If you’re searching for the best entry-level jobs that pay well, you’re probably also still trying to figure out what to do with your life. Having a plan in place is a good thing, so this is a much-needed step to move forward.
There are certain expectations that you need to have regarding what “pay well” means. Should you expect a living wage? Absolutely. Should you expect to make enough to buy a brand new car and have a monthly mortgage on a high-end home all at the same time? Probably not.
The job market is incredibly competitive, but if you go in with realistic goals and expectations, then you’re going to be able to find an entry-level job that will pay very well.
The First Steps in Finding the Best Entry-Level Jobs
The best entry-level jobs are going to require some sort of education. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need a college-level education, but you will likely need either experience or vocational studies to get these jobs.
Figuring out what job you’d like to take will shape your educational path. You may find that going the trade school route is the path you need to take for a well paying entry-level job.
Don’t discount apprenticeships either, because you’ll get on-the-job training and make valuable connections along the way.
Of course, a college education is always another option to move forward with because it will give you a different level of experience.
Whatever your career path is, having a solid educational background is the first step in pursuing any entry-level job. Your education and experience are valuable to potential employers, so do whatever you can to make it happen.
Best Entry-level Jobs Requiring a University Degree or Equivalent Experience
Many jobs require a university degree due to the nature of the profession. Engineers need a higher level of specialized education, much like individuals that go into a medical field like nursing.
Environmental engineers are responsible for controlling environmental influences and preventing health hazards. There is a lot of science that goes into environmental engineering, along with at least a Bachelor’s degree.
To become an environmental engineer, you’re going to be the type of person that cares about what happens to the environment. You’re also going to enjoy trying to solve problems.
Research likely doesn’t bother you, and you may actually enjoy learning about the way things work to come up with a resolution that will work to fix the issues you run into.
As an entry-level environmental engineer, you can expect a good starting salary of around $50k annually depending on where you work. Remember, you’ll have to factor in the cost of living for wherever the job is to come up with a fair wage, but generally speaking, environmental engineers can expect good pay from the very beginning.
Good nurses are hard to come by. Just ask anyone in the medical field, and they’ll tell you the same thing. It’s probably one of the reasons that registered nurses can command a higher salary even at an entry-level position.
To be a registered nurse, you’ll enjoy helping other people because you are a compassionate, empathetic person. You don’t mind being social and can work as a team member in a sometimes highly stressful setting.
You will need a Bachelor’s degree in nursing to become a registered nurse. Once you do enter the nursing field as a registered nurse, it is not unusual to find entry-level salaries at around the $60k mark.
What’s more, if you’re dedicated and are willing to devote more study time after your initial hire, you’ll be able to command a higher salary in addition to becoming specialized in a given field.
Public Relations Assistant
Do you like to help people and are socially inclined? If you are, then you may be a good fit for a public relations assistant.
Other important skills for a public relations assistant include having excellent writing and editing skills, as well as having top-notch communications talents.
To break into the public relations industry, you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in either communications or public relations. Once you have that degree, you can expect salaries that are upwards of around $50k depending on where you find the position.
Over time, you’ll learn new skills which will become invaluable to you and future potential employers. With the added experience, eventually, you can work your way up to a management or director position and command a salary that is easily double or triple the entry-level pay.
Human Resources Assistant
While this may not be a glamorous job, a human resources assistant is a necessary position that needs to be filled. You can expect a decent paycheck, too, for filling this role.
As a human resources assistant, you will work with the entire human resources team, help with the company payroll and benefits, in addition to getting an understanding of legal issues.
A human resources assistant has the potential to become a jack-of-all-trades in the business world because you’ll see firsthand how business functions from the inside out.
To be a human resources assistant, you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree in either business or a field related to business administration. Once you have earned your degree, you can expect an annual salary of about $35k that will steadily increase as your responsibilities grow, too.
Most companies also have internal programs that you’re encouraged to take advantage of to learn vital skills. Once you learn these skills, you’re often subject to a raise or promotion in your department.
Best Entry-level Jobs Requiring a Trade School Education
Not everyone is cut out for college, and there’s nothing wrong with that. For people who would prefer to not attend a university, but would rather find a job that pays well that fits your personal preference better, trade school or an apprenticeship might be the answer.
Elevator Installation and Repair Technician
Those elevators you used to love riding in when you were a kid need repair from time to time. New buildings need elevators installed, too. You could be the person that takes care of all of it if you went this route.
To become an elevator tech, you would need to be the kind of person that is good with power tools who likes working with your hands. You would also need to be able to stay calm and collected under pressure. If you can fill all of those things, this might be the job for you.
Should you decide to go this route, you will need to have your high school diploma as well as an apprenticeship under your belt. Apprenticeships last a few years, but it’s necessary to learn the trade. Additionally, it gives you real-world experience and on-the-job training.
Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, you can expect entry-level pay anywhere from $18k to $40k per year. Location heavily influences pay rate, so you will have to be willing to go where the money is to achieve a higher salary.
Over time and with added experience, you can move up in the industry and can even command pay that is as high as $120k per year.
Do you enjoy tinkering with electronics? Did you know what a diode and resistor were before you finished high school? Does the thought of capacitors and electronic circuitry bring you joy?
If the answer is yes to any of those questions, being an electrician may be the perfect job for you. Not only will you be handling electrical wiring in this kind of position, but you’ll also be reading blueprints as well as using specialized testing devices to do your job.
A job as an electrician can be highly rewarding, but you will need to be prepared to do the work moving forward. To begin with, you’ll need your high school diploma, but you’ll also need to fulfill an apprenticeship. The apprenticeship to be an electrician can last up to around four years, so expect a time commitment going in.
On the bright side, most apprenticeships do come with a paycheck, so at least you won’t be working for nothing. It won’t be much, but it may be a better option than paying thousands for a college education.
As an entry-level electrician, you can expect pay that starts between $30k and $50k per year. Payment for this kind of job relies heavily on personal performance as well as experience and location.
With dedication and quality work, you can expect to make near $100k after you’ve put your time in for the job. This is, however, another situation where you may have to be willing to go where the money is instead of expecting the money to come to you.
There is a long-running joke that involves plumbers being expensive for doing what seems like a menial job for most. What people don’t understand is the work that actually goes into being good at your job.
To be a plumber, you need to be detail-oriented as well as physically strong. You also need to be okay with working in sometimes messy environments, because let’s face it, sometimes as a plumber, you’re going to be knee deep in stuff no one wants to go near.
You’ll also need to be licensed, have a high school diploma, as well as go through an apprenticeship. Time varies on plumbing apprenticeships, but like most of them, you can expect a paycheck as you go along.
Once you have completed your apprenticeship, as an entry-level plumber, you can expect pay to be around $30k per year to include bonuses and potential profit sharing. This job is another one that is highly dependent on location, so you may need to go elsewhere to achieve higher pay.
Once you’ve got time and experience under your belt, you can earn as much as near $80k per year to include your hourly pay rate, bonuses, as well as profit sharing. Plumbing can clearly be a lucrative job if you want to go this route.
Finding the Best Entry-level Jobs That Make You Happy
Everyone has to put their time in when starting in on the job market. Putting in your time does not mean putting up with low-level pay if you choose a career path that will ensure well paying entry-level positions.
Consider your skills, talents, goals, and expectations when you start thinking about the future of your career. Do you want an office job? Do you want to work with people? Do you like working with your hands? Do you have the resources to pay for a college education, or is a trade school route better?
Only you can answer those questions, but by knowing what is available out there, you’ll be able to better zone in on a job that can become a career you can be proud of.