What it Takes to Snag the Best Entry-Level Jobs

The best jobs offer more than relatively high starting salaries. Find out more.

What it Takes to Snag the Best Entry-Level Jobs Photo (cc) by Phillie Casablanca

The ideal entry-level jobs offer more than high starting salaries, income growth and career growth potential.

They’re also at a low risk of being computerized, present little risk of fatal injury, and do not require workweeks of more than 40 hours, according to WalletHub, which recently analyzed the pros and cons of 109 entry-level jobs.

For example, the best-ranked job on the list, training specialist, has more job openings than all but three others (engineer, systems engineer and software engineer).

“Jobs in the tech field, like network engineers, tend to be higher up the list. Clerical and manufacturing jobs are near the bottom,” WalletHub spokesperson Jill Gonzalez tells CBS MoneyWatch.

WalletHub’s rankings take into consideration immediate opportunities (including job openings and unemployment rates), growth prospects and hardships. They’re based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, Indeed.com and Salary.com.

CBS compiled statistics on some of the top entry-level jobs:

Training specialist

  • Starting salary: $47,621
  • Median salary: $55,930
  • Requirements: College degree, strong communication skills

Web applications developer

  • Starting salary; $54,586
  • Average salary: $59,000
  • Requirements: Know developer languages like PHP and HTML, preferably experience in the field or a degree in Web design (due to competitive market)

Network engineer

  • Starting salary: $61,744
  • Average salary for senior employees: $91,982
  • Requirements: Typically a degree in computer science or related fields


  • Starting salary: $83,907
  • Average salary: $133,470
  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, law degree, pass state bar exam

Environmental engineer

  • Starting salary: $57,266
  • Average salary: $86,340
  • Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering or related fields like civil engineering

Other top entry-level jobs include:

  • Software engineer
  • Designer
  • Information security analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Programmer

The worst out of 109 entry-level jobs analyzed by WalletHub are:

  • Welder
  • Building inspector
  • Policy processing clerk
  • Electronics assembler
  • Boilermaker
  • Claims processing clerk
  • Consumer loan servicing clerk
  • Refinery operator
  • Sheet metal mechanic
  • Floor assembler

To learn more, check out “28 Tops Jobs and Industries for the Class of 2015” or “How Later-Life Career Changes Can Pay Off”

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Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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