May is a month of big dreams and immense pressures for graduating seniors across the country. It's time to find a job, after all, and that is certainly no small task, with youth unemployment currently at 15.5% and with 36% of millennials choosing to live with their parents in the face of sparse opportunities.
But with that said, what we all really want at the end of the day is a career -- not just a job. We want growth potential -- both in terms of salary and responsibility. We want stability, and we want to do what we love. The question is how to go about obtaining such things in this uber-competitive job market.
One's career options following graduation are largely dictated by their school and academic focus of choice -- a fact that speaks to the importance of educational comparison shopping in this era of trillion-dollar student loan debts. Students and parents alike must consider the return on their education investment when planning their careers, and the process needs to begin in high school. It must then continue, and in fact come to a head, when it comes to the rite of passage that is finding an entry-level job.
So, which types of jobs, industries and areas of the country give you the best odds of following in the footsteps of Jack Welch, Jim Skinner, and Brian Dunn -- prominent CEOs who started at the lowest rungs of their respective companies? Or, perhaps more realistically, where might new job market entrants find the most attractive combination of a high starting salary and growth potential for their educational and experiential background?
In search of answers to those questions and actionable information for recent college and high school graduates, WalletHub decided to take stock of the entry-level job market. We did so by comparing 109 different types of entry-level jobs based on 11 key metrics, ranging from starting salaries to industry growth rate. Keep reading for a complete breakdown of our findings, as well as more information about the methodology we used to conduct this report.
Detailed findings by job type
|Overall Rank||Job Type||Immediate Opportunity Rank||Growth Potential Rank||Hardship Rank|
|1||Web Applications Developer I||9||16||5|
|2||Information Security Analyst I||22||15||1|
|T-3||Designer I - Web||26||16||8|
|5||Software Engineer I||3||23||39|
|6||Financial Analyst I||13||13||59|
|7||Market Research Analyst I||36||11||21|
|8||Network Engineer I||7||20||46|
|9||Training Specialist I||15||34||21|
|11||Operations Research Analyst I||38||11||45|
|12||Employment Law Attorney I||49||4||46|
|13||Database Administrator I||16||28||46|
|14||Tax Attorney I||55||4||46|
|15||Civil Engineer I||19||18||66|
|16||Patent Attorney I||61||4||46|
|19||Systems Administrator I||11||43||46|
|20||Drilling Engineer I||32||3||105|
|22||Electrical Engineer I||6||57||43|
|23||Credit Analyst I||47||37||10|
|24||Financial Reporting Accountant I||19||30||59|
|T-25||Network Planning Analyst I||37||20||46|
|T-25||Environmental Engineer I||22||19||83|
|27||Chemical Engineer I||17||36||68|
|T-29||Electronics Engineer I||10||66||43|
|T-29||Mine Engineer I||66||8||68|
|31||Geotechnical Engineer I||67||8||68|
|32||Benefits Administrator I||39||24||65|
|33||Logistics Analyst I||48||40||21|
|34||Mechanical Engineer I||5||70||67|
|35||Systems Engineer I||2||74||68|
|36||Biomedical Engineer I||71||14||68|
|37||Materials Engineer I||8||65||68|
|38||Consumer Loan Officer I||92||22||10|
|39||Tax Accountant I||44||30||59|
|41||Aerospace Engineer I||25||50||68|
|44||Env., Health, and Safety Engineer I||52||27||68|
|45||Hardware Engineer I||11||45||109|
|46||Industrial Engineer I||14||74||68|
|47||Safety Representative I||4||78||84|
|48||Cost Accountant I||59||30||59|
|49||Consumer Credit Analyst I||98||37||10|
|T-51||Budget Analyst I||30||92||10|
|T-51||Computer Numeric Control Machine Programmer I||86||60||5|
|53||Certified Nursing Assistant - Nursing Home Salaries||50||69||18|
|54||Network Service Representative I||69||74||8|
|55||Benefits Analyst I||29||88||21|
|56||Safety Technician I||22||61||95|
|57||Employee Relations Specialist I||52||71||21|
|58||Public Relations Specialist I||72||55||30|
|59||Installation & Maintenance Technician I||40||46||101|
|T-60||Writer I - Web||63||62||29|
|T-60||Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant||32||84||31|
|62||Technical Writer I||46||51||85|
|63||Environmental Engineering Technician I||81||53||33|
|65||Underwriter (Life) I||91||67||10|
|66||Automotive Mechanic I||45||49||97|
|T-67||Chemical Technician I||74||64||33|
|T-67||Teaching Assistant (College)||90||79||1|
|69||Landscape Architect I||83||26||91|
|70||Telecommunications Technician I||42||56||103|
|72||Computer Operator I||43||102||3|
|74||Interior Designer I||93||58||39|
|75||Accounting Clerk I||77||83||20|
|77||General Maintenance Worker I||58||62||98|
|79||Claims Adjuster I||61||80||64|
|80||Industrial Designer I||52||90||39|
|81||Systems Engineering Technician I||34||99||54|
|84||Electrical Engineering Technician I||64||86||54|
|85||Mechanical Engineering Technician I||64||93||33|
|86||Aircraft Painter I||99||81||27|
|88||Environmental Planner I||85||72||88|
|90||Electric/Electronics Technician I||68||85||93|
|91||Refinery Operator I||51||87||99|
|92||New Accounts Representative I||41||108||16|
|93||Technical Librarian I||107||77||32|
|T-94||Industrial Engineering Technician I||76||99||54|
|T-94||Mechanical Drafter I||86||93||54|
|96||Sheetmetal Mechanic I||109||35||94|
|99||Civil Engineering Technician I||84||98||54|
|100||Policy Processing Clerk||96||102||33|
|101||Tool and Die Maker I||79||97||90|
|104||Floor Assembler I||108||59||100|
|105||Architectural Drafter I||104||101||33|
|106||Electronics Assembler I||94||107||27|
|107||Claims Processing Clerk||105||102||33|
|109||Consumer Loan Servicing Clerk I||106||105||79|
WalletHub began this report by assembling a list of 109 types of entry-level jobs. We then identified 11 key metrics that speak to various aspects of the immediate opportunities, prospects for growth, and potential hazards associated with each type of job. This allowed us to ultimately construct a hierarchy for the entry-level job market that illustrates the types of jobs that should be most attractive to new labor market entrants -- particularly recent graduates -- in both the near and short term.
Following are the specific metrics and corresponding weights that we used to construct these rankings. The three overall categories in which the metrics were grouped -- Immediate Opportunities, Growth Prospects, and Hardship -- were used for organizational purposes only and had no bearing on the overall rankings.
- Median starting salary: 1
- Number of job openings: 1
- Unemployment rate: 0.5
- Education requirement: 0.5
- Projected job growth by 2022: 1
- Income growth potential: 1
- Typical on-the-job training: 1
- Median annual salary: 1
- Median tenure with employer: 0.5
- Number of fatal occupational injuries per 100.000 employees: 1
- People working over 40 hours per week: 0.5
Sources: The information used to construct this report is courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indeed.com, and Salary.com.
Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
More from The Motley Fool
Will 2018 Be Canadian Solar Inc.'s Best Year Yet?
Canadian Solar's future is bright, but it may not be public long enough to show its true potential.
What Would Happen if Your Car Could Read Your Mind?
If it’s up to Nissan, we may soon find out.
How Axon Enterprise Can Become a Home Run Stock in 2018
If the taser and body camera company's management can get its finances in sync with its growth, this laggard could rapidly become a winning stock for investors.