The best cities in the US for high-paying entry-level jobs

best cities in the US
Choosing the right cities in the US can stretch your dollar further. Source: AFP

Whether you’ve recently graduated or completed your first internship, you may have started thinking about getting entry-level jobs.

In this, you might wonder: what are the best cities in the US for an entry-level job?

Depending on the field and company, these positions could require varying amounts of education and experience.

What is an entry-level job?

An entry-level job is typically assigned to a fresh graduate or someone.

These jobs require minimal professional work experience and open the door to bigger work-related opportunities. Companies usually seek young professionals with some prior experience, such as internships.

The good news is that even with minimal education, training and experience, you can still acquire these jobs. The requirements differ for each job. Some companies may require higher academic qualifications, while others might want someone who already has the skills and knowledge for the job.

Entry-level jobs are available as both full or part-time roles. High school or college students may work part-time for entry-level jobs while completing school to gain experience.

Typically those applying for entry-level positions are high school or college graduates. However, if you switch careers and start from scratch, entry-level jobs will be what you are looking for to develop skills and knowledge in a new field.

best cities in the US

Entry-level jobs offer training to ensure fresh grads aren’t lost in their new role. Source: AFP

What can you expect from an entry-level job?

One of the great things about an entry-level job is that it offers valuable training and experience. This means you will be exposed to many areas of the chosen field while expanding your skill set and learning as much as possible. 

Choosing an entry-level job in one of the best cities in the US is a great starting point for your career and can lead to a high-paying salary to kickstart your successful career. 

Here are some tips for landing a high-paying entry-level job

  • Plan your path out strategically: explore opportunities in fields and industries that are growing and able to provide high salaries.
  • Don’t let your degree get in the way: just because you have a degree in one area does not mean you are limited to that field.
  • Build your network: there is no denying that having an extensive network can help you when looking for a high-paying entry-level job.

As a graduate, you may have high expectations for your first job, hoping to secure a high-paying career. According to Indeed, the average pay for an entry-level position in the US is around US$40,153

However, many entry-level jobs pay above this average amount. 

Best entry-level jobs in the US

1. Real estate agent

Average entry-level salary: US$96,665 per year

Real estate agents are responsible for promoting and selling properties and assisting clients in navigating buyer negotiations and home loans. They often have the freedom to manage their schedules and earn income through commissions.

Becoming a real estate agent requires a high school diploma and successful completion of the state’s real estate exam.

2. Data scientist

Average entry-level salary: US$124,096 per year

Data is becoming more critical and abundant than ever—and companies need data and analytics teams to help organise, analyse, and leverage that data to hit their goals. Data scientists are responsible for creating the frameworks companies use to analyse large data sets.

To get hired as an entry level-data scientist, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, math, engineering, statistics, or a related field — though you should be aware that some companies may require an advanced degree — and proof that you have some core data science skills.

3. Web developer

Average entry-level salary: US$$72,090 per year

They design and code websites based on design wireframes, templates, on client instructions. They apply web design principles to create user-friendly and visually appealing website experiences. Educational requirements range from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree. As you gain knowledge and experience, you may be eligible for a more senior developer position.

In June, conducted a study analysing entry-level job listings to determine the proportion of positions with salaries surpassing the median wage across all 50 states in the US and 223 major cities. The study utilised data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the job site

The economic growth slowdown has led to major corporations scaling back on hiring and retracting job offers. However, the study highlights that securing a well-paying position right after graduation is still achievable.

According to the study, Bozeman, Iowa, and Jackson stand out as cities with the best rates of highly-paid entry-level job opportunities, making them attractive destinations for recent graduates.

In contrast, Washington’s robust intern economy results in a common transition for new hires from no salary to low salary. This city offers the lowest percentage (26.4%) of highly-paid entry-level jobs.

If you are looking to earn big, there is nowhere better to do it than the best cities in the US that offer high-paying entry-level jobs. 

best cities in the US

The highest-paid entry-level job in Bozeman, Montana is the role of an engineer. Source: AFP

10 best cities in the US for high-paying entry-level jobs

1. Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman, Montana, is the best city in the US to find a highly-paid entry-level job. found that 87.8% of entry-level roles listed here offered a salary above the state’s median wage.— more than any other US city. 

Home to a cluster of tech startups, Bozeman is perfect for entrepreneurs and nature enthusiasts, making it a prime spot for those looking to break into the technology or tourism industries. 

According to Indeed, the highest-paying entry-level job offered in this city is the role of an engineer, with a salary starting at US$46,000 per year

2. Iowa City, Iowa

Coming in second on the list of best cities in the US for high-paying entry-level jobs is Iowa City. According to the findings, most entry-level jobs come with a high salary. This is about 87.7% of entry-level jobs offering a high salary. 

The biggest employers in town include the University of Iowa and local hospitals. 

best cities in the US

Engineering firms and companies in Jackson that offer opportunities for entry-level engineers, such as civil engineers, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers. Source: AFP

3. Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi, comes in third with 84.8% of its entry-level jobs offering high salaries. 

There are engineering firms and companies in Jackson that offer opportunities for entry-level engineers, such as civil engineers, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers.

An entry-level mechanical engineer’s salary in Kansas City is around US$67,900 annually. 

4. Jackson, Missouri

Jackson, Mississippi, comes in third with 84.8% of its entry-level jobs offering high salaries. 

There are engineering firms and companies in Jackson that offer opportunities for entry-level engineers, such as civil engineers, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers.

An entry-level mechanical engineer’s salary in Kansas City is around US$67,900 annually. 

best cities in the US

Ford workers listen as Joe Hinrichs, President of the Americas for Ford Motor, talks to members of the media and workers during the roll out of the Ford Transit commercial van at the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant April 30, 2014, in Claycomo, Missouri. Source: AFP

4. Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City boasts 83.1% of high-paying entry-level jobs paying above the average. 

Kansas City offers jobs between 201.6% and 331.4% more than the average Entry Level salary of US$33,136.

5. Fort Smith, Arkansas

In fifth place is Fort Smith, with the majority (79.7%) of entry-level jobs offering high salaries. Fort Smith has a significant IT industry, with an average entry-level salary of around US$59,752 per year

The cost of living in Fort Smith is generally lower than in larger cities, which adds to its appeal for fresh graduates. 

best cities in the US

Lexington is known for its healthcare sector which offers many high-paying entry-level jobs. Source: AFP

6. Lexington, Kentucky

In Kentucky, Lexington has a high percentage of 78.2% of its entry-level jobs offering high-paying salaries. 

The city has a strong healthcare sector, with several hospitals, medical centres, and healthcare organisations in the region.

Entry-level positions in healthcare, such as registered nurses, medical technologists, and medical assistants, can offer high salaries to fresh graduates. However, in this case, you may require some prior skills and knowledge to succeed in these roles. 

7. Hartford, Connecticut

The capital of Connecticut comes in at seventh place, with 78% of its entry-level jobs offering salaries above the average. 

Hartford is known for having insurance companies that hire entry-level workers who assess risk and determine insurance policy terms and premiums. These roles can offer competitive compensation packages.

best cities in the US

New Haven is home to one of the best universities in the world, Yale University. Source: AFP

8. New Haven, CT

Another city in Connecticut offering high salaries for entry-level jobs above the average is New Haven. Surprisingly, New Haven and Hartford tie with both cities, having 78% of their jobs pay high salaries to fresh graduates.  

9. Oakland, California

Oakland has always been known for its beautiful location and beautiful art scene. Now, it is also one of the best cities in the US for high-paying entry-level jobs. 

Here, 77.7% of entry-level jobs offer a salary above the median wage in California. 

The average maximum salary in Oakland is around US$399,000 annually, while the average salary for an entry-level job is US$43,697 per year

best cities in the US

San Francisco has so much to offer fresh grads looking to kickstart their careers. Source: AFP

10. San Franciso, California

San Francisco also ranks as one of the best cities in the US for highly-paid entry-level roles. It was found that 77.6% of entry-level jobs here offered a salary above the state’s median wage.  

At the time of writing, the highest-paying entry-level job in San Francisco is that of a product manager, which offers an annual salary of US$169,885.

However, while cities in California like San Francisco and Oakland are great places for high-paying entry-level jobs, it is important to consider the high cost of living, which will likely eat into your fresh grad salary.