10 Cool Jobs That Start at $50K

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There's more to life than money -- that's for sure. Even so, it doesn't hurt to launch your career with a ground-floor salary that can pay the rent and student loans with a little spending money to spare. Not to mention that a higher starting salary can mean a better compensation throughout your career. The PayScale.com Salary Survey has identified these ten exciting jobs that offer total compensation packages close to or above an impressive $50,000 per year right from the start.

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1. Investment Banking Analyst

If you are good with numbers and solving real-world problems, this job pays handsomely in the early years and has strong long-term earning potential.

Typical Starting Salary:$59,084

Who's Hiring:Investment Banking Analysts


2. Business Analyst, Computer Software

Data mining is a new and hot field with strong career potential. Normally used by financial institutions such as banks, data miners sort through vast amounts of information that help companies make the best use of the information in their data warehouses. Masters degrees in computer science, physics, or statistics are usually required.

Typical Starting Salary:$50,727

Who's Hiring:Business Analysts


3. Forensic Computer Analyst

Computer forensics is the analysis of information contained within and created with computer systems and computing devices. These analysts investigate causes of computer meltdowns, who has misused a computer system, or how someone committed a crime. These professionals are quite popular in white-collar criminal investigations.

Typical Starting Salary:$51,852

Who's Hiring:Forensic Computer Analysts


4. Junior Associate Attorney

The financial scales of justice certainly tip toward the side of the average attorney. And just after five years experience the average salary jumps to $89,210. Depending on the field of specialty, the long-term earning potential is almost limitless. Big-shot lawyers like Senator John Edwards (malpractice) and celebrity criminal defense attorney Mark Gerago have cleaned up millions in their careers.

Typical Starting Salary:$52,678

Who's Hiring:Junior Associate Attorneys


5. Physical Therapist

If anatomy is your thing, physical therapy may be your path to greener pastures. PTs can even specialize in areas such as hand or back therapy to boost their marketability – and salary potential.

Typical Starting Salary:$52,573

Who's Hiring:Physical Therapists


6. Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)

Nursing opportunities never seem to go out of style and neither does demand in this area. If a doctor cannot squeeze you in for an appointment, chances are there is a nurse practitioner standing by in his place. While nurse practitioners don't command the big bucks that physicians do, their services certainly don't come cheap.

Typical Starting Salary:$67,166

Who's Hiring:Nurse Practitioners


7. Electrical Engineer

It is easy to do the math on how marketable engineers are. Companies dig deep to lure young electrical engineers and other subspecialties across the board. Electrical engineers focus on using electricity to transmit energy. Payscale.com shows that experienced electrical engineers earn an average of $81,078.

Typical Starting Salary:$54,401

Who's Hiring:Electrical Engineers


8. Software Engineer

Software engineers design, write, and test computer programs. Computer networking and information technology are hot fields that are here to stay.

Typical Starting Salary:

Who's Hiring:Software Engineers


9. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

You don't have to be a physician or even science major to make big bucks in medicine. Just about anyone with a college degree and a killer personality can be trained in pharmaceutical sales. These professionals make sales calls to doctors' offices hoping to convince the doctors to prescribe the latest drugs made by the pharmaceutical company they represent. Seasoned pros can make six-figures in this field.

Typical Starting Salary:$51,104

Who's Hiring:Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives


10. Veterinarian

Do you love animals? Veterinarians can combine a passion for their warm, furry friends with great earning power. With growing animal research and interest in pet care, veterinarian medicine is bound to be a popular profession for years to come.

Typical Starting Salary:$59,084

Who's Hiring:Veterinarians


No matter what your skill, passion, or personality, the job market offers numerous professions that also have above-average starting salaries. Just keep your eyes open and reach for the green.

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