The career ladder doesn’t always have to start on the bottom step. With some entry-level jobs, the pay is good enough to leapfrog you ahead of the competition, and could see you earning what it takes other workers years to bring in.
We look at 15 of the best paying entry-level jobs and show you how to get them. Put a trampoline next to that career ladder and bounce right to the top.
1. Social Media Manager
Annual salary: $77,500
Social media is changing the way brands speak to their customers. Where once you had to pay thousands to get a TV spot, now you can Tweet, ’gram and TikTok to the masses for a fraction of the price, bringing in huge audiences and big profits. As a Social Media Manager, you’d be in charge of all of that, managing multiple accounts to get the brand’s message across to its audience.
How to get the job: You’ll need to be creative, and some firms will like you to have a degree in marketing or PR. Be imaginative with your application — a resume is great, but a personalized TikTok application could really help you stand out.
Apply for Social Media Manager jobs
2. Software Developer
Annual salary: $107,500
Software Developers bring websites and apps to life. Pretty much everything you see online has been made by a Software Developer (shout out to Dave in our IT team), from online shops to social media sites, games and highly secure banking platforms. It’s a niche skill, so if you have it you can expect to be paid well for it.
How to get the job: You’ll need a good understanding of coding and various software platforms. Evidence of sites you’ve worked on in the past will also help you in your application.
Apply for Software Developer jobs
3. Human Resource Associate
Annual salary: $73,500
Working in HR means looking after everything from people’s paychecks to office disputes and sick leave. You’ll handle all company policies, onboarding, terminations, promotions and more. Basically, you’ll be a big name on campus, and play a crucial role in keeping the business running.
How to get the job: Hiring managers will look for good organizational skills and good interpersonal abilities. A career in customer service can lead nicely to an HR role.
Apply for Human Resource Associate jobs
4. Executive Assistant
Annual salary: $70,000
As the right hand of the CEO, an Executive Assistant makes sure meetings happen on time, emails are answered, phone calls are returned and important work gets done in a smooth, organized manner.
How to get the job: You’ll need to be a good people-person with a silver tongue on the phone and excellent time management skills.
Apply for Executive Assistant jobs
5. Marketing Associate
Annual salary: $76,500
A Marketing Associate job will see you running big campaigns for a range of clients. You might need to get hands on, liaising with creative teams and account managers to get projects completed. You’ll almost certainly end up drinking a lot of coffee.
How to get the job: Project management skills are a big bonus here. If you can make things happen, show it, and if you’ve delivered projects in the past be sure to shout loud and proud about them. Some firms will want to see a degree, but others will be happy to take on promising talent.
Apply for Marketing Associate jobs
6. Sales Representative
Annual salary: $67,000
This job does exactly as the name suggests. You’ll be selling a range of products, either in person or over the phone, and could even end up performing product demonstrations at various events. You won’t be expected to sell ice to polar bears, but if you can it’ll be a bonus.
How to get the job: You’ll need to have a good way with words. Customer service skills will help here, as you’ll have to deal with a lot of different people — not all of whom will be pleased to hear from you.
Apply for Sales Representative jobs
7. Database Analyst
Annual salary: $86,500
You’ll be working a lot with computers, analyzing data to help companies make big decisions. You might spend a lot of time inputting figures or building programs that allow data to be managed more easily.
How to get the job: Math knowledge will be key, as well as the ability to understand various bits of software. People from coding backgrounds can often make the switch to a Data Analyst career.
Apply for Database Analyst jobs
Annual salary: $62,500
A Paralegal is often the first step of a legal career, and will see you managing paperwork, case files and notes for a team of lawyers. You might be working in the legal department of a big company, or in the courts helping the defence of prosecution teams do their thing.
A cool briefcase isn’t guaranteed, but you could afford one with your first paycheck.
How to get the job: You’ll need a BA degree with one year of law experience, or a paralegal certification from an American Bar Association (ABA) program to be a Paralegal.
Apply for Paralegal jobs
9. Environmental Engineer
Annual salary: $95,000
Environmental Engineers work on behalf of government agencies to carry out tasks relating to the environment. These could include recycling, waste management, pollution or animal control. You’ll get to spend a lot of time enjoying the great outdoors, and it’ll be your job to ensure it stays great for generations to come.
How to get the job: Many jobs in this field will require a degree. An understanding of science and geography definitely help you out.
Apply for Environmental Engineer jobs
10. User Experience Designer
Annual salary: $102,500
A User Experience Designer, or UX Designer if you’re in the biz, is someone who helps make websites and apps work properly. They’ll be responsible for putting buttons in the right place, ensuring colors don’t glare, making text readable and making sure every part of a site is accessible for every reader. It’s a growing industry, and one that could pay big bucks if you get ahead of the game.
How to get the job: A design degree is a good start, and an understanding of web accessibility will really stand out on your resume.
Apply for User Experience Designer jobs
11. Web Developer
Annual salary: $106,000
This job will see you designing and building websites. Unlike a Software Developer, you’ll often be working on the front-end of sites — the bits people can see. You’ll make things match brand guidelines, animate on touch, open on click and work in a way that engages customers.
How to get the job: You’ll need to understand coding and have a keen eye for design. A relevant degree will also come in handy.
Apply for Web Developer jobs
Annual salary: $71,500
You’ll be the money person, making you everyone’s favorite in the office. You’ll handle invoices, salaries, bonuses and expenses, making sure all the math adds up and that all the books are in order. You’ll probably have to file tax returns too, but unlike everyone else you’ll actually enjoy it.
How to get the job: Math will have been your favorite subject in school, and most firms will expect to see a relevant degree.
Apply for Accountant jobs
13. Content Strategist
Annual salary: $88,000
Content Strategists are responsible for understanding how a brand’s content is working — and how to make it work harder. You’ll work with a lot of words, analyzing their performance and coming up with ideas to keep brands thriving.
How to get the job: A degree in advertising won’t do you any harm, but a portfolio of good ideas is what brands really want to see. Show them you can think outside the box.
Apply for Content Strategist jobs
Annual salary: $78,500
Copywriters spend their days writing. Their words can appear on TV ads, posters, emails, birthday cards, websites and, well, anywhere. Chances are every piece of marketing you’ve ever seen has been written by a copywriter, and they're employed across the country in private firms, marketing agencies and huge corporations.
How to get the job: You’ll need to show you’ve got a way with words. A portfolio of copy-led ideas and a cover letter without any typos is a good place to start.
Apply for Copywriter jobs
15. Mortgage Assistant
Annual salary: $60,000
Home is where the heart is. Or for you, home is where the bonuses are. As a Mortgage Assistant, you’ll help people finance their new homes and get them the best deal on their property. You won’t get to enjoy the same smell of freshly baked bread as an Estate Agent, but you will get the sweet taste of satisfaction when you’ve put another family in their dream home.
How to get the job: Good customer service is essential, as are strong organizational skills and a decent background in math.
Apply for Mortgage Assistant jobs