12 Entry-Level Jobs with Big Earning Potential

Posted July 12, 2013 by
Dawn Dugan

Dawn Dugan, Salary.com contributing writer

No one ever promised you were going to graduate from college and, degree hot off the press, land yourself a job as CFO. But in today’s job market, where competition is particularly keen, it seems as if even the mediocre jobs are few and far between.

Before you relegate yourself to flipping burgers, check out the 12 jobs we’ve listed here. These jobs, while appropriate for recent college grads looking to enter the work place, have reasonable starting salaries and excellent growth potential.

Graphic Designer

Designs and creates graphics for advertisements, logos, packaging, etc. for organizations and media.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, preferably in art, graphic design, or a related field.

Do You Have What It Takes? You are creative and artistic. You work well independently, but also take direction well. You care about presenting products and services in their best light.

Earnings Potential and Advancement: Entry-level workers earn a median salary of $46K. Graphic designers with experience can work their way up to the position of Art Director.

Check out Graphic Designer Salaries as well as other related graphic art careers with similar pay.

Graphic Designer Jobs

Financial Analyst

Analyze financial information for banks, insurance companies, securities firms, and other businesses.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance, math, economics, accounting, or business management.

Do You Have What It Takes? You love crunching numbers and analyzing data, and using math to implement solutions to complex problems.

Earnings Potential and Advancement: Entry-level workers earn a median salary of $47.1K. Opportunity for advancement is excellent, with many organizations picking up the tab for training programs, education, testing, and licensure.

Click here for Financial Analyst Salaries, as well as other related careers in financial services.

Financial Analyst Jobs

Sales Representative

Sells products and services.

Education: Bachelor’s degree. Some companies require a degree in an area relevant to the product or service you are selling, while others desire personal experience.

Do You Have What It Takes? You are competitive, outgoing, and could sell ice to an Eskimo.

Earnings Potential and Advancement: Entry-level sales representatives have median earnings of $54.4K, including salary and bonuses. Those with good track records can eventually become sales managers and directors.

Find out more about Sales Salaries and also this list of high income sales careers.

Sales Representative Jobs


Write advertising copy to be used in all types of media.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in communication, media studies, public relations, journalism, or English.

Do You Have What It Takes? You’re creative, good with words, and you know what motivates people. You’re comfortable working as part of a team, and have terrific listening and communication skills.

Earnings Potential and Advancement: Entry-level copywriters make a median salary of $41.8K. There’s high growth potential in this career, with those who work their way up developing and managing entire advertising campaigns.

Find out more about copywriters, and also check out these related media fields with similar pay.

Copywriter Jobs

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