In writing this article, I realize that “best” is a subjective term, yet it’s an important one. Over my career I’ve seen many new college grads slog away at jobs they hate, just to earn the paycheck. So the best entry level jobs are the ones where you love what you do. Where you actually look forward to going to work each day.
Here are the 7 best entry level jobs:
- Economist. You probably didn’t think this job actually existed at the entry level. Yet it does and the pay is decent, usually about $45,000 to $57,000 to start. You are living in the world of data, so if you are a data-oriented person, this is a great entry level job. Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services by collecting and analyzing data, researching trends, and evaluating economic issues. Cool stuff if you’re into making sense of all the numbers in a meaningful way.
- Physician Assistant. Do you want to be a doctor but don’t want to be in school until you’re almost 30? Physician assistants, also known as PAs, do many of the same things as medical doctors and often have more patient interaction. PAs practice medicine on a team under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are formally educated to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment, yet usually with a BS degree instead of an MD degree. Pay starts out in the $55,000 to $65,000 range, but can accelerate into six figures.
- Environmental Engineer. If you have a goal in life of making an impact on the world around you, this may be one way to do it. And the pay is up there with other engineering jobs, in the $57,000 to $68,000 range to start. Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. Some of the areas you might be involved include efforts to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control. They also make a daily difference in the world by addressing global issues, such as unsafe drinking water, climate change, and environmental sustainability.
- Actuary. You have to love the numbers to be an Actuary. Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. You use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk that an event will occur and help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk. It doesn’t sound cool unless you love numbers. And if you do, this is the coolest numbers job out there. The pay is decent with it being one of the top paying business degrees, usually about $50,000 to $64,000 at the entry level. Earnings can go well into six figures for experienced Actuaries.
- Recruiter. This is an unusual entry level job for which there is no related college degree. Probably the closest would be BBA in Human Resources. Your job is to find and hire the best and the brightest for your employer. If you believe in your employer and think it’s a great place to work, it doesn’t take much to convince others. Most recruiters spend time on both the data/tech side and the people side of the equation, offering a nice balance. Pay starts at $45,000 to $55,000, but can have additional performance incentives built in.
- Veterinarian. If you love animals, this is the job for you. Veterinarians care for the health of animals and work to improve public health conditions for animals. They diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and other animals. Pay at the entry level is high, usually $65,000 to $88,000 to start and can go well into six figures later for those who own and operate their own practice. The downside is that you often have to complete as much schooling as an MD. And MDs are paid better. But vets have better patients.
- Teacher. Yes, I know, you probably didn’t think this job would make the list. The pay isn’t that great for teachers, usually just $30,000 to $40,000 to start. But you’re typically only working nine months out of the year, so you either have summers off or can supplement your income by working summers, sometimes in cool and exotic locations. Your job is to prepare students for life after graduation. If you are gifted in teaching others and truly want to make a difference at an individual, human level, teaching may be your calling.
These are some of the best entry level jobs for graduates after college. As you are considering jobs in the world of work, try to seek out work you will love. There is an old saying, “Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” So that’s the ideal. Most jobs are a balance of the fun and cool stuff along with some level of drudgery. As long as the fun stuff wins out the majority of the time, it’s workable and doable over a long-term career.