Getting a job fresh out of college isn’t as easy as it used to be. Most recent grads are in for a tough time unless they work in a massively in-demand field. And even if you do get a job right out of college, the salary for your chosen profession can be woeful in many cities. But here are five entry-level jobs that are not only extremely necessary right now but also pay big bucks. Are you qualified?
Median annual pay: $60,530
This is a great job if you have excellent customer service skills. Not only is the industry projected to grow by 7 percent, you might not even need a four-year degree. This kind of sales representative doesn’t work in your traditional retail job. Instead, they sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies and other large organizations. They still do all the customer service things that come along with working in a department store: contacting customers, explaining the product, answering any questions and discussing price, but they do it on a massive scale. This job may involve some travel, however, so keep that in mind.
2. Financial Analyst
Median Annual Salary: $47,100
If you’re math-minded, this could be the job for you. Financial analysts do exactly what it sounds like—analyze and deconstruct financial data for businesses. While you will need a bachelor’s degree in math, finance, accounting or a similar major, many companies will sponsor you as you advance in your career, paying for future schooling or licensure.
3. Registered Nurse
Median Annual Salary: $68,450
This job requires either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in nursing, plus a licensing exam. But with the U.S. on the verge of a crippling nursing shortage, the industry is projected to grow at a rate of 16 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than average. If you have a strong stomach and a great bedside manner, nursing may be the profession for you.
4. Web Developer
Median Annual Salary: $66,130
If you have a mind for coding and love the aesthetics of a website, this is the job for you. You’ll be in charge of designing the exterior of a website, making it not only attractive but functional. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or IT, as well as a sharp eye for design. As our world grows increasingly digital, however, your skills will be in demand. The field is growing at an astounding rate of 27 percent.
5. Wind Turbine Technician
Median Annual Salary: $52,260
This sounds like an odd profession, but the renewable energy market is an extremely fast-growing one, and these jobs are in impossibly high demand. In fact, demand has increased a whopping 108 percent (!!!). Of course, this does require you to live, or move to, a place with a wind farm, as you’ll be the person in charge of installing, repairing and maintaining the turbines. Technically, you don’t even need a degree for this job, though it would be helpful to have some background engineering and mechanical expertise.