8 Entry-level Jobs for First-time Workers
Trying to find a job when you don't have a degree or much experience isn't impossible. Whether you're a first-time worker that has zero experience or you're bypassing college and going straight to the workforce, keep reading to find out which eight jobs are in high demand for you.
1. Healthcare workers and aides
The healthcare industry is expected to be the fastest growing job field in the United States. With a growing older population, there's a critical need for workers to take care of elderly people whose families can't take care of them on a daily basis.
"There is a huge attrition rate of primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and home health aides—just keeping pace to replace those who are leaving is difficult," says Dr. Alexi Nazem, co-founder and CEO of Nomad Health. "And we're not adding enough people to meet the new growth in demand."
Professions like home health aide have a very high projected growth (47%) but tend to offer lower pay and less benefits. Nursing assistants, physician assistants and registered nurses can earn much better pay and only require a bachelor's degree or an associate degree from an approved nursing program.
2. Construction laborer
It's a physically demanding job, but construction labor is going to have a 12% increase in job outlook from 2018 to 2023, much faster than the national average, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Finding and retaining skilled workers remains a primary issue, implying that compensation growth will continue to increase," says Anirban Basu, Chief Economist of Associated Builders and Contractors. "This is a challenge that construction firms share with firms operating in many other industries, which means that the cycle of wage growth coupled with robust consumer spending remains firmly in place."
This is an ideal job for inexperienced workers because they receive on-the-job training and can benefit from mentorship on-site as well. A managerial position in construction can bump your salary up to around $90k, according to Business Insider.
3. Software developer
Software developer is expected to be the most in-demand job in more than 18 states in between 2018 and 2023. With just a bachelor's degree, you can be earning more than $100k per year. To increase your chances of getting hired, focus your efforts on understanding a particular coding language inside and out, and look into the various online training programs available for learning that language. See this Hackernoon post for an example of myriad programs and "launch camps" available for aspiring developers.
4. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
It might not pop up in your mind when you think of in-demand jobs, but the expected growth for plumbers is a surprising 15%. With median annual earnings of $52,590 and a high school diploma as the typical education requirement, this is a valuable job for first-timers. To get started down the road to being a full-fledged plumber, look into vocational training and apprenticeship programs.
5. Wholesale and manufacturer sales representative
It's expected that around 35,400 new positions for wholesale and manufacturer sales representatives will open up by 2028. The median pay for this profession averages around $60,000 per year, and requires no previous experience—at most, you'll need a bachelor's degree. How far you'll get in this career field depends on your success at salesmanship, and your salesmanship will depend on how well you can connect with clients and customers, so get started by expanding your network, and emphasizing relevant experiences skills in your resume that can tie in with customer service and salesmanship (volunteering to help with sales at a community event is a perfect example).
6. Delivery and rideshare driver
With the rise of Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Doordash, and the like, a whole new job field has opened that's eagerly looking for employees. You'll find that you'll only need a car; with certain apps, sometimes a bike or scooter will do. Benefits include choosing your own schedule and the number of hours you want to work. You can expect an annual salary range between $19k and $46k, depending on how much time you commit.
7. Bartenders, servers, and cooks
They're not the easiest or most glamorous jobs out there, but all three are expected to grow much faster than the national average in the coming years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They require little-to-no education, with most of your training on the job. Of course it's a bonus if you have culinary school training, but the key to success in these jobs is a strong work ethic, so emphasize your abilities as a team player in your resume.
8. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
Heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers can expect to earn $21 an hour or $43k per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the jobs for this position expected to grow by 5 percent over the next decade. You'll need a commercial license (CDL) to drive commercial heavy trucks, but other than that, you'll learn most of the inner workings on the job. To work your way up to the big rigs, start with driving jobs for smaller vehicles such as dump trucks – often, some experience in these areas (and a spotless driving record) go a long way towards getting a higher-paying gig.