8 High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs

By Chris Kolmar
Aug. 18, 2022

Entry-level jobs are often overlooked, as they’re typically the most junior roles in an organization. However, picking the right entry-level job can have a huge impact on the rest of your career through the experience you gain and the professional connections you make. Plus, you can still make a good living from an entry-level job as well.

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

Key Takeaways

  • Consider salary, cultural fit, and the potential for future growth when you’re looking at an entry-level job.

  • Some high-paying entry-level jobs have degree requirements.

  • To get a high-paying entry-level job, you’ll need work experience, a well-written resume, and a professional cover letter.

8 High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs

What Are the Best Entry-Level Jobs

Here, we’ll provide you with 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
    Average Annual Salary: $80,000

    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.

    Find Web developer jobs near me

  2. Dental hygienist
    Average Annual Salary: $113,000

    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.

    Find Dental hygienist jobs near me

  3. Sales representative
    Average Annual Salary: $56,000

    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.

    Find Sales representative jobs near me

  4. Anesthesiologist
    Average Annual Salary: $226,000

    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.

    Find Anesthesiologist jobs near me

  5. Psychiatrist
    Average Annual Salary: $169,000

    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.

    Find Psychiatrist jobs near me

  6. Video editor
    Average Annual Salary: $49,000

    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.

    Find Film and video editor jobs near me

  7. Software developer
    Average Annual Salary: $94,000

    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.

    Find Software developer jobs near me

  8. Nurse practitioner
    Average Annual Salary: $104,000

    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.

    Find Nurse practitioner jobs near me

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.

    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.

  • Potential for professional growth. An entry-level job likely won’t be your dream job, but it can put you on the path to your dream job.

    When you’re considering an entry-level job, consider the experience you’d gain and if it will help propel you forward in your career. You can even ask someone who does have your dream job if they think this position would be a good place to start.

    In addition, look at the structure of the company to see if you’d have room to move to roles with more responsibility in the future. Some companies are better at this than others, and while it won’t derail your career to take a job at an organization that doesn’t have many growth opportunities, it can slow you down and get frustrating.

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.

High Paying Entry Level Jobs FAQ

  1. What is the quickest career to get?

    The quickest career to get is one that doesn’t require any postsecondary schooling to enter. There are a variety of jobs that fit these criteria, including roles as an administrative assistant, a sales representative, and even a web developer.

    You’ll still need to have the appropriate skills and experience required to get hired for one of these roles, but you don’t necessarily need a degree.

    These are all excellent opportunities to start a career immediately out of high school. Often you’ll still need to complete some classes or extra professional development courses along the way to get where you want to go in your career if you start in these roles, but beginning this way can help you reduce the cost of those classes.

    There are also plenty of options that require minimal schooling or training to enter, such as the skilled trades (e.g., plumbing, carpentry, etc.), automotive mechanic careers, and machining and welding.

    These often require either a year or two of classes or an apprenticeship to enter, both of which will pay off when you’re able to earn a highly livable wage just a few years out of high school.

  2. What is the easiest certification to get that pays well?

    A Human Resources certification is the easiest certification to get that pays well. The aPHR certification, which stands for Associate Professional in Human Resources, is considered to be one of the easiest certifications to get because its exam has a pass rate of 84%. This means that 84% of people who take it pass, which is high for professional certification.

    To qualify to take the aPHR exam, you’ll simply need to have a high school diploma or equivalent and have your application to test approved. Once you pass the test, you’ll need to maintain your certification by logging a certain number of professional development credits or by passing the exam again.

    This certification is unique because all you need is knowledge to obtain it. Many other professional certifications require a certain amount of experience in order to be eligible to take the certification exam, but this one does not.

    This allows you to increase your chances of getting an HR job right off the bat rather than requiring you to earn a degree or applicable work experience first, although both of these will always help your job search prospects.

  3. What trade can I learn in three months?

    You can learn to be an HVAC technician in three months. There are a variety of three-month HVAC technician training programs available that teach you what you’ll need to know to get a job in this field.

    As an HVAC technician, you’ll install and repair heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems. While you’ll likely have to work as an apprentice or in a similar entry-level role for a while – especially if you go the three-month certification program route – eventually, you can make an above-average salary as an HVAC technician.

    In addition to gaining experience, you can increase your value and, by extension, your salary by continuing your professional development. Getting additional certifications will allow you to do more specific work, which usually means you’ll earn a higher paycheck. You may even be able to work your way up to owning your own company one day.

    Other trades that you can learn in three months include:

  4. Do entry-level jobs exist anymore?

    Yes, entry-level jobs still exist. Entry-level jobs are the most junior positions at an organization that require the least amount of prior experience. This doesn’t mean they don’t require any experience, but they do require the least.

    Entry-level jobs aren’t always glamorous or especially fulfilling, but they do allow you to get your foot in the door of a company or industry and gain experience that you’ll use for the rest of your career. Even if you don’t stay in the exact field that you start out in, the things you’ll learn in your first position will carry over into all areas of your career.

    Entry-level jobs also give you the opportunity to start creating a network of valuable connections. This may be your boss or an executive that you’re able to learn from, or it may be a client that especially likes you and will be willing to recommend you to others in the future. It also gets your name out there so that when potential employers are looking you up, they’ll be able to find you.

    Because of this, it’s important to be diligent and excellent in your entry-level work, no matter how boring or frustrating it may be. Your leaders will be watching you to see what you bring to the table, and you won’t get far if you complain, slack off, or are generally difficult to work with.

  5. How many years is an entry-level job?

    An entry-level job can last one to three years. This timeline will vary depending on your position, company, and industry, but generally, it’s a good rule of thumb to wait at least a year and preferably more until you start looking to move into a mid-level role.

    This will give you plenty of time to not only learn how to do your job well but also to learn about the company and industry itself. Unless you’re extremely overqualified for your current entry-level role, employers typically won’t give much thought to candidates who apply for higher-level positions within a year of joining the company, and some won’t allow them to apply at all.

    At the same time, you shouldn’t be content to stay in an entry-level job forever. Don’t panic if you’ve been there for two or three years – mid-level roles can be hard to come by – but if it gets to be much longer than that, it might be time to move to a different position.

    When it is time to move on, it’s generally a good idea to start by looking for another role at your current company, but if there isn’t a clear path forward that you want to take within the organization, start looking elsewhere.

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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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