Best Places for Entry-Level Jobs

Entry-level jobs are most workers' first forays into the professional world. Few of us went from unemployed to high-ranking employee overnight. In fact, unless your family name is displayed on a skyscraper, an entry-level job is unavoidable.

Although employers decide which positions in their organizations are entry-level, they usually define them as jobs requiring two years of experience or less. These positions can come with various education requirements, ranging from some schooling up to completion of a bachelor's degree, depending on the industry.

In their book "200 Best Jobs for College Graduates, 4th Edition," Laurence Shatkin and Michael Farr list some of the best entry-level jobs available. Shatkin and Farr looked for jobs with a high concentration of workers between 20 and 24 years old. They looked beyond what the starting salaries are and sought careers that have potential for growth and higher salaries in the future.

Of course, entry-level jobs aren't merely for the early 20-somethings, so don't think the list can't apply to you if you're outside of that age range. For example, many workers are switching careers in this economy because their industry isn't thriving. Many veteran workers realize that they've spent years in the wrong field, return to school, get a degree and find themselves starting over again.

For anyone looking for an entry-level position, we wanted to make your search a little easier. We took some of the best entry-level jobs, according to Shatkin and Farr, and determined where the best salaries are offered, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here are eight entry-level jobs with high earning potential, their average beginning salaries and the areas that offer the best long-term pay.

1. Computer hardware engineers - $48,750

2. Actuaries - $48,750

3. Sales agents, securities and commodities - $30,890

4. Network systems and data communications analysts - $40,100

5. Agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes - $30,780

6. Logisticians - $38,280

7. Chemists - $36,810

8. Market research analysts - $33,310

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Anthony Balderrama is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Follow him on Twitter at

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