Last Updated on June 29, 2021
Simon Sinek, business leadership guru, and founder of the ‘’What’s your Why” concept, often relays this message during his leadership and management seminars: “You don't hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.”
As a youngster who perhaps just finished high school or a proud recent graduate, do you sometimes feel a bit fed up and despondent following decline notifications from your numerous job applications?
It’s a bit of a conundrum right: Can’t find a job because they want to experience, can’t gain experience before finding a job. Moreover, so the circle moves around and around: send application, get rejected, send another application, get declined as if the repeat button just never stops!
Fortunately, it’s all entirely up to you to make it stop. Instead of focussing on securing the perfect opportunity, aim to find the right opportunity for right now. Gain experience and start earning a living. The job-seeking journey is always easier when you have employment status listed as currently working instead of unemployed at the moment.
Herewith some of the highest paying jobs for newbies wanting to join the World of Work.
Weird & Wonderful
Before we move onto traditional roles, spare a minute or two for these wacky gigs.
1) Professional Snuggler
This has to be number one on this list, just because it sounds so far-fetched. Yet, a quick Indeed search and surprisingly, there are more than 200 Snuggler/Cuddler roles being advertised. What’s even more surprising is that you can earn $60 an hour to hug someone else!
2) Professional Mermaid
Not a fictitious job in the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, it's actually the real deal. Professional Mermaids are essentially models with a twist (in the tail that is). You need to be a strong swimmer and be willing to pose on rocks for hours, regardless of weather conditions. These mermaids earn about $250 per hour.
If you have the calling of being able to communicate with beings invisible to us mere mortals, a job as a Psychic can bring in about $57 000 per year.
4) Fortune Cookie Writer
Ever wondered where the quotes, proverbs and inspiring blurbs inside fortune cookies originate from? Well, people actually get paid to write them. As a day job contract writers for fortune cookie messages earn on average around $53 000 per year. Also, if you want to avoid quitting your day job to wrestle with words, try it as a freelancer and get paid about $50 per project.
Gross and Uncomfortable
These jobs seem grim and grody at face value, but someone has to do it.
5) Sewer Inspector
On this one, any inkling of claustrophobia is a no-go, and you shouldn’t be scared of rats either. All while trying not to hurl from pungent smells, and the “you know what” type of sludge these inspectors have to wade through in the task of clearing out obstructions from sewage channels. For this unenviable task, you can earn $60 000 per year.
6) Garbage Collector
Not your typical champagne and caviar type role, but at $112 000 per year, where do we sign up. Noted, though, you need to be available for graveyard shifts between 7 pm and 3 am. Typical daytime shifts pay about $60 000.
7) Crime Scene Cleaner
A far cry from an average 9-5 day job and your time is going to be spent cleaning blood and guts from crime scenes. For this daunting task, the salary ranges between $35 000 – $80 000. It remains your decision though on whether the money validates the effort…..
Some jobs are not for the faint at heart, but it pays the bills.
8) Hazardous Waste Manager
You will be responsible for cleaning chemical spills and dispose of hazardous materials like biochemical waste which could jeopardize the environment and the lives of others (including your own). This role can also veer off into infectious disease control, similar to what you may have seen in the recent motion picture “Containment.” That is the reason why even entry-level salaries are on the higher end of the earning spectrum at $45 000 per year.
A serene beach with a lonesome fisherman catching dinner for the day…delete that image. Professional Fishermen are those brave souls heading out into the deep dark ocean (mostly at night) to face freezing waters and swells as high as office buildings. Starting salaries for beginners are in the region of $32 000 each year.
10) Police Officer
A rewarding opportunity for those with the purpose to uphold law and order and protect the well-being of their fellow countrymen. Inconsistent hours, high-stress levels, and a constant risk to find yourself in body-harming situations awards paychecks for rookies in the range of $29 000.
In these jobs, luck has nothing to do with it. You need to be really exceptional at your job. However, you would still be the envy of your friends and family.
11) Personal Shopper
With an eye for fashion as well an ear for client instructions, personal shoppers are responsible for dressing their clientele with the purpose of impressing their client’s clients. Enough of the wordplay, these shoppers play the part of guidance counselors advising, directing, and facilitating customers to acquire the best possible garments for their shape, budget, and personality. The more affluent your clients, the bigger the bucks. As a starting point, though, if you land a job at a high-end store, you can expect to earn from $42 000.
12) Film Critic
Sounds like a dream job…watching flicks, eating popcorn, and sipping soda all day long. Not quite, as a Film Critic, you need to know everything about films, genres, camera angles, sound enhancements, and script formulations. Added to that, you need a talent for writing reviews that attracts a broad reading audience and the ability to convey objective opinions. Starting salaries at print, media, and publishing companies average at about $24 000, and you would need a Bachelors's Degree in Journalism, English, or Filmography to get a foot in the door.
13) Beer Taster
The job every college boy “thinks” they can do. Surprisingly, being a Beer Taster is quite an analytical type of role. Before earning $45 000 and gaining the perks of continuous alcohol consumption during office hours, you need to make your stripes with a certification or two and some job shadowing. Perhaps a point of caution….not all beers taste like Budweiser.
High School Diploma Required
With these opportunities, you can walk straight out of high school and into a full-time position.
15) Call Center Worker
Starting salary is $21 000, and for these earnings, you need to display exceptional people skills and have oodles of patience. Whether you are dealing with complaints, offering troubleshooting assistance, or facilitating sales orders your ultimate purpose is to keep the customer happy, no matter what. Call Center opportunities are available in various industries such as retail stores, banks, healthcare providers, insurance agencies, and internet vendors.
Often regarded as a part-time summer job, professional groundskeepers are often permanently employed by hotels, resorts, estates, and public recreational facility management companies all year round. Willing to do lots of physical labor and an affinity for the outdoors gets you in at a starting salary of $20 000.
17) Veterinary Assistant
Are you an animal whisperer? This opportunity could fit right in your stride at a starting salary of $25 000. You need to be able to do some heavy lifting (some dogs are enormous) and have a passion for our four-legged or winged or scaled companions of any kind. Just remember, snakes and spiders can get sick or injured too. – Veterinary Technician Resume
18) Medical Biller
As a liaison between the doctor’s office and insurance companies, you need to be meticulous and deadline orientated. Plus, having X-Ray eyes to find a bill or receipt among the mountainous paper heaps on your desk. You can get a job with just a High School Diploma, but a medical billing course could help you land an entry-level opportunity paying $30 000 in your first year.
18) Admin Assistant
This is an ideal opportunity to gain a bit of experience as a Jack/Jill of all trades before you decide on a specific career direction. Admin Assistants (Administrative Assistant Resume) in most of the larger companies generally get exposure to all the different departments and get paid around $30 000. You will be responsible for phone calls, email correspondence, handling paperwork, project and tender preparation and taking minutes during meetings (which by the way is the best training ground for an aspiring exec to be).
19) Public Relations Assistant
The art of managing public perception is the number one aim of public relations. If you can portray a good general understanding of marketing and business principles during your interview, you stand a real chance of landing an exciting opportunity at a reputable publicity firm. There is also scope in this field to be trained as an in-house Public Relations Specialist within large corporates or even hotel groups and governmental organizations. Excellent verbal and writing skills are needed, and you should be a walking Thesaurus. Assistants in this field earn an average starting salary of $32 000.
20) Sales Account Representative
If you believe you can sell ice to an Eskimo, then this is potentially a good fit. Loads of sales roles are available, but be cautious of those promising earnings that seem too good to be true. They often have fine print attached regarding commission collections, thresh hold targets, and clawback clauses. Entry-level salaries can be as high as $35 000 if you have an associate’s degree or sales-related diploma to back your application, but generally, your High School Diploma would be sufficient.
21) Real Estate Agent
According to law, you need to complete a 60-hour course to become a Real Estate Agent, but this is usually done as part of your induction program. If you sell, you earn, and that’s about it. Junior Agents worth their salt make $48 000 in the first year.
22) Equities Trader
Ever watched “Boiler Room” or the “Wolf of Wall Street”? Welcome to the faced paced, nerve-racking roller-coaster life of an Equities Trader. You will be trading shares and stocks day in and night out. These individuals work up to 20 hours a day, but proclaim the rewards of $67 000 every year plus triple that in profit sharing and bonuses make the slog worth it.
Post High School Certification Required
A two-year associate’s degree, post-secondary diploma or a few course certifications, will increase your chances of securing one of these well-paid entry-level jobs.
23) Dispensing Optician
This is a growing industry with lots of opportunities for youngsters who have completed the one-year certification course. Dispensing Opticians work with clients with varying degrees of visual impairment and will advise, fit and supply the most suited spectacles in accordance with vocational and lifestyle needs. A starting salary in this field begins at $24 000 a year.
24) Automotive Mechanic
If you can fixate on a problem before trying to fix a problem, you will be the most sought after in your area. It takes a year to 18 months to get adequately trained and obtain the relevant qualifications to repair and service vehicles. This is a word-of-mouth industry, the better you fix a vehicle, the higher the chances of attracting a constant flow of business. Entry-level mechanics are paid $23 000.
25) Truck Driver
If 18 wheelers are your passion, and you dream of being on the open road (all the time) then consider a job as a Truck Driver. You would need proper training and a commercial license, but most employers would pay for that on your behalf. You may land a starting role at $27 000 up to $34 000 depending on how far you are willing to go and the amount of time you agree to spend away from home.
26) Graphic Designer
These designers aim to create eye-catching image solutions that will make a definite impact on the viewer. Whether online campaign design or offline event activations, these roles are deadline-driven, highly pressurized, and often require one to burn the midnight oil to meet client expectations. Entry-level candidates can earn as high as $43 000 in their first year if you have been able to build up a decent portfolio of design examples coupled with a design course or diploma to further add to their credibility. – (UX Designer & Web Designer resumes)
27) HR Coordinator
Talent curation, payroll, employee relations, interviewing, recruitment and compliance are a few of the areas you would get exposure to as an HR Coordinator. The average starting salaries are between $32 000 and $36 000. Patience, empathy, and a very thick skin are needed in this role as the war on talent and sometimes also within talent can be fierce and unpredictable.
Bachelor Degree Essential
A four-year degree may land you one of these:
28) Marketing Specialists
The gurus bring advertising and sales together with harmonious strategies regarding a product, pricing, promotion, and place to establish branding, attract customers, and increase sales. A bachelor's degree is required, often is a master's degree preferred. Marketing Specialists earn $35 000 as a starting salary. Your responsibilities as a junior employee may include research, data accumulation of trend statistics, project administration, content development, and events planning.
29) Personal Financial Advisor
With a degree in preferably in finance, economics, or investments even at entry-level you can start with decent earnings levels around $41 000. At growth prospects projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at 15%, candidates can expect sustainable career opportunities are going forward. Financial Advisors are responsible for wealth planning, investment management, and retirement capital planning. Remember, though, if you are not prepared to follow your own financial advice, don’t expect others to.
30) Financial Analysts
As a Financial Analyst, you can expect to find employment at banks, insurance companies, pension fund consultants, and investment solutions companies. Your objective is to provide business enterprises with guidance and individuals with advice to make the best possible investment decisions for current market scenarios. Entry packages start from $62 000. This is a highly competitive industry thus ensure to have all your ducks in a row: excellent marks in your bachelor's, a completed master's (if you can), various summer internships, in-depth theoretical knowledge of the industry, and a poker face showing zero emotion.
31) Aerospace Engineers
“Houston, we have a problem.” Well, hopefully not when NASA appoints you as a junior engineer. Salaries in this field are on average $68 000 for the first year of employment. Aerospace Engineers design spacecraft, satellites, aircraft, and missiles. They also create and test prototypes. Not that you will do any of the above during your first few months, but you will at least be in the same room as the people who do them.
32) Field Engineers
A traveling engineering Wilbury moves from site to site, solving complex problems and designing solutions. For this nomadic lifestyle, you are rewarded with a generous base salary of $69 000. As an entry requirement for these types of field roles, you would need a bachelor's degree in engineering disciplines such as chemical, electrical, mechanical, or industrial engineering.
A Degree and More
After seven years of studying and residency, one would hope that you are still passionate about fixing feet (all types of feet). Podiatrists can earn from $76 000 – $80 000 in their first job. These feet specialists treat injuries, perform surgery and diagnose illnesses involving the lower extremities. You can also specialize in orthopedics, diabetic treatment, and wound care.
34) Software Engineer
Fancy a whopping starting salary of $86 000 without an ounce of experience? Easier said than done, though. Apart from a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science, you also need to master a variety of programming languages plus know application architectures. Software Engineers are the whiz kids that make synergy happen between IT and Engineering departments. You will be in daily contact with designers, programmers, production engineers, and project owners to create industry solutions. (Software Engineer Resume)
You will be the final face a patient sees in the operating theater before they go off to narcotic ‘’La La Land”. For this privilege, you get paid $103 000 upon entering the industry. Remember though that it will take you 12 years to write MD, ABA behind your name.