20 High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs in the US


In this article, we will look at the 20 high-paying entry-level jobs in the US. We have also talked about the struggles of finding entry-levels jobs in the US. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, head straight to the 5 High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs in the US.

Entry-level jobs, traditionally seen as roles that require minimal prior experience or skills, now appear to demand a laundry list of qualifications. From requiring years of experience to demanding mastery of various skills like graphic design, SEO, and copywriting, the expectations can feel overwhelming. Even advanced degrees are listed as preferred qualifications for entry-level positions which adds to the frustration.

This frustration is not unfounded. Studies have shown that 42% of job seekers feel excluded from opportunities due to a lack of formal qualifications or experience. In fact, nearly half of employees report feeling this way, according to a 2023 report. Another barrier cited is the lack of relevant skills or credentials, as highlighted by a 2022 report. The emphasis on skills-based hiring has become more pronounced as employers prioritize experience and abilities over degrees.

However, there’s a shift in hiring trends as fewer human resources leaders are focusing on entry-level positions compared to previous years. This trend suggests a growing preference for experienced candidates over those just starting their careers. One explanation for this could be the gap in skills and training, with employers increasingly seeking external hires rather than investing in internal talent development.

Speaking of the skill-gap, it is concerning to note that the manufacturing industry in the United States is observing a skills gap that could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030, according to a study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. The projected cost of these vacancies would amount to $1 trillion by the end of the decade.

Moreover, despite the industry’s efforts to rebound from the pandemic-induced setbacks, the shortage of skilled labor persists. Although 63% of the jobs lost during the pandemic have been recovered, approximately 570,000 positions remained unfulfilled as of the end of 2020. Manufacturers are struggling with a 36% increase in the difficulty of finding a suitable workforce.

Beyond the manufacturing industry, International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) is stepping up to address the increasing skills gap in artificial intelligence (AI) by committing to training 2 million individuals over the next three years. With projections from the World Economic Forum indicating that 1.1 billion jobs will face the wrath of automation due to AI in the next decade, and over 82% of business leaders recognizing the need for new skills, the urgency to bridge this gap is palpable.

International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM)’s platform, SkillsBuild, offers over 1,000 courses that cover both hard and soft skills and are accessible to learners of all ages and backgrounds. What sets SkillsBuild apart is its customization and translation across multiple languages.

Moreover, by partnering with historically Black colleges and universities to establish cybersecurity leadership centers and expanding training opportunities for teachers globally, International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) aims to ensure inclusivity and diversity in AI education. Additionally, by eliminating four-year degree requirements for half of its US jobs, International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) exemplifies a “skills-first agenda”.

Apart from hard skills, companies like Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) tend to equally focus on softer skills as well. For example, Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT)’s  training program for store managers has a focus on compassionate leadership and effective communication. Each year, approximately 2,000 managers participate in the Manager Academy at Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. These managers oversee multimillion-dollar operations, with a direct impact on Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT)’s annual revenue, which reached $648.1 billion globally last year. The training sessions focus on instilling Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT)’s core values and expectations of leadership while stressing the importance of prioritizing employees and the communities they serve.

20 High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs in the US20 High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs in the US

20 High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs in the US

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Our Methodology

To list the high-paying entry-level jobs in the US, we targeted jobs with low experience requirements and jobs with limited responsibilities. We utilized Indeed and Glassdoor as our primary sources for gauging such entry-level jobs. Once shortlisted, we selected the 20 highest-paying jobs from our list based on average salaries for those jobs in the US. We obtained average salary data from our salary data database.

Please note that other data points covering annual mean wages, median salaries, job growth percentages, and numbers of job openings for each role have been also primarily obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the year 2023.

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20. Surgical Assistants and Technologists

Average Salary: $57,500

Surgical assistants and technologists earn a median salary of $60,370 per year as of 2023, with a typical entry-level education requirement of a postsecondary nondegree award. They usually don’t need prior work experience in a related occupation or on-the-job training.

19. Carpenter

Average Salary: $58,210

Carpenters made a median income of $56,350 annually in 2023. The field boasted 956,300 jobs in 2022, with a projected 1% job outlook from 2022 to 2032 which will translate to a modest employment change of 8,600 positions.

18. Translator and Interpreter

Average Salary: $58,400

The US State Department is looking for 1,000 translators and interpreters for diplomatic and foreign affairs activities, as per a notice on SAM.gov in September 2023. Each agreement can reach up to $150k, with assignments capped at $25k, mostly falling under $10k. Only individuals passing the DOS Office of Language Services exams will qualify.

To read more about language-related professions, see 15 Careers That Bilinguals and Multilinguals Will Excel in.

17. Proofreader

Average Salary: $58,715

District of Columbia and New York are the top paying states for proofreaders with an average salary of $83,440 and $68,020. Given the low entry requirements to this field along with flexible schedules, it is also one of the Low-Stress High-Paying Jobs In The World.

16. Customer Service Representative

Average Salary: $59,380

Despite a large employment base of 2,982,900 in 2022, the job outlook from 2022-2032 anticipates a 5% decline which will result in a decrease of 162,700 jobs. This shift has occurred primarily due to automated systems and self-service options. However, due to the high salaries within these roles, it is one of the high-paying remote entry-level jobs.

15. Freelance Writer

Average Salary: $59,402

Freelance writing on Upwork Inc (NASDAQ:UPWK) provides a plethora of opportunities across different niches, each with its earning potential. For instance, technical writers earn between $25-$50 per hour and cater to industries like IT and aerospace. Web content and blog writers, on the other hand, typically make $15-$35 per hour whereas copywriters earn $19-$45 per hour and have a focus on ads and product descriptions.

14. Digital Marketer

Average Salary: $62,522

The global digital marketing market is projected to hit $1,310 billion by 2033, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6% from 2024 to 2033. The dominance of online interactive digital marketing, particularly internet paid search which captured a major market share, and the retail and consumer goods sectors led by end-user have been the key drivers for this growth. Geographically, North America maintains dominance and holds a 36% market share in 2023.

13. Junior Recruiter

Average Salary: $63,018

Junior recruiters is one of the high-paying entry-level jobs in the US without experience. With no prior work experience in related fields or on-the-job training necessary, the job outlook from 2022 to 2032. It has a 6% growth rate with an estimated employment change of 51,400 jobs. There were 874,500 positions for HR specialists in the US as of 2022.

12. Machine Operator

Average Salary: $64,005

Machine operators are responsible for the operation and maintenance of machinery in various industries. They must adhere to safety protocols, troubleshoot issues that arise, and maintain production efficiency. With an average salary of $64,005, it is one of the highest paying entry-level jobs in the US.

11. Plumber

Average Salary: $65,190

Plumbers earn a median salary of $61,550 annually as of 2023. They typically require a high school diploma or equivalent, making it one of the high paying entry level jobs without a degree.  With 482,700 jobs in 2022, the field is expected to grow at a rate of 2% from 2022 to 2032 which will add 10,900 jobs.

10.  Occupational Therapist Assistant

Average Salary: $66,280

Natural gas distribution and independent artists, writers, and performers are the highest-paying industries for occupational therapist assistants whereas District of Columbia and Washington are the highest-paying states for these roles.

9. Life Insurance Agent  

Average Salary: $66,999

The profession offers promising opportunities for those interested in insurance sales. In 2022, there were 536,800 jobs, with an anticipated 8% job outlook from 2022-32, which will result in an employment change of 42,500.

8. Electrician

Average Salary: $67,810

The demand for electricians in the US has increased to unprecedented levels, with employment reaching an all-time high of 1.032 million in April of 2023. This increase in demand has led to electricians enjoying record-high wages and even experienced a 7.4% year-over-year increase in earnings in April 2023 alone, according to data from the US Department of Labor. Entry-level electricians are regularly earning between $60,000 to $80,000 annually.

7. Junior Web Developer

Average Salary: $68,125

As of 2021, there were approximately 1.8 billion websites worldwide which also explains why the demand for skilled web developers has increased. The field has a high number of opportunities, with 216,700 jobs reported in 2022 in the US alone. Given the creative nature of the job, it is also considered one of the fun entry-level jobs that pay well.

To read more about web development, see the highest paying countries for web developers.

6. Entry-Level Police Officer

Average Salary: $74,042

The United States is struggling with a police hiring crisis. Small towns like Goodhue, Minnesota, struggle to attract officers, with 521 towns disbanding police departments between 1972 and 2017. In the past two years alone, 12 small towns dissolved their departments. Officer resignations increased by 47% in 2020 compared to 2019, with retirements up by 19%.

Click here to see the 5 High-Paying Entry entry-level jobs in the US.

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Disclosure: None. 20 High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs in the US is originally published at Insider Monkey.


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