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Life after graduation

The Highest Paying Entry Level Jobs In Top Industries

See the highest paying entry level jobs sorted by top industries, including job descriptions, education required, and salary.

Wondering which entry-level job will pay you the most as you begin life in the workforce?

Some of the best entry-level jobs out there only require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, and they’re available to just about anyone starting out or looking to change their career. The highest-paying ones might require one to three years of experience, but any transferable skills from an internshipor prior job can help when applying.

It takes some time to find the job opportunities that best fit your interests, skills, and values. Having a nice paycheck is something to look forward to bi-weekly, but looking forward to your everyday work is much better than looking forward to one day every two weeks. Before jumping into our list of high-paying entry-level jobs, consider which industries might be the best fit for you.

Ahead, you’ll find our top picks for high-paying job opportunities in popular industries. All data is pulled from the US Department of Labor’s ONETOnLine, a compendium of all the jobs and careers in the United States, containing their pay rates, experience required, and other trends.

Healthcare and scientific

Sales Representative for Technical and Scientific Products

You don’t have to wear scrubs in a hospital to succeed in healthcare. Someone has to sell hospitals and practitioners the equipment, machinery, and tools used to diagnose and treat patients… and the people who do get paid well!

Average annual pay: $79,680 Education: Associate’s degree

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational therapists help patients regain the small aspects of daily life they’ve lost. Covering everything from learning to cook to driving again, occupational therapy assistants help develop treatment plans to help make everything normal for patients again.

Average annual pay: $60,220

Education: Associate’s degree and formal training


Financial Analyst

This position is heavily sought-after by those who want to help businesses make the best financial decisions. Analysts help guide their employers through making million-dollar investments.

Average annual pay: $85,660

Education: Bachelor’s degree

HR Specialist

Consider a role in HR if you’re interested in the hiring process, including screening, interviewing, and recruiting candidates.

Average annual pay: $60,880

Education: Bachelor’s degree

Engineering and Tech

Environmental Engineer

While environmental engineers earn similar pay to mechanical, civil, biomedical, and other types of engineers, this career’s involvement in alleviating environmental hazards makes it a green choice with good potential for future growth.

Average annual pay: $87,620

Education: Bachelor’s degree

Software Developer

Software developers create everything from video games to mobile apps and full-fledged applications, working with a variety of companies and clients to produce personalized software.

Average annual pay: $110,000

Education: Bachelor’s degree

Art, media, and communication

Multimedia Artist and Animator

This is a path for the truly creative individual passionate about creating animations and special effects on a variety of mediums. Multimedia artists and animators work in many industries including film, gaming, advertising, and music.

Average annual pay: $72,520

Education: Bachelor’s degree

Public Relations Specialist

When a company wants its image or product to truly shine in light, a PR specialist is tasked with making the best impression for a company.

Average annual pay: $60,000

Education: Bachelor’s degree

Social and global affairs

Paralegal and Legal Assistant

You don’t have to go to law school to get a taste of the fast-paced, high energy legal field and earn great pay. Paralegals and legal assistants help lawyers investigate case facts, prepare briefs, and analyze data to make decisions — some even attend arbitrations and court hearings!

Average annual pay: $50,940

Education: Associate’s degree

Social Science Research Analyst

This is a versatile role with opportunities to develop many transferable skills. Social science RAs assist researchers in labs with data and surveys for a variety of purposes, including publications and quality control.

Average annual pay: $46,640

Education: Bachelor’s degree

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