Work From Home

18 High Paying Entry Level Jobs Both Online and Off

If you’ve just graduated college and are looking for a job, or if you’re planning to switch careers but are undecided about which career to switch over to, this list of high-paying entry-level jobs should help you decide.

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If a career path is a flight of stairs, entry-level jobs are usually at the bottom as the starting point, with few responsibilities but plenty of basic tasks and training for more complex ones so you can move on to the next step.

It’s hard to imagine being paid more than the minimum wage for your first job, but this isn’t always the case. You just need to know what they are and where to find them.

Some of these jobs don’t even require a college degree, so if you’re at least a high school graduate or have a GED, you may still be considered.

Here is a list of high-paying entry-level jobs, with salary information compiled from various job sites and survey data.

High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs You Can Do From Home

1. Mobile Applications Developer

Average Starting Salary: $73,500 a year
Degree Required: No

If you love creating mobile apps and have coding experience, you can be an application developer straight from the comfort of your own home.

The only downside to working from home as an app developer is the lack of colleagues helping you out, but hey, that’s where Google is for, right? You can find dozens of forums specific to app development.

2. Financial Analyst

Average Starting Salary: $61,600 a year
Degree Required: Yes

As an independent contractor financial analyst, you examine financial data to help companies and individuals make business decisions, such as investing, profit/loss, and so on.

You should complete a degree in economics, statistics, or finance before beginning a career as a financial analyst. You also must have exceptional quantitative and problem-solving skills.

The profession is also expected to grow about 11% between 2016 and 2026, so if you’re just starting out now, there’s hope to bring in more money once you go past entry-level.

3. Actuarial Analysts

Average Starting Salary: $60,300 a year
Degree Required: Yes

Those who are knowledgeable about the insurance industry and business can make a living quantifying risk with statistics, probabilities, and financial concepts to define a monetary value on an event that may or may not occur in the future.

Actuarial analysts are actuaries-in-training. And you can be a freelancer with insurance providers calculating premiums.

Having a degree in business, statistics, finance, or economics can be a huge advantage in doing your job.

4. Real Estate Broker

Average Starting Salary: $56,200 a year
Degree Required: No

If you’re good with persuasive communication and love talking to people, you can become a real estate broker even without a degree. College degrees are preferred, but definitely not required.

You do need to have a state license and certification, as well as local permits to buy and sell properties for other people. But even if you’ll need to invest in your licensure, this job is definitely fulfilling to those who excel in sales. Plus, the demand for brokers is always high.

5. Animator

Average Starting Salary: $55,200 a year
Degree Required: No

The starting salary of animators depends largely on two things: the artist’s skill and the industry they decide to work in.

The highest-paid animators are the ones who work in the movie industry, followed by those in advertising and then those in tech companies. Most animator jobs are self-employed and work on a per-project basis.

Note that your skill in 2D or 3D animation, as well as how your work fulfills the vision of the company will reflect your starting salary. If you create one-of-a-kind special effects for a TV show, then you’d most likely take home a higher pay.

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6. Paralegal

Average Starting Salary: $48,900 a year
Degree Required: Yes

Paralegals are employed by lawyers, law firms, and legal departments of companies and organizations to do research for cases.

They also draft legal documents such as pleadings and motions to file at the court and assist lawyers during trials.

Paralegals are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, or if you have a bachelor’s degree in another field, you’d need a paralegal certificate.

7. Social Media Specialist

Average Starting Salary: $45,300 a year
Degree Required: No

A social media specialist is responsible for developing marketing, advertising, and customer service strategies through social media.

Companies don’t normally require bachelor’s degrees for social media specialists, but having a bachelor’s degree in marketing or communications can certainly be an advantage.

8. Bookkeeper

Average Starting Salary: $43,600 a year
Degree Required: No

For some people, keeping the books of their family business is how they began learning the trade. Interestingly, you don’t even need to become a CPA to become a professional bookkeeper.

You just need to learn the basics through online courses or short courses at your local community college.

As a work-from-home bookkeeper, you can target fellow online entrepreneurs, small business owners, and other non-traditional individuals as clients. Even freelancers need their books done each year, so it’s up to you to market your services and earn anywhere between $34k to $70k a year.

Runners-Up

The following work-from-home jobs can’t be considered high-paying entry-level jobs, since your salary would depend largely on your skill. However, these can be high-paying if you’re at the top of your game.

  • Event Planner — You don’t need to have a degree to plan events, but if you make it big and become popular, you can earn big bucks. You can stick with a single specialization (like children’s parties), or go with everything from corporate events to weddings. Event planning isn’t 100% done from home, since you do have to be at the events you’ve planned, but your office could very well manage the daily operations of an event planning business.
  • Copywriting — Writing spans across various industries (check out these weird, but legit writing jobs) and the need for copy is high for web development, advertising, and other creative industries. You can have no degree and still land high-paying writing jobs, even if you’re a beginner. You just have to know where to look.
  • Photography — You must have the eye and skills to succeed in photography as you enter the industry, but you can earn significantly even without formal education. Your salary would also depend on the kind of photos you prefer to focus on: events, magazines, advertising, and so on.
  • Consulting — For those who are extremely knowledgeable about a specific topic, consulting is big business wherever you go. Guide someone on how to make it big at affiliate marketing, or become the advisor for someone planning to invest money in the stock market. Whatever your expertise may be, there is a huge chance someone is looking exactly for what you’re offering. And they’re willing to pay to pick your brain for it.

High-Paying Office-Based Entry-Level Jobs

1. Data Scientist

Average Starting Salary: $96,400 a year
Degree Required: No

I first wrote in 2018 how being a data scientist has been the hottest career (since 2012), and it continues to be the top choice for entry-level jobs.

While some companies are offering this position with flexible remote/work-from-home options, your workstation at home must be fully equipped to handle sensitive information. Crunching numbers and data requires secured networks.

2. Software Engineer

Average Starting Salary: $86,800 a year
Degree Required: Yes

Software engineers build games, programs, and operating software that you use on your computer. Armed with programming languages and engineering principles, software engineers are integral to the tech industry.

You need a ton of educational training and skills to perform the job of a software engineer. You must be an expert in software design, software testing, software debugging, software documentation, and so on.

Aside from having a high starting salary for entry-level positions, the job outlook for software engineers continues to be high, with a 22% expected increase from 2019 to 2029.

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3. Systems Engineer

Average Starting Salary: $80,300 a year
Degree Required: Yes

There will be a wide-ranging number of industries that could hire you as a systems engineer. From software development to civil engineering, robotics, and even newer niches like nanotechnology requires system engineers to develop and monitor system performance.

“Systems” is a very broad term and can mean anything from bridges to computer chips, spaceships, and so on.

As you guessed, you’ll need a degree, preferably in computer science or software engineering, to land an entry-level systems engineer position.

4. UX Designer

Average Starting Salary: $76,500 a year
Degree Required: Yes

I talked about the importance of user experience (UX) in web design and SEO in the past, but being a UX designer is definitely a lot more complicated.

Simply put, UX involves research, A/B testing, design, mapping, and various processes to improve a user’s experience on a website, within an app, while using a computer program, or other processes.

It may sound simple, but aside from having the technical skills to understand the design of a computer program, UX designers should also have the creative eye and strong research skills to find out what users think of the project.

This is probably the reason why UX designers have high salaries, even for entry-level positions. Plus, the addition of phone apps to this industry means that the demand for UX designers will continue for years to come.

5. Java Developer

Average Starting Salary: $75,300 a year
Degree Required: No

Those who have programming backgrounds with expertise in Java, data structures, computer architecture, etc. will have a fruitful career as a Java developer.

Traditionally, you’ll need to get a degree and specialize in Java, but with all the online resources available today, you can self-study and become an expert in programming with Java.

6. Software Developer

Average Starting Salary: $72,000 a year
Degree Required: Yes

Software developers are the backbone of the tech world and most businesses. These programmers are responsible for designing, installing, testing, re-writing, maintaining, documenting, and troubleshooting software systems.

Software developers ensure online shops are fully functional and secure for our credit cards to process. They build POS systems, transportation systems, and many more. As such, they are employed in IT, corporations, public organizations, start-ups, and every other industry sector you can think of.

Entry-level software developers can land a job right after completing a degree. They just need to be proficient with Java, C++, Linux, .NET, Visual Basic, Oracle, and PHP.

7. Physical Therapist

Average Starting Salary: $71,600 a year
Degree Required: Yes

You’ll need several years to complete physical therapy coursework and on-the-job training, but once you’re certified to work as a physical therapist, the salary isn’t too bad for an entry-level position.

This job can be physically taxing with most hours of the shift on your feet, so be prepared. Many physical therapists do find the job fulfilling since they help patients recover from surgery, injuries, and illnesses.

8. Business Analyst

Average Starting Salary: $69,200 a year
Degree Required: Yes

Business analysts help businesses in researching, planning, developing, and assisting in the implementation of information technology solutions within the company. Specific tasks vary between jobs and the industry.

If you’re interested in this job, you can become a business analyst even with a two-year degree in any business-related course.

9. Investment Banking Analyst

Average Starting Salary: $67,900 a year
Degree Required: Yes

As an investment banking analyst, you are consulted by individuals and companies whenever they plan to invest in specific firms. Investment banking analysts can specialize in industries like tech, healthcare, finance, or manufacturing. They are up-to-date with market trends, since they study, develop and maintain investments on behalf of their clients.

While “investment banking analyst” is considered an entry-level position, the compensation doesn’t reflect it. You also don’t stay in this position longer than 3 years, especially if you’re good at your job, since you can easily go up the ladder and land senior roles in this profession.

10. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

Average Starting Salary: $64,600 a year
Degree Required: No

This is a bit different from the tech jobs listed here, but if you’re near a nuclear power plant and interested in working there, why not try your luck applying for a nuclear power reactor operator job?

You don’t need a college degree, but you do have to pass a certification test so you’re guaranteed to handle nuclear reactors, perform routine maintenance and manage nuclear power production processes.

The high entry-level salary is most likely due to the risk involved in this job.

High Paying Entry Level Jobs Aren’t Hard to Find

Your first entry-level job, or your first entry-level job after switching careers or rejoining the workforce, may be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make.

I hope this list of high-paying entry-level jobs has given you some options to consider.

If you’ve graduated college, or almost graduating, I hope this list dispels the notion that all entry-level jobs pay only minimum wage.

While you’re applying and waiting for callbacks, check out our list of online jobs for college students or this long list of side hustles to earn some pocket money.

Are you considering applying to any of these high-paying entry-level jobs? Did I miss anything? Tell us in the comments!

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