by David Chang, ChFC®, CLU® |Published on Sept. 9, 2022
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Looking for an entry-level job with a decent starting wage? Check these out!
- An entry-level job is usually the most junior position in an organization and is generally the starting point for those looking to launch their careers.
- These 14 entry-level jobs pay more than $20 per hour and many do not require a college degree.
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The cost of almost everything has continued to rise as we grapple with inflation. While we can't control what the Fed and government do to help solve it, we can look at how to increase our current salary or perhaps even begin looking at jobs that pay better. Don't have a college degree or much experience? Here are 14 entry-level jobs that pay more than $20 an hour and are great starting points to launch your career.
Entry-level jobs that pay more than $20/hour
|Occupation||Average base salary|
|Bookkeeper -- A bookkeeper collects, organizes, and maintains financial "books" or accounts and records.||$43,129 per year, $21.15 per hour|
|Social media specialists -- A social media specialist helps plan, develop, and deploy social media campaigns on behalf of a company.||$57,315 per year, $27.56 per hour|
|Manager trainee -- A management trainee follows a manager, supervisor, or executive to learn about their daily duties and activities.||$47,432 per year, $22.80 per hour|
|Marketing associate -- A marketing associate is an entry-level marketing professional that supports the efforts of marketing managers or directors.||$42,856 per year, $20.60 per hour|
|Installer -- An installer is responsible for installing, repairing, upgrading, and maintaining equipment for customers.||$60,718 per year, $29.19 per hour|
|Firefighter -- Firefighting is a strenuous, yet rewarding job that often only requires a high school diploma.||$47,130 per year, $22.66 per hour|
|Human resources (HR) specialist -- An HR specialist works as part of a human resources team and is responsible for explaining policies and procedures to employees, issuing and processing new hire documents, and updating employment records when employees are hired, transferred, promoted, or terminated.||$45,142 per year, $21.70 per hour|
|Customer service representative -- A customer service representative is responsible for being the liaison between a company and its customers.||$60,563 per year, $29.11 per hour|
|Paralegal -- A paralegal works for a law office and performs administrative and research tasks for attorneys.||$43,475 per year, $20.90 per hour|
|Claims adjuster -- Insurance companies hire claims adjusters to evaluate property damage and personal injury.||$60,449 per year, $29.06 per hour|
|Information technology (IT) technician -- An IT tech diagnoses computer and network problems, monitors computer systems, installs and upgrades software and hardware, and performs tests on computers and other equipment.||$51,658 per year, $24.84 per hour|
|Sales representative -- A sales representative is responsible for selling products and services to prospects and existing customers through tactics such as cold calling, email, and on-site appointments.||$73,782 per year, $35.47 per hour|
|Web developer -- A web developer designs and codes websites based on design wireframes, templates, or client instruction.||$67,649 per year, $32.52 per hour|
|Real estate agent -- Real estate agents market and sell houses in addition to helping clients navigate the process of buyer negotiations and home loans.||$105,635 per year, $50.79 per hour|
Fastest growing occupations paying over $20/hour
The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) every year. The OOH provides information on what workers do, the work environment, education and training qualifications, pay, the job outlook, and more for 324 jobs, covering about 4 out of 5 jobs in the economy. Here are the top occupations with the highest projected percent change of employment between 2020-2030.
|Occupation||Growth Rate, 2020-2030||2021 Median Pay|
|Wind turbine service technicians -- Wind turbine service technicians install, maintain, and repair wind turbines.||68%||$56,260 per year, $27 per hour|
|Nurse practitioners -- Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare.||52%||$120,680 per year, $58 per hour|
|Solar photovoltaic installers -- Solar photovoltaic (PV) installers assemble, set up, and maintain rooftop or other systems that convert sunlight into energy.||52%||$47,670 per year, $22.92 per hour|
|Agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes -- Represent and promote artists, performers, and athletes in dealings with current or prospective employers. May handle contract negotiation and other business matters for clients.||46%||$78,410 per year, $37.69 per hour|
|Costume attendants -- Select, fit, and take care of costumes for cast members, and aid entertainers. May assist with multiple costume changes during performances.||44%||$47,850 per year, $23 per hour|
|Model makers, wood -- Construct full-size and scale wooden precision models of products. Includes wood jig builders and loft workers.||39%||$60,780 per year, $28.22 per hour|
|Athletes and sports competitors -- Athletes and sports competitors participate in organized, officiated sporting events to entertain spectators.||38%||$77,300 per year, $37.16 per hour|
|Makeup artists, theatrical and performance -- Apply makeup to performers to reflect period, setting, and situation of their role.||37%||$134,750 per year, $64.78 per hour|
|Occupational therapy assistants -- Occupational therapy assistants and aides help patients develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.||36%||$61,730 per year, $29.68 per hour|
|Statisticians -- Mathematicians and statisticians analyze data and apply computational techniques to solve problems.||35%||$95,570 per year, $45.94 per hour|
|Physical therapist assistants -- Physical therapist assistants and aides are supervised by physical therapists to help patients regain movement and manage pain after injuries and illnesses.||35%||$61,180 per year, $29.41 per hour|
|Information security analysts -- Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization's computer networks and systems.||33%||$102,600 per year, $49.33 per hour|
|Film and video editors -- Film and video editors and camera operators manipulate moving images that entertain or inform an audience.||33%||$62,680 per year, $30.13 per hour|
While some of these jobs require higher education such as nurse practitioners and statisticians, most of the fastest growing jobs do not. These jobs are projected to grow faster than other occupations and pay well over $20 per hour. Like any job, you may need specific credentials and experience, but many offer entry-level opportunities that will pay generously and allow you to sock away a generous amount in your savings account while earning a living.
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About the Author
David S. Chang, ChFC®, CLU® is an award-winning entrepreneur and financial planner with over two decades of experience in the personal finance space. He is a graduate of West Point and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard. He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
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