. On normal grounds, you would expect somebody working –probably as a receptionist –in a mega hotel to be paid beautifully but in reality, hotel personnel falls under the class of low-income earners in Kenya.

Despite the prestige supposedly associated with the job of hospitality, some hotel staff has a salary range of Ksh 10,000 – 25,000. Over and above this insubstantial salary, these staff may have to dispose of themselves with great care lest they lose their positions. Seriously speaking, a hotel receptionist should know that he/she could be dismissed for disrespecting hotel guests even when they do silly things.

9. Insurance Sales Executives

Insurance sales executives aren’t the happiest people on the planet. You’re expected to find investors, sell loans, open accounts, and so on.

Despite these voluminous tasks, their salary is nothing to write home about. 

Kenyans have a negative attitude toward insurance firms, despite the fact that the plans are quite beneficial. You must have direct interaction with a potential customer as a sales representative. After that, the experience you gain cannot be compared to the commissions you earn.

Direct sales executives in banks earn an average of Ksh 25,000 per year, whereas those working for insurance businesses only get paid on commission.

10. Police

Police officers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but their payslips will never make you consider choosing a career path in that line. In Kenya, the job of a policeman is quite tedious because he serves his country by getting hold of criminals and restoring order to a devastated area

A police officer’s average wage in Kenya is Ksh35,000, however, some officers, particularly new recruits, earn as little as Ksh 20,000. an average Kenyan police officer finds himself amongst the lowest-paid professionals in the country. 

Despite the dangers they face on the job, police officers are underpaid. In as much as their work requires the risk of fighting out with criminals and bringing them to their knees, policemen/women deserve to be remunerated substantially.

11. Teaching

Teaching is also one of the worst paying jobs in Kenya and unless you work at an international or higher institution, your chances of making more than Ksh50,000 as a teacher are little to none. According to TSC data, over 90% of Kenyan teachers make less than Ksh40,000, with the majority working in primary schools.

Only school principals with a salary of less than Ksh 50,000 are paid above the minimum wage while others are paid poorly.

It isn’t strange to find teaching on this list but it is very unfortunate that teachers fall into the category of low salary earners. Considering the significant knowledge teachers impart to others, one could suggest that they appear amongst the highest-paid professionals in any country.

Kenyan teachers working in public schools are poorly rewarded and in many cases, their salaries come with specified deductions. This has made teaching one of the worst-paying jobs in Kenya but on a reasonable note, Kenyan teachers in the private sector are remunerated better than their public counterparts. If you’re a high-level teacher employed in one of Kenya’s top private schools, you have a concrete reason to maintain better living conditions than the public school teachers who often demonstrate across streets, requesting the government for a pay increase.



When it comes to getting a job, the salary is very important. Many people in Kenya are turned off by low salaries, yet these jobs with low pay have the highest number of employees, particularly in the public sector. 

This article highlighted the top 10 worst-paying jobs in Kenya.