Entry-level jobs

5 Entry-level Jobs to Make a Career Out of

5 Entry-level Jobs to Make a Career Out of
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Updated on October 25th, 2022

It may be easy to find a part-time or even full-time job fresh out of school for a graduate looking to gain some on-the-job experience. But if you’re looking for entry-level jobs that’ll help you get your foot in the door to your dream career, then extra thought should go into picking the right starting point.

Setting yourself up for success takes a little forethought about your career path’s big picture, and the roadmap of professional milestones along the way is entirely up to you. 

If you’re in a bit of a pickle, wondering where even to start looking for an entry-level job or what each term means when looking for a new career, we can help you. Not only that, we will be sharing some entry-level jobs for certain high-paying industries further into this article.

First things first, what is an entry-level job?

An entry-level job is a position that helps employees hone their skills and gain experience as a way to enter an industry. 

Simple enough, right?

Well, yes and no. Every industry has different definitions for an entry-level job. Some of them might need a degree, others require job shadowing. Some are full-time jobs, others part-time–it all varies.

The next big question may be: Why do entry-level jobs require experience?

And here’s the thing, not all entry-level jobs require experience, though there are a few that do. You wouldn’t want to be undergoing surgery with an inexperienced entry-level anesthesiologist, but you might not even notice if the medical secretary that’s booking your appointment for a general check-up is on her first day of the job. It all comes back to being realistic about the path that you want to take.

We can divide the entry-level jobs into three categories:

  • “No degree” entry-level jobs: These can be trades, technicians, retail workers–jobs where you learn “on the job.”
  • True entry-level jobs: Jobs for recent graduates that require knowledge of the subject, but the experience would be gained as you work.
  • “Professional experience required” entry-level jobs: Jobs that require more experience than just a degree.

Before you start tweaking your resume and begin to consider a career path, you need to truly understand your professional needs. What do you want to accomplish in your life? Where does that intersect with your career? What skills do you want to highlight when you start your job search? Are you somebody who would like to work in an office, or are you more of a physical work type of person?

The answers to these questions will allow you to more clearly know yourself and help you better identify what you’re looking for. Maybe you would like an entry-level remote job that’s fast-paced and competitive. Or maybe you’re looking to dip your toes into an industry before committing to the plunge. 

Well, now that you know what an entry-level job is, how do you get one?

Five tips for finding a starter job that suits you:

  1. Know yourself
  2. Know where to look
  3. Learn the keywords
  4. Beware of the red flags
  5. Keep at it

There’s a lot of give and take when navigating the path of a new career. Especially in the beginning stages when your professional network may not be as expansive or you’re unsure of what career path may be right for you. And since experience can go a long way, there are some entry-level jobs that can be a great place to start.

Consider these positions a glimpse as to what a launching point in some growing industries may look like.

Five entry-level industry jobs

gpac finance industry icon

Finance: Financial Analyst

Median annual salary: $95,570 

Median hourly wage: $45.95

Starting a Finance industry career right out of high school or college takes commitment. But when all is said and done, and your wallet is bursting at the seams, it’ll have been worth your efforts.

A financial analyst knows about insurance trends and directly impacts a business’s well-being in today’s economy and tomorrow’s. The requirements for this competitive industry position typically include a bachelor’s degree in a finance-related field and, depending on who’s hiring, certification, or licensing.

As a general rule, financial analysts can be divided into two categories: buy-side analysts and sell-side analysts. Buy-side analysts usually work with big companies, such as hedge funds and insurance companies, and they make sure to help them develop strategies for major investments. Sell-side analysts, on the other hand, usually advise financial sales agents who do the sales work for bonds, stocks, and more.

An annual salary for financial analysts ranges from $63k on the low end and a whopping $112k on the high end. With the experience, a constantly evolving network of colleagues and clients, and fruitful pay, a step upward in the Finance industry isn’t just calling out to you; it’s begging.

If you think that making your way up Wall Street is your path, then you should have some clue of where you want to go. If money makes your world go round, the finance industry is the one pumping that gas. To try and stay on top of all geographical areas is impossible, so most financial analysts only focus on a specific geographical region, industry, or product. 

Consider what kind of financial analyst you’d like to be so that you can plan the right career path for yourself. 

Types of financial analysts:

  • Financial risk specialists: They evaluate trends to predict risks and prevent financial losses.
  • Fund managers: They manage portfolios for hedge funds.
  • Investment analysts: They assess the investment data of an institution, business, or client. 
  • Portfolio managers: They make sure to select the best industries, regions, and products for the company’s portfolio.
  • Rating analysts: Rates the possibility of a company, government or any other institution being able to pay back its bonds or debt.
  • Securities analysts: Evaluates the market for high-yield assets.

If you’d like to explore different careers in the finance industry, check out this article.

gpac healthcare industry icon

Healthcare: Medical Secretary

Median yearly salary: $39,680

Median hourly wage: $19.08

Not all entry-level jobs in the Healthcare industry will lead to you becoming a doctor or a licensed specialist. As a medical secretary, however, you can familiarize yourself with the healthcare industry’s responsibilities, jargon, pace, and importance to see if it’s the right career path for you.

A medical secretary is a supportive role in the Healthcare industry that focuses on administrative, organizational, and interpersonal responsibilities. Being the first person visitors meet, communication skills are extremely valuable for this role.

Though not all medical secretaries have to be so patient-focused, the majority are. Still, medical scientists also hire secretaries and administrative assistants to transcribe dictations and prepare information for medical articles or reports. All forms of medical secretaries, though, need to understand the terminology and codes, learn how to read medical records, and become familiar with medical and hospital procedures.

This profession’s entry-level job seekers are looking at a salary ranging from $30k to just over $44k. Requiring, at minimum, a high school diploma and basic knowledge of medical terminology that will only grow over time, this position is a great stepping stone for anyone looking to build a career for themselves in this industry.

A secretary is a fulfilling occupation that requires clear decision-making skills, interpersonal skills, and really good organizational skills, but if you’re wondering where can you go from there, we’re happy to present you a couple of similar occupations to which you can branch out, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerk
  • General office clerk
  • Information clerk
  • Medical records specialist
  • Medical transcriptionist
gpac construction industry icon

Construction: Laborer

Median yearly salary: $37,520

Median hourly wage: $18.04

Many trades in construction are in demand and pay well. The industry itself is fairly easy to get into through apprenticeship programs and entry-level positions that provide on-the-job training. With grit and a willingness to take on the need for laborers, this no-experience-needed job is an opportunistic launching pad for a career in construction.

This is a job for mavericks. Construction laborers work every stage of all types of construction–from up in the heights, to digging foundation columns. Job sites vary from busy roads to all out in the woods. But don’t worry, this trade will allow you to pick up many skills, not just tools. Road workers, for example, may specialize in traffic control, while other types of workers may get certified for operating machines or explosives, and even asbestos, chemical, and lead removal.

All of the labor required of a construction laborer earns a salary ranging from $30k to $50k. And because many job sites are outdoors without the security of four walls, the beginning stages in this line of work involve simple and safe responsibilities that can be built upon later. Though not yet a skilled trade, it’s an easy transition to one after testing the waters and finding the right mentorship.

If you’re interested in job shadowing experiences, by becoming a construction helper, you’d get a taste of different professions in which you can start tracing a career path that suits you. Some industry jobs that you can start aiming towards can be mason, carpenter, roofer, pipelayer; but if your aim is higher, you can even get into some of the highest-paid construction jobs:

Top 3 highest-paid construction jobs

1. Elevator and escalator installers and repairers: $97,860

2. Civil engineers: $88,050

3. Architects: $80,180

gpac legal services industry icon

Legal: Law Clerk

Median yearly salary: $61,665

Median hourly wage: $30.16

There are a couple of different pathways to landing a new career in the legal industry. One, in particular, is by becoming a law clerk.

Another vital supportive role of a growing industry, this entry-level job takes clerical work to the next level with experience in legal analysis, document review, and case management. A day job shadowing and assisting an attorney is the perfect starting point for someone hoping to obtain that title for themselves down the line. 

Depending on your location, requirements include pursuing a law degree and passing the state bar exam. Thankfully, that expensive tuition price tag can be offset by an average salary of $61k. The heavy amounts of studying, observing, and practicing require focus and determination. But if you’re committed to a legal career path, then you most likely already have those coveted industry traits.

If you’re interested in the ins and outs of those that went to law school, you can follow in their footsteps and start aiming toward one of the most profitable careers that help the public interest. Depending on the area of law that you want to practice, your income can go into the median six figure annual salary.

recruitment agencies

Recruitment: Search Consultant

Median yearly salary: $62,290

Median hourly wage: $29.95

The best starter jobs know that time is money, and recruitment is all about urgency. Do you know what else this $150 billion industry is about? Making connections. Using their strong network to fill open positions with the talent companies are looking for and need for the job, search consultants have a pulse on the changing workforce. 

Even though recruiters fall into human resources, this particular career is open to anyone, not just those who have a bachelor’s degree. As a people-first career, it is important to note that those who have the interpersonal skills and drive to put themselves out there can start creating a name for themselves with no need to invest four years into college.

If helping others find their dream job isn’t rewarding enough, the pay is more than appealing. An average search consultant, or recruiter, salary is about $52k. At gpac, recruiters are able to treat their job as if running their own business, allowing for unlimited earning potential and an average salary of about $157k.

Not only that, people from all walks of life and in every step of their career are welcome to the team. Even if you’re a total job-market rookie or you’ve had experience in a particular industry, our top trainers will teach you all the tools and skills of this craft. You’ll get a team that will take you under their wing, and you’ll be able to speak to the top players in this game. From your very first deal, you’ll be earning and building your very own recruitment empire. This is one of the best starter jobs that will allow you to work from home or wherever you want with the laptop lifestyle.

If you’re wondering if becoming a recruiter is the right move for you, you may want to ask yourself these five questions before taking the plunge:

  1. Are you disciplined and self-driven?
  2. How do you feel about remote work?
  3. Do you feel passionate about helping others?
  4. Are you looking for professional growth and development?
  5. Are your financial goals attainable by your career goals?

The career path you end up on in the near or distant future doesn’t have to be decided at this point in time. However, if there’s a specific industry that’s piqued your interest, then your job search for entry-level jobs should be more guided. Pinning down your career goals will give you a better idea of what starting point is best for your employment journey.

If you want to learn more about becoming a gpac recruiter or could benefit from using a recruiter with finding your new or next career, speak to a gpac Talent Acquisitionist today!

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Contributed by Mary Dominguez and Ana Martinez

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