Jobs and the Future of Work

2016's best entry-level jobs

An engineer checks machinery used to extract lead concentrate from ore at the Novoangarsky lead and zinc ore dressing plant on a former riverbed of Angara river near the Siberian settlement of Novoangars, Russia, August 17, 2016. Picture taken August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

The best entry-level jobs for the class of 2016. Image: REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Jacquelyn Smith
Careers Editor, Business Insider
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Future of Work

If you graduated this past spring and are still trying to figure out what you want to do with your life, don't fret.

To help those entering the job market figure out where the greatest opportunities lie, personal-finance site WalletHub used data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, Indeed.com, and Salary.com to find the best and worst entry-level jobs.

To compile its ranking, WalletHub analyzed 109 entry-level occupations to determine their immediate opportunity, growth potential, and job hazards. It assessed these factors based on 11 metrics, including median starting salary, unemployment rate, projected job growth by 2024, income-growth potential, probability of the job being replaced by a computer, and number of fatal occupational injuries.

Each of the 11 metrics were given a value between 0 and 100 — 100 represents the most favorable conditions for a specific entry-level position and 0 the least. WalletHub thencalculated the score for each position using the weighted average across all metrics and ranked the jobs accordingly. Read more about the methodology here.

Below are the 16 best entry-level jobs for the class of 2016:

16. Industrial engineer

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $62,812

Immediate opportunity rank: 27

Growth potential rank: 50

Job hazards rank: 38

15. Aerospace engineer

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $68,613

Immediate opportunity rank: 33

Growth potential rank: 29

Job hazards rank: 38

14. Certified nursing assistant

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $25,392

Immediate opportunity rank: 25

Growth potential rank: 56

Job hazards rank: 24

13. Chemical engineer

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $70,586

Immediate opportunity rank: 28

Growth potential rank: 1

Job hazards rank: 38

12. Electronics engineer

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $67,524

Immediate opportunity rank: 22

Growth potential rank: 39

Job hazards rank: 36

11. Web designer

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $53,849

Immediate opportunity rank: 40

Growth potential rank: 13

Job hazards rank: 13

10. Architect

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $47,540

Immediate opportunity rank: 16

Growth potential rank: 15

Job hazards rank: 57

9. Training specialist

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $49,011

Immediate opportunity rank: 2

Growth potential rank: 42

Job hazards rank: 80

8. Software engineer

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $63,924

Immediate opportunity rank: 4

Growth potential rank: 26

Job hazards rank: 79

7. Safety technician

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $39,990

Immediate opportunity rank: 6

Growth potential rank: 38

Job hazards rank: 61

6. Electrical engineer

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $65,976

Immediate opportunity rank: 14

Growth potential rank: 23

Job hazards rank: 36

5. Environmental, health, and safety engineer

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $54,841

Immediate opportunity rank: 10

Growth potential rank: 43

Job hazards rank: 38

4. Web-applications developer

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $56,299

Immediate opportunity rank: 20

Growth potential rank: 13

Job hazards rank: 18

3. Safety representative

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $57,067

Immediate opportunity rank: 1

Growth potential rank: 67

Job hazards rank: 56

2. Systems engineer

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $66,935

Immediate opportunity rank: 3

Growth potential rank: 60

Job hazards rank: 38

1. Engineer

Median annual salary (at the entry level): $63,262

Immediate opportunity rank: 5

Growth potential rank: 25

Job hazards rank: 38

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