25 entry-level jobs that pay well and are projected to grow over the decade

Colleagues discussing over computer at desk in office
  • Some entry-level jobs are projected to see large employment growth over the decade.
  • This includes software developers and different types of nurses.
  • Here are 25 jobs that typically require no related work experience, earn at least the median annual wage, and are projected to grow from 2020 to 2030.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

25. Middle school teachers (except special and career/technical education)
Middle school teacher robotics
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 44,800    

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US60,810 ($AU84,654)

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

24. Speech-language pathologists
Speech pathologist
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 45,400    

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US80,480 ($AU112,037)

Typical educational requirements: Master’s degree

23. Massage therapists
Woman in a head massage chair
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 46,500    

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US43,620 ($AU60,724)

Typical educational requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award

22. Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
Police officers in New York subway station
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 48,600    

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US65,540 ($AU91,239)

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

21. Physical therapists
Doctor patient physical therapy
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 49,100   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US91,010 ($AU126,696)

Typical educational requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

20. Construction managers
Construction workers talking
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 51,400    

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US97,180 ($AU135,285)

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

19. Logisticians
Two workers talking and taking inventory in a warehouse
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 56,400    

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US76,270 ($AU106,176)

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

18. Computer user support specialists
Computer user support
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 58,000    

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US52,690 ($AU73,350)

Typical educational requirements: Some college, no degree

17. Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing (except technical and scientific products)
Supervisor examining stock in warehouse
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 59,400    

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US62,070 ($AU86,408)

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

16. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
Nurse with patient
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 63,800   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US48,820 ($AU67,963)

Typical educational requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award

15. Electricians
Electrician working at circuit electrical panel
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 66,100  

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US56,900 ($AU79,211)

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

14. Human resources specialists
Human resources
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 70,200   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US63,490 ($AU88,385)

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

13. Lawyers
A lawyer holding documents in a courtroom
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 71,500   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US126,930 ($AU176,701)

Typical educational requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

12. Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors
Counselor
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 75,100   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US47,660 ($AU66,348)

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

11. Secondary school teachers (except special and career/technical education)
High school teacher talking to students
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 78,200   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US62,870 ($AU87,522)

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

10. Industrial machinery mechanics
Employee at a factory plant operating a production line machine and setting it for work
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 83,600   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US55,490 ($AU77,248)

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

9. Accountants and auditors
Accountant
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 96,000   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US73,560 ($AU102,404)

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

8. Sales representatives of services (except advertising, insurance, financial services, and travel)
Businesswoman presenting her ideas on digital tablet to manager in office
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 97,000   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US58,770 ($AU81,814)

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

7. All other project management specialists and business operations specialists
Business meeting
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 99,200   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US77,420 ($AU107,777)

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

This is a catchall title that includes occupations like sustainability specialists and online merchants.

6. Elementary school teachers (except special education)
Elementary school teacher
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 101,700   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US60,940 ($AU84,835)

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

5. Nurse practitioners
Nurse with patient in a hospital
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 114,900   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US111,680 ($AU155,471)

Typical educational requirements: Master’s degree

4. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
Truck driver stepping into a truck
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 122,100   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US47,130 ($AU65,610)

Typical educational requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award

3. Market research analysts and marketing specialists
Business meeting
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 163,600   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US65,810 ($AU91,615)

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

2. Registered nurses
Nurse with a patient and patient's mother
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 276,800   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US75,330 ($AU104,868)

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

1. Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers
Software developer
Projected new jobs between 2020 and 2030: 409,500   

Median annual wage in May 2020: $US110,140 ($AU153,327)

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

How we ranked the above occupations
For job seekers just beginning their careers, the above list of jobs may be a good start to find a promising first position. These jobs don’t require any prior related work experience, pay relatively well, and are projected to see some kind of job growth from 2020 to 2030.  

To find entry-level jobs that are projected to grow over the decade and make at least the median annual wage, Insider used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS has the typical necessary education and work experience for different occupations.

We filtered out jobs that make below the median annual wage in 2020 of $US41,950 ($AU58,399) and are not projected to see job growth over the decade. Because we wanted to look at occupations that could be considered entry level, we only looked at occupations with no “work experience in a related occupation.”

We then ranked the occupations by their projected employment growth between 2020 and 2030 using BLS’ latest job projections.

Based on our methodology, “software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers” takes the top spot of jobs that don’t need previous work experience and are projected to grow. This occupation that typically makes six-figures a year is projected to see large job growth of 409,500. 

It’s important to note that the base year used for the projections is 2020, the year when the coronavirus pandemic was officially declared and where the US experienced massive job losses as a result of the pandemic. Some occupations are projected to see above average cyclical recovery and large job growth over the decade as the US continues to recover from the pandemic’s effects on employment.

“Many industries are expected to experience cyclical recoveries in the earlier part of the projections decade as industry output and employment normalize, returning to their long-term growth patterns,” BLS wrote in a news release. “Projected robust growth for industries in which employment fell in 2020 also is projected to result in strong growth for the occupations employed by those industries.”