5 Highest Paying Entry-Level Jobs In 2024, According To Indeed


Despite the current slowdown in the U.S. job market and job growth, there is still a positive flip side.

The market for entry-level employees is ripe with opportunity, with several entry-level positions offering lucrative salaries and a strong career projection. While overall job growth may have slowed down, there are still individual industries and professions that show no signs of slowing down but are hungry for demand.

The job search site Indeed, recently released a report, "The Top 20 Hottest Entry Level Jobs of 2024," based on its analysis of job listings within its job search engine, and compiled its final list based on the entry-level jobs satisfying two key metrics: high salary, and stability (year over year growth with no evidence of decline)—two factors that are extremely important to Gen Z job-seekers and graduates.

The top five in the list include:

1. Inspector

An entry-level quality inspector can work across several industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, construction, and food production. You will need to be familiar with the relevant regulations depending on the specific sector you are working in.

Education and Skills Required

  • High school diploma/GED
  • Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) from the American Society for Quality
  • Six Sigma certification is also beneficial
  • An associate or bachelor's degree in a specialist field such as engineering might be preferable for some employers
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Analytical and mathematical skills
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking

Career Paths

  • Senior quality inspector
  • Quality assurance manager
  • Quality assurance director
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Average Salary: $80,253

2. Quality Engineer

A quality engineer performs a similar role to a quality inspector (as listed above) however they are more focused on ensuring quality in manufacturing. They ensure high standards in manufactured products through the creation of quality criteria and documentation.

Education And Skills Required

  • Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or a related field
  • Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) from the American Society for Quality
  • Similar requirements as above for quality inspector
  • Knowledge of quality management systems such as ISO 9001 and lean manufacturing principles
  • Project management skills

Career Paths

  • Senior Quality Engineer
  • Quality Engineering Manager
  • Quality Consultant
  • Quality Project Manager

Average salary: $79,925

3. RN (Registered Nurse)

Registered nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system, and with a 24% job share percentage increase, they are in high demand in 2024. RNs work in collaboration with doctors and other healthcare specialists to administer treatment and create patient care plans.

Education And Skills Required

  • Associate degree in nursing
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) exam
  • State licence
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and make decisions under pressure

Career Paths

  • Specialist nurses, i.e., critical care nurse, pediatric nurse, oncology nurse, etc.
  • Clinical Nurse Manager
  • Patient care director

Average salary: $77,281

4. Mental Health Technician

A mental health technician is an essential role that entails being a hands-on carer for patients suffering from mental health conditions within private institutions or hospitals. They are their all-around physical and emotional support. This a highly demanding role that requires tact, patience, adaptability, and empathy. Most notably, this role has experienced a 45% job share increase of late, so there is significant demand in this field.

Education And Skills Required

  • High-school diploma/GED
  • Associate degree in psychology, social work, or related field
  • Certified Mental Health Technician (CMHT) from the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians (AAPT)
  • Strong communication skills
  • Observation skills
  • Eye for detail
  • Crisis management and intervention
  • Flexibility

Career Paths

  • Lead Technician
  • Supervisor
  • RN within mental health
  • Social worker
  • Psychologist
  • Therapist
  • Personal stress management

Average salary: $75,322

5. Police Officer

The role of a police officer is perhaps one of the most easily recognizable jobs and as such requires no explanation. However, it's worth observing that there's more to being a police officer and preserving the peace than meets the eye. Police officers get involved in community outreach and development, perform administrative tasks such as writing reports at the back office, provide victim support and signpost to other victim support and advocacy providers, and get involved in undercover operations so reminiscent of the movies.

Education And Skills Required

  • High-school diploma/GED
  • Police academy training
  • An associate degree in law, criminal justice, or a related field is beneficial
  • Physical stamina
  • Ability to think quickly and make a decision in a critical situation
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Diplomacy

Career Paths

  • Detective
  • Sergeant
  • Police chief
  • Private security
  • SWAT team member

Average salary: $69,703

These high-paying entry-level jobs represent a wide variety of industries, from manufacturing to healthcare to policing. And there are loads more for you to consider on Indeed's jobs list, such as business analyst, civil engineer, and insurance agent. The key question here is to pursue a role that you know you will be truly passionate about—not just for the money.

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