9 Entry-Level Jobs with High-Salary Potential

Selena Dehne, JIST Publishing

Recent college graduates sometimes have unrealistic expectations about how much money they will begin making in their entry-level jobs. Now, with job cuts soaring and employers increasingly cutting budgets and implementing hiring freezes, many young people have discovered that the salary they initially envisioned is even more difficult to come by during an economic downturn.

Despite these obstacles, current college students and recent graduates can still put themselves on the right track to a high-paying career, according to Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., and Michael Farr, co-authors of "200 Best Jobs for College Graduates, Fourth Edition."

In their book, they created a list of the best-paying jobs with a high percentage of workers between the ages of 20- and 24-years-old. "These jobs have higher percentages of recent college graduates and may present more opportunities for initial entry or upward mobility," Shatkin and Farr say.

Although several of the occupations on this list have low beginning wages, many provide high-growth potential. In such jobs, individuals can receive a significant boost in their earnings as they gain experience and further develop their skills.

Below are several of these jobs, as well as information about their annual earnings and beginning wage.

1. Computer hardware engineers

Average annual earnings: $91,860

Average beginning salary: $55,880

2. Actuaries

Average annual earnings: $85,690

Average beginning salary: $48,750

3. Sales agents, securities and commodities

Average annual earnings: $68,430

Average beginning salary: $30,890

4. Network systems and data communications analysts

Average annual earnings: $68,220

Average beginning salary: $40,100

5. Agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes

Average annual earnings: $66,440

Average beginning salary: $30,780

6. Logisticians

Average annual earnings: $64,250

Average beginning salary: $38,280

7. Chemists

Average annual earnings: $63,490

Average beginning salary: $36,810

8. Program directors

Average annual earnings: $61,090

Average beginning salary: $28,980

Market research analysts

Average annual earnings: $60,300

Average beginning salary: $33,310

Selena Dehne is a career writer for JIST Publishing who shares the latest occupational, career and job search information available with job seekers and career changers. She is also the author of JIST's Job Search and Career Blog (http://jistjobsearchandcareer.blogspot.com/).

Copyright 2009 JIST Publishing.

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1 reply to Danita's comment

This is true. I knew an engineer in a management position who earned $250,000 a year and he caught me doing bills in a coffee shop one day. He asked me how I was doing and what my plans were. I told him that more than anything I just wanted to work for myself. He paused for a long time and then said, "You have the right idea. Although I make over 250K a year I think you would be much happier than I am even if you just sold bubble gum on the street corner if it earned you enough to pay your bills."

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Lizzie Romeo

I am looking for a career change. I am currently work at NYC Dept. of Finance and attending LaGuardia Community College for Accounting.

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