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High Paying Entry Level Jobs and How to Get Them

Updated on May 31, 2014
Software Developers: Many jobs in this title are available without experience. Median salary is about $94,000 per year.
Software Developers: Many jobs in this title are available without experience. Median salary is about $94,000 per year. | Source

High Salaries

Some of the highest paid jobs in America require advanced education in the form of a 2-year or 4-year college degree, but are themselves entry level positions. No experience in the job is required.

Physicians in all specialties are the highest paid people in our country, besides CEOs of wealthy corporations, but those physicians have many years of experience, including internships and residencies.

Some of the most highly paid job titles in the entry level category in the USA are the following titles, accompanied by their Median Pay recorded in mid-2014:

  • Software Developer - Over $93,000 annually
  • Financial Examiner - $76,000
  • Civil Engineer - $80,000
  • Occupational Therapist - $75,000
  • Registered Nurse - $64,000
  • Market Research Analyst - $60,000+
  • Sales - $54,400 - Sales of Financial Products, some Sales Representatives
  • Marketing Coordinator - $49,400
  • Graphic Designer - $46,000
  • Copywriter - $41,800

References: US Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Salary Ranges of the job titles above, actually advertised in real job postings across the country, are included below for comparison.

10,000,000 Pell Grants?

US President Barack Obama, on, reports increasing the number of Pell Grants for potential college students and the amount received to $5,500 (in 2008). At least 9.5 million students received the grant in the school year 2012 - 2013. College costs are exorbitant.

Example: The Ohio State University. Fees are different per course area.

  • Computer Science and related: One Semester = $5476.20.
  • Student Health Insurance is required, unless other coverage is proven = $1150 for the student. Family rate is over $4,000 per semester.

Historic Comparison

When some of your grandparents or parents attended OSU and Minimum Wage was $1.65/hour, the tuition & fees total raised from $75 per quarter to $125.00 per quarter. The $125 was about 76 hours of work or about two weeks full-time. At this writing, one semester equals full-time minimum wage work of over 755 hours. That is over 19 weeks' work or about five months!

Some Tuition Free Colleges

  1. Cooper Union - New York City. Students receive 50% of their tuition free.
  2. US Coast Guard Academy - Connecticut.
  3. Curtis Institute of Music - Philadelphia. Auditions required.
  4. West Point - US Military Academy. US Army.
  5. US Naval Academy - Annapolis, Maryland.
  6. Webb Institute - New York State; small school with 80 students, mostly male. 100% free tuition.
  7. US Air Force Academy - Colorado.
  8. US Merchant Marine Academy - New York State.

Other Job Requirements

While the high paying jobs listed do not require experience, potential employers will look at other qualifications. Some of these will likely include your grades and GPA in college and university classes, particularly core subject areas related to the job. Related to this, if your degree is not in the area covered by the job title, then related experience will count, if you have such experience - even volunteer work.

Job candidates often forget to include volunteer positions on their resumes or feel that volunteering is not real work and not worthy of the resume. Quite the opposite - in a world of work in which employers are scrabbling to find green/sustainable causes to support, a history volunteerism is important in job candidate. In fact, volunteer work while with the company can garner additional media attention for the company.

Some large companies provide a couple of hours off the job, paid, per week in order for employees to perform volunteer work in places the company approves.

Thus, many employers look for volunteer work on one's resume and moreover, leadership positions held while volunteering.

High school counselors have long advised students to join clubs, Student Council, marching bands, and sports/cheerleader/drill teams to add to their resumes for college entrance and future employment. These items can be impressive to a future employer, but it is nice if the student actually enjoys these activities.

Another positive attraction to employers is the student who attended high school and college at once. This shows initiative, intelligence, drive, and cost savings qualities and skills.

If that dual registration option is not available, Advanced Placement courses in high school often impress an employer as well as leading to college credit, especially on proficiency testing prior to attending college classes. I know this, because my own experience includes such "testing credit" of 20 hours in mathematics, 20 hours of Russian language, and 5 hours of biology. A bit later, a psychology professor allowed us to test out of his class as well for 5 hours. so the total was 50 hours of classes I could skip, or 6 quarters out of the usual 12, or 50%. This was awesome good fortune, since I had to work full-time. This, too, looked good on a resume.

US Military Service can also make an impression on a future employer, and government agencies award point for such service in their points system of job candidate consideration.

Some employers also look for high school and college internships or summer work experiences.


Salary Ranges of Jobs Advertised

  1. Software Developer - $50, 000 - Over $130,000 annually
  2. Financial Examiner - $40,000 - $120,000
  3. Civil Engineer - $40,000 - $146,000+
  4. Occupational Therapist - $40,000 - $138,000+
  5. Registered Nurse - $40,000 - $140,000: Nurse Practitioners fall at the high end of this scale as do Travel Nurses who earn higher wages and many perks and incentives.
  6. Market Research Analyst - $40,000 to $188,000+
  7. Sales - $20,000 - $120,000+
  8. Marketing Coordinator - $20,000 - $120,000+
  9. Graphic Designer - $30,000 - $110,000+
  10. Copywriter - $40,000 - $160,000+

Market Research Analysts often earn high wages.
Market Research Analysts often earn high wages. | Source

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