The Best Entry-Level Jobs to Start a Career

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What's an entry-level job, and how do you get one? Entry-level jobs are lower-level positions that typically require less experience and responsibility. People in entry-level jobs often receive training from those in more senior positions or participate in a formal on-the-job training program.

What Are the Best Entry-Level Jobs?

If you are just starting out in your career, or are switching industries, an entry-level job is typically the way to go.

What are the best jobs for someone just starting their career? The answer is: “it depends.”

One size obviously doesn't fit all when it comes to jobs. The best entry-level job for you will depend on your unique combination of interests, skills, values, personality traits, and goals. The level of education that you have attained or plan to acquire is another key factor. The best jobs for individuals with a high school, college, or professional degree will all vary.

It’s a good idea to get a rough sense of what entry-level jobs are available when you’re launching your career. Learn about some of the top entry-level positions across industries and discover your options.

What to Look for In an Entry-Level Job

Potential for future growth. One thing to look for when evaluating an entry-level job is whether or not the job provides a clear path toward jobs with more responsibility, greater satisfaction, and/or higher pay.

When considering an entry-level job offer, it is critical to ask yourself what skills you will acquire in that role, what interests you will test, who you will meet and impress, and whether or not the job offers possibilities for advancement in the company.

A good cultural fit. Another part of finding the best entry-level job for you is knowing the type of company culture that fits your style. Are you looking for a fast-paced, action-packed environment, a competitive atmosphere, or a laid-back culture? Make sure you get a sense of the company culture before deciding whether to accept or reject a job offer.

Compensation. Salary is obviously an important part of your decision too. However, make sure you consider other factors (like training opportunities and room for advancement) and aren't just blinded by dollars. After all, you should assume that an entry-level job will not pay as much as other jobs you may get in the future.

Lists of the Best Entry-Level Jobs

Below are lists of entry-level jobs that might include the best one for you. These are all considered good entry-level jobs for a variety of reasons: they might require limited education, they might have great earning potential, and/or they might have potential for advancement.

Business Administration / Management

These include the traditional “white-collar” fields that seek the services of graduating business majors.

Building & Transportation Trades

Apprenticeships are still the gold standard for getting your foot in the door in many of the business trades. Once you’re in, you can expect to benefit from union membership as well.

Communications & Design

Do you have strong skills in writing, editing, and graphic design? One of these jobs might be a perfect fit for you.

Education, Research & Non-Profit

Dedicated teachers, researchers, and social workers will always be in demand.

Engineering

You’ve made it into a highly competitive engineering program and, after a lot of hard work, are ready to graduate. Any of the following jobs will be both intellectually rewarding and lucrative enough to pay off your college loan debts.

Financial Services

There are a wide variety of entry-level finance jobs for recent graduates who like mathematics, statistical or financial analysis, and customer service.

Information Technology (IT)

Looking for an entry-level job in IT? Depending on your interests, you may not even need a computer science degree to get started. Some companies offer training programs for promising applicants—no degree required. 

Healthcare

You don’t have to be a physician to find a rewarding career in healthcare. Here are some great entry-level opportunities.

Entry-level jobs in skilled professions typically require specialized education and training.

Sales & Marketing

If you’re a natural salesperson, consider applying to one of these positions.

How to Find and Land an Entry-Level Job 

Look at apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeship programs are paid positions that provide on-the-job training. Apprenticeship.gov offers an apprenticeship finder tool that will help you connect with opportunities in your area.

Find internships through your school or network. If you are a college student, investigate internship opportunities before beginning your career. This is a great way to try out different industries and companies.

Many companies will offer successful interns entry-level jobs upon graduating.

You can also talk to your college’s career counselors or look into your alumni network to find alumni that might be able to suggest entry-level opportunities.

Search for entry-level jobs online. Many job search engines and job boards allow you to search by the level of the job. Look under “Advanced Search” on your favorite job search site, and select only entry-level positions. There are also job search sites that are specifically for recent graduates and/or those looking for entry-level positions.

Write an entry-level resume and cover letter. You’ll customize these application materials for every job, but it’s a good idea to create a master resume with all of your qualifications in one place, so that you can have one central document containing all of your relevant skills, experience, and abilities. (Still in college? “Resumes for College Students” offers tips for getting the hiring manager’s attention before graduation.)

Network, network, network. Experts estimate that up to 85% of all jobs are filled via networking. If you confine your entry-level job search to job boards, you might miss out on the perfect opportunity for you. If you’re in college, don’t forget to seek out your college career center. They can help you with everything from finding jobs to honing your resume.

Practice interviewing. Job interviews are uncomfortable for many job seekers, especially at the beginning of their career. To feel more confident and make a better impression, it’s a good idea to practice interviewing before you sit down with the hiring manager.

Send a thank-you note. Always follow up after a job interview by sending a thank-you note to the hiring manager. Use your note to clarify any points from your conversation, to re-emphasize your skills and qualifications, and of course, to express your gratitude for the opportunity.

Article Sources

  1. The Wall Street Journal. “Cybersecurity Jobs Abound. No Experience Required.” Accessed July 24, 2020.

  2. Apprenticeship.gov. “Apprenticeship.gov.” Accessed July 24, 2020.

  3. LinkedIn. “New Survey Reveals 85% of All Jobs are Filled Via Networking.” Accessed July 24, 2020.