Top 10 Highest-Paying, Entry-Level Jobs in America

Airman occupational therapist in consultation.

Entry-level positions are often tough for new workers to occupy. They usually offer low wages and come with the stress of learning a whole new set of skills while building yourself as a professional.

However, a lot of that stress can be mitigated by an entry-level position that pays exceptionally well. According to The Street, a financial news website, most of them lead to very lucrative careers, and each one requires years of preparation. If you're considering your career options after life in the military, take a look at the top 10 highest-paying, entry-level jobs for a snapshot at what you might attain with hard work and perseverance.

1. Occupational Therapist

If you enjoy working with your hands and other people, occupational therapists fit the bill. You'll be helping rehabilitate those who've been injured and need training in returning to everyday tasks. Furthermore, you'll help advise people on best practices to avoid future injury.

  • Average salary: $75,400

2. Software Developer

In today's economy, it's a no-brainer that tech workers tend to earn strong paychecks. Software developers are no exception: if you can get through a four-year program and come out with marketable skills, you'll most likely be looking at a high salary right away. The critical thing is to always be learning: Don't let the degree do the work for you; involve yourself with extracurricular projects.

  • Average salary: $93,350

3. Civil Engineer

Infrastructure requires expertise, and civil engineers are in the thick of construction. They oversee the building of roads, bridges and more. The job requires a bachelor's degree, so plan early if this job interests you.

  • Average salary: $79,340

4. Attorney/Associate Lawyer

There are many different types of lawyers in the U.S., but each position requires at least a four-year degree. The job requires a lot of paperwork and research, so only those who can read, write and debate exceptionally well should consider the position.

  • Average salary: $113,530

5. Statistician

One of the most important resources to any company is data. Those who can understand, analyze and package data in a meaningful way are valuable individuals. That's why statisticians tend to earn high paychecks out of school. However, most jobs require a master's degree, which means spending at least six years in an institution of higher learning.

  • Average salary: $75,560

6. Political Scientist

Politics is complicated, and it takes a master's degree to analyze its trends and fluctuations professionally. Working in politics is not easy, but it can be an economically fruitful pursuit in the long run.

  • Average salary: $102,000

7. Petroleum Engineer

Oil and gas are huge products in the developed world, and anyone with a hand in procuring and transporting them directly benefits from their value. Petroleum engineers design systems for mining oil and gas and tend to make a lot doing it. This job will definitely be worth the four years to attain your bachelor's degree.

  • Average salary: $130,280

8. Market Research Analysts

Knowing the customer base is one of the keys to a company's success. Market research analysts identify trends in consumer habits and strategize ways to sell, market and brand their products and services to the consumer. This job requires a bachelor's degree as well as strong interpersonal and analytical skills.

  • Average salary: $60,300

9. Actuarial Assistant

When companies risk millions, if not billions, of dollars in their ventures, they make sure that their plans are within acceptable margins of error. Actuarial assistants use high-level math, statistics and financial theory to evaluate the financial risks associated with various ventures.

  • Average salary: $93,680

10. Financial Examiners

Banks deal with enormous sums of money, and it takes professional financial examiners to investigate whether they're complying with government laws. This job requires a bachelor's degree.

  • Average salary: $75,800

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