Entry-Level Jobs that Pay Well

Jan 19, 2020

A variety of careers offer entry-level employees the chance to earn higher-than-average salaries. We'll examine some of these careers, highlighting job duties, salary, and predicted job growth.

Career Options for Entry-Level Jobs that Pay Well

Those newly entering the workforce, as well as those changing careers, can find entry-level jobs with high salaries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for all occupations in 2016 is $37,040. The positions presented in this article have a higher entry-level (i.e., between 0-5 years' experience) salary than the median annual wage for all occupations.

Job Title Median Entry-Level Salary (2019)* Job Growth (2018-2028)**
Actuaries 60,406 20%
Registered Nurses $54,046 12%
Software Developers $61,369 21%
Environmental Engineers $56,162 5%
Biomedical Engineers $61,079 4%
Pharmacists $102,160 0% (little to no change)

Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Entry-Level Jobs that Pay Well


Individuals who work as actuaries collect and analyze statistical data to determine the probability of certain major events. They use math and statistics to help insurance companies determine risk and create policies. After earning a bachelor's degree and passing a series of exams, actuaries can begin working in high-paying positions right away. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest 10 percent of all actuaries earned less than $61,140.

Registered Nurses

The demand for registered nurses in all areas of medicine continues to rise. Registered nurses work in hospitals, residential care facilities, and physician's offices. They collect patient data, provide medical care to patients using various treatments, and observe the progress of their patients. Once an individual earns the necessary education (typically an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing), licensure, and certifications, they can begin working in high-paying registered nurse positions. Entry-level registered nurses have a median salary nearly $30,000 higher than the median salary of all occupations.

Software Developers

If your skill set is more geared toward computers and technology, working as a software developer can be a fulfilling and lucrative career. Software developers are responsible for creating computer programs by writing, testing, and developing those programs. Because of the increased demand for software developers (and the highly specialized set of skills they possess), entry-level pay can be exceptional, with an annual median nearing $61,000. To work as a software developer, one must earn a bachelor's degree in computer science (or a related field) and have advanced computer skills.

Environmental Engineers

Environmental engineers use scientific and engineering principles to create solutions to some of the top environmental issues facing the planet. They also conduct studies to assess the environmental risks of future construction projects. Entry-level positions require a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering (or a related engineering degree). With an entry-level median salary of nearly $56,500, this career offers new entrants a salary significantly higher the median salary of all occupations.

Biomedical Engineers

Graduates who begin their career as a biomedical engineer are responsible for creating revolutionary health devices and equipment, while ensuring the safety and reliability of those products. Before beginning their career, these individuals must earn a bachelor's degree in bioengineering or biomedical engineering. Biomedical engineers earn a much higher entry-level salary than most other positions with a median salary $50,000 higher than the median salary of all occupations.


While a more advanced education is required to work as a pharmacist, the starting salary of entry-level pharmacist positions is significantly higher than most other careers. New pharmacists can expect a median salary nearly $40,000 higher than the median salary for all occupations. Pharmacists work to safely and accurately prepare medications for patients. They work in hospitals, healthcare facilities, and pharmacies. To become a pharmacist, one must earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, and pass his or her exams to earn a license.

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