The Best Entry-Level Jobs
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The best entry-level jobs offer above-average salaries, strong job demand, and opportunities for career advancement.
If you're entering the job market right out of school, it might seem like every job requires at least 3-5 years of professional experience. However, industries like business, technology, and education all hire candidates for entry-level jobs that pay well.
The best entry-level careers offer three things: a strong median salary rate, a growing number of job openings, and career advancement opportunities. Our list identifies the best entry-level jobs in several growing fields.
What defines the best entry-level jobs? Our methodology takes several factors into account, including median pay, job outlook, projected employment growth rates, and advancement opportunities. This list includes good entry-level jobs in many different industries.
Business and Finance
Accountants prepare and analyze financial records. They review the accuracy of financial documents and ensure the information conforms to laws and regulations. Accountants prepare tax returns, recommend tax strategies to businesses and individuals, and inspect accounting systems for efficiency. They also review financial documents to recommend cost reductions to managers.
Within the field, accountants work in government or public accounting, auditing, and management accounting. Most accounting careers do not require a graduate degree. With additional coursework and certification after earning a bachelor's degree, an accountant can become a licensed CPA.
Education Requirements: An accountant needs a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. Earning a professional certification can help accountants advance.
Financial analysts make investment recommendations for their clients, which can include businesses or individuals. They analyze the performance of different investments to recommend investment strategies and manage portfolios. Financial analysts also evaluate financial data, economic trends, and business reports, then present their research to management teams to help organizations make data-driven business decisions.
A detail-oriented outlook and strong analytical skills help financial analysts succeed. Experienced financial analysts can move into high-paying roles as financial managers.
Education Requirements: A financial analyst typically needs a bachelor's degree in finance, business, or a related field. Analysts who sell financial products need a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Human resources specialists manage compensation and benefits plans for organizations. They also oversee employee relations, training, and hiring. Human resources specialists identify employment needs, interview applicants, and hire candidates. These professionals also conduct new employee orientations, oversee benefits systems, and conduct training sessions.
Close attention to detail and strong interpersonal skills help human resources specialists excel. Experienced human resources specialists can move into management positions as human resources managers to increase their earning potential.
Education Requirements: Human resources specialists need bachelor's degrees in human resources, business, or related fields. A certification from the Society for Human Resource Management can help professionals advance.
Market research analysts research market conditions to understand consumer demand, identify potential niches for a new product or service, and determine good pricing strategies. They also monitor sales trends, use forecasting data to recommend marketing strategies, and analyze data from consumers. Market research analysts may also specialize in competitor research.
After conducting research, market research analysts present their results in reports or presentations to clients. Market research analysts need strong analytical and critical thinking skills and communication skills.
Education Requirements: A market research analyst usually needs a bachelor's degree in marketing, business, or communication. Professionals can pursue certification from the Marketing Research Association.
Personal financial advisors recommend investments, savings plans, and tax strategies to individual clients. They meet to learn about their financial goals, answer questions about investment strategies, and recommend investments. Personal financial advisors also help clients save for college or retirement.
Some personal financial advisors select investments on behalf of their clients. They monitor their clients' accounts, implement changes, and research new investment opportunities. The career path requires strong skills in sales, analytics, and interpersonal management.
Education Requirements: A personal financial advisor needs a bachelor's degree. Common majors include finance, economics, accounting, mathematics, or business. Advisors who sell stocks or provide investment advice in certain areas need licenses.
Elementary school teachers instruct young children in basic subjects like reading, writing, and math. They observe students to understand their abilities, create lesson plans to teach core subjects, and present material to students.
Outside the classroom, elementary teachers communicate with parents about their children's academic progress, meet with administrators to discuss school-wide goals, and work with instructional coordinators to implement curricula.
Education Requirements: An elementary school teacher must complete a bachelor's degree that includes an educator preparation program. Public school teachers need state licenses, but private school teachers need only meet the requirements of their schools.
High school teachers prepare students for college or careers after graduation. They specialize in fields like foreign languages, mathematics, language arts, science, or social studies. These teachers design lesson plans, conduct assessments, and communicate with parents about each student's progress.
High school teachers set classroom expectations and enforce rules during school. Experienced teachers can advance to administrative roles as principles or instructional coordinators to increase their earning potential.
Education Requirements: High school teachers generally hold bachelor's degrees in education or teaching. Teachers at public schools must hold state teaching licenses, but private school teachers need only meet requirements of their schools in most states.
Middle school teachers educate students in core subjects like language arts, social studies, mathematics, and science, helping students in 6th-8th grade prepare for high school. Their daily tasks include instructing students, responding to questions from students, and grading assignments. Middle school teachers also prepare students for standardized tests.
In addition to classroom teaching, middle school teachers work with administrators like principals and instructional coordinators to discuss curriculum standards and student performance. They use communication skills to connect with students and parents.
Education Requirements: Middle school teachers need a bachelor's degree from an educator preparation program and a state-issued teaching license or certification if they intend to teach at a public school.
Special education teachers educate students who have learning, mental, physical, or emotional disabilities. They conduct assessments to understand each student's educational needs and adapt lessons to meet those needs. They also create Individualized Education Programs to help learners and track their progress. They meet with parents, teachers, and administrators to discuss students' progress and update education plans.
Successful special education teachers rely on their resourcefulness and patience when educating students. The position also requires strong communication and interpersonal skills.
Education Requirements: A special education teacher needs a bachelor's degree with training in special education. Jobs in public schools also require a teaching license or certification.
Teacher assistants, also called teacher aides and paraeducators, assist licensed teachers in the classroom. They review material with students, model proper behavior, and keep records about things like attendance and grades. Teacher assistants also prepare materials for lessons, supervise students during recess, and work with small groups.
Entry-level teacher assistant roles are a great way to learn more about education careers before pursuing a teaching license and advancing into teaching roles. These assistants need patience, interpersonal skills, and resourcefulness.
Education Requirements: A teacher assistant typically needs two years of college experience or an associate degree. Most positions do not require a license or certification.
Aerospace engineers design aircraft, satellites, and spacecraft. They create prototypes, test materials, and oversee the manufacture of aerospace products. Aerospace engineers also ensure that projects follow safety guidelines and environmental regulations.
After manufacturing products, aerospace engineers inspect damaged or malfunctioning equipment to develop solutions. They use analytical and problem-solving skills to improve aerospace products. Aerospace engineers rely on their math and business skills to oversee projects and troubleshoot design problems.
Education Requirements: An aerospace engineer must hold a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering or another engineering major. Licensure is not required for entry-level jobs.
Civil engineers design and build infrastructure projects, including airports, roads, bridges, and water supply systems. They analyze survey reports and data to plan projects, check that projects comply with regulations, and evaluate construction costs and environmental hazards.
Civil engineers plan projects using design software, oversee the construction process, and manage maintenance on public and private infrastructure. These professionals benefit from strong organizational and analytical skills. They solve problems, communicate with urban planners and the public, and act as leaders on projects.
Education Requirements: Civil engineers need bachelor's degrees in civil engineering or other engineering fields. Entry-level careers do not require a license.
Electrical engineers design and develop electrical equipment, including motors, navigation systems, communication systems, and power generation equipment. Electronics engineers create electronic equipment such as broadcast systems, GPS devices, and portable music players.
In both fields, engineering professionals conduct research, develop new devices, and test prototypes to confirm they work as intended. They often collaborate with other engineers to complete projects. Jobs in electrical and electronics engineering require strong technical and math skills, along with interpersonal and communication skills.
Education Requirements: Electrical and electronics engineers typically hold bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Entry-level jobs do not require licensure.
Industrial engineers examine the production process to eliminate wastefulness and increase efficiency. They study production schedules, logistics, and manufacturing procedures to identify problems in the industrial production process. Then, industrial engineers devise management control systems and engineering solutions to maximize efficiency.
In addition, industrial engineers design control systems and implement quality control procedures. They meet with clients to discuss production planning, quality standards, and improvements. Industrial engineers with strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills excel.
Education Requirements: Industrial engineers need bachelor's degrees in industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, manufacturing engineering, or similar fields. Entry-level roles do not require licensure.
Mechanical engineers design and build mechanical devices and machines. They analyze problems to determine mechanical solutions, develop devices to solve problems, and test prototypes to refine their designs. After designing and testing devices, mechanical engineers oversee the manufacturing process. Mechanical engineers also investigate mechanical problems to recommend solutions.
Careers in mechanical engineering require strong mechanical and technical skills. Mechanical engineers also need to communicate their ideas clearly and be able to devise creative solutions to problems.
Education Requirements: A mechanical engineer needs a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or a related field. Entry-level jobs do not require licensure.
Media and Communications
Film and video editors arrange camera footage to create television programs, movies, documentaries, and other recorded events. They organize digital footage using software programs, work with directors and producers to understand production goals, and edit scenes based on the director's guidelines.
Careers in film and video editing require creativity and experience using video editing software. Film and video editors also rely on their visual and communication skills to create polished final cuts.
Education Requirements: Film and video editors typically hold bachelor's degrees in communication or related fields. Professional certification in film editing software can help entry-level applicants.
Interpreters and translators convert spoken and written words into other languages. They translate speeches and documents into different languages while maintaining the original style and tone. Interpreters also convert sign language to spoken language.
Interpreters and translators must work quickly and accurately. They draw on cultural knowledge to create a meaningful interpretation of the original material. The career path requires strong listening, communication, speaking, and writing skills.
Education Requirements: Interpreters and translators generally hold bachelor's degrees in communication, English, a foreign language, or other related fields. The job also requires fluency in two or more languages.
Public relations specialists use press releases and media outreach to build a strong brand image for their organization, cultivating awareness and influencing public opinion.
These professionals arrange interviews with the press, write speeches, and respond to information requests from the media. Public relations specialists research public opinion and evaluate advertising strategies to make sure they complement the organization's public relations goals.
Education Requirements: A public relations specialist needs a bachelor's degree in public relations, communication, journalism, or a related field.
Technical writers, also known as technical communicators, communicate complex information to audiences without a technical background. They write instruction manuals, how-to guides, and other technical documents.
These professionals often incorporate visual examples into their work to help readers understand the material. Technical writers also collect feedback from users to improve technical documents. Successful technical writers have strong communication skills that help them interact with technical professionals and translate complex material for non-technical audiences.
Education Requirements: Technical writers need bachelor's degrees in English or communication. A background in a technical subject can also help candidates advance.
Writers create content for magazines, newspapers, advertisements, websites, and other media. They can also specialize in screenwriting and speechwriting. Writers research subjects, write articles or books, and work with editors to prepare material for publication.
Some writers work for news organizations, advertising agencies, or production studios. Many writers work on a freelance basis as self-employed professionals. Writers rely on their research, creativity, and critical-thinking skills to create content. They also need to be able to communicate information clearly.
Education Requirements: A writer typically needs a bachelor's degree in English, communication, journalism, or a related field. Some specialized roles may require specialty certification.
Aircraft equipment mechanics diagnose mechanical or electrical problems in aircraft systems. They conduct repairs on electrical systems, engines, wings, and other equipment. Aircraft equipment mechanics must replace defective parts, follow maintenance manuals, and test parts to ensure they work properly. After completing repairs, these mechanics inspect their work to ensure it meets performance standards and make records of their repairs.
Aircraft equipment mechanics need a detail-oriented outlook and strong observational and mechanical abilities.
Education Requirements: An aircraft equipment mechanic typically holds a certificate or associate degree in aviation maintenance. The position requires certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Construction equipment operators drive and operate heavy machinery and equipment to build roads, buildings, bridges, and other structures. Construction equipment operators coordinate their work with other crew members, follow safety requirements, and maintain their equipment.
Specialized roles include operating engineers, paving equipment operators, and pile-driver operators. Construction equipment operators usually work outside, and some jobs take place on remote or inaccessible job sites. The field requires strong mechanical abilities, coordination, and physical strength. Construction equipment operators often work irregular hours.
Education Requirements: A construction equipment operator must typically complete an apprenticeship or a vocational certificate or degree. They may also need specialty licensure or commercial driver's licenses.
Firefighters extinguish wildfires and fires in residential or business settings. They respond to emergencies, treat injured people, and rescue victims in emergency situations. Firefighters use specialized equipment and vehicles to respond to fire emergencies. They clean and maintain their equipment, conduct drills, and meet high standards for physical fitness.
Firefighters need physical strength and stamina to perform their job duties. The career path also requires courage, sound decision-making skills, and the ability to communicate effectively.
Education Requirements: Firefighters often complete postsecondary certificates with training in emergency medical services. They may need certification as a paramedic or emergency medical technician.
Medical equipment repairers install and maintain patient care equipment used in healthcare settings. They examine parts and equipment to determine necessary repairs. They also test parts, perform preventative services, and maintain records on the equipment.
Medical equipment repairers must read technical manuals and maintain current knowledge in their field. They must also demonstrate the use of medical equipment. Medical equipment repairers need mechanical and technical skills.
Education Requirements: Medical equipment repairers generally hold an associate degree in biomedical equipment technology or engineering. Candidates can pursue certification to stand out on the job market.
Plumbers install and repair plumbing systems and piping fixtures. This includes inspecting pipelines and systems, recommending installation types, providing clients with quotes, and conducting repairs on malfunctioning systems. In addition to repairing systems, plumbers also conduct maintenance, examine plumbing blueprints, and follow building codes.
Plumbers need strong mechanical and troubleshooting skills to perform their job duties. They also benefit from strong communication skills, dexterity, and physical strength.
Education Requirements: Plumbers must generally complete apprenticeships, vocational certificates, or associate degrees. Most states require plumbing licenses.
Computer systems analysts, also known as systems architects, examine organizations' computer systems to improve efficiency and effectiveness. By blending business and information technology, they help companies meet projections and goals.
Computer systems analysts work with managers to understand organizations' IT needs and systems. They research new technologies and propose upgrades. Computer systems analysts also create cost projections to help managers make IT decisions. The position requires strong analytical and problem-solving abilities. Successful computer systems analysts also need excellent communication skills to help them communicate with clients.
Education Requirements: Computer systems analysts typically need bachelor's degrees in computer or information science. Business training can also help candidates.
Database administrators help organizations store and organize their data. In diverse industries such as financial services, sales, and healthcare, database administrators prevent data loss and keep data secure from unauthorized access. They also monitor databases to make sure they operate correctly, update permissions on databases, and upgrade database systems.
Careers in database administration require a detail-oriented outlook and strong analytical skills. Database administrators also benefit from strong problem-solving and communication skills. With experience, database administrators can advance to management-level roles.
Education Requirements: Database administrators typically hold bachelor's degrees in information technology, computer science, or similar fields. Certification in database software programs can help candidates advance in their careers.
Network and computer system administrators oversee the operation of networks and computer systems. They install and support local area networks, wide area networks, and other communication systems for organizations.
Network and computer system administrators work with organizations to determine their needs and implement systems that meet those needs. They also make upgrades and repairs, recommend changes to improve system performance, and train users in the use of hardware and software. These careers require both technical and business skills.
Education Requirements: A network and computer system administrator generally holds a bachelor's degree in computer or information science. Candidates may need a certification in specific software programs.
Software developers create applications and programs that run computers and control networks. They research users' needs to design and develop software. After designing a program, software developers often work with programmers to create the code. They also test the software.
In addition to creating software, software developers recommend upgrades for clients, conduct maintenance, and document software upgrades. Software developers need programming and communication skills.
Education Requirements: Software developers typically hold bachelor's degrees in computer science or similar majors. They also need strong programming skills.
Entry-level careers in web development require strong technical and teamwork skills. Web developers often work with clients, other developers, and web designers to create websites.
Education Requirements: A web developer typically needs an associate degree or bachelor's degree in web development, computer science, or programming. Graphic design training also helps web developers.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best-paying entry-level jobs include careers in engineering and technology. Aerospace engineers and software developers can earn median salaries over $100,000 per year with no experience requirements. Other high-paying entry-level jobs include personal financial advisor, technical writer, and financial analyst.
Many service occupations do not require experience for entry-level positions. Entry-level jobs in sales, customer service, and real estate typically do not require experience, either. Candidates with college degrees can also find roles in business or technology.
Good entry-level jobs pay above-average salaries and show strong industry growth. Candidates with relevant bachelor's degrees can find high-paying entry-level jobs in fields like business, technology, and engineering. In the skilled trades, many entry-level careers only require a vocational certificate or diploma.
Many entry-level careers hire candidates with no experience in the field. For example, web developers, accountants, and mechanical engineers typically do not need previous experience to land entry-level roles. These career paths do require educational training in the field.
Entry-level jobs typically do not require any experience in the field. However, these positions often have educational requirements, such as a bachelor's degree. An internship or volunteering experience can help candidates land entry-level positions. Some fields also prefer applicants who have professional certifications.
Header Image Credit: Yuri Arcurs | Getty Images
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