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Entry-level jobs: The best and the worst

Finding a job can be difficult for anyone and is something we all struggle with, especially right after college graduation.  While youth unemployment is sitting at a whopping 13.9 percent, it is hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. However, have no fear, you can find employment, whether it’s the best position out there or a nightmare job.

WalletHub, an online personal finance resource, took the time to search for the best and worst entry level jobs of 2015.  The research and findings are quite interesting and are definitely helpful when searching for a job or even deciding what to get a college degree in.  To find these helpful results, WalletHub began by compiling a list of 109 different types of entry- level occupations.  It then set up a system that identified 11 key metrics that address different levels and aspects of the immediate opportunities, prospects for growth, and potential hazards associated with each occupation.

After identifying the 11 metrics, WalletHub was then able to develop a hierarchy of the entry-level job market.  The hierarchy shows the types of jobs should be or are the most attractive to “new labor market entrants,” like college graduates, and which jobs aren’t so attractive now and in the future.  The following is a detailed explanation of the metrics and corresponding weights that WalletHub used to come up with its results:

The specific metrics and corresponding weights that we used to construct these rankings can be found below. These metrics were grouped into three overall categories: Immediate Opportunities, Growth Prospects and Hardship.

Immediate Opportunities – Total Weight: 10

-Median Starting Salary: Full Weight

-Number of Job Openings: Full Weight

-Unemployment – Rate: Full Weight

Growth Prospects – Total Weight: 10

-Projected Job Growth by 2022: Full Weight

-Income Growth Potential: Full Weight

-Typical On-the-Job Training: Half Weight

-Median Annual Salary: Full Weight -Median Tenure with Employer: Half Weight

-Occupation Viability Score (Probability to be computerized): Full Weight

Hardship – Total Weight: 5

-Number of Fatal Occupational Injuries per 100,000 Employees: Full Weight

-People Working Over 40 Hours per Week: Half Weight

The results of the study, as mentioned before, are interesting and something that should be taken into consideration when looking for an entry-level job. A few occupations that showed up on the study were surprising, and even more surprising on which side they landed on—best or worst.  A few of those jobs are Environmental Engineer, Refinery Operator, Welder and Drilling Engineer.

Now, before jumping for excitement, not all of these jobs are consider to be “the best” for an entry-level applicant.  Environmental Engineer is considered one of the best entry-level jobs out there, while a Welder is the number one worst entry-level job.  A beginning level Refinery Operator is the eighth worst job one could apply for and a Drilling Engineer has the highest starting salary but didn’t make it on the “best list.”

For those who are working in the energy industry, these are things that should be thought about when searching for work or considering secondary schooling.  With how the oil and gas industry has been affected by energy prices, not having a good starting job could be detrimental.

The following diagram, which is provided by WalletHub, shows the top five best and worst paying entry-level jobs.  As it is clearly shown, Drilling Engineer I took second place on the best paying list:

Figure provided by WalletHub's 2015's Best & Worst Entry Level Jobs Diagram. http://wallethub.com/edu/best-entry-level-jobs/3716/#methodology

Figure provided by WalletHub’s 2015’s Best & Worst Entry Level Jobs Diagram. http://wallethub.com/edu/best-entry-level-jobs/3716/#methodology

When talking about pay, many question what the potential income growth is for a job.  According to WalletHub’s findings, the top five entry-level jobs with the most income growth potential are: Employee Relations Specialist I, Consumer Loan Officer I, Geologist I, Geophysicist I and Writer I-Web.  And with those comes the top five worst income growth potential starting jobs: Claims Processing Clerk, Policy Clerk, Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant, New Accounts Representative I and Teller I.

Job growth is also something to pay attention to when searching for work.  After all, you wouldn’t want to get stuck in a job that has no potential of taking you nowhere.  WalletHub’s following diagram shows just what jobs will take you somewhere if beginning at entry-level status:

Job growth image 2

Figure provided by WalletHub’s 2015’s Best & Worst Entry Level Jobs Diagram. http://wallethub.com/edu/best-entry-level-jobs/3716/#methodology

When applying for jobs, people always say apply for anything and everything, you never know what may turn out.  Well, that advice is good, but knowing just what jobs are available frequently can be really helpful.  WalletHub found that Engineer I, Systems Engineer I, Software Engineer I, Training Specialist I and Safety Representative I positions have the most job openings of the 109 jobs it looked at.  The jobs with the least openings are: Sheetmetal Mechanic I, Aircraft Painter I, Geophysicist I, Consumer Loans Servicing Clerk I and Computer Numeric Control Machine Programmer I.

Health and safety is key when looking for a job, well… Most of the time it is.  Depending on the career or job you are searching for or applying for, knowing the hazards that come with it is very important.  WalletHub was able to find the top five most and least dangerous entry-level jobs, which are shown in the following diagram:

dangerous job 2

Figure provided by WalletHub’s 2015’s Best & Worst Entry Level Jobs Diagram. http://wallethub.com/edu/best-entry-level-jobs/3716/#methodology

Now, while most of these jobs don’t seem like they are for the oil and gas industry specifically, many of them are related in some way, shape or form.  However, of the 109 beginning jobs that WalletHub researched, several of them are actually important and needed in the industry.  The following chart is a compilation of those jobs and provides their overall rank, immediate opportunity rank, growth potential rank and hardship rank, which are all determined by WalletHub’s metric and corresponding weight system explained above.

Information for this diagram is provided by WalletHub.  Creating of diagram is credited to Piktochart.

Information for this diagram is provided by WalletHub. Creating of diagram is credited to Piktochart.

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