Top entry-level jobs for college grads

Who says you have to settle for your first job out of college? Factoring in job satisfaction, pay, and availability, fellow recent college grads say these are the best jobs for you.

Top entry-level jobs for college grads

College graduates are happiest in these entry-level jobs.

Finding the best entry-level jobs for college grads certainly has its fair share of struggles, and sometimes, it’s hard not to feel like a party of one. Don’t.

According to a Monster survey, 3 out of 4 graduates from the Class of 2018 are still on the job hunt, and to simply say they’re freaking out would be an understatement. As the survey found, some of the biggest fears among this year’s graduating class (cited by 36.8% of respondents) are that you won’t be able to find what you’re looking for and that you don’t really know what job you want (31.7%). So yeah, we know you’re freaking out.

In times like this, it might be nice to have an older sibling, friend, or someone who has recently gone through the process of finding an entry-level job to go to for guidance, but we have something way better.

PayScale surveyed nearly 200,000 recent graduates from the past couple years to identify the best jobs for those of you fresh out of school, tassel turned, with diploma in hand. The salary-information website evaluated these entry-level jobs based on how satisfied the new grads are with their job, how much they make, and how common the job is in the market.

From the list, project engineers have the highest job satisfaction (75%), while a software developer job will earn you the highest median wage at $68,800.

And speaking of salary, this year’s graduating class can expect to make more money than in previous years. PayScale found that the median starting salary for 2018 college graduates is $47,000—that’s $1,600 more than what it was a year ago.

Don’t settle for your first job out of school. Start your career off right by checking out the full list of best entry-level jobs below.

Best entry-level jobs for college grads:

  1. Software developer

    Job satisfaction: 73%

    Median pay: $68,800

  2. Mechanical engineer

    Job satisfaction: 70%

    Median pay: $61,000

  3. Registered nurse

    Job satisfaction: 69%

    Median pay: $56,500

  4. Staff accountant

    Job satisfaction: 69%

    Median pay: $45,200

  5. Financial analyst

    Job satisfaction: 70%

    Median pay: $55,500

  6. Project engineer

    Job satisfaction: 75%

    Median pay: $59,600

  7. Project manager

    Job satisfaction: 73%

    Median pay: $54,900

  8. Electrical engineer

    Job satisfaction: 71%

    Median pay: $65,000

  9. Data analyst

    Job satisfaction: 70%

    Median pay: $51,100

  10. Marketing coordinator

    Job satisfaction: 68%

    Median pay: $39,700

  11. Manufacturing engineer

    Job satisfaction: 70%

    Median pay: $61,700

  12. Administrative assistant

    Job satisfaction: 64%

    Median pay: $33,200

  13. Process engineer

    Job satisfaction: 62%

    Median pay: $64,900

  14. Operations manager

    Job satisfaction: 68%

    Median pay: $48,600

  15. Graphic designer

    Job satisfaction: 66%

    Median pay: $36,600

  16. Human resources (HR) administrator

    Job satisfaction: 74%

    Median pay: $40,900

  17. Office manager

    Job satisfaction: 67%

    Median pay: $37,500

  18. Paralegal/legal assistant

    Job satisfaction: 63%

    Median pay: $35,800

  19. Web developer

    Job satisfaction: 69%

    Median pay: $50,500

  20. Account manager

    Job satisfaction: 64%

    Median pay: $46,400

Find all entry-level jobs on Monster.

Job search next steps

As you start your career, knowing which jobs will give you great job satisfaction and put money in your pocket is important when conducting a job search. But now it’s time to put yourself out there and get some exposure, so you can lock down that first post-grad job. Need some help with that? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you not only get job alerts emailed right to your inbox, which cuts down on the amount of time you’d spend combing through ads, but you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to different types of entry-level jobs for college grads that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Find your first job out of college on Monster.