These 50 Jobs Pay Entry-Level Workers More Than You’d Expect

The employment picture through the first half of 2020 has been indescribably grim. More than 40 million Americans applied for unemployment through early June, with the unemployment rate staying in the double digits. Yet, even in the midst of this economic slowdown, there are plenty of high-paying jobs out there.
Entry-level jobs are often considered non-desirable, but they serve an important function. For recent graduates, an entry-level job is often the stepping stone to a career; however, in this economic environment, many workers are looking for any type of good-paying job, even an entry-level position. 
The good news is that many entry-level jobs actually pay salaries well above the national average. Even better, many of these jobs are in fast-growing industries.
To help identify these opportunities, GOBankingRates sourced data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupation Finder tool and Occupational Outlook Handbook. After screening for jobs with annual salaries above $60,000 that required a bachelor’s degree, GOBankingRates ranked the 50 highest-paying ones.
Although jobs for engineers and scientists were unsurprisingly found to pay well, the growth rate for some of these occupations is not encouraging. Environmental scientists and specialists earn over $71,000 on average, for example, but the growth rate for the industry over the next 10 years is projected to drop by 8% — indicating job loss, not job growth. Yet, plenty of entry-level jobs were found to be both high-paying and fast-growing. 
One example is operations, research analysts. At an average salary of $84,810, these workers earn more than double the national average, and the field is projected to grow by 26% over the next decade. Other high-paying occupations, such as market research analysts and marketing specialists, are also expected to grow by at least 20% over the next 10 years.
Whether you’re looking for your first job out of college or a new job after being laid off, use this list as a starting point to learn about available, high-paying careers. You can also search online for companies that are currently hiring. Even in times of economic uncertainty, with some diligent searching, you should be able to find a number of entry-level jobs that pay at least $60,000.
High School Students With Teacher In Class Using Laptops Smiling.
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1. Special Education Teachers - Middle School

  • 2019 median annual wage: $61,030
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 3%
Cute schoolboy in eyeglasses answering questions of teacher at individual lesson.
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2. Special Education Teachers - Kindergarten and Elementary School

  • 2019 median annual wage: $61,030
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 3%
professional woman conducting job interview
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3. Public Relations Specialists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $61,150
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 6%
Teacher in classroom helping students.
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4. Secondary School Teachers

  • 2019 median annual wage: $61,660
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 4%
Two female professionals having a relaxed meeting while strolling along a raised walkway in an office auditorium.
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5. Human Resources Specialists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $61,920
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 5%
Forestry inspector with a group of foresters marking out the plot for sanitary felling of the forest.
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6. Conservation Scientists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $62,410
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 3%
Scientists are studying plant species in the forest.
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7. Foresters

  • 2019 median annual wage: $62,410
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 3%
Cullinan, South Africa: Animal love at it's best.
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8. Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $63,270
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 5%
Businesswoman By Window Working On Laptop In Coffee Shop.
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9. Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $63,790
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 20%

Petri dish for medical research.
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10. Food Scientists and Technologists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $65,160
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 7%
African agriculture researcher observing the development of plant crops in a vertical farming facility.
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11. Soil and Plant Scientists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $65,160
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 7%
Serious caucasian veterinarian in protective clothes standing in barn and looking at documents.
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12. Animal Scientists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $65,160
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 7%
Surveyors Finishing Measurements and Hammering Boundary Marker.
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13. Cartographers and Photogrammetrists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $65,470
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 15%
Professional Engineer Works on a Computer with a 3D CAD Software and Tests the Electric Car Chassis Prototype with Wheels, Batteries and Engine Standing in a High Tech Development Laboratory.
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14. Commercial and Industrial Designers

  • 2019 median annual wage: $68,890
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 3%
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15. Environmental Scientists and Specialists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $71,360
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: -8%
Shot of a young couple meeting with a financial planner in a modern office.
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16. Accountants and Auditors

  • 2019 median annual wage: $71,550
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 6%
Nurse doing hand wash to prevent spread of Corona virus.
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17. Registered Nurses

  • 2019 median annual wage: $73,300
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 12%
Female client consulting with a agent in the office.
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18. Credit Analysts

  • 2019 median annual wage: $73,650
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 5%
Female interior designer working in an architectural firm.
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19. Fashion Designers

  • 2019 median annual wage: $73,790
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 1%
Manager using his tablet working in industry.
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20. Logisticians

  • 2019 median annual wage: $74,750
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 5%
20-25 Years, 20s, Adult, Adults Only, Beautiful, Broadcasting, Busy, Candid, Computer Monitor, Cute, Desktop PC, East Asian Ethnicity, Examining, Film Editor, Film Industry, Hand On Chin, Head In Hands, Headphones, LOOKING, Media Occupation, One Person, Post Production House, Professional Occupation, Studio, The Media, Young Adult, Young Women, boredom, casual, concentration, desk, only women, sitting, watching, women, working
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21. Multimedia Artists and Animators

  • 2019 median annual wage: $75,270
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 4%
Biological project.
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22. Microbiologists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $75,650
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 5%
Japanese man with eyeglasses siting on floor in the living room and using smart phone and laptop for managing home finances.
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23. Budget Analysts

  • 2019 median annual wage: $76,540
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 4%
QC inspector engineer.
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24. Materials Scientists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $78,790
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 4%
An ethnic female biochemist is working in a laboratory.
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25. Chemists

  • 2019 median annual wage: $78,790
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 4%
Happy Woman Picking Ripe Tomatoes In Greenhouse.
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26. Agricultural Engineers

  • 2019 median annual wage: $80,720
  • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 5%
Woman Biological Researcher Taking a Water Sample.
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27. Hydrologists

    • 2019 median annual wage: $81,270
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 7%
    Young woman sitting at a lake side in the mountain and working on a laptop.
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    28. Geographers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $81,540
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 3%
    System administration, man is working in data center with laptop.
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    29. Network and Computer Systems Administrators

    • 2019 median annual wage: $83,510
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 5%
    Putting all efforts in developing new and creative business through the start-up schemes and partnerships in Taiwan, South Korea, China and Hong Kong.
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    30. Operations Research Analysts

    • 2019 median annual wage: $84,810
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 26%
    Young black computer programmer coding software while working on PC in the office.
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    31. Computer Programmers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $86,550
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: -7%
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    32. Civil Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $87,060
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 6%
    Industrial Engineer
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    33. Industrial Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $88,020
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 8%
    A young latin engineer calibrating a large drill with his laptop in his shop.
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    34. Mechanical Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $88,430
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 4%
    Asian women working with forestry.
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    35. Environmental Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $88,860
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 5%
    Female programmer working on new project.
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    36. Computer Systems Analysts

    • 2019 median annual wage: $90,920
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 9%
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    37. Mining and Geological Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $91,160
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 3%
    industrial engineers reviewing plans
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    38. Health and Safety Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $91,410
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 5%
    Asian Scientist Pipetting at a Biomedical Laboratory - Image.
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    39. Biomedical Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $91,410
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 4%
    Geologist exploring caves deep underground.
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    40. Geoscientists

    • 2019 median annual wage: $92,040
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 6%
    Oil and gas industry.
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    41. Marine Engineers and Naval Architects

    • 2019 median annual wage: $92,400
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 9%
    Aerial view of young engineer man and industrial worker woman checking production line and testing quality of steel pipe coils at warehouse section in cable factory.
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    42. Materials Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $93,360
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 0%
    An IT technician programming computer equipment in a server room.
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    43. Database Administrators

    • 2019 median annual wage: $93,750
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 9%
    Astronomer in control panel room multi screen sitting profile with beard.
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    44. Atmospheric and Space Scientists

    • 2019 median annual wage: $95,380
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 8%
    Young woman industrial service electrician engineer wearing protective vest and blue technician helmet testing and checking fridge electric voltage with digital multimeter electric measurement instrument a control panel fuse box in boiler energy control room of modern thermal or nuclear power plant electric energy station.
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    45. Electrical Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $101,250
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 2%
    Scientist Working in The Laboratory.
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    46. Chemical Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $108,770
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 6%
    Engineer using laptop computer for maintenance in thermal power plant industrail.
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    47. Nuclear Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $113,460
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: -1%
    Asian women Engineers and technicians are repairing aircraft.
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    48. Aerospace Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $116,500
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 2%
    Computer engineer repairing motherboard at desk in office.
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    49. Computer Hardware Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $117,220
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 6%
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    50. Petroleum Engineers

    • 2019 median annual wage: $137,720
    • 2018-2028 projected job growth: 3%

      Methodology: To find the highest-paying entry level jobs in the U.S., GOBankingRates used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupation Finder tool and Occupational Outlook Handbook to analyze all jobs with 2019 average annual wages above $60,000 and a minimum education requirement of a bachelor’s degree, no related experience required, and no on-the-job training. The top 50 highest-paying jobs were then ranked with No. 1 being the highest-paying entry-level job in the U.S. BLS occupation titles that did not reference a specific job, like categorical and “all other” categories, were excluded from ranking. GOBankingRates provided each job’s 2019 average hourly wage, 2018 employment, and projected growth between 2018 and 2028 as supplemental information. All data was collected on and up to date as of June 17, 2020.