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Career Advice for Job Seekers

7 Hot Entry-Level Jobs for Recent Grads

William Frierson AvatarWilliam Frierson
June 23, 2014

Andrea Fisher

Andrea Fisher

It’s challenging to find a well-paying job right out of college. Even though the economy has bounced back in the past couple of years, it’s hard to find industries that are hiring and offer competitive salaries. To make the most of your diploma, the job search is all about knowing which industries to target.

According to a recent salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the average college graduate makes about $45,473. Fortunately, there are a number of positions that are frequently hiring— and their starting salaries are well within the national starting average.

Here are 7 hot entry-level positions for college graduates to pursue:

1. Registered Nurse

If one profession is virtually recession-proof, it’s in healthcare. RNs are the backbones of many clinics and hospitals throughout the country. They are responsible for handling various medical emergencies, observing patients, conducting diagnostic tests and many other vital tasks.

Right now, there are approximately over 2.6 million registered nurses throughout the U.S. and their numbers are expected to rise significantly. Becoming a RN requires a Bachelor of Science in Nursing along with a license.

Median Entry Level Salary: $52,454
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022): 19 percent (above average)

2. Construction Manager

Construction managers oversee construction projects from start to finish. By working onsite, they are able to personally monitor a project’s daily progress, oversee contractors and ensure safety regulations. In addition, they also manage the construction budget and get appropriate zoning and licenses.

Becoming a construction manager requires having a bachelor’s degree in business, construction management or engineering. It will likely also require some previous experience in construction— whether as an internship or as a previous job.

Median Entry Level Salary: $52,113
Projected Growth Outlook (2012-2022): 16 percent (above average)

3. Entry-Level Web Application Developer

Web application developers use computer codes and programs to create and manage websites for companies and organizations. Knowledge in HTML, Flash, CSS, PHP and other computer codes is a must-have. In addition to knowing these, becoming a web application developer requires a Bachelor’s degree in web design or computer science. As online and mobile marketing continues to expand, web application developers will be in high demand.

Median Entry Level Salary: $52,121
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022): 20 percent (above average)

4. Financial Analyst

A financial analyst’s primary role is to make financial investments for their clients. They study business and economic trends and later advise clients to buy or sell specific investments. Financial analysts work out of investment banks, mutual funds and security companies. Strong candidates for this position have a BA in business, accounting, finance and other similar degrees.

Median Entry Level Salary: $51,609
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022): 16 percent (above average)

5. Entry-Level Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

An accountant does more than prepare and file taxes for companies once a year; their primary job is to examine the financial information of individuals, businesses and governments. It involves organizing financial records, budget keeping and making sure financial statements are compliant with the law.
To become a certified public accountant, you’ll need a BA in either accounting or business. Candidates must also pass a four-part national CPA exam.

Median Entry Level Salary: $50,645
Projected Growth Outlook (2012-2022):  13 percent (average)

6. Business Banker

A business banker meets with business owners who are looking to take out a loan. They analyze a company’s financials, negotiate the terms of a loan and also manage any future account issues. Having good customer service skills is essential…along with being able to pay close attention to financial details. Business bankers typically have a degree in business, finance or economics.

Median Entry Level Salary $49,000
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022): 8 percent (average)

7. Technical Writer

Businesses around the globe need writers to translate technical information. As products are produced, companies look to technical writers to translate technical information (i.e.: instruction manuals) for the general public to understand. To become a technical writer, degrees in English, communications and other related degrees are preferred.

Median Entry Level Salary: $45,669
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022): 15 percent (above average)

For recent grads, it’s time to take advantage of the industries that are hiring. These entry-level positions open the door to promising careers and provide salaries that are well above national average. The first step is submitting your resume.

Salary Data and projections from Payscale and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Andrea Fisher is an online marketer and content specialist for Digital TV Bundles. She is a published journalist and blogger with an English degree and Political Science minor from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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