High Paying Entry Level Jobs

By Chris Kolmar - Dec. 4, 2020

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Entry-level jobs are often overlooked, as they’re typically the most junior role at an organization. However, picking the right entry-level job can decide the trajectory of your entire career.

Not only are the connections and experience acquired early in your career critical, but any future growth will likely be based upon your base salary.

For these reasons, it’s essential to consider your options carefully.

In this article, we will help you understand exactly what to look for in an entry-level job. We’ll also provide you with a list of the most high-paying entry roles and tips for how to secure them.

What to Look for in an Entry-Level Job

Individuals value different aspects when choosing an entry-level job. However, there are a few key factors that every professional should consider:

These are:

  • Salary. This factor shouldn’t be a surprise. Every worker prefers to make more money.

    However, it’s wise not to become blinded by a job listing’s dollar figure. Other factors will indirectly impact your earnings.

  • Potential for salary growth. If a role shows no clear path towards more responsibility and increased pay, then even a high starting salary may not be worth it.

    This potential differs between industries, jobs within those industries, and specific companies.

    Before accepting a job or focusing on securing one, do some research. See what other industry professionals and prior employees have to say.

  • Cultural fit. Professionals starting their careers often ignore company culture.

    After all, you’re there to work, not socialize. However, the types of teams and work environment at a job will impact your performance.

    Job type you want
    Full Time
    Part Time

    This, in turn, influences the quality of professional connections you’re able to make, indirectly affecting future career growth.

    Cultural fit describes not only the social culture of a role, but its workstyle. For example, quantitative finance jobs are often extremely competitive, fast-paced, and require extended work hours.

    Be certain that you’re prepared for these aspects before committing to a job.

What Are the Best Entry-Level Jobs

Here, we’ll provide you the best entry-level jobs in terms of salary and future growth.

The list will include jobs of varying work cultures and industries. This way, even if you don’t find your perfect fit, you’ll know where to direct your job search.

  1. Web developer. Web developers utilize a mix of programming and design skills to create websites and web applications.

    Depending on the project, they may focus more on the back-end database aspects or the website’s user-facing interfaces.

    They are usually employed by an agency or work independently and directly with clients.

    A degree is recommended but not required. Creating an impressive portfolio of work and obtaining references are critical to high career growth in this field.

    Demand for web developers is projected to grow 13% over the next decade, making it one of America’s best entry-level jobs. Work culture and environment vary by agencies and clients.

    National average salary: $73,760

  2. Dental hygienist. Dental hygienists examine patients for oral diseases and report findings to dentists. They also create treatment plans, provide preventative care, and educate patients on oral health.

    Potential job growth in this career is high. The average age of the population is steadily growing, which will result in greater demand for such services.

    Dentistry currently ranks among the highest paid jobs in Austin, Texas.

    The work environment varies by dental offices and the relationship between dental hygienists and their supervising dentist.

    National average salary: $76,220

  3. Sales representative. Sales representatives identify potential customers and convert them into sales. The main abilities required are interpersonal and analytical skills.

    Communication skills are critical to understanding customer needs and conveying how a product meets those needs. Analytical skills are used to strategize outreach methods and streamline the messaging of a product or service.

    Top performers can earn massive commissions and access to desired sales regions. The work environment is often high-paced and extremely competitive.

    National average salary: $44,727

  4. Anesthesiologist. The primary role of anesthesiologists is to provide pain relief before, during, and after surgical operations.

    This involves:

    • Before an operation. Meet with patients to assess their individual needs.

    • On the day of an operation. Supervise the administration of medicine and ensure its success.

    • After an operation. Continue to evaluate the patient to maintain their health and comfort.

    The salary growth of this field is extremely high. As anesthesiologists are doctors, they require four years of medical school and four years in a residency program.

    They can then specialize further through fellowship programs, dramatically increasing their earnings.

    This job is the highest-paid in Texas, with Houston showing especially high demand. The work environment involves close collaboration with multiple teams of medical staff, as well as with patients.

    National average salary: $81,576

  5. Psychiatrist. Psychiatrists help patients with psychological problems by assessing them both mentally and physically.

    They are qualified to diagnose patients through a full range of laboratory and psychological tests. This is also done through close discussions about their family history, mental state, and life experiences.

    Treatment plans are then developed to address the psychological problems of patients.

    Psychiatrists are medical doctors and must complete the typical four years of medical school and residency. Afterward, they can obtain further training to specialize in fields such as geriatric, addiction, and forensic psychiatry.

    This specialization allows for considerable salary growth and ranks among the highest paid jobs in Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas.

    National average salary: $195,088

  6. Film and video editor. Film and video editors manage aspects such as camera footage, sound effects, and graphics to produce a final video or film product.

    This requires the use of video editing software tools, creative and technical skills, and the ability to communicate requirements with clients.

    While the base salary is low, this job is seeing a tremendous year over year growth of 20%.

    Film and video editors are often freelance, meaning work culture is determined by the individual. The job also typically doesn’t require an advanced degree.

    These reasons help to explain why film and video editing is ranked among the best jobs for recent college graduates.

    National average salary: $33,000

  7. Software developer. Software developers implement and improve software solutions for a broad range of uses. Almost every service and product, from web applications to database systems, airplanes, and cars require software developers.

    Projected growth in this field is tremendous, as nearly all aspects of modern life involve software-development. The job has ranked among the highest-paying in recent years and is expected to continue for the coming future.

    Work environment ranges from fast-paced and competitive to laid-back and relaxed. Work culture differs significantly between employers. Many software developers also work freelance or as independent consultants.

    National average salary: $107,510

  8. Nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners’ responsibilities include assisting in disease and illness prevention, diagnosis of illnesses, and overall patient care.

    Nurse practitioners must hold a master’s degree in nursing. They may additionally specialize in areas such as:

    • Geriatrics

    • Pediatrics

    • Mental health

    • Family practice

    Salary scales considerably with experience and specialization, making growth potential in this field high.

    Additionally, the average age of the population is steadily growing. Demand is expected to rise over the next decade in response.

    The work environment always requires an individual with strong leadership and communication skills. Nurse practitioners must be able to relate with patients, as well as collaborate with medical staff.

    Nurse practitioners may choose to work under a supervising physician or open their own independent practice. The medical industry comprises most of the highest paying jobs in Oklahoma, presenting great opportunities for this career.

    National average salary: $115,800

How to Find and Land an Entry-Level Job

With a competitive job market, many find it challenging to kick-start their career.

Understanding how to land an entry-level job is, therefore, a matter of understanding your competition.

We’ve compiled a list of the critical requirements employers are looking for. Securing your dream job will require exceeding in these areas:

  • Education. The proportion of the workforce that holds college degrees is higher than ever.

    Some entry-level jobs indeed value education less than others. However, understand that employers often receive large stacks of applications for any job listing.

    Recruiters spend an average of 7.4 seconds looking at each resume. Thus, applicants without a degree may be quickly dismissed, even if their achievements are impressive.

    If obtaining a bachelor’s degree is unrealistic, consider going for an associate’s. The key is to have something in addition to a high school degree to list under your resume’s education section.

  • Experience. For many jobs, experience is just as necessary, if not more, than having a degree.

    Having a few years of work experience demonstrating your abilities and commitment to work will separate you from the crowd. This especially the case as the job market is currently saturated with high numbers of undergraduates with minimal work experience.

    Our detailed research on entry-level jobs has found that despite being labeled as such, many of these jobs look for applicants with at least 18 months of experience.

  • Well-written resume. The purpose of a resume is to concisely convey to the recruiter how you can provide value.

    There are many tips for writing a great resume.

    The most important are:

    1. Keep it concise. Make sure your resume fits on one page. Remove any unnecessary words and prioritize readability.

    2. Focus on results. Recruiters want to know how you can apply your skills, not just whether you have them.

      Show how your skills have created value for a prior employer. Using numbers is an excellent method.

      For example, rather than simply saying: “Created marketing campaigns…”, say “Created marketing campaigns that increased target audience reach by 32% and conversion rates by 22%.”

    3. Proofread. Typos stick out like a sore thumb. Even an impressive resume conveys laziness when peppered with mistakes.

  • Professional cover letter. Many applicants neglect to send a cover letter. This makes for a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

    Studies show that recruiters spend over 50% more time reading over applications that include a cover letter, instantly improving your chances.

    Cover letters also provide benefits that a lone resume cannot, such as conveying your personality and establishing the foundation for a professional relationship.

Opportunity Awaits

Whether you’re switching industries or starting your career, entry-level jobs are a great way to steer your future down the right path.

Make sure you consider all aspects of the job, in addition to pay, before you commit.

Hopefully, one of the high-paying entry-level jobs we’ve researched has appealed to you. Feel free to use Zippia’s numerous resources to secure your dream career and good luck.

Take the hassle out of your job search & get an offer faster
Chris Kolmar


Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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