The best and worst entry-level jobs

Tori Floyd
Editor

If you’re a new grad or know someone who is, chances are you’re on the lookout for that dream position: one that pays well, offers flexible working hours, and has plenty of room for upward mobility.

…you probably won’t find that right out of the gate, unsurprisingly. But you will find that some jobs will offer better opportunities than others.

Recently, U.S.-based credit solutions website WalletHub released its annual list of the best and worst entry-level jobs. Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, Indeed.com and Salary.com, WalletHub ranked on 12 different factors in three categories:

• ‘Immediate Opportunity’ assessed median starting salary, number of job openings, and unemployment rate.

• Growth Potential’ assessed occupation viability score (the chances of being replaced by a computer), projected job growth, income growth potential, how typical on-the-job training is, median annual salary, median tenure with employer, and occupation schedule flexibility.

• ‘Job Hazards’ assessed fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 employees in the past three years, and the typicality of working more than 40 hours a week.

Each of the 109 jobs included in the study was given points based on their performance compared to that criteria, and ranked within each of the three top-level categories. The jobs also received a total score based on the individual criteria, giving each job a total score out of 100.

Click through to see the 10 highest ranking and 10 lowest ranking entry-level positions based on total score.

Best and worst entry-level jobs

Looking for an entry-level job? Here’s a look at which ones rank highest for opportunities, growth potential and minimization of hazards, and which ones rank lowest.
(International Business Times)

Highest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 10: Chemical Engineer I
Total Score: 65.11
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 31
Growth Potential Rank: 13
Job Hazards Rank: 40
(Getty)

Highest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 9: Electronics Engineer I
Total Score: 65.74
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 23
Growth Potential Rank: 24
Job Hazards Rank: 38
(GeekWire)

Highest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 8: Software Engineer I
Total Score: 66.45
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 4
Growth Potential Rank: 22
Job Hazards Rank: 79
(Getty)

Highest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 7: Training Specialist I
Total Score: 66.76
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 2
Growth Potential Rank: 26
Job Hazards Rank: 80
(Reuters)

Highest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 6: Safety Representative I
Total Score: 67.11
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 1
Growth Potential Rank: 57
Job Hazards Rank: 60
(Reuters)

Highest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 5: Electrical Engineer I
Total Score: 67.28
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 14
Growth Potential Rank: 20
Job Hazards Rank: 38
(Realtor.com)

Highest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 4: Web Applications Developer I
Total Score: 68.11
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 21
Growth Potential Rank: 15
Job Hazards Rank: 22
(Getty)

Highest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 3: Architect I
Total Score: 70.46
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 7
Growth Potential Rank: 9
Job Hazards Rank: 56
(Getty)

Highest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 2: Systems Engineer I
Total Score: 74.89
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 3
Growth Potential Rank: 32
Job Hazards Rank: 40
(Getty)

Highest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 1: Engineer I
Total Score: 75.08
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 5
Growth Potential Rank: 20
Job Hazards Rank: 40
(Getty)

Lowest-ranked entry level jobs

And the 10 worst…
No. 100: Sheetmetal Mechanic I
Total Score: 37.65
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 108
Growth Potential Rank: 76
Job Hazards Rank: 58
(Reuters)

Lowest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 101: Machinist I
Total Score: 35.32
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 95
Growth Potential Rank: 78
Job Hazards Rank: 98
(Getty)

Lowest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 102: Carpenter I
Total Score: 35.32
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 22
Growth Potential Rank: 72
Job Hazards Rank: 103
(Reuters)

Lowest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 103: Aircraft Painter I
Total Score: 35.13
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 90
Grown Potential Rank: 97
Job Hazards Rank: 84
(Getty)

Lowest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 104: Automotive Mechanic I
Total Score: 34.43
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 75
Growth Potential Rank: 75
Job Hazards Rank: 102
(Reuters)

Lowest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 105: Tool and Die Maker I
Total Score: 32.68
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 74
Growth Potential Rank: 98
Job Hazards Rank: 100
(Getty)

Lowest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 106: Plumber I
Total Score: 32.10
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 107
Growth Potential Rank: 52
Job Hazards Rank: 103
(Reuters)

Lowest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 107: Boilermaker I
Total Score: 30.64
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 93
Growth Potential Rank: 71
Job Hazards Rank: 103
(The West Australian)

Lowest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 108: Floor Assembler I
Total Score: 30.43
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 109
Growth Potential Rank: 87
Job Hazards Rank: 65
(Reuters)

Lowest-ranked entry level jobs

No. 109: Welder I
Total Score: 26.31
Immediate Opportunity Rank: 72
Growth Potential Rank: 100
Job Hazards Rank: 103
(Reuters)